The Effect of Coded and Uncoded Written Corrective Feedback on the Accuracy of Learners Writing in Pre-intermediate Level

Asghar Salimi, Maryam Valizadeh


To date, conflict exists in the literature on whether or not and how teachers should react to EFL learners' written grammar errors. Coded versus uncoded corrective feedback has been one of the rarely explored areas of investigation in SLA. To shed light on the factors that may explain such conflicting results, this study investigated the effect of coded and un-coded written corrective feedback with regard to possible improvements in the accuracy in writing of pre-intermediate EFL learners. It, further, sought whether such an effect would last in the long run. In the course of 14 weeks, learners’ errors in 2 groups (i.e., coded and uncoded) were reacted. A paired-samples t-test was run to analyze the obtained data. Analysis of the written pieces in the immediate post-test and delayed post test revealed that coded corrective feedback, compared to the uncoded group, had a significantly more positive influence on learners' accuracy improvement both in the short and in the long run. The findings imply that teachers should weigh the learners' abilities and interlanguage, proficiency level, and type of error before applying different feedback types. Moreover, the implications are discussed in terms of effective guidelines for teaching writing in EFL contexts.


Written feedback, accuracy, EFL context

Full Text:



Bitchener, J. (2012). A reflection on ‘the language learning potential’ of written CF. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21, 348–363

Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2008). The value of written corrective feedback for migrant and international students. Language Teaching Research, 12, 409–431.

Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2010b). Raising the linguistic accuracy level of advanced L2 writers with written corrective feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 19, 207–217.

Bitchener, J., Young, S., & Cameron, D. (2005). The effect of different types of corrective feedback on ESL student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14, 191–205.

DeKeyser, R. (Ed.). (2007). Practicing in a second language: Perspectives from applied linguistics and cognitive psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ellis, R., Basturkmen, H., & Loewen, S. (2001). Preemptive focus on form in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 35, 407–432.

Ellis, N. (2007). The associative–cognitive CREED. In B. VanPatten & J. Williams (Eds.), Theories in second language acquisition: An introduction (pp. 77–96). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Ellis, N. (2012). Frequency-based accounts of second language acquisition. In S. Gass & A. Mackey (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 193–210). New York: Routledge.

Erel, S. & Bulut, D. (2007). Error treatment in L2 writing: A comparative study of direct and indirect coded feedback in Turkish context. Social Sciences Institute, 1, 397-415.

Ferris, D. R. (2003). Response to student writing: Implications for second language students. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Ferris, D. R. (2006). Does error feedback help student writers? New evidence on the shorthand long-term effects of written error correction. In K. Hyland & F. Hyland (Eds.), Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues (pp. 81–104). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Ferris, D. R., & Roberts, B. (2001). Error feedback in L2 writing classes: How explicit does it need to be? Journal of Second Language Writing, 10(3), 161-184.

Guenette, D. (2007). Is feedback pedagogically correct? Research design issues in studies of feedback on writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 16, 40–53.

Hatch, E. (1978a). Acquisition of syntax in a second language. In J. Richards (Ed.), Understanding second and foreign language learning: Issues and approaches (pp. 34– 70). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Hedgcock, J., & Lefkowitz, N. (1996). Some input on input: Two analyses of student response to expert feedback in L2 writing. Modern Language Journal, 80, 287–308.

Heift, T. (2010). Prompting in CALL: A longitudinal study of learner uptake. Modern Language Journal, 94, 198–216.

Hyland, K., & Hyland, F. (2006). Contexts and issues in feedback on L2 writing: An introduction. In K. Hyland & F. Hyland (Eds.), Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues (pp. 1–19). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Krashen, S. D. (1984). Writing: Research, theory, and application. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Krashen, S. D. (1985). The input hypothesis: Issues and implications. London: Longman.

Lalande, J. F. (1982). Reducing composition errors: An experiment. Modern Language Journal, 66, 140–149.

Lantolf, J. (Ed.). (2000). Sociocultural theory and second language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lantolf, J. (2012). Sociocultural theory: A dialectical approach to L2 research. In S. Gass & Mackey (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 57–72). New York: Routledge.

Lee, I. (2008). Understanding teachers’ written feedback practices in Hong Kong secondary classrooms. Journal of Second Language Writing, 17, 69–85.

Long, M. H. (1981). Input, interaction, and second language acquisition. In Winitz, H. (Ed.). Native language and foreign language acquisition (pp.259–278). Annals of the New York Academy of Science.

Long, M. H. (1983). Linguistic and conversational adjustments to non-native speakers. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 5, 177–193.

McLaughlin, B. (1987). Theories of second language learning. London: Edward Arnold.

Pienemann, M. (1998). Language processing and second language development: Processability theory. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Pienemann, M. (2007). Processability theory. In B. VanPatten & J. Williams (Eds.), Theories in second language acquisition: An introduction (pp. 137–154). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Pienemann, M., & Keßler, J. (2012). Processability theory. In S. Gass & A. Mackey (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 228–247). New York: Routledge.

Polio, C., Fleck, N., & Leder, N. (1998). ‘‘If only I had more time’’: ESL learners’ changes in linguistic accuracy on essay revisions. Journal of Second Language Writing, 7, 43–68.

Polio, C. (2012). The relevance of second language acquisition theory to written error correction debate. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21, 375–389.

Rahimpour, M., Salimi, A., & Farrokhi, F. (2012). The impact of extensive and intensive focus on form strategies on EFL learners’ oral accuracy. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 1(6), 37-43.

Robb, T., Ross, S., & Shortreed, I. (1986). Salience of feedback on error and its effect on EFL writing quality. TESOL Quarterly, 20, 83–93.

Sampson, A. (2012). Coded and uncoded error feedback: Effects on error frequencies in adult Colombian EFL learners' writing. System, 40, 494-504.

Semke, H. (1984). The effects of the red pen. Foreign Language Annals, 17, 195–202.

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

Sheen, Y., Wright, D., & Moldawa, A. (2009). Differential effects of focused and unfocused written correction on the accurate use of grammatical forms by adult ESL learners. System, 37(4), 556-569.

Truscott, J. (1996). The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes. Language Learning, 46, 327–369.

Truscott, J. (2007). The effect of error correction on learners’ ability to write accurately. Journal of Second Language Writing, 16, 255–272.

Van Beuningen, C., De Jong, N., &Kuiken, F. (2008a). The effect of direct and indirect corrective feedback on L2 learners' written accuracy.ITL International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 156, 279-296.

Van Beuningan, C., de Jong, N. H., & Kuiken, F. (2012). Evidence on the effectiveness of comprehensive error correction in Dutch multilingual classroom. Language Learning, 62, 1–41.

Vyatkina, N (2010). The Effectiveness of Written Corrective Feedback in Teaching Beginning German. Foreign Language Annals, 43, 671-689.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2020 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.