Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages


Modern Languages

First Advisor

Tamara Warhol

Second Advisor

Michael Raines

Third Advisor

Esim Erdim

Relational Format



Debate on the effectiveness and usefulness of written corrective feedback has centered on Truscott's 1996 article that placed a strong case against grammar correction as ineffective and harmful and therefore should be abandoned. A growing body of research has proved the value of judicious and purposeful error correction and has also put forward guidelines to guide such pedagogy. The second language acquisition process is deemed to be a very complex and slow process. Therefore it is paramount that corrective feedback be structured according to an individual learner's linguistic ability. Contributing to this research base, this study investigated whether there is an effect of the type of feedback (direct and indirect corrective folloby a 15 minute one-on-one tutorial session) administered within a learner's zone of proximal development on the past progressive verb form and to find out whether this resulted in improved linguistic accuracy. Fourteen high intermediate L 2 learners from a university south of America formed a control group and two treatment groups. They were tested two times on two controlled and two times on free writing activities that elicited the use of the past progressive verb form. The study also examined students' reactions to feedback structured in a sociocultural framework through response to six point Likert questionnaires. The study did not find a statistical significance on the effect of direct and indirect corrective feedback structured within the ZPD on the students' accuracy. Despite a lack of a statistical proof the results suggest that indirect corrective structured within the ZPD is superior to direct corrective feedback structured within the ZPD. The results of the questionnaire indicated that students appreciate and prefer feedback structured within the sociocultural framework. The results shothat they value feedback as a dialogic process and would like it to be conferred individually by a more knowledgeable peer. They appreciate it if their teachers focus on one type of error at a time and also if assistance is withheld once they achieve autonomy. Lastly, they indicated that they should be alloenough time to internalize the errors that are being corrected or to internalize the mediational means.


Emphasis: Linguistics



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