The Role of Corrective Feedback and Learning Styles on EFL Students’ Acquisition of Grammatical Structures

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Allameh Tabataba’i University

2 IRI Amin Police University


The role of oral corrective feedback has been investigated by SLA researchers from various perspectives. Focusing on Iranian EFL context, the present study aimed to explore the role of receiving corrective feedback in the learning of English grammatical structures. It also probed the association between the type of corrective feedback and EFL learners’ learning styles. This was an experimental study examining a sample of 128 intermediate-level EFL learners through pretest-posttest control group design. Data of the study was analysed through one-way ANOVA conducted on post-test scores. Results of the study indicated that there were statistically significant differences between experimental groups and control group in terms of receiving feedback. These findings implied the outperformance of the metalinguistic feedback group over recast group and also the superiority of providing EFL learners with feedback compared to no-feedback. The results obtained from two-way ANOVA revealed an effectively significant interaction between the type of oral corrective feedback and the learners’ learning styles. The study discussed how both types of corrective feedback and learning styles could manipulate L2 acquisition which might have some implications for EFL language teachers in the classroom.


Abraham, R.G. (1985). Field independence–dependence and the teaching of grammar. TESOL Quarterly, 19, 689–702.

Aljaafreh, A., & Lantolf, J. (1994). Negative feedback as regulation and second language learning in the zone of proximal development. Modern Language Journal, 78, 465-483.

Ammar, A. (2008). Prompts and recasts: Differential effects on second language morphosyntax. Language Teaching Research, 12(2), 183-210.

Ammar, A., & Spada, N. (2006). One size fits all? Recasts, prompts, and L2 learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28, 543-574.

Braidi, S. M. (2002). Reexamining the role of recasts in native-speaker/nonnative-speaker interactions. Language Learning, 52, 1-42.

Burnett, P. C. (2002). Teacher praise and feedback and students’ perceptions of the classroom environment. Educational Psychology, 22(1), 5-16.  DOI:10.1080/01443410120101215

Carroll, S. & Swain, M. (1993). Explicit and implicit negative feedback: An empirical study of the learning of linguistic generalizations. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 15, 357–366.

Cassidy, S. (2004). Learning Styles: An overview of theories, models, and measures. Educational Psychology, 24(4), 419-444.

Chapelle, C., & Green, P. (1992). Field independence/dependence in second language acquisition research. Language Learning, 42, 47-83.

Cho, H. (2012). Relative effects of prompts and recasts on the development of implicit and explicit L2 knowledge. English Teaching, 67(4), 57-79.

Cohen, A. D. & Weaver, S. J. (2005). Styles and Strategies-Based Instruction: A Teachers’ Guide. Minneapolis, MN: CARLA Working Paper Series, A rewritten version of Paper # 7, University of Minnesota.

DeKeyser, R. (1998). Beyond focus on form: Cognitive perspectives on learning and practicing second language grammar. In C. J. Doughty and J. Williams (Eds.), Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition (pp. 42– 63). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner. Mahwah: Erlbaum.

Egi, T. (2007). Recasts, learners’ perceptions, and L2 development. In A. Mackey (Ed.), Conversational interaction in second language acquisition: A series of empirical studies, (pp. 249-267). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ehrman, M. E. (1996). Understanding second language difficulties. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Ehrman, M. E., & Leaver, B. L. 2002. E & L Learning Style Questionnaire v. 2.0. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from file/1922181

Ehrman, M., & Leaver, B. L. (2003). Cognitive styles in the service of language learning. System, 31, 391-415.

Ellis, R. (2008). Explicit form-focused instruction and second language acquisition. In B. Spolsky & F. M. Hult (Eds.), The handbook of educational linguistics (pp.437-455). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ellis, R. (2009). A typology of written corrective feedback types. ELT Journal, 63(2), 97-107. DOI:10.1093/elt/ccn023

Ellis, R. (2010). EPILOGUE: A framework for investigating oral and written corrective feedback. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 335– 349. DOI: 10.1017/S0272263109990544

Ellis, R., Loewen, S., & Erlam, R. (2006). Implicit and explicit corrective feedback and the acquisition of L2 grammar. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28, 339-368.

Erlam, R., & S. Loewen. (2010). Implicit and explicit recasts in l2 oral French interaction. Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 66 (6), 877– 905.

Gass, S. (1997). Input, interaction, and the second language learner. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gass, S. M., & Mackey, A. (2000). Stimulated recall methodology in second language research. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Goo, J. (2012). Corrective feedback and working memory capacity in interaction-driven L2 learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 34, 445-474.

Goo, J., & Mackey, A. (2013). The case against the case against recasts. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35(1), 127-165.

Hansen, J., & Stanfield, C. (1981). The relationship of field dependent-independent cognitive styles to foreign language achievement. Language Learning, 31, 349–367.

Herron, C. (1981). The Treatment of Errors in Oral Activities: Developing Instructional Strategies. The French Review, 55(1), 6-16.

Johnson, J., & Rosano, T. (1993). Relation of cognitive style to metaphor interpretation and second language proficiency. Applied Psycholinguistics, 14, 159–159.

Johnson, K. (1995). Understanding communication in second language classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Khabbaz, M., & Najjar, R. (2015). Moodle-based distance language learning strategies: An evaluation of technology in language classroom. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 4(4), 205-210. doi:10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.4p.205

Leeman, J. (2003). Recasts and second language development: Beyond negative evidence. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 25, 37–63.

Li, S. (2010). The effectiveness of corrective feedback in SLA: A meta-analysis. Language Learning, 60(2), 309-365. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00561.x

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (1999). How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Loewen, S. (2011). Focus on form. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (Vol. 2, pp. 576-592). New York: Routledge.

Loewen, S., & Nabei, T. (2007). Measuring the effects of oral corrective feedback on L2 knowledge. In A. Mackey (Ed.), Conversational interaction in second language acquisition: A collection of empirical studies (pp. 361-376). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Long, M. (1996). The role of linguistic environment in second language acquisition. In W. C. Ritchie & T. K. Bhatia (Eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 413-468). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Lyster, R. (1998a). Negotiation of form, recasts, and explicit correction in relation to error types and learner repair in immersion classrooms. Language Learning, 48(2), 183-218.

Lyster, R. (1998b). Recasts, repetition, and ambiguity in L2 classroom discourse. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 20(1), 51-81.

Lyster, R. (2004). Differential effects of prompts and recasts in form-focused instruction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26, 399-402.

Lyster, R., & Izquierdo, J. (2009). Prompts versus recasts in dyadic interaction. Language Learning, 59, 453-498.

Lyster, R., & Mori, H. (2006). Interactional feedback and instructional counterbalance. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28(2), 269-300.

Lyster, R., & Ranta, L. (1997). Corrective feedback and learner uptake: negotiation of form in communicative classrooms. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 20, 37-66.  doi:10.1017/S0272263197001034

Lyster, R., & Saito, K. (2010). Oral feedback in classroom SLA. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 265–302.

Lyster, R., Saito, K., & Sato, M. (2013).Oral corrective feedback in second language classrooms. Language Teaching, 46(1), 1-40. doi:  10.1017/S0261444812000365

Mackey, A. (2012). Input, interaction, and corrective feedback in L2 learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mackey, A., & Goo, J. (2007). Interaction research in SLA: A meta-analysis and research synthesis. In A. Mackey (Ed.), Conversational interaction in second language acquisition (pp. 407–452). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Mackey, A., & Philp, J. (1998). Conversational interaction and second language development: Recasts, responses, and red herrings. Modern Language Journal, 82, 338-356.

Mackey, A., Gass, S., & McDonough, K. (2000). How do learners perceive interactional feedback?. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 22, 471-497.

Maftoon, P., Rezaie, G. (2013). Investigating classroom discourse: A case study of an Iranian communicative EFL classroom. IJAL, 16 (1), 107-128.

Morris, F. A. (2002). Negotiation moves and recasts in relation to error types and learner repair in the foreign language classroom. Foreign Language Annals, 35 (4), 395-404.

Muranoi, H. (2000).  Focus on form through interaction enhancement: Integrating formal instruction into a communicative task in EFL classrooms. Language Learning, 50, 617– 73.

Nassaji, H. (2009). Effects of recasts and elicitations in dyadic interaction and the role of feedback explicitness. Language Learning, 59, 411–452.

Oliver, R. (1995). Negative feedback in child NS-NNS conversation. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 17(4), 459-83.

Oxford, R. L. (2001). Language learning styles and strategies. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), teaching English as a second or foreign language (pp. 359-366). Boston, MA: Heinle and Heinle.

Philp, J. (2003).Constraints on “NOTICING THE GAP”: Nonnative speakers’ noticing of recasts in NS-NNS interaction. SSLA, 25, 99-126.  doi:10.1017/S0272263103000044

R´ev´esz, A. (2012). Working memory and the observed effectiveness of recasts on different L2 outcome measures. Language Learning, 62, 93–132.

Rassaei, E. (2013). Corrective feedback, learners’ perceptions, and second language development. System, 41, 472-483.

Rassaei, E. (2014). Recasts, field dependence/independence cognitive style, and L2 development. Language Teaching Research, 19(4), 1362168813541713.

Rassaei, E. (2015). Oral corrective feedback, foreign language anxiety and L2 development. System, 49, 98-109.

Rassaei, E., & Moinzadeh, A. (2012). Effects of recasts and metalinguistic corrective feedback on the acquisition of implicit and explicit L2 knowledge. The Journal of Language Teaching and Learning, 2 (1), 144-156.

Rassaei, E., & Moinzadeh, A. (2014). Recasts, metalinguistic feedback and learners’ perceptions: A case of Persian EFL learners. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 8, 39-55.


Reid, J. M. (1995). Preface. In J. M. Reid (Ed.), Learning styles in the ESL/EFL classroom (pp. viii–xvii). Boston: Heinle and Heinle.



Russell, J., & Spada, N. (2006). The effectiveness of corrective feedback for the acquisition of L2 grammar: A meta-analysis of the research. In J. Norris & L. Ortega (Eds.), Synthesizing research on language learning and teaching (pp. 133-164). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Sagarra, N., & Abbuhl, R. (2013).Optimizing the Noticing of Recasts via Computer-Delivered Feedback: Evidence That Oral Input Enhancement and Working Memory Help Second Language Learning. The Modern Language Journal, 97 (1), 196-216.

Schmidt, R. (2001). Attention. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 3–32). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schwartz, B. D. (1993). On explicit and negative data effecting and affecting competence and linguistic behavior. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 15, 147–163.

Sheen, Y. (2004). Corrective feedback and learner uptake in communicative classrooms across instructional settings. Language Teaching Research, 8, 263–300.

Sheen, Y. (2007a). The effect of focused written corrective feedback and language aptitude on ESL learners’ acquisition of articles. TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 255–283.

Sheen, Y. (2007b). The effect of corrective feedback, language aptitude and learner attitudes on the acquisition of English articles. In A. Mackey (Ed.), Conversational interaction in second language acquisition (pp. 301–322). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Sheen, Y. (2008). Recasts, language anxiety, modified output, and L2 learning. Language Learning, 58, 835-874.

Sheen, Y., & Ellis, R. (2011). Corrective feedback in language teaching. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 593-610). New York: Routledge.

Tinajero, C., & Páramo, M. F. (1998). Field dependence-independence cognitive style and academic achievement: A review of research and theory. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 13, 227–251.

Zhang, L. J., & Rahimi, M. (2014). EFL learners’ anxiety level and their beliefs about corrective feedback in oral communication classes. System, 42, 429-439.