A Comparison of the Effects of Corrections on Definite/Indefinite Articles and Regular/Irregular Past Tense Forms: A Case of Iranian EFL Learners

| December 25, 2009
Title
A Comparison of the Effects of Corrections on Definite/Indefinite Articles and Regular/Irregular Past Tense Forms: A Case of Iranian EFL Learners

Keywords: Definite/Indefinite Articles; EFL Learner; immediate explicit, delayed explicit and immediate implicit corrective feedback; Regular/Irregular Past Tense Forms; Second Language Acquisition; error correction

Authors
Azizollah Dabaghi and Mansoor Tavakoli
University of Isfahan, Iran

Bio Data
Azizollah Dabaghi completed his doctoral studies in language learning and teaching at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has been involved in teaching English at different levels in Isfahan, Iran for the last 20 years. Currently he is working as an assistant professor of applied linguistics at the University of Isfahan, Iran. His research interests include second language acquisition, form focused instruction, and corrective feedback.

Mansoor Tavakoli is a PhD student in TEFL at Isfahan University, Iran. He is an assistant professor and has taught TEFL courses at three levels of B.A, M.A, and PhD at the University of Isfahan for 12 years. His research interests are teaching and assessment.

Abstract
The major purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of error correction on EFL learners acquisition of some grammatical features. More specifically, the study looked at the learning effects of correcting learners errors on definite and indefinite articles as well as errors on regular and irregular past tense verb forms. Data for the study were collected from 56 intermediate level students of English as a Foreign Language in Iranian private language school settings. Through an oral interview, each participant was required to read and then retell a written text in their own words. During or following the interview the examiner provided the participants with immediate explicit, delayed explicit and immediate implicit corrective oral feedback on their grammatical errors. Individualized multiple-choice tests focusing on the errors that had been corrected were constructed for each participant and administered. A comparison was made between the learners scores on the test items that measured definite and indefinite articles as well as regular and irregular past tense forms in order to assess the impact of corrective feedback on these linguistic features. This comparison was made by post-hoc analysis of the final tailor-made tests. The results show that when corrective feedback is given, the irregular past tense form is learnt before the regular past tense and the definite article the is learned before indefinite articles a and an . This finding lends support to the arguments put forth by of Krashen, (1977), Andersen (1978), and Dietrich, Klein and Noyau, (1995) that confirmed the role of negotiation as well as to the role of saliency and individualized attention in language learning. The results of the study also have some implications for both second language acquisition and language pedagogy.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 11 Issue 4