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A multi-method investigation of the effectiveness and utility of delayed corrective feedback in second-language oral production

Hunter, James Duncan (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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A major challenge in second-language pedagogy and research is that of determining linguistic competence. Spontaneous oral production gives some indication of the state of a learner’s interlanguage, but the presence of non-target-like forms in such production confounds the analysis since the teacher or researcher cannot be certain whether such forms are random or systematic. Corrective feedback (CF) in oral production, usually in the form of recasts or elicitation, can thus appear arbitrary and inconsistent. This thesis investigates the effectiveness of delayed CF, in which representative samples of learners’ non-target-like production are systematically collected and tracked. The investigation employed three methods: first, accuracy and fluency in production were measured by means of a test in which learners reformulated their own non-target-like production and that of peers; second, accuracy and reaction time were measured as learners judged the well-formedness of those same reformulations; third, the developing complexity of learner production is monitored by means of an ‘error corpus’. Results indicate that delayed CF of this kind is effective in pushing learners towards greater complexity and accuracy in both production and recognition, and constitutes an approach to the problem of determining what the individual learner knows that has theoretical validity and pedagogical relevance.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Owen, Charles
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of English
Subjects:PE English
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3284
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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