The Effects of Direct Corrective Feedback and Metalinguistic Explanation on EFL Learners’ Implicit and Explicit Knowledge of English Definite and Indefinite Articles

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD in Applied linguistics

2 Associate Professor


This study investigated the effects of two types of written feedback – direct corrective feedback (DCF) and metalinguistic explanation (ME) - on Iranian EFL learners’ implicit and explicit knowledge of English definite and indefinite articles. Assigned to three groups of DCF, ME, and control groups, the participants took four tests in three testing phases: pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest. Four testing instruments measured the two knowledge types: narrative writings, speeded dictation, untimed grammaticality judgment, and error correction tests. Results indicated that both treatments were effective in the immediate posttests. However, the ME proved to have longer lasting effects than the DCF as the improvement of both knowledge types were sustained after a three week period in the ME group. According to the obtained findings, it is argued that the description of the rules and the examples given explicitly in a ME handout might be more beneficial in promoting learners’ implicit and explicit knowledge of English articles than the DCF.


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