Exploring the Impact of Unfocused Indirect and Direct Written Feedback on Iranian EFL Students' Implicit and Explicit Knowledge of Grammar

Document Type : Original Article


Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran


Although a great deal of research has been conducted on various aspects of implicit and explicit knowledge, very few research have examined how written corrective feedback (WCF) works on implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge. Inspired by this gap, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether the direct and indirect unfocused kinds of WCF can lead to an increase in the learning gains in terms of implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge. To that end, 90 participants selected from a statistical pool of 380 EFL learners in seven private English language institutes were assigned into two treatment groups and one control group via random matching technique to receive the intended treatment. Using MANCOVA and one-way ANCOVA statistical techniques, data related to two treatment groups and one control group were collected. The results showed that both types of direct and indirect unfocused WCF could increase the students’ implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge. The results also suggested that although both written feedbacks improved the learners' performance almost equally, the direct type of WCF was slightly more effective. The study concludes with implications for teachers regarding their use of appropriate types of written error correction.


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