The effects of focused and unfocused written corrective feedback on the accurate use of tenses in Hong Kong primary ESL context

Tsz Lam LAI

Research output: Other contributionHonours Projects

Abstract

This paper reveals the findings from a study exploring (1) whether focused and unfocused corrective feedback (CF) can improve the accuracy in using the two functions of tenses (the use of “present tense” for describing things happen in the present and in dialogues and “past tense” for describing actions in the past) of average-proficient ESL learners, who have rooms for improvement on accuracy in English; and (2) whether the efficacy of the two different types of corrective feedback (focused and unfocused) can retain over time on the accurate use of tenses by these ESL learners. In this research, six average-proficient ESL learners formed two experimental groups and a control group and underwent a pre-test, immediate post-test and delayed post-test. The two experimental groups received focused written CF and unfocused written CF respectively, while the control group did not receive any written corrective feedback. Findings of this study showed that both experimental groups outperformed the control group in both post-tests, and the focused group improved more than the unfocused one on the accuracy of using the two tenses. Since the effectiveness of focused written CF outperformed that of unfocused written CF, in improving accuracy of tense usage, teachers may ponder to adopt the former in writing tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Honours Project (HP)
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours) (English Language) (Four-year Full-time)
  • Programme code: A4B036
  • Course code: ENG4900

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