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IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT CORRECTIVE FEEDBACK AND THE ACQUISITION OF L2 GRAMMAR

  • Rod Ellis (a1), Shawn Loewen (a1) and Rosemary Erlam (a1)
Abstract

This article reviews previous studies of the effects of implicit and explicit corrective feedback on SLA, pointing out a number of methodological problems. It then reports on a new study of the effects of these two types of corrective feedback on the acquisition of past tense -ed. In an experimental design (two experimental groups and a control group), low-intermediate learners of second language English completed two communicative tasks during which they received either recasts (implicit feedback) or metalinguistic explanation (explicit feedback) in response to any utterance that contained an error in the target structure. Acquisition was measured by means of an oral imitation test (designed to measure implicit knowledge) and both an untimed grammaticality judgment test and a metalinguistic knowledge test (both designed to measure explicit knowledge). The tests were administered prior to the instruction, 1 day after the instruction, and again 2 weeks later. Statistical comparisons of the learners' performance on the posttests showed a clear advantage for explicit feedback over implicit feedback for both the delayed imitation and grammaticality judgment posttests. Thus, the results indicate that metalinguistic explanation benefited implicit as well as explicit knowledge and point to the importance of including measures of both types of knowledge in experimental studies.This research was funded by a Marsden Fund grant awarded by the Royal Society of Arts of New Zealand. Researchers other than the authors who contributed to the research were Jenefer Philip, Satomi Mizutami, Keiko Sakui, and Thomas Delaney. Thanks go to the editors of this special issue and to two anonymous SSLA reviewers of a draft of the article for their constructive comments.

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Corresponding author
Rod Ellis, Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand; e-mail: r.ellis@auckland.ac.nz
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Studies in Second Language Acquisition
  • ISSN: 0272-2631
  • EISSN: 1470-1545
  • URL: /core/journals/studies-in-second-language-acquisition
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