Treating Errors in Learners’ Writing: Techniques and Processing of Corrective Feedback

Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


Although the utility of written feedback is now acknowledged, the identification of the most effective corrective technique still is a matter of debate. In this chapter, we compare the effects of direct and indirect written feedback on the short-term uptake and the long-term retention of the correction in order to investigate which one could be more effective in enhancing language learning. Furthermore, we examine how students process the received correction. For this purpose, a research was led on twelve Italian as foreign language learners. The outcomes show that both direct and indirect feedback are effective in the short-term but less effective in the long-term; indirect feedback is slightly more effective on the short term, while direct feedback slightly promotes the long-term retention of the correction. Moreover, the level of engagement showed by learners while they process the correction might influence the efficacy of feedback itself.


Written corrective feedback Error correction Editing Reformulation Uptake Retention 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Bordeaux MontaignePessacFrance
  2. 2.University Roma TreRomeItaly

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