The Effect of Positive Evidence and Negative Feedback on EFL Learners’ Acquisition of the Third Person Singular Form

  •  Lin Jiang    
  •  Huiwen Yi    


The study compared the relative effectiveness of two types of input situated in written context - positive evidence and negative feedback—on Chinese lower intermediate EFL learners' acquisition of the third person singular form. Using a pretest-posttest and control group experimental design, the effect of these two types of input was measured by an error correction test and a speeded dictation test. In addition, a retrospective interview conducted at the end of the study provided information about the use that they made of the two types of input. It was found that both treatment groups performed much better than the control group on the immediate and delayed posttests, but no significant differences were found between the two treatment groups. The results indicated that positive evidence and negative feedback facilitated L2 acquisition of the third person singular form to the same extent. These results were discussed from the perspective of cognitive psychology and suggestions for further research are put forward.

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