- Evidence on the effectiveness of comprehensive error correction in second language writing
- Language Learning
- Volume | Issue number
- 62 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
This study investigated the effect of direct and indirect comprehensive corrective feedback (CF) on second language (L2) learners’ written accuracy (N = 268). The study set out to explore the value of CF as a revising tool as well as its capacity to support long-term accuracy development. In addition, we tested Truscott’s (e.g., 2001, 2007) claims that (a) correction may have value for nongrammatical errors but not for errors in grammar; (b) students are inclined to avoid more complex constructions due to error correction; and (c) the time spent on CF may be more wisely spent on additional writing practice. Results showed that both direct and indirect comprehensive CF led to improved accuracy, over what is gained from self-editing without CF (control group 1) and from sheer writing practice without CF (control group 2), and this was true not only during revision but also in new pieces of writing (i.e., texts written during posttest and delayed posttest sessions, 1 and 4 weeks after the delivery of CF). Furthermore, a separate analysis of grammatical and nongrammatical error types revealed that only direct CF resulted in grammatical accuracy gains in new writing and that pupils’ nongrammatical accuracy benefited most from indirect CF. Moreover, CF did not result in simplified writing when structural complexity and lexical diversity in students’ new writing were measured. Our findings suggest that comprehensive CF is a useful educational tool that teachers can use to help L2 learners improve their written accuracy over time.
Keywords written corrective feedback; error correction; direct and indirect feedback;
second language writing; accuracy development; written complexity
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