The effects of comprehensive direct and indirect written corrective feedback on accuracy in English as a foreign language students' writing
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 14:59 authored by Darby McGrath
This study investigated the effect of two forms of written corrective feedback (WCF) on written accuracy: comprehensive indirect feedback, in which students received coded feedback on all errors, and comprehensive direct feedback, in which all errors were corrected by the rater. The study looked at four pieces of writing over two months in a group of 30 students at a Japanese university. The study was quasi-experimental in that it took place outside the classroom and participants were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups, but sampling was non-random. No significant effect was found either for time or feedback type on accuracy. This is contrary to the findings of a majority of recent research, most of which has found some effect for WCF. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed. The first is type II error. The second is that the study supports the argument that WCF is ineffective. The possibility that comprehensive feedback overwhelms students and is therefore ineffective is also discussed. Participant motivation is an additional consideration. A final possibility is that the results were due to the context of the study, which meant that it was largely controlled for language input for its duration. The ramifications of these possibilities for WCF are discussed, and directions for future research are offered.