Abstract The biggestquestion that remained for argument and debate is giving feedback to learnerson their writings. Some researchers believe that giving written corrective feedbackis effective and some claim that it is not. Many experiments have been done to findout the effects of giving different types of feedback to the second language learners.The effectiveness of different types of written corrective feedback has beendiscussed and studied to find out the best suitable way but yet based on variousstudies, there is no concrete and exact way and method.
The level to which ESLlearners benefit from written corrective feedback was debated since Truscott(1996) presented a situation for its closure. Ten years after Truscott idea,the debate continues, not only because low information was given on tryingefficacy during time but also because studies that have invested the issue havenot always been well designed and have produced conflicting results (ferries,2004, 2006)(Bitchener 2008). Many studies and researches have been done to verifythe best way of giving feedback to students’ writing. The studies claim thedifferent ways and methods of giving feedback and its effect on second languagelearners. The aim of this article is to present the findings that investigatedthe degree to which written corrective feedback could help student proficiencyin L2 writing and the extent to which there may be a different effect fordifferent types of written corrective feedback on students’ writings. Introduction Should secondlanguage teachers put some of their valuable time to correct written works of ESLstudents? How teachers correct second language students’ writing? Which type ofcorrection feedback is suitable for students? How written corrective feedbackcan help students to increase their accuracy in further writing? These are thecommon and fundamental questions for almost all second language teachers whotry to be the best and most effective writing teachers to help their studentsto improve in their second language writing skill. Guentte (2007) pointed outthat one of the reasons for the doubt in the failure to plan written correctivefeedback studies that analytically investigate different types of writtencorrective feedback and control for external variables that impact on howeffective the corrective feedback is.
One way forward, then, might be forresearches and teachers to systematically identify the various optionsavailable for correcting students’ writing as a basis for both designing futurestudies and for pedagogical decision making. (Ellis 2008). The main purpose ofthis article is to discuss the importance and effects of written correctivefeedback in writing of second language learners through presenting differenttypes of written feedback in second language students’ writing production. Theeffectiveness of written corrective feedback on L2 learners’ writingsA number of studies determine that written correctivefeedback is effective in helping second language learners to improve theirwriting correctness while some studies claim that written corrective feedbackis not effective. Seven studies, however, have compared groups of students whoreceived written corrective feedback and those who did not. Five of thesestudies (Ashwell, 2000; Bitchener, 2008; Fathman & Whalley, 1990; Ferries& Roberst, 2001; Sheen, 2006) report that written corrective feedback had apositive effects on accuracy.
Other studies (Chandler, 2000; Ferries, 1995,1997, 2006; Ferries & Halt, 2000; Ferries ed al., 2000; Lalande,1982) that have not included a control group are unable to claim that it waswritten corrective feedback alone that facilitated improvements in writing accuracy.At best, they can be read as suggestive of the possible that written correctivefeedback might have for helping learners improve the accuracy of their writing.(Bitchener & Knoch, 2009) Truscott (1996) argued thatno single form of written correction feedback can be expected to assistlearners obtain knowledge of all linguistic structures because the acquisition,like syntax, morphology, and lexis needs an understanding the language systemrather than only form. Referring to syntactic knowledge, for instance, Truscott(1996) argues that written corrective feedback cannot be expected tofacilitate the learning of such linguistic knowledge because it contains morethan a collection of unnoticeable items. For instance, studies by Mackey and Oliver (2002), Mackey and Philp (1998), and Mackey, Philp, Egi, Fujii, and Tatsumi (2002) on syntactic structures likequestion forms and one study by McDonough (2006) on the use of dative constructionshave revealed positive effects when oral corrective feedback is provided. Ifthe hypothesized advantages of written corrective feedback over some forms oforal corrective feedback prove to be true (see Sheen, 2010, for a discussion of differences between the two modalities),it may be that written CF is able to target complex forms and structures (e.
g.syntax) as well as, and maybe better than, oral CF. (Bitchener & Knoch,2010)Different studies performed to confirm theeffectiveness of giving written corrective feedback on students’ writings.
Manyresearchers claimed based on their studies that written corrective feedback isuseful and effective. Truscott and Hsu (2008) mentioned that written correctivefeedback help students reduce their errors on writing on which they receive thecorrections, and that the effect is considerable. But their research findingsshowed that the benefits of error correction found on the revision task did notspread to a new writing task performed a week later.
The students they chosefor their study who received correction of their first essay (Narrative 1) (Appendix1, 2, 3) and then were more successful in reducing their error during revisiondid not differ from the students who did not receive any correction. Bothgroups repeated almost similar mistakes on their second essay. Truscott and Hsu(2008) claimed in their research they could not find any connection betweensuccess on the revision task and the new techniques to avoid them in furtherwritings. But another research by Bitchener & Knoch (2008)proves that written corrective feedback can help students to avoid errors infurther writing. Their study found that those students who received writtencorrective feedback improved their accuracy and that they remembered this levelof accuracy when writing a new text weeks later. Bitchener & Knoch (2008)claimed that the findings of their studies support those of several earlierstudies (Ashwell, 2000; Bitchener, 2008; Bitchener et al., 2005; Fathman & Whalley, 1990; Ferris & Roberts,2001, Sheen, 2006) and consequently offer additional evidence for a rejectionof Truscott’s (1996) statement that error written correction is ineffective.They show that a single written corrective feedback can be effective and usefulin assisting L2 learners to improve their accuracy of their writing and thatthe benefits added from this input are not only retained over time but alsoproof in new pieces of writing.
But theproblem of Bitchener & Knoch (2008) study was that they only focus on L2writers with high level of proficiency and they did not focus on lowproficiency writers which Bitchener & Knoch (2010) did a study on lowproficiency writers to examine the result of written corrective feedback onstudents writing. The result of their study showed that low level writers of L2can improve their accuracy through receiving written corrective feedback but itis require to use different type of written corrective feedback. Can written corrective feedback have negative effectson learners’ ability? Tuscott (2007) claimed on his research that writtencorrective feedback could have negative effects on learners’ ability.
He mentionedthat based on the experiments the written corrective feedback has a minorharmful effect on students’ ability to write correctly and we can be 95% assuredthat if it is has any benefits, they are very small. He mentioned that on hisresearch he looked for realistic ways to observe correction effects onlearners’ ability in writing. He looked at studies that measured changes inthis ability following a period of correction. Those that looked only at learners’performance on false grammar tests are essentially excluded because they do notaddress the question, as are revision studies, for the same reason. The effectiveness of different types of writingcorrective feedback A series of studies has investigated the degree towhich different types of written corrective feedback may have an effect onhelping L2 writers improve the accuracy of their writing. Most of the studieshave characterized written corrective feedback on L2 learners writing as eitherdirect (explicit) or indirect (implicit) which in this paper the two types ofdirect and indirect written correction feedback and the metalinguisticcorrective feedback and the focus of the feedback are discussed. Direct feedback has been defined as that offers studentswith the correct form.
Ferries (2001) claims, “This can take a number ofdifferent forms like, crossing-out unnecessary word, phrase, or morpheme,inserting a missing word or morpheme, and wiring the correct form above or nearto the mistaken part. Direct corrective feedback has the advantage that itprovides L2 learners with explicit guidance about how to correct their errors.This is obviously desirable if learners do not know what the correct is”.
Ferries and Roberts (2001) propose that direct written corrective feedback is perhapsgreater to indirect written corrective feedback to student with low level of writers’knowledge. On the other hand, indirect corrective feedback is indicatingan errors that students made without actually correcting it. Usually teachersuse different ways to indicate it; it could be done through underlining theerror, recording in the margin the number of errors in a given line, usingcursors to show omission in the student’s text or using a code to show wherethe error has occurred and what type of error it is (Ferris & Robberts,2001; Robb, Ross & Shortreed, 1986). Written indirect corrective feedback is often chosento direct feedback in the favor that it provides to ‘guided learning andproblem solving’ (Lalande, 1982) and encourage students to reflect aboutlinguistic forms. For these reasons, it is considered more to lead to long-termlearning (Ferris and Robberts, 2001). The consequence of studies that investigated this claim, though, arevery mixed.
Some studies like Lalande 1982, propose that indirect correctivefeedback is certainly more effective in allowing students to correct theirerrors but others studies like Ferris and Robberts 2001, found no differencebetween direct and indirect corrective feedback. Based on Ferries and Roberts’s argument, it can be appealedthat indirect written corrective feedback where the exact location of errors isnot exposed could be more effective than indirect feedback where the locationof the errors is exposed. Roberts (2001) investigated four types of feedbackincluding direct feedback and indirect feedback.
They reported no significantdifference. Lee (1997), however, specifically compared the two types ofindirect written correction and found that learners were better able to correcterrors that if the feedback is indicated and located than errors that were justindicated by a check in the margin. Before discussing about the two types of direct andindirect written corrective feedback, the metalinguistic corrective feedbackand the focused and unfocused corrective feedback are explained below.
Metalinguistic corrective feedback involves providinglearners with some form of explicit remark about the nature of the errors. Theexplicit remark can take two forms. By far the most common is the use of errorcodes. These contain of abbreviated labels for different kinds of errors.
Thelabels can be located over the location of the error in the text or in themargin. In the latter case, the exact position of the error may or may not beshown. A major issue in the error codes is how gentle the categories should be.For example should there be a single category for ‘articles’ or should there beseparate categories for ‘definite’ and ‘indefinite’ articles? Most of the errorcodes used in research and language pedagogy employ relatively broad categories(Ellis, 2009). A number of studies have compared using error codeswith other types of written corrective feedback on L2 leaners writing.
Lalande(1982) reported that a group of learners of L2 German who received correctionusing error codes improved in correctness in following writing. Robb (2001)reported an error codes treatment in their study but found it no more effectivethan any of the other three types of corrective feedback they investigated(i.e. direct feedback and two other kinds of indirect feedback). Ferris (2001)reported that error codes help students to improve their accuracy over time in onlytwo of the four categories of error she investigated. Ferris and Roberts (2001)found that error codes did assist the students to self-edit their writing butno more so than indirect feedback.
Overall, then, there is very limitedevidence to show that error codes help writers to achieve greater accuracy overtime and it would also seem that they are no more effective than other types ofwritten corrective feedback in assisting self-editing. The second method of metalinguistic correctivefeedback contains of providing students with metalinguistic explanations of errors.This is not too common, maybe because it takes time than using error codes andalso because it requires teachers to hold adequate metalinguistic knowledge tobe able to write rich and perfect clarifications for a diversity of error.
Teachers can select to correct all of the students’errors, in which case the corrective feedback is unfocused. Otherwise they canselect some error types for correction. Processing correction is possible to bedifficult in unfocused written corrective feedback as the learner is shouldfollow up with a big range of errors. In this case, focused written correctivefeedback may prove more effective as the writers are able to examine severalcorrections of a single error and consequently obtain the rich signal they needto understand their mistake and learn the correct form of writing it. Focusedmetalinguistic corrective feedback could be helpful in case it promotes notjust consideration but also understanding of the nature of the error.
However, unfocusedcorrective feedback has the advantage of addressing a variety of errors, sowhile it might not be as effective in assisting learners to acquire specificfeatures as focused corrective feedback in the short term, it may provesuperior in the long run. The question then stand up that which type of writtencorrective feedback is more useful for accuracy improvement L2 writers. Formany years, argument have been innovative for both direct and indirect writtencorrective feedback in L2 learners writing. A range of studies haveinvestigated if certain types of written corrective feedback or combination ofdifferent types are more effective than others. These studies often categorizedfeedback as either direct (explicit) or indirect (implicit). Theoreticalargument have been advanced for both the direct and indirect types. Thosesupporting indirect feedback suggest that this type is best because it offersL2 writers to involve in conducted learning and problem solving and promotesthe type of reflection on existing knowledge that stand-in long-term learningand written accuracy.
Those more in favor of direct feedback suggest that it ismore helpful to writers because it (1) reduce the confusion that they mayexperience if students did not understand or remember the feedback they received;(2) it also offers students with information to help them solve more complexerrors; (3) offers more explicit feedback on hypothesis that may have beenmade; (4) is more immediate. It could be the situation that what is mosteffective is determined by the goals and proficiency level of the L2 writers. Ferris(2010) noted, the goals of the L2 writers in writing classes could be diversefrom those in language learning classes and this alteration may be a factor in assigningwhich type of feedback is more appropriate and effective for them. In writingclasses L2 writers are encouraged to manage and review their texts, indirectfeedback is preferred because it offers writers to focus on their linguisticknowledge when trying to correct the recognized errors.
For lower proficiencywriters in language learning classes, indirect feedback tends to be lesspreferred because they have a more limited linguistic repertoire to draw on. Two studies (Lalande, 1982; Ferris & Helt, 2000)report an benefit for indirect feedback, two other studies (Robb, Ross , 1986; Semke, 1984) report no difference between the two approaches,and one study (Chandler, 2003) reports positive findings for direct feedback.Given these results, further evidence is required before any firm conclusioncan be reached. In addition to these direct-indirect contrasts,several other studies (Ferris & Roberts, 2001; Ferris et al., 1986) have examined the comparative effectiveness of differenttypes of indirect feedback (coded and uncoded).
None found any differencebetween the two options. Even less attention has been given to a comparison ofdifferent direct feedback options. ConclusionThere is an apparent need for carefully plannedstudies to additional investigation the results and usefulness of writtencorrective feedback in L2 learners’ writing. Written corrective feedback is oneof the numerous factors that impact the effectiveness of written correctivefeedback and its achievement or failure which it could relays on other factorslike classroom context, the type of errors students make, their proficiencylevel, the types of writing they are asked to do and so on. As Guenette (2007)suggests, it is important and great to use written corrective feedback butteachers must be aware that there is no “corrective feedback recipe.” A teachersupposed to offer students with appropriate written feedback at the right timeand in the proper context of their writing works. Teachers have to notice thefeedback and be given plenty opportunities to apply the corrections because ifstudents are not welling to improve their writing skills, they will notimprove, no matter what type of corrective feedback is provided.