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Approaches To Teaching EFL Writing

Feedback on paper has received a growing interest from SLA researchers because of its instrumental role in second language education. Literature suggests that as an important component of language, writing skill in a second language can greatly reap the benefits of teachers' comments particularly in the form of written feedback on learners' written products. Previous research has investigated the role of teachers' corrective feedback on learners' written assignments (e. g. , Ferris & Roberts 2001, Ferris 2004; Harmer, 2001) and learners' expectations on teachers' error correction in their written work (e. g. , Lee, 2009; Nunan 1999; Williams, 2001). These studies suggest that for improvement of learners' writing skills in another language teacher feedback is indispensable.

With this at heart, this chapter discusses the value of feedback in development of EFL learners' writing skills in tandem with key issues and previous studies related to corrective feedback in the literature. It first discusses the type of writing as one of the four main skills in language acquisition/learning (i. e. , listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and common approaches undertaken to teaching writing in EFL contexts. After that it discusses what feedback entails and identifies different kinds of error correction accompanied by a discussion of the role of feedback in EFL education in classroom setting. Finally, this chapter summarizes and concludes the literature review which provides insights into understanding better feedback practices in EFL classrooms.

What is Writing?

For any study that involves investigation of learners' written work, it appears necessary to establish a working definition of writing. Numerous assumptions and definitions have been proposed to specify the idea of "writing" in the literature. Customarily, writing identifies a couple of noticeable signs representing elements of a language that are arranged systematically. This system is known as writing system of the language. Coulmas (2003) defines writing as a "group of noticeable or tactile signs used to represent unit of language in a systematic way, with the goal of recording messages which can be retrieved by everyone who knows the language involved and the rules by virtue of which its units are encoded in the writing system. Bryne (1979) views writing as transforming our thoughts into language; an extremely complex skill that will require both physical and mental activity for writer. Bryne (1979) further notes that writing is the last and perhaps most difficult skill learners learn if indeed they ever do. While these definitions provide an understanding of the nature of 'writing' and its qualities, what is obvious is the actual fact that writing is a complex and demanding process that is difficult to master particularly for individuals who want to create accurate and precise bits of writing in another language.

Among various reasons cited for difficulties related to writing, Bryne (1991) suggests three main causes that make writing an arduous task. The first, that he calls psychological problem, is caused consequently of lack of interaction and feedback between the reader and the writer. Consequently, to tackle this kind of problems writers rely to a great extent to their readers' feedback and analysis of the written product. Understanding this problem is of importance for language learners to improve their writing given that they need to take into consideration their audience's likes and dislikes. The next complexity is language related; that is, lack of satisfactory linguistic knowledge prevents us from fully monitoring everything we plan to say. This implies that linguistic competence in dominantly instrumental in developing writing skills. The third problem is cognitive, whose causes can be linked it instructional inadequacies. This emphasizes the role of writing courses in framing learners' writing abilities as well as language teachers' central roles as providers of appropriate input and feedback in such courses. Therefore, in light of the short review on the nature of writing task and what factors might influence a second language learners' attainment of this skill, it could be inferred that teaching writing can be informed by the teachers' perspectives towards such a practice in instructional settings. To help expand illustrate this point, the next section presents two of the most common methods to teaching writing in another language.

Approaches To Teaching EFL Writing

Writing as a Product

The first approach to teaching writing, which includes been known as traditional approach, is product approach, which targets the final product, the coherent and the error-free text (Nunan, 1999). This process has been practiced widely because the 1950s well into 1970s. Britton (1996:30) noted that product approach emphasized "correct usage, correct grammar and correct spelling" in the language which it stressed overwhelming attention toward "topic sentence, the many ways of developing the paragraph and the holy trinity of unity, coherence" and other aspects of writing.

Additionally, in this approach, composing is mainly viewed as a linear process that predictably starts with a topic selection to pre-writing activities, accompanied by actual writing and editing. The teacher only talks about the paper when it's done.

Selection of topic

Pre-writing activities


Rewriting, editing, proofreading

Figure 1: Process Line (Product Approach)

There are basically two main concerns with the product approach: the written product, and the grammatical accuracy. The emphasis on written product is clear in the actual fact that the teacher only responds to the composition once it is finished, and not before or although it is in progress. According to Jordan (1997:11), through the practice of product approach, "a model is provided with various exercises undertaken" for learners to have the ability to internalize the recommended patterns. Then, learners are "required to product similar or parallel text". Nunan (1999) mentioned that the composing process in the original approach is viewed as linear process. It proceeds systematically from the look or prewriting stages, to composing stage, to the revising stage (usually only copy-editing), and the ultimate draft stage, with the writer progressing from one stage to the next without backtracking. The piece of writing handed in by the learners is the final text and is meant to be his/her best good article where further revision in unnecessary. The feedback and correction made on the texts by the teachers wouldn't normally make a difference at this time. The focus of the approach is on the ultimate, the coherent, error-free text, thus additionally it is known as the product oriented approach (Nunan 1999).

As such, looking as of this direct effect, the merchandise approach does not appear to fulfill the true nature of writing. It stops short at considering writing being a skill by itself, not just a manner to attain linguistic competence. It really is lacking in conditions of interaction between the teacher and the text, where teachers will only start to see the final product, being unsure of how it was developed. Lastly, as it assumes that writing is a linear process which learners know just what to create about in their writing, it fails to consider how learners develop their ideas and meaning.

Writing as a Process

The second approach of teaching writing that has been dominant within the recent years and is against traditional ways of teaching writing is process approach. The predominance of process approach has given rise to the role of feedback as an essential component of writing courses. The idea of writing as process was introduced to EFL tests by Zamel (1976), who argued that advanced EFL writers act like L1 writers and can reap the benefits of instruction emphasizing the process of writing. As opposed to the view of writing as a reproduction of previously learned syntactic or discourse structures, the process-based approach emphasized the view of writing as a process of developing organization as well as meaning. In light of the view, invention strategies, multiple drafts, and formative feedback from by the teacher and/or the peers are also considered important parts of writing instruction in EFL writing classrooms.

A research conducted by Zamel (1983) has revealed that composing is a non-linear, exploratory, and generative process whereby writers discover and reformulate their ideas i. e. , writers often backtrack and revise as soon as they start till they finish the final draft. Writers go back and forth from one stage to some other is a non-systematic way. Written texts under this process aren't treated as your final and fixed product but as part of complex process, which is recursive. There would be many drafts written by the learners on a single topic and teachers would response to every draft to be able to assist in improving their writing and finally achieving the best written piece. The complete process start by the learners writing their first draft and submitting later with their teacher for feedback. After writing their feedback on the learners' essays, the teacher returns them to the learners. The learners write another draft by firmly taking into consideration teachers' feedback. The process then is repeated with draft heading back and forth between your teacher and the learners. If a learner's draft continues to be not satisfactory to both the learner himself/herself and the learners draft would be repeat. That means the excess draft would be the final little bit of learners' writing to be submitted to the teacher. Hence, what is evident here is that in traditional approach (i. e. , product approach) response is given once, whereas in the process approach, responses would be given in many drafts. The intention is to develop learners' confidence and also slowly attain the best piece of writing.

In this process, the key concern of the teacher is to help learners develop their ideas, therefore, throughout the sooner writing stages; the teacher would be stressing more on content. Nunan (1999) notes that the teacher focuses less on a perfect final draft product than the development of successive drafts of your text. He further states that the focus in the beginning is on quantity rather than quality, and writers are encouraged to get their ideas onto paper without worrying too much about formal correctness in the original stages. Because of this, the original way of responding to a composition wouldn't normally be suitable to the process writing approach. In the same token, Nunan (2001) obviously states how completely different the "process" approach is from the traditional product-oriented approach. He contends that whereas the merchandise approach targets writing tasks in which the learner imitates, copies and transforms teacher supplied models, the procedure approach targets the steps involved in creating a bit of work. The primary goal of product writing is then an error-free coherent text while process writing permits the actual fact that no text can be perfect, but a writer are certain to get nearer to perfection by producing, reflecting on, discussing and reworking successive drafts of any text. In sum, this body of literature indicates that that a lot of scholar nowadays advocate the process method of teaching and learning writing, as well as perhaps most of them would agree on this important point that: good product is determined by good process.

What is Feedback?

The term 'feedback" in this review and incidentally in this study embraces the notions of "correction", "marking", "evaluation" and "responding". It includes what Diab (2006) terms as "correction feedback" which refers to the editing type and "evaluative feedback" with regards to the judging type. In place, the term "feedback" in this study refers to any "information provided to learners about the appropriateness of these performance or the general accuracy of these answers" (Diab 2006). As these definitions imply, the notion of feedback on writing was traditionally understood as "error corrections" teachers designed to learners' writings. Hence, a brief review of the corrections customarily provided on learners' writing errors is to be able within the next section.

Error Correction

When learners have completed their written assignments, teachers are anticipated to improve them. The corrections then serve to help the learners' language development by showing where their knowledge is lacking. Truscott (1996) defined error correction as the "correction of grammatical errors for the intended purpose of improving a learner's ability to create accurately" (329). This definition can be broadened to include lexical errors, including word choice, word form, capitalization, and typing conventions (Truscott, 1996). However, in conditions of second language writing, this definition targets the mechanical and form-focused areas of writing and showing little concern for the organizational types of corrections made by the teachers. Thus, error correction should cover feedback on both linguistic and non-linguistic skills of writing. Non-linguistic features could include instructions on paragraph development, topic string (consistent links throughout the text to relate all parts to the topic), suitable transitions between paragraphs, inclusion of preambles and signposts to raise the overall readability of the written work.

Thus, these concepts indicate the extensiveness of the scope of error correction indicating its essential role in developing learner writing in another language. Learners have a mental picture of how they think a certain grammar rule works, and the corrections should help learners to adapt that picture when they are mistaken (Krashen & Terell, 1985:177). Many teachers check out learners' errors as part of learning process. But how do we realize the extent to which we can let errors recover independently? What types of errors should be given more focus on? Therefore, while providing corrections on learners' assignments several essential factors should be taken into account.

Hendrickson (1980) arguing that simply providing all the correct forms in learners' imperfect sentences can be an ordeal that may be frustrating to teachers outlines four critical learner factors that have to be considered in error correction. First, one must be aware of learners' purpose and goals for communicating in writing. Second, the teacher must look at the learners' proficiency in the mark language at any moment. The 3rd critical factor is the teacher's awareness or error types and frequencies as well as how these aspects relate to the learners' goals. The final and essentially the most critical factor is the learners' attitudes towards the nature of correction.

Feedback, whether it is given through corrections or comments, has the reason for supporting learners' learning. Race (2005:95) cites four purposes for feedback: (1) It will help learners to seem sensible of the work in some way, (2) It will clarify the necessity of learning by showing the learners what they must be trying to achieve; what the results of their work should look like, (3) Its should enhance learners' willingness to learn, and lastly yet importantly, (4) Feedback should motivate the learners to develop their skills.

What becomes evident from the above mentioned aims is the fact that feedback is highly instrumental in assisting language learners enhance their degree of awareness in learning by making as less mistakes as it can be. At the bottom of the reasoning is the essential belief that by making the learners alert to the error they make and by getting them to do something on those errors for some reason, then it is believed that the learners will assimilate the mistakes and finally not make them in future. In other words, correction is closely associated with language acquisition and particularly to the thought of accurately acquiring the language. This statement itself is making sweeping statements about from the quality of the feedback to the power for learners to obtain language through the feedback you can expect them. However, it seems to be the heart of why we do provide feedback. Indeed you can argue that institutions and learners demand feedback and that is why we offer it, but even these two groups fundamentally think that correction in some way leads to language acquisition and demand it because of this.

Writers such as Ashwell (2001) have pointed out that with the increased importance of the writing process there could be other reasons for including feedback and these include bettering the "communicative effectiveness" of a given written piece. Quite simply we correct learners and guide learners so that the written piece they eventually produce communicates their ideas as effectively as it can be. This is linked nearer to feedback that looks at the content of an written piece rather than the grammatical forms within it. He also points out an additional reason behind correcting learners work is merely because "formal accuracy of an written piece matters" and that folks generally are much less accepting of mistakes in written pieces.

Having looked at the nature of the concept of feedback, what seems to be worth focusing on in the classroom setting is the appropriateness of the type of feedback provided for several purposes and for certain recipients. That is, teachers should use appropriate written feedback to be able to get effective learners' reaction. This undergoes motivating learners using their teacher's written feedback. You will discover various kinds of writing feedback and there are different types of learners' reactions. Since every learner has his / her own private attributes, the kind of teachers' written feedback given to learners will possibly affect learners' state positively or negatively. Accordingly, it is central to look at these different types of teaches' written feedback and their influence on learners' attainments.

Types of Written Feedback

Ellis (2009) in his article titled "A typology of written corrective feedback types" suggests a number of feedback types for correcting learners' written work. He illustrates the types of feedback by examining the many options (both familiar and less familiar) from studies of written feedback which may have examined different options of feedback at this point. Ellis (2009) outlines six main options for providing written corrective feedback. This classification is also adopted to identify the types of feedback in this study. Ellis has categorized the various types of written corrective feedback into six major categories (see Table 2. 1).

Table 2. 1 Types of Written Corrective Feedback (adopted from Ellis, 2009)

Written corrective feedback type


Direct CF

This occurs when the correct form is given in place of an incorrect form. It's the direct correction of error.

Indirect CF

1) Indicating only

2) Indicating the precise location

Indirect CF occurs when an error is indicated but the correct form is not given. Ellis

identifies two types of indirect CF:

1) Indicating only is when an error is noted, such as in the margin, but the exact location is not provided.

2) Indicating the precise location is when the error is underlined or given specific reference.


1) Error codes

2) Brief grammatical description

Metalinguistic feedback occurs when the writer is given a linguistic clue of the error. This can

take two forms:

1) The usage of abbreviations or error codes

2) A short grammatical explanation

usually given in the bottom of the text

or on an attached form

The focus of the feedback

1) Focused

2) Unfocused

Feedback can take a number of forms in the way it is given, such as the level of focus.

1) Focused feedback occurs when a limited volume of language features are concentrated on.

2) Unfocused feedback occurs when many or all language features are addressed in the feedback.


Electronic feedback occurs via computer mediated methods whenever a hyperlink can be used to indicate an error has occurred.


Reformulation occurs whenever a first language user rewrites or reformulates the targeted second language learner's text.

Due to the significance of Ellis's (2009) classification of feedback types in informing the analysis of the info and providing insights into this study the most crucial feedback types outlined in the proposed scheme will be illustrated in the preceding sections.

Direct Versus Indirect Feedback

A first distinction in Ellis's (2009) classification is made between direct and indirect feedback. Direct feedback identifies highlighting the errors and providing the correct forms to the learners. That's, the right form is given instead of an incorrect form. Ellis (2009) states that direct feedback has advantage because it will explicit guidance for the learners about how exactly to correct their errors. Similarly, Bartram and Walton, (1991: 84) mentioned that "direct corrective feedback, is implemented through underlining the errors and providing the right forms in the learners' written work". Examples (1) and (2) below illustrate the direct and indirect types of feedback respectively.


at is health

Sleeping late in night are very bad for our heelth and brain.

As demonstrated in example (1), direct feedback can be provided by indication of the errors accompanied with their correct forms and explanations while in case there is indirect corrective feedback, learners' errors can be indicated by underlining the errors without any explanation or correcting it. That is can be carried out by indicating where errors are located only. Example (2) shows indirect feedback.


Sleeping late in night are incredibly bad for our heelth and brain.

Concurring with Ellis (2009), Ferris and Roberts (2001) claim that direct corrective feedback is preferable to indirect corrective feedback with learners/writers of low degrees of proficiency, but conversely, Hedge (2000) argues that "the dangers of its spoon-feeding effect are that learners overlook their own role in the correction process and could become passive". This is because learners can just mechanically copy the ready-made correction without determining the reasons. To make full use of the features of direct feedback and indirect feedback and avoid their disadvantages, teachers can consider combining them together.

Focused Versus Unfocused Feedback

A second distinction in feedback typology is manufactured between focused and unfocused corrective feedback. Ellis (2009) states that in focused corrective feedback much attention is given using one or two types of error which assists the learner to examine several corrections on a single kind of error. In unfocused corrective feedback, on the other hand, the learner or the learner is asked to activate in different kind of errors, which may confuse the learner focusing on the error. Focused and unfocused correction feedback can also involve all the types of feedback such as direct, indirect, metalinguistic, focused versus unfocused and electronic corrective feedback (Ellis, ibid).

Written corrective feedback studies (e. g. , Bitchener, Young & Cameron, 2005; Truscott, 2009; Sheen, 2007) suggest that when written corrective feedback is targeted chances are to be more effective in promoting acquisition, than unfocused corrective feedback. Sheen (2007), for example, in his study using focused corrective feedback found that such approach is effective to advertise more accurate language use.

In an identical vein, Sheen at el. 's (2009) studied six intact language classrooms in a pre-academic non-credit EFL program in a US college. The researchers seem to be more centered on two types of written correction (focused and unfocused) plus they attemptedto investigate the consequences in using use adult EFL learners' accurate use of English articles, use of grammatical features other than that which is the focus of the correction and the effect for written narrative tasks without error correction on the accurate use of grammatical features besides that which is the focus of the correction. The results confirmed the potency of unfocused corrective feedback on learning English articles. So, the findings from these studies recommend the teachers to select focused feedback with a couple of errors types at one time rather than selecting way too many types of errors.

The Role Of Written Feedback In EFL Development

The importance of feedback lies in quality, not frequency. There are some important aspects to consider before feedback is given. First, if the provided feedback takes the learners' development into consideration since demonstrating their progress through feedback can create extra motivation to work more efficiently. Motivation can be an important part of feedback and lack of enough motivation can lower learners' self-esteem. Giving feedback should be about motivating learners and at the same time concentrate on what they have to improve. That is a difficult balance to keep (Hyland & Hyland, 2001:187). So, the teacher must emphasize the efforts the learners made; that is highlighting the learners' effort as opposed to the outcome or the effect it has had on the teacher. There is a difference between "I see that you have worked very hard, good job!" and "I appreciate the effort you have done!" As the latter suggests that the work was done for the teacher, while the former focuses on the learners' effort. The learners should believe that they improve themselves, not for the teacher (Good and Brophy, 1994:147).

A second important aspect of feedback handles whether the given feedback is dependant on a conscious strategy or it is provided without the consistent pattern. This implies that teachers need to establish a consistent and conscious strategy in providing written feedback, so that learners become aware of the patterns of writing that is described constantly by the teacher.

However, another facet of feedback is necessary when tutors need to provide as various feedback as is possible. Only writing "Wow!" will not say much about the work the learners have completed. It is better to point out the parts that are impressive and explain why. Also, variation is essential because in case a teacher, for example, constantly writes "Good job!" the learners might not think it is genuine and disregard it (Good & Brophy, 1994:147). Inside the same token, as Harmer (2005) contends, there are more effective means of correcting than underlining, crossing-out and putting question marks in learners' written assignments. Keeping these points at heart could help to make feedback more ideal for the learners, and also more appreciated.

Variation can also be created through different ways of providing corrections on learners' works. For example, they could use selective correction which means not correcting every mistake the learners make. For selective corrections, the learners must find out before they start writing. If a teacher announces that, for example, only punctuation will be corrected, the learners might concentrate harder and make fewer mistakes in that area. Using correction symbols may be yet another way increasing variation and effectiveness of correcting. This reduces the quantity of red ink all around the essay, which often lowers the learners' motivation. Additionally, Harmer (2005:111) mentions reformulation, meaning the teacher shows how a particular sentence can be formulated in another way. That allows the learner to compare the correct version with an incorrect one. Moreover, discussing a dictionary in the feedback is yet another way to make learners learn. They have to look something up with a purpose in mind. In this way, they learn as they correct. For example, if a blunder is difficult to explain, teachers can write "ask me" next to it so they can clarify the mistake to the learner face-to-face.

The fourth and final point central to providing effective feedback is to note whether it is restricted to form or it provides insights in to the content as well. Gray (2004) suggests that effective feedback should concentrate on content, rather than form; check to see if the learners write fluently. Have they tried to use new words? Do they have the knowledge of going around the problems when their vocabulary is not considerable enough? You can find more aspects to check out than only grammar. Hence, it might be a misconception if teachers focus only on mechanical error correction instead of seeking excellence in the learners' writing development. With this in mind, the next section presents relevant issues in and appropriate methods of error correction on paper courses.

In sum, this brief review indicates that to be able to provide effective feedback, EFL teachers need to take into considerations different factors including learner motivation, teacher awareness of his/her feedback strategy, implementation of varied types of feedback, and inclusion of both form-focused and content-related corrections in their feedback. These methods of providing feedback can be contrasted to traditional practices of error correction that focused mainly on formal or grammatical areas of language.

Williams (2001) suggests two main shortcomings of traditional methods of correcting grammatical errors. First, correction of learners' errors has been found to be unclear and inconsistent when it deals with teacher's written feedback. Second, using the traditional methods, learners simply copy their teacher's feedback correction and put it to use in their subsequent drafts. Most the learners do not take their teacher's written feedback into consideration and study those errors. Rewriting or copying the mistakes without recognizing the essence of the error will generate a passive action preventing learners to study from their mistake. Thus, giving the learners the right feedback will motivate them with their writing task in a fresh piece of writing.

2. 8 Research Into Types of Feedback on Learners' Writing

Feedback is merely one aspect of EFL education; the other little bit of an effective EFL learning programme would be feedback. Feedback occurs between teachers and learners in particular cultural, institutional, and inter-personal contexts, and learner responses are influenced by different aspects of the context (Lee, 2009). Within the context of EFL education, Lee (2009) examined learner perspectives on teacher feedback, wherein it's been established that in EFL education feedback anchored on the learner's personality and personal needs are perceived to be more effective. Hence, the perception of learners with regard to feedback mechanisms often is determined by the manner by which the EFL teacher conducts both assessment and feedback mechanisms.

In another study, Diab (2005) examined the teacher preferences with regard to error correction and feedback. Through a thorough overview of literature, Diab (ibid) could observe that more often than not, foreign language learners have different responses to feedbacks regarding pronunciation, error correction, and the importance directed at grammar and vocabulary are often not the same as that of their tutors. Furthermore, Diab (2005) also indicted in his article that spanish learners are more responsive to corrective feedback, both written and spoken than tutors. That is a good point raised in the sense that effort for an effective EFL programme should not only emanate from the willingness of the learners to learn but also in the ability of the tutors to be efficient and effective in performing their functions.

Hyland (2003) in her article supported the observations raised by both Diab (2005) and Lee (2009), particularly the emphasis given on the engagement of both learner and teacher in the feedback process. Overall, Hyland (2003) focused on the written feedback given by teachers to EFL learners to be able to market writing development. Under these conditions, the positive attribute of Hyland's (ibid) article is the fact that it also determined the problems with traditional feedback mechanisms such as feedback centered on grammar correction is often discouraging and unhelpful to EFL learners.

The justification behind this is the fact that EFL tutors often lack the necessary skills to describe the learner's issues while the learners often lack the abilities to understand the utilization of suck feedback. Another positive attribute of Hyland's (2003) study is that she supported her assertions with empirical data as well as relevant literature from other scholars who explored the domain of feedback and EFL education. For the study gap in the study, after identifying both the positive and the negative attributes of feedback in EFL education, Hyland (2003) had not been in a position to identify the way the strengths of using feedback can be utilised to overcome its detrimental aspects.

The study created by Nabei and Swain (2002) was conducted in the context of Japanese schools and the findings indicate that teacher feedbacks are often infrequent under EFL thus hindering the interactive element of EFL learning, which leads to slow progress for the learners. Nabei and Swain (2002) explored the effect of recast feedback in EFL classroom with regards to the learner's responsiveness, awareness and knowledge of the conditions of the secondary language being shown. The good thing about the study is the fact that it relied over a case study as its primary research design which is indicative of the facts that are necessary in designing the competent EFL education programmes.

Ellis at el. (2008) were conducted their study to see how corrective feedback help Japanese learners of English to be more accurate in the utilization of the English writing and to see the difference in the result of focused and unfocused corrective feedback directed at using the indefinite and definite articles to express first and second mention. This study indicates that written corrective feedback is effective, at least where English articles are concerned, and thus strengthens the case for teachers providing written corrective feedback. However, Elli at el (2008) did not show a definite difference in the effect of corrective feedback between focused and unfocused groups.

However, a few of researchers have distinguished between focused and unfocused corrective feedback. Sheen at el. , (2009) conducted their study at a US college or university in the Washington from six intact language classrooms in a pre-academic non-credit EFL program. the researchers appear to be more focused on two types of written correction (focused and unfocused) plus they attempt to investigate the consequences in using use adult EFL learners' accurate use of English articles, use of grammatical features other than that which is the focus of the correction and the result for written narrative tasks without error correction on the accurate use of grammatical features other than that which is the focus of the correction. Sheen at el. (2009) in their study shown that the focused corrective feedback group outperformed the control group whereas the unfocused corrective feedback group didn't. These results suggest that focused corrective feedback is more effective than unfocused corrective feedback on the learning of English articles.

Furthermore, in examining the effect of focused written feedback provided by the teachers, Sheen (2007) conducted a report to identify how the focused written feedback with and without metalinguistic feedback has effect to boost learners' writing skills and the actual language aptitude toward EFL learners' acquisition of articles. In addition, the researcher looks to research the learners' ability to comprehend the feedback. This study attempt to investigate the effects of just written corrections on intermediate EFL learners' use of English articles in narratives writing essays. The study concluded with very clear results. It reported that the effects of the corrective feedback were evident in statistically significant gains on all three tests in comparison to a control group. This study, then, provides clear evidence that the written correction can have a positive influence on learners' ability to work with articles accurately and the learners have a higher level of language analytic ability benefited more from both types of corrective feedback. Quite simply, the primary question in this study was whether the feedback has effectiveness in learners' writing accuracy and simply the answer was "yes" based on its results.

In the analysis carried out by Bitchener, Young, & Cameron (2005), it centered on the effects of direct written corrective feedback and combine with feedback in five-minute oral conferences with individual writers on three types of error (prepositions, days gone by simple and the definite article). This study assessed the result of different types of feedback by using three treatment groups predicated on their choice in study whether is full-time class for 20 hours weekly, part time class for 10 hours per week or part time class for 4 hours weekly. The study found a significant effect for the blend of written and conference feedback on accuracy levels in the use of days gone by simple tense and the definite article in new pieces of writing but no overall effect on accuracy improvement for feedback types when the three error categories were considered as a single group. In other words, the researchers discovered that the corrective feedback resulted in improved accuracy on both use of past simple and articles, but not prepositions more than a 12-week period. In addition, they clime that in the process of acquiring new linguistic forms, may perform them with accuracy in a single case but neglect to do etc other similar cases. However, the difference in this study with others studies was that this study testifies to the joint aftereffect of written and oral corrective feedback on learners' writing.

Bitchener and Knoch (2009), conducted their study to answer the central research question which is, does accuracy in the utilization of two functions of the English article system improve over ten-month period because of this of written corrective feedback? Therefore, this study investigated the effect of targeting two functional uses of the English article system: the referential indefinite article 'a' for discussing something the first time (first mention) and the referential definite article 'the' for referring to something already mentioned (subsequent mention). This research used writing essay as instrument to see the learners' accuracy in using two English article (a, the) during five times. Each of the five bits of writing, the learners required a description of what was happening in a given picture plus they have thirty minutes to complete each description. As a result, we can say the Bitchener and Knoch (2009) concluded clear result which that the Learners who received written corrective feedback outperformed those who received no feedback in all four post-tests even though all groups developed differently over time. The enduring effect on accuracy on the ten-month period is clear proof the prospect of focused written corrective feedback to help learners acquire features of another language.

Chandler (2003) showed that teacher' feedback on learners' grammatical and lexical errors resulted in a substantial improvement in both accuracy and fluency in writing of the same type above the same semester.

However, Ferris (2003) reported that teachers should provide feedback about a variety of writing issues based on the needs of the learners, the stage of the text, the kind of the assignment and largely on the expectation of the learners.

From the title "A typology of corrective feedback types" we can realize that the researcher focused on clarifying the various types of corrective feedback. Ellis (2009) in his study attempts to provide a full picture in regards to a typology of corrective feedback which is open to teachers and researchers. The researcher distinguishes the typology of corrective feedback into two sets that are '1" techniques or approaches for providing feedback such ad direct, indirect or metalinguistic and '2' the learners' response to feedback such as, revision and correction.

Ellis (2009) built his study, predicated on what Hyland and Hyland 2006 have been said about feedback. They said "while feedback is a central aspect of EFLwriting programs around the world, the study literature is not equivocally positive about its role in EFL development, and teachers often have a feeling they are not making use of its full potential"(Hyland & Hyland, 2006: 83). Therefore, Ellis (2009) prefer to make a start on this agenda by examining the many options (both familiar and less familiar) for correcting learners' written work. The researcher focused on one kind of correction which is the correction of linguistic errors and considers studies that contain examined the several options via illustrating the way they have been investigated. This research made a very clear literature review for the studies which were done in a typology of options for correcting linguistic errors by scheduling these studies in table. The table consists of three columns. The first column provided the type of corrective feedback that the pervious researchers have examined, and the next provided the reason or description of every type, and the third column provided the name of the researchers and the year' conducted the study.

Ellis (2009) figured, there can be an obvious need for carefully designed studies to further investigate the effects of written CF generally speaking and of different kinds of CF. A typology such as the one outlined in his article offers a classification of 1 of the key variables in written CF studies the kind of CF. It makes it easy for researchers to conduct research that systematically examines the result of distinct types and combinations of CF.

Based on the fact that revision plays a central role in good writing. Truscott & Yi-ping (2008) conducted their study to look at the effects of error correction during the revision process. The researchers try to make a comparison between the first and second draft of the learners writing to see if the learner's improvement success during revision or not. To research its purpose, this study use writing narrative essay for both group. However the first group "underline group" had received their errors underlined and used this feedback in the revision task as the other group "control group" did the same task without feedback. As a result, Truscott & Yi-ping figured their finding concur that correction help learners reduce their error on the writing which they receive the correction. Also, they figured learners who had received correction on narrative 1 and for that reason were more successful in reducing their errors during revision didn't change from the learners who had received no correction and for that reason did not perform as well on the revision. In other hand, this study found that, no relation between success on the revision task and learning as measured by performance on a fresh writing task.

Researchers such as Ferris, 1995 Frantzen and Rissel 1987 and Likei, 1991 reveal that in situation where revision is the main element of the pedagogy, learners may remain in doubt in what to do with expert's response and exactly how to incorporate it to their revision process. The problem whereby learners cannot understand and use teachers' feedback in their revisions usually exist in a EFL writing classroom. Researchers suck as Zamel (1983), Cohen (1987) and Raimes (1987) attribute this issue in a part to writing teacher who give attention to from without introducing the actual ideas and meaning conveyed in the text.

In addition, other researcher (Leki, 1990) mention that the situation is further highlighted when writing teachers themselves tend to be unsure of the greatest way to give written feedback with their learners. Thus it can be seen that the learners' expectations of the types of teacher feedback must maintain matching with the types of feedback actually distributed by writing teachers. If this situation can be made to exist in EFL classroom, then learners able to notice understand and utilize experts' feedback in their writing and revision strategies.


This research will therefore not be successful without the assistance of earlier researchers that contain been done in the area of teachers, feedback on learners writing. These studies are very important in supporting this particular study. Furthermore, this section describes two types of feedback that are focused and unfocused corrective feedback on EFL learners and theoretical framework of the study. The literature review shows that variations do exist in the effect of feedback between the two different groups (focused and unfocused), where each group has different results. Apparently, the majority of the literature shows that focused corrective feedback has more impact in enhancing the learners' writing than unfocused among EFL learners.

From the literature review it is clear that focused and unfocused corrective feedback play important role in writing achievement in EFL learners. Thus, the researcher realizes this need to handle this study to fill in the gap in the research of focused and unfocused feedback where is no empirical study conducted in Libyan or Arabic region as EFL learners by Arabic researchers on corrective feedback. It is hoped that study will be able to confirm or refute the finding presented in the review.

The next chapter presents the methodology used to answer the study questions led by the objectives of the analysis.

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