Error Is Not Terror: Error Correction in Second Language Writing

Farzad Mashhadi, Reza Biria


From the host of factors contributing to the accuracy of second language (L2) writing, the role of error correction and teacher’s feedback have formed the cynosure of a wealth of studies. Truscott's (1996) controversial idea about the role of error correction in writing has further compounded the mystery of error correction in L2 writing. To unravel the aforementioned dilemma, this study investigated the effect of learners' error correction exercises versus teacher’s feedback on improving the writing accuracy of Iranian EFL learners. A predominantly quantitative approach coupled with an experimental design were employed. Thirty EFL learners were selected through double sampling and after taking a pre-test were randomly assigned to two experimental groups (error correction exercise versus teacher’s feedback) and a control group. After the treatment, a post-test was given to all participants. The analysis of the results revealed that provision of teacher's explicit, written error feedback, coupled with oral instruction decreased the number of errors. The findings may have insightful implications for EFL teachers in general and those involved in L2 writing contexts in particular.


error correction exercises, teacher's feedback, writing accuracy, L2 writing

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