Goo, Jaemyung and Mackey, Alison (2013) The case against the case against recasts. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35 (1). pp. 127-165. ISSN 0272-2631
In the previous 20 years, more than 60 studies have been carried out within the input and interaction approach to SLA (Long, 2007; Mackey 2012), many of which have found positive associations between different types of recasts and the learning of a range of linguistic forms for a number of different second languages (L2s), in different learning contexts, with adults and with children. However, the following claims also appear: (a) recasts are not effective, (b) recasts are effective only in laboratories and not in classrooms, and (c) other types of feedback are more effective when compared with recasts. We demonstrate important methodological and interpretative problems in the small number of studies on which these negative claims are based, including issues with (a) modified output opportunities, (b) single-versus-multiple comparisons, (c) form-focused instruction, (d) prior knowledge, and (e) out-of-experiment exposure. We conclude by suggesting that making a case against recasts is neither convincing nor useful for advancing the field and that more triangulated approaches to research on all types of corrective feedback, employing varied and rigorous methodological designs, are necessary to further our understanding of the role of corrective feedback in L2 learning.
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