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Volume 12 Number 1, Spring 2015, Pages 1-168   

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Error Correction in College EFL Writing Instruction: Students' Expectations and Correction Effects

    Xiaoling Ji

The growing body of research on corrective error feedback in the past two decades has been mostly carried out in the ESL context and has concluded its effectiveness, with controversy remaining regarding its effects on EFL learners. The present study was set in the college EFL context. A survey at the beginning of the study suggested that students preferred indirect error correction where instructors underline errors and indicate error types at the same time. The one-semester experiment focused on the effects of two types of indirect error correction regarding seven treatable errors. The results showed that both types of indirect error correction were effective as the number of errors per hundred words decreased significantly in the post-test. In the delayed post-test, the group that received coded error correction maintained a significant improvement in language accuracy compared with the pre-test, suggesting that underlining errors coupled with providing error codes has better delayed effects. However, some types of errors showed an increase in frequency from the pre-test to the delayed post-test, despite the significant decrease in the total number of errors.

Keywords: error correction, indirect correction, error correction