The Effects of Written Feedback On ESL Writers’ Ability To Edit Word Choice Errors

Larysa Bobrova


This study examines whether indirect written corrective feedback (CF) can enable 45 ESL writers with intermediate language proficiency to self-edit word choice errors classified as conceptual. Using a pre- and immediate post-test design, the study compares the effects of indirect CF under two conditions: errors are marked and coded without (1) and with metalinguistic explanation and (2) with two types of metalinguistic explanation: traditional and cognitive. Accuracy of word choice is measured in a new piece of writing. The results indicate that (1) CF with metalinguistic explanation is more useful than that without explanation (the control group) and (2) cognitive explanation (the cognitive group) appears to be significantly more effective than one drawn on the traditional account of language (the traditional group). The findings suggest that, when the CF attends to word choice errors as conceptual by addressing the mismatch between L2 forms and their conceptual content structured through cognitive frames and conceptual metaphors, ESL student writers are likely to make correct assumptions about syntagmatic connections of L2 words and correct more erroneous words in their L2 writing than when they are exposed to the feedback that approaches word choice errors as simply lexical and focuses on form-form mismatches.


Feedback, Word choice error, Metaphor, Cognitive frame

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