Direct vs. Indirect Written Corrective Feedback: Student Perceptions

  • Anne Westmacott Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura
Keywords: English-as-a-foreign-language teaching, error correction, written corrective feedback, direct feedback, indirect feedback, action research


Studies have shown that most teachers give written corrective feedback to written work in ELT, and that students wish to receive it; however, the debate regarding which type of feedback may be more effective is far from settled. This study reports on action research carried out with intermediate learners in a Chilean university. The teacher/researcher changed from providing direct to indirect, coded feedback in an effort to engage learners more fully. The perceptions of six learners of the two types of feedback were explored using a case-study approach. Most students claimed indirect feedback was more useful as it prompts deeper cognitive processing and learning. There was evidence it may also help reinforce grammatical knowledge and encourage autonomous learning behaviour. 

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Author Biography

Anne Westmacott, Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura

Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura, Chile. B.Sc. in Psychology (Edinburgh University), Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Cambridge University) and M.A. in TESOL (Institute of Education)


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How to Cite
Westmacott A. (2017). Direct vs. Indirect Written Corrective Feedback: Student Perceptions. Íkala, 22(1), 17-32.
Empirical Studies