Document Type : Research Paper


English Language and Literature Department, University of Mazandaran, Iran


The timing of corrective feedback (CF) provision has been a controversial issue in SLA research. Despite widespread research, there is still disagreement on whether the erroneous structures should be addressed immediately or at a delayed time after task completion. This study investigates the comparative effects of immediate and delayed feedback on developing subject-verb (s-v) agreement by Iranian EFL learners. To this end, 28 university students were divided into immediate (n=14) and delayed (n=14) CF groups after the administration of the Oxford Placement Test. The study involved a pre-test, three treatment sessions and a post-test. The two feedback groups received treatments followed by either immediate feedback provided after task completion or delayed feedback delivered after 3 days of task completion. The tests and treatments contained various activities including multiple-choice, cloze, fill-in-the-blanks and picture description task. The results of the analysis of test scores on the pre- and post-tests were indicative of the outperformance of the immediate CF group, implying that the immediate feedback may be more beneficial for developing s-v agreement accuracy than delayed feedback. The findings of this investigation can bear efficient implications for language teachers and researchers.


Main Subjects

Amaral, L. A., & Meurers, D. (2011). On using intelligent computer-assisted language learning in real-life foreign language teaching and learning. ReCALL, 23(1), 4-24.
Anderson, J. R. (1982). Acquisition of cognitive skill. Psychological Review, 89(4), 369.
Arroyo, D. C., & Yilmaz, Y. (2018). An open for replication study: The role of feedback timing in synchronous computer‐mediated communication. Language Learning, 68(4), 942-972.
Bangert-Drowns, R. L., Kulik, C.-L. C., Kulik, J. A., & Morgan, M. (1991). The instructional effect of feedback in test-like events. Review of Educational Research, 61(2), 213-238.
Bartram, M., & Walt, R. (1991). Mistake management: A positive approach for language teachers.
Butler, A. C., Karpicke, J. D., &Roediger III, H. L. (2007). The effect of type and timing of feedback on learning from multiple-choice tests. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 13(4), 273.
Cepeda, N. J., Pashler, H., Vul, E., Wixted, J. T., & Rohrer, D. (2006). Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 354–380.
Clariana, R. B., Wagner, D., &Roher Murphy, L. C. (2000). Applying a connectionist description of feedback timing. Educational Technology Research & Development, 48(3), 5–22.
Cohen J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences: Routledge Academic
Doughty, C. J. (2001). Cognitive underpinnings of focus on form. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 206–257). Cambridge University Press.
Deykeyser, R.M. (1998). Beyond focus on form: Cognitive perspectives on learning and practicing second language grammar in C. Doughty and J. Williams (eds).
DeKeyser, R. (Ed.). (2007). Practice in a second language: Perspectives from applied linguistics and cognitive psychology. Cambridge University Press.
Dreyfus, H. L., & Dreyfus, S. E. (1986). From Socrates to expert systems: The limits of calculative rationality. Philosophy and technology II: Information technology and computers in theory and practice, 111-130.
Edge, J. (1989). Mistakes and correction. Longman
Ellis, R. (2009). Corrective feedback and teacher development. L2 Journal, 1(1), 23-37.
Ellis, R., Loewen, S., &Erlam, R. (2006). Implicit and explicit corrective feedback and the acquisition of L2 grammar. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28(2), 339-368
Fu, M., & Li, S. (2022). The effects of immediate and delayed corrective feedback on L2 development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 44(1), 2-34.
Goo, J., & Mackey, A. (2013). The case against the case against recasts. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35(1), 127-165.
Guzmán-Muñoz, F. J., & Johnson, A. (2008). Error feedback and the acquisition of geographical representations. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22(7), 979–995.
Harmer, J. (2001). The practice of English language teaching. Longman.
Hattie, J., &Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81–112.
Heift, T. (2010). Developing an intelligent language tutor. CALICO Journal, 27(3), 443–459.
Henshaw, F. (2011). Effect of feedback timing in SLA: A computer-assisted study on the
Spanish subjunctive. In C. Sanz& R. P. Leow (Eds.), Implicit and explicit language learning: Conditions, processes, and knowledge in SLA and bilingualism (pp. 98–113). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Hoshino, N., Dussias, P. E., & Kroll, J. F. (2010). Processing subject–verb agreement in a second language depends on proficiency. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13(2), 87-98.
J Schooler, L., & R Anderson, J. (1990). The disruptive potential of immediate feedback.
Kim, J. W., Ritter, F. E., &Koubek, R. J. (2013). An integrated theory for improved skill acquisition and retention in the three stages of learning. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 14(1), 22-37.
Kulik, J. A., &Kulik, C.-L. C. (1988). Timing of feedback and verbal learning. Review of Educational Research, 58(1), 79–97. DOI: 10.2307/1170349
Kulhavy, R. W., & Anderson, R. C. (1972). Delay-retention effect with multiple-choice tests. Journal of Educational Psychology, 63(5), 505.
Li, S., Zhu, Y., & Ellis, R. (2016). The effects of the timing of corrective feedback on the acquisition of a new linguistic structure. The Modern Language Journal, 100(1), 276-295.
Li, S. (2017). Student and teacher beliefs and attitudes about oral corrective feedback. In H. Nassaji & E. Kartchava (Eds.), Corrective feedback in second language teaching and learning: Research, theory, applications, implications (pp. 143–157). Routledge.
Li, S. (2020). What is the ideal time to provide corrective feedback? Replication of Li, Zhu & Ellis (2016) and Arroyo & Yilmaz (2018). Language Teaching, 53, 96–108.
Li, S., Ellis, R., & Kim, J. (2020). The influence of pre-task grammar instruction on L2 learning: An experimental study. Studies in English Education, 23, 831–857.
Long, M. H. (1996). The role of the linguistic environment in second language acquisition. In W. C. Ritchie & T.K. Bhatia (Eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 413-468). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Long, M. (1977). Teacher feedback on learner error. Mapping cognitions. In H. D. Brown, C. Yorio, & R. Cymes (Eds.), Teaching and learning English as a second language: Trends in research and practice (pp. 278–293). Washington, DC: TESOL.
Lavolette, E., Polio, C., &Kahng, J. M. (2013). The accuracy of computer-assisted feedback and students’ responses to it. Language, Learning & Technology, 19(2).
Lyster, R., Saito, K., & Sato, M. (2013). Oral corrective feedback in second language classrooms. Language teaching, 46(1), 1-40.
Lyster, R., &Ranta, L. (1997). Corrective feedback and learner uptake: Negotiation of form in communicative classrooms. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19(1), 37-66.
Nagata, N. (1999). The effectiveness of computer-assisted interactive glosses. Foreign Language
, 32(4), 469–479. DOI:10.1111/j.1944-9720.1999.tb00876.x
Nagata, N., & Swisher, M. (1995). A study of consciousness-raising by computer: The effect of metalinguistic feedback on second language learning. Foreign Language Annals, 28(3), 337–347.
Nakata, T., & Quinn, P. G. (2017). The timing of oral corrective feedback.InCorrective feedback in second language teaching and learning (pp. 35-47). Routledge.
Nassaji, H., & Swain, M. (2000). A Vygotskian perspective on corrective feedback in L2: The effect of random versus negotiated help on the learning of English articles. Language awareness, 9(1), 34-51.
Qi, D., Rajab, A., Haladin, N. A. B., Wang, W., & Fu, X. (2020). The effect of immediate and delayed feedback on the achievement of Chinese EFL learners on reading comprehension. European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 7(6), 476-491.
Quinn, P. (2014). Delayed versus immediate corrective feedback on orally produced passive errors in English (Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto).
Russell, J., &Spada, N. (2006). The effectiveness of corrective feedback for the acquisition of L2 grammar. In J. M. Norris & L. Ortega (Eds.), Synthesizing research on language learning and teaching (pp. 147–178). John Benjamins.
Saxton, M. (1997). The contrast theory of negative input. Journal of Child Language, 24(1),
139–161. Retrieved from
Saxton, M., Backley, P., &Gallaway, C. (2005). Negative input for grammatical errors: Effects after a lag of 12 weeks. Journal of Child Language, 32, 643–672. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000905006999
Salajegheh, S., Khomeijani Farahani, A. A., & Shahabi, H. (2022). The Role of Explicit Corrective Feedback Timing in Second Language Structure Accuracy. Journal of Language, Culture, and Translation, 4(2), 1-21.
Sauro, S. (2021). Computer-mediated corrective feedback and the development of L2 grammar. UMBC Education Department Collection.
Segaran, V. C., & Hashim, H. (2022). ‘More Online Quizzes, Please!’ The Effectiveness of Online Quiz Tools in Enhancing the Learning of Grammar among ESL Learners. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 12(1).
Schmidt, R. (2001). Attention. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 3–32). CUP
Shintani, N., & Aubrey, S. (2016). The effectiveness of synchronous and asynchronous written corrective feedback on grammatical accuracy in a computer‐mediated environment. The Modern Language Journal, 100(1), 296-319.
Shute, V. J. (2008). Focus on formative feedback. Review of Educational Research, 78(1), 153–189.
Swain, M. (1985). Communicative competence: Some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. In S. Gass& C. Madden (Eds.), Input in second language acquisition (pp. 235–253). Newbury House.
Van Ha, X., Nguyen, L. T., & Hung, B. P. (2021). Oral corrective feedback in English as a foreign language classrooms: A teaching and learning perspective. Heliyon, 7(7).