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The efficacy of various kinds of error feedback for improvement in the accuracy and fluency of L2 student writing

by Jean Chandler
Journal of Second Language Writing ()

Abstract

This research uses experimental and control group data to show that students' correction of grammatical and lexical error between assignments reduces such error in subsequent writing over one semester without reducing fluency or quality. A second study further examines how error correction should be done. Should a teacher correct errors or mark errors for student self-correction? If the latter, should the teacher indicate location or type of error or both? Measures include change in the accuracy of both revisions and of subsequent writing, change in fluency, change in holistic ratings, student attitudes toward the four different kinds of teacher response, and time required by student and teacher for each kind of response. Findings are that both direct correction and simple underlining of errors are significantly superior to describing the type of error, even with underlining, for reducing long-term error. Direct correction is best for producing accurate revisions, and students prefer it because it is the fastest and easiest way for them as well as the fastest way for teachers over several drafts. However, students feel that they learn more from self-correction, and simple underlining of errors takes less teacher time on the first draft. Both are viable methods depending on other goals. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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