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Volume 14 Number 3, Autumn 2017, Pages 380-586 PDF Download

Improving Grammatical Accuracy in Thai Learners' Writing: Comparing Direct and Indirect Written Corrective Feedback

    Kok Eng Tan & Apinya Manochphinyo

Written corrective feedback (WCF) is widely used to point students to the grammatical errors in their written work and help reduce them. This paper reports a quasi-experimental study that compared the effectiveness of direct and indirect teacher WCF in a Thai context. One hundred and twenty Thai students at two public universities in southern Thailand were assigned to write argumentative essays within a treatment period; each treatment had 60 students. The feedback was given by four ESL/EFL lecturers at the two universities. Grammatical aspects focused on were tenses, subject-verb agreement, articles, singular/plural nouns, prepositions and adjectives/adverbs. Means for the number of errors were obtained at three points, namely, pretest, immediate posttest and delayed posttest. The findings revealed that time and WCF type as main effects showed differentiated results on all six grammatical aspects. Interaction effects between time and WCF were found for tenses and subject-verb agreement. For between-subjects effects, indirect WCF was more effective than direct WCF. For within-subjects effects, generally the differences in the mean values were significant between pretest and delayed posttest, but not between pretest and immediate posttest. These findings have implications for writing instruction and research in an ESL/EFL tertiary context.

Keywords: direct and indirect written corrective feedback, EFL, grammatical errors, writing instruction