Explicit versus implicit corrective feedback during videoconferencing: effects on the accuracy and fluency of L2 speech




Shirani, Reza

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A growing body of research has compared the effects of explicit and implicit corrective feedback (CF) on L2 accuracy. However, L2 performance is not limited to accuracy. Fluency is another important aspect of L2 performance, but less is understood about its relationship with CF and CF explicitness/implicitness. This experimental study examined the effects of explicit correction versus implicit recasts on not only the accuracy but also the fluency of L2 speech during videoconferencing. Forty-eight lower-intermediate learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) were assigned to an explicit correction group, an implicit recast group, and a no-feedback group. Each engaged in eight picture description tasks with the researcher and received feedback according to the group they came from. Pre and posttests (immediate and delayed) of accuracy and fluency were conducted using additional picture tasks. Accuracy was measured by calculating the percentage of learners’ (a) error-free clauses and (b) error-free T-units. Fluency was measured by calculating the number of (a) syllables per minute and (b) meaningful syllables per minute. Statistical analyses included (a) two-way repeated measures ANOVAs with feedback type as the between-subject factor and time as the within subject factor, (b) Planned comparisons, which treated the two experimental groups as one group and compared their mean with the mean of the control group, (c) Bonferroni post hoc tests, which examined the pairwise differences, and where needed, (d) paired sample t-tests, which examined each group’s pretest-posttest differences. As for accuracy, planned comparisons showed that videoconferencing CF, irrespective of its explicitness/implicitness, improved accuracy. Further analyses showed that whereas the explicit correction group outperformed the control group on both the immediate and delayed posttests, the recast group did not. However, the explicit feedback group produced a significantly less fluent speech compared to the recast group and the control group. But this was true on the immediate posttest and not on the delayed posttest. Pretest-posttest comparisons further indicated a negative effect for explicit correction but a positive effect for recasts on L2 fluency. The results suggest that (a) while explicit correction assisted accuracy, it negatively influenced fluency, and (b) while implicit correction seemed to assist fluency, it was not as effective as the effect of explicit correction on L2 accuracy. Further analyses indicated that the explicit correction group exhibited a large amount of monitoring behaviour on the immediate posttest, whereas the other two groups did not. The results are explained using an information-processing perspective of language performance and a knowledge proceduralization model of language development. The theoretical, empirical, and pedagogical implications are also discussed.



computer-mediated communication, corrective feedback, explicit correction, implicit feedback, recasts, videoconferencing, accuracy, fluency