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The Effect of Direct and Indirect Teacher Feedback Strategy

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on 29 August 2014

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Transcript of The Effect of Direct and Indirect Teacher Feedback Strategy

The Effect of Direct and Indirect Teacher Feedback Strategy on the EFL Intermediate Students' Writing Performance

The research questions were:
Debate about the value of providing corrective feedback in L2 writing has been prominent in recent years. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating Iranian EFL teachers’ beliefs about grammar-based correction feedback in L2 writing. About half a century ago when behaviorist psychology was prominent, correcting all mistakes abruptly was the solution to prevent learners from learning wrong habits of language and fossilization.

Many EFL/ESL teachers invested their time and energy on providing written feedback to students' writings. Ko (2010) indicated that the least effective feedback is the direct correction method on students' errors and mistakes. He also indicated his point of view which emphasizes that teachers have to be selective in correcting students' errors, either directly or indirectly (i.e. using symbols and codes) and not correct every mistake. He explained that students may be adopted to negative attitudes toward writing and find negative feeling about them when teacher tries to correct every mistake.

Clements et al. (2010) suggested that direct correction doesn't give students an opportunity to think or to do anything. It doesn't tend to have a result for students to pay attention to something more than surface. On the other hand, indirect corrective feedback indicated errors in some implicit ways e.g.: underlining or circling the errors, recording in the margin the number of errors in given line, or using code to show the part the errors have occurred and the type of errors. Teachers tended to provide implicit error correction. Moser and Jasmine (2010) saw that implicit correction method is more effective than directly correcting the errors.

Discussion :
Participants :
Fourteen EFL teachers were chosen randomly and participated in this study. It should be stated that they are all originally Iranian and Persian was their first language. These teachers completed a questionnaire. Their academic background varied from Master’s to PhD in Applied Linguistics. All teachers were experienced EFL instructors. These instructors were teaching or had taught English in diverse contexts including English for Academic purpose.
Although the number of participants who involved in this study was small, much can be learned from this Iranian community of English teachers, and these findings can serve as insights into future research about other communities of teachers.
Most teachers believed that the grammar correction must be part of writing courses. They mentioned that students will be discouraged in writing as they do not receive any feedback. Although it depends on the stage or level of learners, in elementary levels it can be a good idea, for higher levels and advanced students, it cannot be applied. They should be curious about some basic grammar but they can overlook others. Students like to be corrected. They find it a guide to facilitate their writing project. Correcting the writing errors meticulously discourages students; they agreed that grammar is fundamental and have to be taken in to consideration.

On the other hand, some teachers believe that grammar error correction diverts teachers and students' attention from more important aspects of writing such as content and organization. Paying too much attention to grammar may result in neglecting other points like coherence and cohesion. The statement of grammatical error correction is discouraging because people do not like to be told that they are wrong; this had its agreement and disagreement among teachers. Although both groups confirmed that students' feelings are very important which influences their learning and it is better to have indirect grammar correction, some added that most of the time learners like to be corrected by the instructors. Others agree that spending a lot of time to correct students' writing is fruitless. Teachers should not be meticulous about detailed errors according to the students' level.

In this research, a questionnaire was used to facilitate data collection. The questionnaire had three sections. Section 1 collected participants' information regarding their background experience in teaching English, and their academic background. The second Section presented 22 statements about writing grammar correction in L2 for responses on a five-point Likert scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree).The statements covered a range of key issues with regard to grammatical corrective feedback as a pedagogical tool. Finally, the last part of the survey contained three open- ended questions which aimed to compensate for the fact that there were no interviews conducted with the participants. The first question requested participants to choose three statements in the survey and provide reasons to support their choices; the second question was divided into two parts: the first part prompted participants to react to a hypothetical change with regard to L2 writing assessment in the current school where they were working. The second part requested teachers to predict their students' reaction to such change. Finally, the third question asked teachers to explain about their frequent technique of grammar correction if they claim that they use some of them in classrooms.

What type of feedback do teachers believe to be more useful in EFL writing?

Does using CF for intermediate writers improve their accuracy?

Which kind of writing error correction is more effective: direct error correction or indirect error correction?

It helps students to improve their own error correction and avoids them to make the same errors.It helps students to improve their own error correction and avoids them to make the same errors.They believe that teachers must provide grammar correction in L2 writing because learners expect to be corrected. Moreover, some teachers disagreed that grammar correction in L2 writing courses shouldn't be a teaching device because it doesn't help students improve their ability to write accurately. Teachers insist that students can learn from their errors. The role of grammar correction in writing to convey the massage should not be overlooked, but it is significant as far as it conveys the meaning and it should not be the focus of teaching writing.
Most teachers suggested students to think about identified problems. If the students could not correct themselves, other students are called to help . (peer-correction) and the last step is the teacher-correction. Some teachers left comments using word program, (soft copies) and sometimes direct correction to avoid error fossilization.
One of the facts that seemed to have influenced teachers' pedagogical decisions about providing grammar- based feedback was their belief that students expect to be corrected. It seems that these teachers' choice of providing corrective feedback is not only based on their belief in the effectiveness of this teaching approach, but also on a deep-rooted belief that learners' expectations should be fulfilled so that they can feel more motivated.



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