Academic journal article International Journal of English Studies

Corrective Feedback Episodes in Oral Interaction: A Comparison of a CLIL and an EFL Classroom

Academic journal article International Journal of English Studies

Corrective Feedback Episodes in Oral Interaction: A Comparison of a CLIL and an EFL Classroom

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

The present study is framed within a functional approach to second language acquisition: the so-called interactionist approach (Gass & Mackey, 2007; Long, 1996) and specifically focuses on one of its tenets: corrective feedback (CF), a reactive type of focus on form (Long, 1991). CF has been claimed to promote noticing of target forms (Schmidt, 1990; Van Patten, 1990) and facilitate second language (L2) learning (Norris & Ortega, 2000; Russell & Spada, 2006; Sheen, 2011; Spada, 2011).

CF has been widely studied and researchers have looked at the frequency and distribution of CF moves. Regarding frequency of CF moves, research has found evidence of their occurrence in the classroom in a high proportion (Lochtman, 2002; Panova & Lyster, 2002; Yoneyahm, 1982) and in a lower, but still existing, proportion in laboratory settings (Mackey et al., 2003; Oliver, 1995). A large number of studies has examined the distribution of CF types, with the result of an undoubtedly predominance of recasts (teacher's reformulation of learner's erroneous utterance providing the correct form) over other types of oral correction (Doughty, 1994; Lyster & Ranta, 1997; Pica et al., 1989; Sheen, 2004).

As far as the effectiveness of CF, research has found that it has a general positive effect on learners' performance (Carroll & Swain, 1993; Russell & Spada, 2006; Spada, 2011). Studies have considered different variables as potential factors intervening in the effect of correction: The type of CF has been widely analysed and the main findings show a tendency for further uptake to more explicit types of feedback (Norris & Ortega, 2000; Spada 1997, 2011), such as explicit correction or metalinguistic explanations (Ellis et al., 2006; Lyster, 2004; Panova & Lyster, 2002), especially to those types which offer opportunity for self- repair, such as elicitation or clarification requests (Lyster & Ranta, 1997; Lyster & Mori, 2006). Other studies have looked at the effect of CF on the acquisition of specific language features (Dabaghi & Basturkmen, 2009; Erlam & Loewen, 2010; Ellis et al., 2006; Sheen, 2011; Yang & Lyster, 2010) or the influence of learners' L2 proficiency (Ammar & Spada, 2006; Philp, 2003; Nassaji, 2010) or age (Sheen, 2004; Lyster & Saito, 2010) on the effectiveness of CF.

Another variable that has been found to play a role on the effectiveness of CF is the type of instructional context. Most of the studies mentioned above have investigated CF in foreign language (FL) teaching (Dabaghi & Basturkmen, 2009; Yang & Lyster, 2010) or L2 learning settings (Ammar & Spada, 2006; Panova & Lyster, 2002; Sheen, 2007). Several researchers have compared these two contexts as far CF provision and learners' uptake (Lochtman, 2007; Lyster & Mori, 2006; Lyster & Saito, 2010; Sheen, 2004; Spada, 2011). Lyster and Mori (2006) carried out a descriptive study comparing a Japanese as a foreign language (JFL) and a French as a second language (FSL) classroom. They found that teachers offered CF in a somehow different way: although recasts where the most frequent type of CF, the teachers in the JFL classroom tended to offer more explicit types of feedback and used prompts (feedback moves that push learners to self-correct, such as elicitation or metalinguistic information) more often with the intention that the learners self-repaired their errors. The researchers concluded that these teachers were concerned with language form. On the other hand, teachers in the FSL classroom followed mainly a communicative focus in their lessons and offered implicit types of correction, especially recasts. On the basis of the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data, Lyster and Mori proposed the Counterbalance Hypothesis (CH), which states that "[...] instructional activities and interactional feedback that act as a counterbalance to the predominant communicative orientation of a given classroom setting will be more facilitative of interlanguage (IL) restructuring than instructional activities and interactional feedback that are congruent with the predominant communicative orientation" (Lyster & Mori, 2006: 294). …

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