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Using dynamic written corrective feedback to improve pre-university ESL students' written accuracy

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Lavin, Charles
Klemp, Annette
Dec 17, 2013
English language--Written English--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers; English language--Writing--Study and teaching; English language--Errors of usage; Second language acquisition
Producing linguistically accurate writing is a major challenge for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, but it is an essential skill for their success in university-level classes and in their future professional careers. Unfortunately, for these students, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Second Language Acquisitions (SLA) experts have not ascertained one particular pedagogical approach or method that is a perfect solution to address this critical need. In fact, today's most prevalent writing instruction methodologies tend to emphasize the writing process and largely overlook the issue of written corrective feedback (WCF) as a means to improve second language (L2) writers' grammatical knowledge and their corresponding abilities to produce linguistically accurate writing. As a solution to this unbalanced equation in many ESL writing and grammar classrooms, I propose utilizing an innovative pedagogical methodology called dynamic WCF, which stresses the importance of providing manageable, meaningful, timely, and constant error correction. While it is unlikely that implementing dynamic WCF techniques into TESOL praxis will result in an all-encompassing revolution of L2 writing and grammar class syllabi, it seems particularly well-suited to be used as a supplementary teaching tool and should be added to the eclectic mix of means to facilitate SLA and help L2 learners improve their written accuracy. In this paper, I survey the relevant background information of L2 writing pedagogy and investigate the findings of the most current WCF research. I analyze the theoretical issues surrounding the provision of WCF and SLA and conclude that, with minor modifications depending on the teaching context, dynamic WCF techniques can be a valuable asset for helping students become more accurate writers. Lastly, I offer lesson plans for the practical application of dynamic WCF in university-level ESL writing and grammar classes.
Plan B Paper. 2013. Master of Arts-TESOL--University of Wisconsin-River Falls. English Department. 64 leaves. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 48-53).
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