The Effectiveness of Error Correction on the Learning of Morphological and Syntactic Features

Azizollah Dabaghi Varnosfadrani, Darioosh Nejad Ansari


The study investigated the effects of correction of learners’ grammatical errors on acquisition. Specifically, it compared the effects of morphological versus syntactic features. Data for the study were collected from 112 transcriptions of oral interviews with Iranian intermediate level students of English as a Foreign Language. During or following the interview the researcher corrected the participants on their grammatical errors Individualised tests focusing on morphological and syntactic errors that had been corrected were constructed for each participant and administered. Statistical analyses of the learners' scores on their individualised tests were carried out.
Results showed that treatment of morphological features was found to be more effective than that of syntactic features. It is argued that morphological features are generally learnt as items whereas syntactic features involve system learning. This finding lends support to suggestions that corrective feedback (like other types of form-focused instruction) needs to take into account learners’ cognitive readiness to acquire features (Pienemann, 1984; Mackey, 1999).

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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