The Exploration of the Effect of Scafflolded Written Corrective Feedback

The Exploration of the Effect of Scafflolded Written Corrective Feedback

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5103-4.ch005


This chapter reviews the written CF studies that have been conducted within a socio-cultural framework. These are three case studies, the first of which found individual learners had better self-control after receiving scaffolded written CF within their different ZPDs. The second study compared scaffolded written CF and random written CF and found scaffolded written CF resulted in better L2 development. The third study compared scaffolded written CF and the most explicit written CF (direct correction plus metalinguistic explanation) and no advantage for scaffolded written CF was reported. In the end, a combined approach of investigating written CF is proposed.
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Scaffolded Written Corrective Feedback Within Each Individual’S Zpd: Aljaafreh And Lantolf’S (1994) Study

Aljaafreh and Lantolf (1994) initiated an investigation into the effect of written CF from a sociocultural perspective. Three ESL students of different L1 backgrounds participated in their study. The three students were required to write one essay in class per week for eight weeks and thirty to forty minutes of one-to-one tutorials were provided targeting four linguistic features: articles, tense marking, prepositions and models. A “Regulatory Scale” was developed by the authors that ranked CF options from the least explicit to the most explicit. The least explicit written CF was first provided to the students. If they failed to achieve the correct forms, more explicit CF was provided according to the scale.

The findings of the study showed that all three students improved in linguistic accuracy due to the scaffolded CF; however, the degree of explicitness each student needed varied. Their study showed that learners’ writing accuracy improved due to the negotiation of written CF strategies. The authors claimed that the effectiveness of written CF on language learning depends essentially on the mediation provided by teachers who co-construct a ZPD in which feedback becomes relevant and can be appropriated by learners to modify their interlanguage knowledge. That is to say, all types of feedback are potentially facilitative for learning, but the effectiveness depends on where the individual learner’s ZPD is. The authors also pointed out that the linguistic forms produced by learners alone do not provide a full picture of their developmental level. They argued that the fact that the learners needed less explicit written CF was itself evidence that acquisition was taking place.

Although it provides interesting insight into written CF, the significance of the study is limited due to the limited number of participants and very little data. Therefore, a well-designed methodology is needed to better understand the effect of scaffolded written CF.


A Comparison Of Scaffolded Written Corrective Feedback And Random Written Corrective Feedback: Nassaji And Swain’S (2000) Study

Nassaji and Swain’s (2000) study investigated the effect of written CF on two intermediate level ESL students. One of them received scaffolded written CF within the ZPD (as in Aljaafreh and Lantolf’s (1994) study), while the other was given random written CF. The students were required to write one composition per week and four sessions of 40 minute tutorials targeting articles were provided. The tutorial sessions were recorded, transcribed and analysed as qualitative data; also in the final session, students were assigned student-specific, task-related cloze tests to assess their knowledge of articles. Therefore, this study not only tried to look at whether learners could use articles in writing tasks more accurately after receiving written CF, but also investigated whether their grammatical knowledge about articles had improved.

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