Corrective feedback and learner uptake in a Chinese as a foreign language class: do perceptions and the reality match?

Date

2012-09-06

Authors

Fu, Tingfeng

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Abstract

The goal of this study is to examine teacher feedback, learner uptake, and feedback perceptions in an adult Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) context. A 200-level Chinese reading course was observed for data collection. Participants included 13 students and one teacher. Thirteen class sessions (10 hours) were video-taped. A short survey, given at the end of each of the last six class sessions, was designed to elicit the teacher’s and the students’ perceptions of feedback frequency. The participants were not informed of the focus of this research at the beginning of data collection. Video-recorded data was fully transcribed and coded using Panova and Lyster’s (2002) feedback categorization. The teacher’s response to the survey was compared to that of the students’ regarding perceptions of feedback frequency. The results showed that the teacher provided feedback to 68.1% of all students’ errors. On average there was one feedback move every 2.4 minutes. All feedback types in Panova and Lyster’s model were present, and there were a few new moves, namely “asking a direct question,” “directing question to other students,” and “using L1-English.” A total of 245 teacher feedback moves occurred during the observation. Recasts accounted for 56.7% of all feedback moves, followed by metalinguistic feedback which accounted for 10.6%. Elicitation moves achieved the highest uptake rate (94.1%). Next, explicit correction and metalinguistic feedback had 88.9% and 53.8% uptake rate respectively. Concerning perceptions of feedback, the teacher was more accurate in perceiving four types of feedback while the students were accurate about three. It was concluded that recast was the predominant type of feedback in this study. Other explicit types of feedback were more successful in leading to learner uptake. The teacher and the students were generally not accurate in perceiving the frequency of each feedback type, due to the challenge of remembering the feedback move after the lesson had finished. The pedagogical implication is that teachers should consider a wide range of feedback techniques, especially more explicit types, to better engage students in a reading class.

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Keywords

corrective feedback, learner uptake, feedback perceptions

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