The Impact of Recasts on the Syntactic Accuracy of Iranian EFL University Students’ Oral Discourse

Abstract

Among the major issues raised by classroom SLA researchers is the debate on the degree to which teacher’s or learner’s attention should be directed to linguistic features. However, one of the relevant variables in corrective feedback studies which seem to be less operationalized is the differential impact of different types of feedback on the accuracy of the oral performance of the participants. The merits of recasts as one type of feedback commonly used in the classroom have turned to be a controversial issue. The present study examined the impact of recasts in comparison to no-recast on the syntactic accuracy of Iranian EFL university students’ oral discourse. One hundred and nine male and female students majoring in English Language Translation at Islamic Azad University (Central Tehran Branch) took part in the study. The participants were attending the listening and speaking classes. Ten sessions were devoted to the treatment of the experimental group (n=54) who received recasts as feedback to syntactic errors. The control group (n=55), received no recast. A posttest was administered in the 12th session. The teachers introduced a topic and the participants were required to talk about it in 60 seconds. A total of 6540 seconds of the participants’ oral performance were observed and recorded. Analysis of individual participants’ oral data revealed that the recast group outperformed the no-recast group. In other words, recasts were effective in reducing the frequency of syntactic errors of participants’ oral discourse

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