The Combination of Two Approaches in Investigating the Effect of Written Corrective Feedback for L2 Development

The Combination of Two Approaches in Investigating the Effect of Written Corrective Feedback for L2 Development

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5103-4.ch006


This chapter proposes a combined approach in investigating the effect of written CF for L2 development. This research design includes a quasi-experimental study in which participants are given four writing tasks, at the pre-test, immediate post-test, delayed post-test 1, and delayed post-test 2. The written texts are marked and accuracy rates are calculated so that the changes in accuracy in the post-tests can be tracked. Then the participants who do not show improved accuracy in the immediate post-test are invited to participate in a one-on-one conference in which scaffolded written CF is provided. This way, not only can the improved accuracy of a group of participants be used to prove the effectiveness of written CF, but the individuals who do not show improved accuracy but do not make the same mistake in the post-test can also prove that written CF is not ineffective.
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Methodological Approach

The postpositivist worldview is the philosophical idea espoused in this research. Postpositivist assumptions have represented the traditional form of research and are also called the scientific method. However, it also challenges the traditional notion of the absolute truth of knowledge (Phillips & Burbles, 2000) and recognizes that we can not be positive about our claims of knowledge when studying the behavior and actions of humans (Creswell, 2009). “Postpositivists hold a deterministic philosophy in which causes (probably) determine effects or outcome” (Creswell, 2009, p. 7); thus, they often reduce the possible causes into a small discrete set to test in experiments. However, they also develop their knowledge based on careful observation and measurement of the objective reality and studying the behavior of individuals becomes paramount for them. In this way, the theories or hypotheses could be tested and verified, and necessary revision or additional tests could be made.

Hypotheses have been made based on the theoretical foundations for written CF research reviewed in Chapter 2 that the explicitness of written CF, the targeted linguistic forms and learners’ proficiency level might play a role in the effect of written CF. Therefore, these factors needed to be tested in an experiment to investigate whether they have an impact on the effectiveness of written CF. As mentioned before, post-positivists also develop their knowledge based on the study of individuals, thus investigation of individual cases was needed to see whether there was any difference between some individuals and the experimental groups.

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