The Contribution of Written Corrective Feedback to Language Development; Ten Month Investigation; J. Bitchener, U. Noch

Written Corrective Feedback or simply WCF

The combination of these three words is chasing me since I was admitted to AUA. If my memory doesn`t fail me we discussed this topic almost during  every  course that we covered. Hencebefore reading the article I was already familiar with two types of written corrective feedback, such as direct and indirect. I would say that I was  familiar with them since school years,  not in a direct sense of it, of course. I remember that red -pen effect, when my teachers  were vigorously crossing out or circling the wrong word, or writing the number of  wrong answers in a margin. More like a direct corrective feedback. And although many researchers claim that only direct corrective feedback is not enough and won`t impact students`  performance positively, I would say that in my case it was helpful, maybe because of my good visual memory that helped me to remember those corrections and don`t make mistakes for the next time. Of course at that time I didn`t realize that someday  I will have to “return to my roots” and start experiencing with WCF as a teacher 😀

What  about the article?

 What was new to me in this article was another type of corrective feedback,meta-linguistic explanation.I found out that there  are two types of metalinguistic explanation, oral and written, in forms of class discussions and or written explanation and revision of grammar forms,respectively. Another new thing was the implications on WCF. Our previous discussions on this topic were limited to the arguments whether this or that type of feedback is  beneficial or not. But we have never really got deeper as to what written corrective feedback is good or bad for, or what areas of writing it influence.

So in this article the main focus was on  whether WCF alongside with other types of feedback(metalinguistic explanation) impacts on writing accuracy or not and if so to what extent. From the article it became obvious that WCF does impact on accuracy, and especially on long term acquisition of various grammatical forms/ structures. And although the study  included in the article showed that there is nor a big difference between the effectiveness of various types of feedback on accuracy development, I would suggest to use  other options in form of metalinguistic explanations as well, which would result in higher accuracy even in a short period of time.

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