Computer-Mediated Corrective Feedback and Language Accuracy in Telecollaborative Exchanges
Vinagre, Margarita, Munoz, Beatriz, Language, Learning & Technology
Over the last forty years, a great deal of research has been conducted into the use of new technologies to facilitate the language development of participants in intercultural telecollaborative exchanges (Brammerts, 1996; Kotter, 2002; Little, Ushioda, Appel, Moran, O'Rourke & Schwienhorst, 1999; Vinagre, 2005; Woodin, 1997). Most of this research has focused on the importance of participants communicating in authentic contexts with native speakers of the language they are learning in order to develop fluency in the foreign language. However, less attention has been paid to the development of accuracy in the foreign language by instructors who employ communicative approaches where there is more often emphasis on fluency and authenticity, less on attention to form. However, introducing a focus on form in these exchanges is crucial, especially for those students with intermediate or higher levels of competence in the foreign language. Students who learn a foreign language, especially at university, are expected not only to communicate with native speakers but also to develop a command of the language that will allow them to use it correctly in their future working environments. Moreover, students involved in these types of exchanges often feel that they do not improve their language competence unless some form of feedback has been provided by their partners or the teacher. Thus the impetus for researchers to examine the potential that peer feedback in online exchanges may entail for the development of language accuracy (Dussias, 2006; Kessler, 2009; Lee, 2008; Munoz, 2008; O'Rourke, 2005; Pellettieri, 2000; Sauro, 2009; Sotillo, 2006; Vinagre & Lera, 2008; Vinagre & Maillo, 2007; Ware & O'Dowd, 2008). We build on this growing body of research by presenting the findings of a three-month-long e-mail project designed to explore the impact of peer feedback on the development of language accuracy. Our aim was to study participants' attention to form and the relative effectiveness of error correction strategies in online collaborative projects. In order to do so, we replicated the study by Vinagre and Lera (2008) and organised an e-mail exchange between post-secondary learners of Spanish and German to discover whether their findings concerning participants' attention to form in online intercultural projects through the use of corrective feedback were limited to their particular context as university learners of English and Spanish or whether they extended beyond that context.
CORRECTIVE FEEDBACK AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
Research regarding error correction and its implications for second language learning is sometimes contradictory. Some studies suggest that positive evidence alone is sufficient for adult second language learning (Krashen, 1977, 1994), whilst others consider positive evidence to be insufficient for second language learning to occur (Long, 1983, 1996). The term "positive evidence" can be defined as the set of grammatical sentences the language learner has access to by observing the language production of others; it refers to the information available to the learner regarding which strings of words are grammatical sentences of the target language. As regards negative (corrective) feedback, whether it takes the form of explicit correction, recasts or negotiation of form, most studies seem to indicate that it facilitates the development of the learners' second language (Chaudron, 1977, 1986; Lyster, 2001; Lyster, Lightbown & Spada, 1999; Lyster & Ranta, 1997; Morris, 2002, 2005; Myles, 2002; Panova & Lyster, 2002). There is general agreement that some attention to grammar through the use of corrective feedback in communicative online environments is necessary to foster language acquisition. Most studies that examine how online collaborative interaction can foster the development of learners' grammatical competence are based on the …
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Publication information: Article title: Computer-Mediated Corrective Feedback and Language Accuracy in Telecollaborative Exchanges. Contributors: Vinagre, Margarita - Author, Munoz, Beatriz - Author. Journal title: Language, Learning & Technology. Volume: 15. Issue: 1 Publication date: February 2011. Page number: 72+. © 2009 University of Hawaii, National Foreign Language Resource Center. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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