Effects of Indirect Corrective Feedback With and Without Written Languaging on L2 Written Accuracy: A Multitask Intervention Study

  • Ruiying NiuEmail author
  • Xiaoye You
Regular Article


The present study investigated the effect of written languaging (WL) based on indirect written corrective feedback (WCF) on Chinese EFL (English as a foreign language) learners’ written accuracy. WL refers to using the written mode to reflect upon and reason about language use. Two groups of students participated in the study over 16 weeks. Both received indirect WCF on four essays, with one group further engaging in WL and the other, without. Baseline writing and its revisions, respectively used as pre-tests and posttests, as well as immediate and delayed revisions of the four essays were employed to measure the two groups’ written accuracy. Data analyses revealed that although both groups significantly improved their written accuracy, no significant differences were observed between them, signifying the insignificant role of WL in enhancing the efficacy of indirect WCF. In light of published literature and participants’ languaging quality, the study concludes that WL could play a diagnostic role in promoting the efficacy of indirect WCF.


Indirect written corrective feedback Written languaging Written accuracy Multitask intervention study 



We would like to acknowledge the anonymous reviewers' insightful and inspiring feedback as well as the valuable comments of Professor Chuming Wang and Dr Shulin Yu on earlier drafts of this paper. Our sincere thanks also go to the student participants of the study. This work was supported by the Ministry of Education Project of the Centre for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, and the Bilingual Cognition and Development Lab, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS), P. R. China, as well as the GDUFS teaching research grant (No. GWJY2017008) and the GDUFS International Language-service-oriented Foreign Language and Literature Creative Construction Project (No. 101-GK17GS52).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no competing interests.


  1. Bitchener, J., & Ferris, D. (2012). Written corrective feedback in second language acquisition and writing. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2010). The contribution of written corrective feedback to language development: A ten-month investigation. Applied Linguistics,31, 193–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bitchener, J., & Storch, N. (2016). Written corrective feedback for L2 development. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chandler, J. (2003). The efficacy of various kinds of error feedback for improvement in the accuracy and fluency of L2 student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing,12(2), 267–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Charles, C. M., & Mertler, C. A. (2004). Introduction to educational research (4th ed.). Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.Google Scholar
  6. DiCamilla, F., & Lantolf, J. (1994). The linguistic analysis of private writing. Language Sciences,16, 347–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ishikawa, M. (2013). Examining the effect of written languaging: The role of metanotes as a mediator of second language learning. Language Awareness,22(3), 220–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ishikawa, M. (2018). Written languaging, learners' proficiency levels and L2 grammar learning. System,74, 50–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ishikawa, M., & Suzuki, W. (2016). The effect of written languaging on learning the hypothetical conditional in English. System,58, 97–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jia, D. (2015). An experimental study on the effect of written languaging on English writing revision. Unpublished master’s thesis. Lanzhou University, Lanzhou.Google Scholar
  11. LaLande, J. (1982). Reducing composition errors: An experiment. The Modern Language Journal,66, 140–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lantolf, J., & Thorne, S. (2006). Sociocultural Theory and the genesis of second language development. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Liang, Z. (2014). Effect of written languaging on second language writing. Unpublished master’s thesis. Xiangtan University, Xiangtan.Google Scholar
  14. Moradian, M. R., Miri, M., & Nasab, M. H. (2017). Contribution of written languaging to enhancing the efficiency of written corrective feedback. International Journal of Applied Linguistics,27(2), 406–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schmidt, R. (1995). Attention and awareness in foreign language learning. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  16. Storch, N., & Wigglesworth, G. (2010). Learners' processing, uptake and retention of written corrective feedback. Journal of Second Language Acquisition,32, 303–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Suzuki, W. (2009). Improving Japanese university students' second language writing accuracy: Effects of languaging. Annual Review of English Language Education in Japan,20, 81–90.Google Scholar
  18. Suzuki, W. (2012). Written languaging, direct correction, and second language writing revision. Language Learning,62(4), 1110–1113. Scholar
  19. Suzuki, W. (2017). The effect of quality of written languaging on second language learning. Writing & Pedagogy,8(3), 461–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Swain, M. (2006). Languaging, agency and collaboration in advanced language proficiency. In H. Byrnes (Ed.), Advanced language learning: The contribution of Halliday and Vygotsky (pp. 95–108). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  21. Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (1998). Interaction and second language learning: Two adolescent French immersion students working together. Modern Language Journal,82, 320–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (2002). Talking it through: Two French immersion students' response to reformulation. International Journal of Educational Research,37, 285–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Swain, M., Lapkin, S., Knouzi, I., Suzuki, W., & Brooks, L. (2009). Languaging: University students learn the grammatical concept of voice in French. The Modern Language Journal,93(1), 5–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Van Beuningen, C., de Jong, N. H., & Kuiken, F. (2008). The effect of direct and indirect corrective feedback on L2 learners' written accuracy. ITL International Journal of Applied Linguistics,156, 279–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Van Beuningen, C., de Jong, N. H., & Kuiken, F. (2012). Evidence on the effectiveness of comprehensive error correction in Dutch multilingual classrooms. Language Learning,62(1), 1–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.Google Scholar
  28. Wolff, D. (2000). Some reflections on the importance of writing in foreign language learning. In I. Play & K. P. Schneider (Eds.), Language use, language acquisition and language history (pp. 213–226). Trier: WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier.Google Scholar
  29. Yilmaz, M. (2016). Improving Turkish EFL learners' writing accuracy: Effects of written languaging and languaging types. Procedia: Social and Behaviour Sciences,232, 413–420.Google Scholar
  30. Zhang, R. (2015). Measuring university-level L2 learners’ implicit and explicit linguistic knowledge. Studies in Second Language Acquisition,37, 457–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of English Language and CultureGuangdong University of Foreign StudiesGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangdong University of Foreign StudiesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of EnglishPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations