actively involved in drawing on what they already know, instead of providing correct forms for learners.
In another study, Lyster (1998a) examined the relationship among error types and corrective feedback in relation to immediate learner repair. The data analysis indicated 921 learners’ errors. The errors were coded as grammatical, lexical, phonological, or as unsolicited use of first language (English). The types of corrective feedback were explicit correction, negotiation of form (i.e., elicitation, metalinguistic clues, clarification requests, or repetition of error), and recasts. The findings showed that the interaction between error type and feedback type was significant, confirming that error type affected choice of feedback. On the one hand grammatical and phonological errors tended to elicit recast on the other hand lexical errors tended to invite negotiation of form.
Also, In Carroll’s (2001) study, the formation of English nouns from verb stems produced by learners in four feedback conditions and a control group was examined. The findings revealed that all feedback groups significantly outperformed the comparison group on immediate and delayed posttests of L2 form knowledge on items, for which they had received feedback, but only participants in the two groups that provided either direct or indirect metalinguistic information for the learners concerning the target form error significantly outperformed the control group in new contexts nevertheless.
Panova and Lyster (2002) conducted a study to explore what kinds of feedback give rise to the most considerable amount of learner uptake in an adult ESL communication oriented classroom. The participants of the study were 25 students and they were from various first language backgrounds and had a low level of proficiency in English. 18 hours of interaction in a classroom had been recorded during 4 weeks and 10 out of 18 hours were used as database. The total database was composed of 1,716 student turns and 1,641 teacher turns. The findings revealed that recasts were the most popular feedback types of the teacher, and they were used about 80% out of total feedback occurrence, but they could not lead to corresponding amounts of learner uptake nevertheless. As an alternative, clarification requests, elicitation, and repetition resulted in the greatest amount of learner uptake, and metalinguistic feedback took the second place to lead to the learner uptake. The researchers justified offering a lot of well-reformulated utterances for the students by the teacher might be due to students’ limited and low English proficiency. Consequently, the teacher supplied a lot of linguistic information by giving well-formed utterances.
Heift (2004) carried out a study to examine which one of three types of corrective feedback (metalinguistic, metalinguistic + elicitation, and repetition + elicitation) is the most effective on learners’ uptake while using a Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) system. The CALL system known as E-Tutor was developed for the learners who wanted to practice various exercises on German vocabulary and grammar. It was carried out in three stages: a pre-test, the system usage sessions, a post-test, and questionnaires. The pre-test was given to the participants before using the system. The participants who were university students, used the system for an entire semester (15 weeks) and completed exercises provided in each chapter. The post-test and questionnaires were given to the participants at the end of the semester. The findings showed that the participants were most likely to correct their errors (87.4%) when provided with metalinguistic + elicitation, compared to the provision of metalinguistic (86.9%) and repetition + elicitation (81.7%). All in all, the metalinguistic + elicitation is the most effective method for the learners’ uptake.
Ferreira (2006) carried out an empirical study of effective corrective feedback strategies for learning the Spanish subjunctive mood in a Web-based CALL system. The types of corrective feedback were classified into two different groups of Giving-Answer Strategies (GAS) and Prompting-Answer Strategies (PAS). Examples of GAS were repetition and explicit correction feedback, while PAS included metalinguistic and elicitation. The study was carried out in three stages: a pre-test, three treatment sessions, and a post-test. The participants were randomly divided into three groups, each consisting of eight members. The first group received PAS feedback in response to incorrect answers and positive acknowledgment for correct answers during the treatment sessions. The second group received GAS feedback and positive acknowledgment. The third group, a control group, received only positive and negative acknowledgment during the treatment sessions. By and large, the findings indicated that the PAS group outperformed the GAS group, and both did better than the control group.
The number of comparison studies investigating certain corrective feedback types (e.g., repetition, clarification requests) is still too limited to argue for the efficacy of one type of corrective feedback over another. The findings of a number of comparison studies (Russell & Spada, 2006; Mackey & Goo, 2007), however, indicated benefits for certain types of corrective feedback for certain forms and for certain learners. This takes into account the feedback that provides the opportunity for students to produce pushed output, feedback that boosts the salience of positive evidence and feedback that indirectly or directly provides metalinguistic information for students concerning the correct formulation of the target form.
Overt correction happens when the teacher intervenes by pointing out where and how learners are wrong. It can also entail asking a student to repeat the corrected version of an utterance. A compelling reason and justification for sometimes giving overt correction is simply that many learners expect or want their errors to be corrected in this way. Maybe this is because it reflects the traditional view of what a teacher does. These days, students often complain about not being corrected enough rarely about being corrected too much.
Lyster and Ranta (1997) stated that overt correction unlike recasts, “clearly indicates what the student had said was incorrect” (p. 46). They argued that overt correction is one of the least ambiguous forms of correction; yet, in their study, this technique did not show to be very effective. Explicit/overt feedback, as Kim and Mathes (2001) confirmed, refers to the explicit provision of the correct form, including specific grammatical information that students can refer to when an answer is incorrect. Moreover, In Brown’s (2007) view, overt/ direct correction occurs when the teacher indicates an error and supplies the correct form. While in overt correction, there will be an overt indicator that an error has been arisen, in implicit correction, there is not such an indicator (Yang & Lyster, 2010). Hinkel (2011) stated that overt correction occurs “when the teacher directly corrects the learner and/or provides some kind of metalinguistic explanation of the error” (p. 593). This is illustrated in the following examples.
(۱) S (student): and three pear (sounds like beer).
T (teacher): not beer. Pear. (Sheen, 2004)
(۲) S: She goed to the store
T: No, not goed—went. (Ellis et al., 2006)
(۳) S: Yesterday Joe and Bill (ah) went to (ah) Bill’s grandmother and visit their grandmother
T: and visit—you need past tense
S: Visited, yes. (Ellis et al., 2006)
(۴) S: On May.
T: Not on May, in May. We say “It will start in May”. (Ellis & Sheen, 2006)
There are s
ome studies in the literature which support the efficacy of overt correction. Semke (1984) pointed out that implicit methods of corrective feedback are less useful than explicit ones and lead to less achievement; besides, learners do not have a positive view regarding this type of error treatment. Edge (1989) stated that teachers should provide directly learners with the correct grammatical structures in writing process where they think that their performance is wrong and the existing errors cause some sort of misunderstanding or ambiguity in their flow of communication. He confirmed that particularly with certain types of error, explicit (overt) corrective feedback is significantly more effective than implicit type.
In the studies by Herron and Tomasello (1988), Tomasello and Herron (1989), Herron (1991), and Ellis, Rosszell, and Takashima (1994), overt correction occurred through so-called garden-path techniques that caused students to make errors in their use of target forms. Their errors provoked a response from their teacher. The teacher wrote the inaccurate form on the chalkboard, crossed it out, wrote the proper form, and then said it out loud before offering a brief explanation. By the same token, Bartram and Walton (1994) found that overt correction is the most commonly used type of feedback in communicative activities. Nevertheless, it caused a breakdown in communication and made the students feel uncomfortable, and reluctant to communicate in the target language.
Some classroom research studies, conducted by Leow (1998) and Scott (1989, 1990) also showed that overt (explicit) correction is more beneficial than implicit correction. Ferris (1999) classified errors into treatable and untreatable errors. By treatable errors, she referred to rule-governed errors such as those in subject-verb agreement, comma, missing articles and verb form errors. She defined untreatable errors as lexical, wrong sentence construction, missing words, unnecessary words and wrong word order errors. She stated that teachers should not provide implicit corrective feedback (such as underlining, abbreviation, etc.) for untreatable errors because these errors have no rules. Thus, overt corrective feedback is suggested for errors which are not rule-governed.
Nassaji and Swain (2000) highlighted the point that “there was a tendency for more direct and explicit prompts to be more useful than less direct implicit prompts”. In the same way, Norris and Ortega’s (2000) meta-analysis of L2 instructional interventions suggested that the outcome measures utilized by a large number of studies bore out the efficacy of overt correction for the reason that these measures required “the application of explicit declarative knowledge under controlled conditions, without much requirement for fluent, spontaneous use of contextualized language” (p. 486).
In the same fashion, Ferris and Roberts (2001) discovered that low proficiency students gained advantage from having their teacher correct their errors. Lack of feedback prevented students from noticing their errors. As a result, students felt a sense of frustration. They suggested that implicit correction increases the learners’ reflection and attention to the erroneous forms, and in the same