Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Oral versus Written Error Feedback on Paragraph Writing Ability of Iranian Low-Intermediate Efl Learners

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Oral versus Written Error Feedback on Paragraph Writing Ability of Iranian Low-Intermediate Efl Learners

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

There are many evidences that have proven the effectiveness of corrective feedback in many studies. Many researchers and educators in EFL and ESL context have devoted their efforts to survey suitable error correction for learners in the classroom. Providing informative feedback is essential duty of teachers. It lets students where they are problem and how they can improve their weakness. In the other side, writing is perceived very challengeable for EFL learners (Graham & Perin, 2007). Writing is not a natural ability. It is a learned skill. In writing, students learn letters firstly; then learn how write words, and finally sentences. They learn how to write a paragraph by taking those sentences and organizing them around a common topic. Besides, grammar is an important component of writing, effective writing requires it much more. Many teachers complain about inability of low - intermediate learners in paragraph writing. Their main efforts are to know why the students commit error and how they can improve them.

The present study aimed to analyze paragraph writing ability of low- intermediate students regarded to impact of two kinds of feedback. It considers effect of written feedback versus oral feedback in writing ability of Iranian EFL learners. The resea rcher hopes the results of this study would provide educators and language teachers in Iran with evidence concerning the effectiveness of oral and written feedback in L2 writing classes of high schools.

2. Review of the literature

Raimes (1983) believes that an important part of teaching process of writing is to provide feedback. "The absence of comments sends the messages to the students that they do not need to revise their text because their meaning has been communicated effectively to the audience" (Alamis, 2010, p. 41). If teachers don't provide enough feedback to correct students' errors, errors would be rooted or fossilized in the learner's cognitive repertoire (Semke, 1984; Valero et al., 2008).

2.1. Oral Feedback

There are some evidences that oral feedback has an important role in L1 writing (Bruffee 1984). Some researchers also believe that face to face conferencing is even more superior to written feedback in many ways (Ferris, 1995a; Ferris et al., 1997; Freedman, 1987b; Hyland, 1998). For example, R ace & Brown (1993) pronounced teachers can use tone of voice, facial expression and body language in face to face feedback.

The findings of Nassaji (2007a, p. 320) on effect of negotiation feedback on written errors in an adult ESL classroom demonstrated t hat "when the feedback involved negotiation, it resulted in more successful correction of the same error by the learners than feedback that involved no, or limited, negotiation".

Mackey and Oliver (2002), Mackey and Philp (1998), and Mackey, Philp, Egi, Fujii, and Tatsumi (2002) investigated effect of oral corrective feedback on syntactic structures and data which showed positive effect of oral corrective feedback.

2.2. Written Feedback

Written corrective feedback has other names, such as teacher commentary ( Fazio, 2001), teacher response (Harris, 1977; Searle & Dillon, 1980), teacher comments (Bardine et al., 2000; McAndrew & Reigstad, 2001; Smith, 1989), teacher corrections (Fazio, 2001), and teacher editing (Feng & Powers, 2005).

Race and Brown (1993) decla red if students who obtained good grade and be a "grade conscious", they will ignore the feedback. In the contrary, if they obtain low grade, feedback is not considered as a learning tools. In the other words, Students tend to ignore feedback when accompan ied by a grade or overall judgment (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall, & Wiliam, 2004).

The grammar-syntax-organization approach is one kind of approach for teaching and learning L2 writing (Raimes, 1983). It is a purpose-based approach to writing. Students must infer the vocabulary and structure of a given task. …

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