The Contribution of the Combined Approach of Investigating Written CF and Opportunities for Future Research

The Contribution of the Combined Approach of Investigating Written CF and Opportunities for Future Research

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5103-4.ch009


This chapter discusses the contributions of this combined approach to written CF research while the limitations are also pointed out. The second part of this chapter focuses on the opportunities for future research, suggesting the research direction. In the end, the implications of written CF research for English teaching, which emphasized again that this book will benefit not only SLA researchers but also English teachers, are shown.
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The Contribution Of Combined Approach To Written Cf Research

The mixed-method study has broadened current investigations into the effectiveness of written CF for L2 development by testing all types of written CF in terms of their effectiveness on L2 development (from the least to the most explicit). This study has also examined possible moderating factors (error type and learner’s proficiency level) on the effectiveness of written CF. Furthermore, the study has deepened our understanding of the effectiveness of written CF on L2 development by analysing individual’s responses to written CF on each targeted linguistic error.

First of all, written CF was classified in detail and all the written CF types which had been studied previously in research and applied in classrooms were examined and compared in this study. In early studies, written CF was simply divided into direct and indirect (Chandler, 2003; Kepner, 1991; Semke, 1984; Sheppard, 1992), but indirect written CF was operationalized differently, including underlining, circling or error code. In recent studies, written CF was categorized further, but the terms for and the definitions of written CF types varied. For example, Sheen (2007a, 2011) used direct metalinguistic written CF in her studies, which actually means direct correction plus metalinguistic explanation. Ellis (2009) defined error correction as a form of metalinguistic explanation, while it was considered as an indirect written CF type in Semke’s (1984) study. In the most recent studies, although written CF was further classified, either direct correction was compared to more explicit types of written CF, for example, direct plus metalinguistic explanation (Bitchener, 2008; Bitchener & Knoch, 2008, 2009a, 2010a; Bitchener, Young, & Cameron, 2005; Sheen, 2007a), or direct correction was compared to less explicit types of written CF (e.g. underlining, metalinguistic explanation) (Bitchener & Knoch, 2010b; Shintani & Ellis, 2013; Shintani, Ellis, & Suzuki, 2014). Written CF of all the various degrees of explicitness has previously never been investigated within a single research design and this may be because previous studies have taken an ecological rather than an experimental approach. A wide range of written CF options of various degrees of explicitness were examined in a single study in this thesis. Thus, the relationship between the degree of explicitness of written CF and its effectiveness may be better understood.

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