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Volume 9 Number 2, Summer 2012, Pages 1-148   

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The Intra- and Inter-task Effectiveness of Direct and Indirect Written Corrective Feedback

    Ye Han

The last several decades have seen a continual growth of research on written corrective feedback (WCF) addressing the debate over whether and to what extent the learners' improvement triggered by WCF can indicate second language acquisition (SLA). Also at issues are such pedagogical concerns as what types of WCF should be provided and what language errors WCF can effectively treat. To contribute to the current understanding of WCF, the present small-scale exploratory study investigates (a) whether direct and indirect WCF differently affect learners' use of simple past tense in a picture-strip narrative writing; and (b) whether learners' gains (or losses) can be transferred to an autobiographical writing exercise where WCF was not provided. Twelve low-intermediate EFL learners were randomly divided into a direct WCF group, an indirect WCF group, and a control group, to complete three test occasions, each of which consisted of an in-class and an out-of-class writing assignment. The results indicated that while direct WCF can effectively improve learners' use of simple past tense in the same task, the gains are more likely to be transferred to a different writing text in the long run when learners receive indirect WCF.

Keywords: written corrective feedback, direct WCF, indirect WCF, simple past tense