Using Corrective Feedback to Improve Grammatical Accuracy in Student Writing in the EFL Classroom

University essay from Malmö universitet/Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS)

Abstract: With the rise of English as the go-to language in the world, it has also become an important subject in the Swedish education system, aimed at preparing students for the English requirements expected of them in higher education and business. However, communication and content have become the main focus in the classroom, with grammar and accuracy being judged as variably important from teacher to teacher. This has led to students feeling confident in speaking, but lacking the skills needed to create accurate and coherent texts, the effects of which are detrimental to their credibility and can have serious negative effects in the workplace. The aim of this paper is to investigate the efficacy of different methods of corrective feedback (CF) aimed at improving grammatical accuracy in student writing. Eight studies were selected, looking at different methods of CF. The results showed that CF is indeed effective, but that many factors such as language proficiency, previous experience, scope of CF and error type influence the outcome of the CF. The implications of this are very relevant to the English classroom in Sweden as the classroom is not homogenous and teachers must take care to become aware of each student’s individual needs, prior knowledge and preferences in order to maximize the effectiveness of the CF. Future research could explore the effects of Dynamic CF and peer-reviewing, providing students with many opportunities to write and revise short texts while simultaneously actively engaging with language form.

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