Investigating the effect of corrective feedback on second language pragmatics: face-to-face vs. technology-mediated communication




Yousefi, Marziyeh

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Pragmatics “focuses on how people perform, interpret, and respond to language functions in a social context” (Taguchi, 2012, p.1), and therefore its development is key to the development of language competence. Pragmatics entails both linguistic knowledge to perform language functions (pragmalinguistics) and knowledge about the appropriateness of linguistic forms in a given social context (sociopragmatics) (Thomas, 1983). The acquisition of this skill has been shown to be one of the most difficult and latest acquired aspects of L2 learning (Bardovi-Harlig & Vellenga, 2012), and in this context, corrective feedback (information about the accuracy of learners’output), has been considered to be essential to the mastery of this knowledge. This study attempted to answer whether corrective feedback on L2 request and refusal forms provided through Face-to-Face (FF) or through Technology-Mediated (TM) modes can lead to an improvement in the learners’ performance in comprehension and production. Forty-four ELL students in three parallel intact classes were chosen to participate in the study. A Role-play test was used to collect production data and a multiple-choice discourse completion test was used to gather comprehension data. A mixed-model Analysis of Variance was conducted to examine the main and interaction effects of the treatment (corrective feedback), delivery mode (FF and TM), speech act type (request and refusal), and time (pre-test, post-test, and delayed post-test). The results demonstrated that CF led to improved performance in L2 pragmatics. Significant effects for corrective feedback were clear for both pragmatic comprehension and production, and there was no difference between comprehension and production improvement. Furthermore, the results showed that both FF and TM corrective feedback were effective modalities for improving pragmatic production while only TM delivery was effective in comprehending the target speech acts. The findings of the present study also suggest that CF effects were durable both in production and comprehension. The possibility of the effects of type of speech acts in influencing CF effects was generally rejected as CF improved comprehending and producing both speech acts significantly. In summary, the findings of the study generally support the application of CF and technology to the acquisition of second language pragmatic ability.



pragmatics, corrective feedback, technology-mediated