The Role of Error Types and Feedback in Iranian EFL Classrooms

Ali Akbar Jabbari, Ali Mohammad Fazilatfar


To facilitate successful language learning, teachers need to establish positive affect among students yet also engage in the interactive confrontational activity of error correction (Magilow, 1999). To shed more light on the issue, this study aims at the investigation of the error types, corrective feedback moves, and learner uptake, i.e., responses to feedback in Iranian communicatively-oriented EFL classrooms. The database is drawn from transcripts of audio-recordings of the elementary and high intermediate classes of a language institute including almost 12 hours of interaction among the students and teachers. Following the analysis, the errors were coded as grammatical, lexical, phonological or unsolicited use of L1 (first language) and corrective feedback moves as explicit correction, recast, clarification request, metalinguistic clues, elicitation, or repetition. Moreover, the suggested breakdown for uptakes included student-generated repair, repetition, and needs repair. Grammatical errors were the most frequent error type in the entire database (50.5%); however, phonological (26%) and lexical errors (22%) had lower rank error type. Moreover, the results indicated an overwhelming tendency for the teachers to use recasts (50.5%) in spite of their complete ineffectiveness at eliciting student-generated repair. Repetition (96%), metalinguistic feedback (86%), elicitation (67.5%), and clarification request (44%) –the negotiation of form feedback moves- were instead supposed to fulfill this aim.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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