The Comparative Effect of Direct-only Correction and Direct Metalinguistic Correction on the Improvement of EFL Learners’ Writing Ability

Document Type : Research Paper


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This study aimed at comparing the impact of two types of teacher feedback on Iranian EFL learners’ writing ability and their verb tense consistency in L2 writing. Following the administration of a standardized language proficiency test (Preliminary English Test), sixty-two participants were selected and were randomly assigned to the control (direct-only correction) and experimental (direct metalinguistic correction) groups. The comparison of the groups on the pre-test observation confirmed the homogeneity of the subjects before the instruction. During the study, the control group (direct-only correction) received some feedback on the location of errors along with the correct form of errors. The experimental group (direct metalinguistic correction), however, received the same type of feedback plus metalinguistic comments explaining the reason behind the errors. After the treatment, both groups took a post and a delayed post-test. The results of the study showed that direct metalinguistic correction was more effective than direct-only correction in improving EFL learners’ writing ability. The study also showed that the effect of instruction lasted over time.