Written corrective feedback in the teaching of French in Québec: the effect of error type, learner profile, learning context and level of education



This research is on an unprecedented scale:

it is the first study to give a detailed comparative portrait of actual feedback practices used by French teachers according to different moderating variables: category of error (syntax, grammatical spelling, lexical spelling, lexical), student profile (beginner, advanced, with learning disabilities), context (L1, L2) and level of education (elementary, secondary or adult education). A total of 300 students' texts were meticulously analyzed using a detailed error typology, a taxonomy of teacher feedback techniques and a taxonomy of error revision, all adapted from earlier works.

This research promises to have a major impact on the teaching of French in Québec.

The project allowed us to draw two major conclusions. First, error coding—the most commonly used indirect feedback technique, but not necessarily the most popular with students—does not lead to satisfactory text revision. Second, it appears that, whatever the feedback technique used, we cannot expect satisfactory results if students do not produce written work more than once per term and if they do not systematically revise their texts following the corrective feedback of their teacher.

This research promises to have a major impact on the teaching of French in Québec. It calls into question the teaching practices and the professional and didactic training of French teachers, particularly regarding syntax, feedback practices and language teaching through writing. It also opens the way for many future publications.

Main researcher

Ahlem Ammar, Université de Montréal

Summary

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: October 2015