UBC Graduate Research

Exploring the role of corrective feedback in second language writing Herrera, Sylvana Lucia


The purpose of this paper is to explore what research says about the role of corrective feedback in second language writing. Error correction in writing has been a contentious issue as researchers debated the effectiveness in helping improve learner's linguistic accuracy in writing. This debate was the impetus for further research that attempted to address whether written CF facilitates L2 acquisition. This paper reviews the background of this debate and looks at some of the major research on this issue and its conclusions. In so doing, it looks at the different written corrective feedback (WCF) types, direct, indirect, metalinguistic and focused feedback and their role in helping students improve their accuracy of problematic linguistic features. Recent research is presented which suggests that focused WCF leads to gains in linguistic accuracy (Sheen, 2007). In the connections to practice section I propose to do a teacher information workshop to present these research findings and suggest some ways to implement WCF in the second language classroom. In this workshop teachers will be informed of the strengths and limitations of using each type of WCF to help make them aware of the range of feedback available in order to provide targeted feedback effectively. The paper concludes with future implications for the classroom.

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