The Effect of Written Corrective Feedback on the Accuracy of Output Task and Learning of Target Form

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Iranshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iranshahr, Iran

2 Takestan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Takestan, Iran


The effect of error feedback on the accuracy of output task types such as editing task, text reconstruction task, picture cued writing task, and dictogloss task, has not been clearly explored. Following arguments concerning that the combination of both corrective feedback and output makes it difficult to determine whether their effects were in combination or alone, the purpose of the present study is to document the role of teachers’ feedback in improving the accuracy of linguistic form in output tasks and in acquiring target form. To this end, this study compared three groups of Iranian intermediate learners (N= 93), one with direct grammar feedback, the other one with indirect grammar feedback and the last one with no grammar feedback. In terms of the target form uptake from first to subsequent text reconstruction tasks, the analysis of the data obtained within ten treatment sessions indicated that the participants, who received written corrective feedback compared to those who did not, progressed significantly from the first to the subsequent output tasks. In terms of learning, the learners who had the opportunities for receiving feedback performed significantly better than those in non- feedback condition on the production and recognition post- tests although explicit feedback rather than implicit feedback led to greater learning of target form on the production test, but no significant differences were found in relative efficacy of the two written corrective feedback types as far as the result of the recognition test was concerned.


Ammar, A & Spada, N. (2006). One size fits all? Recasts, Prompts, and L2 Learning. SSLA, 28, 543–574.
Adams, R. (2003). L2 output, reformulation and noticing: implications for IL development. Language Teaching Research, 7, 347–76.
Bitchener, J & Knoch, U. (2009). The Contribution of Written Corrective Feedback to Language Development: A Ten Month Investigation. Applied Linguistics, 18, 1–22.
Bichener, J., & Knoch, U. (2008). The value of written corrective feedback for migrant and international students. Language Teaching Research, 12, 409- 419.
Bitchener, j, Young, S & Cameron, D. (2005). The effect of different types of corrective feedback on ESL student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14, 191–205.
Campillo, P. (2006). Focus on form tasks and the provision of corrective feedback. IBERICA, 1, 123-138.
Chandler, J. (2003). The efficacy of various kinds of error feedback form improvement in the accuracy and fluency of L2 student writing. System, 12, 267-296.
Doughty, C., & Wiliams, J. (1998). Pedagogical choices in focus on form. In C. Doughty, & J.Williams(Eds.), Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition (pp.197-261). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Ellis, R. (2008). A typology of written corrective feedback types. ELT Journal, 63, 97- 107.
Ellis, R, & Sheen, Y. (2006).  Reexamining the role of recasts in second language acquisition. SSLA, 28, 575–600.
Ellis, R. Editorial. (2006). Language Teaching Research, 10, 357- 360.
Elis, R& Barkhuizen, G. (2005).  Analyzing Learner Language.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University press.
Ellis, R. (2005). Measuring implicit and explicit knowledge of a second language. SSLA, 27,141-172.
Ellis, R. (2005). Principles of instructed language learning. System, 33, 209–224.
Ellis, R. (2003). Task- based Language Learning and Teaching. Oxford, UK: Oxford University press
Farokhi, F. (2005). A practical Step towards Focus on Form and Focus on Meaning. Journal of Faculty of Letters and Humanities, 49, 99- 148.
Gass, S. (2003). Input and interaction. In C. Doughty & M. H. Long (Eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition (pp, 224–255). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Gass, S(1997) Input, interaction, and the second language learner, Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Han, Z., Park, E., & Combos, C. (2008). Textual enhancement of input: issues and   possibilities. Applied Linguistics, 29, 597-618. 
Han, Z. (2002). A Study of the Impact of Recasts on Tense Consistency in L2 Output. TESOL Quarterly, 36, 573- 596.
Havranek, G., & Cesnik, H.( 2001). Factors affecting the success of corrective feedback. In: Foster-Cohen, S. & Nizegorodzew, A. (Eds.), EUROSLA Yearbook, 1,99–122.
Izumi, S.(2002). Output, input enhancement, and the Noticing Hypothesis: an experimental study on ESL relativization. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24, 541–77.
Izumi, S. and Bigelow, M.(2000). Does output promote noticing and second language acquisition? TESOL Quarterly, 34, 239–78.
Jensen, E & Vinther, T.(2003). Exact Repetition as Input Enhancement in Second Language Acquisition. Language Learning, 53, 373–428
Kim,Y. (2006).Effects of input elaboration on vocabulary acquisition through reading by Korean learners of English as a foreign language. TESOL Quarterly, 40, 520- 540.
Kim, J. H. (2004). Issues of corrective feedback in second language acquisition. Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics. Teachers College, Columbia University. Volume 4/ Issue 2/ 2004. Retrieved January 30, 2005, from
Lee, S. ( 2007).  Effects of Textual Enhancement and Topic Familiarity on Korean EFL Students’ Reading Comprehension and Learning of Passive Form. Language Learning, 57, 87–118.
Long, M.H.,& Robinson,P. (1998). Focus on form: Theory, research, and practice. In C. Doughty, & J.Williams(Eds), Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition (pp.15-41). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Lyster, R. (1998). Negotiation of form, recast and explicit correction in relation to error types and learner repair in immersion classroom. Language learning, 48, 183-218.
Lyster, R.,& Ranta, L. (1997). Corrective feedback and learner uptake. SSLA, 20, 37-66.
Mackey, A. (2006). Feedback, Noticing and Instructed Second Language Learning. Applied Linguistics, 27, 405–430
Mackey, A., & Gass, S. (2005). Second language research. Library of Congress
Muranoi, H. ( 2000). Focus on Form Through Interaction Enhancement: Integrating Formal Instruction Into a Communicative Task in EFL Classrooms.  Language Learning, 50, 617–673.
Mackey, A. (1999).Input, interaction, and second language development. SSLA, 21, 557-587.
Pica, T. (2000). Tradition and transition in English language teaching methodology. System, 28, 1–18.
Pica, T. (1994). Research on negotiation: What does it reveal about second-language learning conditions , processes, and outcomes? Language Learning, 44, 493–527.
Ollerhead, S & Oosthuizen, J. (2005). Meaning-focused vs. Form-focused L2 Instruction:  Implications for Writing Educational Materials for South African Learners of English. . 
 Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics, 36, 59-84.
Rahimi, M. (2008). The role of teacher’s corrective feedback in improving Iranian EFL   learners’ writing accuracy over time: is learner’s mother tongue relevant? Springer Science Business Media B.V 22, 219–243.
Reber, A.S.(1993). Implicit Learning and Tacit Knowledge: An Essay of the Cognitive Unconscious. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Reber, A.S., Allen, R.(1978). Analogy and abstraction strategies in synthetic grammar learning: a functional interpretation. Cognition, 6, 189-221.
Reber, A.S. (1976). Implicit learning of synthetic learners: the role of instructional set. Journal of Experimental Psychology, Human Learning and Memory 6, 88–94.
Song, M., & Suh, B. (2008). The effects of output task types on noticing and learning of the         English past counterfactual conditional. System, 36, 295–312.
Sheen, Y.(2008). Recasts, Language Anxiety, Modified Output, and L2 Learning. Language Learning, 58, 220- 235.
Sheen, Y. (2007). The Effect of Focused Written Corrective Feedback and Language Aptitude on ESL Learners’ Acquisition of Articles. TESOL Quarterly, 41, 250- 270.
Sachs, R., & Polio, C. (2007). Learners use of two types of written corrective feedback on L2 writing revision task. SSLA, 29, 67-100.
Sheen, Y. (2004). Corrective feedback and learner uptake in communicative classrooms across instructional settings. Language Teaching Research, 8, 263–300.
Swain, M. (1995) Three functions of output in second language learning. In G. Cook and B.   Seidlhofer (Eds.), Principles and practice in the study of language: Studies in honor of H.G. Widdowson (pp. 125–144). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (1995). Problems in output and the cognitive processes they generate: A step towards second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 16, 371–191.
Schmidt, R. (1995). Consciousness and foreign language learning: A tutorial on the role of attention and awareness in learning, In R, Schmidt ~Ed., Attention and awareness in foreign language learning (Tech, Rep, No. 9, pp. 1–63). Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.
Spada, L, Lightbrown, P & Ranta, L. (1991). Input enhancement and L2 Question Formation. Applied Linguistics, 12, 83- 98.
Sheen, R. (2002). FOCUS ON FORM AND FOCUS ON FORMS. Journal of Second Language Writing, 10, 161–184.
Storch, N. (2001). Comparing ESL learners' attention to grammar on three different classroom   tasks. RELIC journal, 32, 104- 110.
Schmidt, R. (2001).Attention. In P. Robinson ~Ed., Cognition and second language instruction (pp.3–32). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Swain, M. (1999). Integrating Language and Content Teaching through Collaborative Task.
Swain, M. (1998). Focus on form through conscious refrelction" in Doughly & Williams (eds.), (Eds.), Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition (pp. 64–81). New York: Cambridge University Press. 64-82.
Storch, N.(1998). A classroom–based study: Insights form a collaborative text reconstruction task. ELT Journal, 52, 291- 307.
Takimoto, M. (2007). The effects of input- based tasks on the development of learners pragmatic proficiency. Applied Linguistics, 30, 1-25.
Takimoto, M.(2006). The effects of explicit feedback on the development of pragmatic proficiency. Language Teaching Research, 10, 393- 410.
Tsui, A. (2001). Classroom interaction. In Carter, R., & Nunan, D (Eds), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Varnosfadrani, A., & Basturkmen, H. (2009). The effectiveness of implicit and explicit error correctionon learners’ performance. System ,37, 82–98.
VanPatten, B.(2002). Processing the Content of Input-Processing and Processing Instruction Research: A Response to  DeKeyser, Salaberry, Robinson, and Harrington. Language Learning ,52,825–831.
Willis, D. and J. Willis. (2001). ‘Task-based anguage learning’.In R. Carter and D. Nunan (Eds.): The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Yoshida, R. (2008). Teachers’ Choice and Learners' Preference of Corrective Feedback Types. Language Awareness, 17, 78- 93.
Zacharias, N.(2007). Teacher and Student Attitudes toward Teacher Feedback. RELIC Journal, 38, 38-52.