Focused direct corrective feedback: Effects on the elementary English learners written syntactic complexity

Mohammadreza Valizadeh
Department of Translation and Interpretation (English), Faculty of Humanities, Cappadocia University, Cappadocia, Turkey
Fatemeh Soltanpour
Kar Higher Education Institute, Qazvin
Keywords: Focused written corrective feedback, direct corrective feedback, syntactic complexity, additional writing practice, EFL elementary learners


This experimental study, using a pretest-treatment-posttest design, compared the effects of focused direct written corrective feedback and additional writing practice on L2 learners’ written syntactic complexity. The participants were 60 Iranian elementary EFL learners, whose L2 proficiency as well as L2 writing syntactic complexity and accuracy were controlled by administering the Oxford Quick Placement Test and a paragraph writing test. They were assigned to two groups: Focused direct corrective feedback (FDCF) and additional writing practice without feedback (No CF). The investigation included five sessions and lasted for three weeks. Every session, each participant wrote a paragraph of descriptive type in class. The experimental group received FDCF, while the control (i.e. No CF) group was provided only with additional writing practice. Lu’s (2010) web-based L2 Syntactic Complexity Analyzer was utilized to calculate the five indices of syntactic complexity measures, including mean length of clause (MLC), mean length of sentence (MLS), mean length of T-unit (MLT), clauses per sentence (C/S), and verb phrases per T-unit (VP/T). The MANOVA test revealed no statistically significant difference between the two groups.

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