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Volume 9 Number 4, Winter 2012, Pages 1-189   

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The Effects of Written Feedback in the Form of Recasts

    Rintaro Sato

This study examined the effects on 25 Japanese university students' text revisions following teacher feedback through written recasts. Written recasts were categorized as recasts given on learners': (1) grammatical errors; (2) lexical errors, (3) unsolicited use of Japanese, (4) spelling errors and (5) content. Recasts were also categorized according to (6) the degree of differences between students' original erroneous utterances and written recasts, as well as (7) recast lengths. In total, 125 written recasts were provided on students' essays, and students were directed to revise their first draft referring to these recasts. The students' revised essays were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. The results showed that written feedback in the form of recasting is, in general, beneficial for learners to notice their errors or mistakes leading them to repair regardless of the degree of differences and the length of the recasts. However, their effects varied according to students' error types. The development of their writings from the first draft to a revised version was examined from the points of accuracy, fluency and complexity. It was found that written recasts contributed to the development of the three aspects reducing trade-off effects between accuracy and fluency.

Keywords: writing recasts, complexity, writing feedback, errors, Japanese tertiary learners