Corrective Feedback in CLIL and EFL Classrooms: Comparing teachers' Beliefs and Practices

2015

Abstract  Corrective feedback (CF) is a teaching technique that has been shown to be beneficial for second language (L2) learning (Lyster et al., 2013). Among other factors, such as age or proficiency level, instructional setting has been studied as a variable potentially affecting uptake (the immediate effect of CF) and it has been found to play a role in the quality and quantity of CF provided by teachers to learners during oral interaction (Lyster & Mori, 2006; Sheen, 2004). However, there is one instructional approach that has been barely examined as far as CF is concerned, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). This study aims to fill this gap by analyzing teachers’ CF techniques in CLIL classrooms and compare them with a more traditional learning context, English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Besides, in order to obtain a clearer picture of the phenomenon of CF in these two settings, CLIL and EFL teachers’ beliefs were also examined. A total of 13 EFL and 15 CLIL lessons were recorded in an intact classroom of 25 students and analysed in terms of CF frequency, CF types and the types of errors addressed by the teachers in each of the two settings. Classroom observation methodology was used: lessons were recorded while the researcher took notes of the (verbal and non-verbal) details happening during oral interaction, searching for corrective feedback episodes. Furthermore, a questionnaire on CF beliefs was administered to 20 EFL and 11 CLIL teachers and their answers were contrasted. Finally, a qualitative comparison of the teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices was performed, in order to triangulate the data. Results from the analyses of CF practices in the two different classroom settings showed that EFL and CLIL teachers differed in the amount of CF provided (70% vs 20%), but also in the error types addressed (more lexical errors were corrected in CLIL and more pronunciation and grammar in EFL) as well as the CF types that the teachers preferred to use (mainly recasts in both but greater use of prompts in EFL). On the contrary, only small differences were found as far as the beliefs of the two groups of teachers regarding CF. The general findings pointed to a mismatch between teachers' beliefs and actual classroom practices. Summing up, the findings in this descriptive study are in line with previous literature on CF and contribute to the field by offering valuable insights on the differences between traditional EFL classrooms and CLIL classrooms. From the present study several pedagogical implications can be drawn: on the one hand, teachers would benefit from reflection on their own practices. On the other hand, teachers of different subjects should collaborate in order to find the best way of fostering L2 learning. Keywords: CF, CLIL, EFL, teachers’ beliefs. References: Lyster, R. and Mori, H. (2006). Interactional feedback and instructional counterbalance. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28: 269 – 300. Lyster, R., Saito, K., and Sato, M. (2013). Oral corrective feedback in second language classrooms. Language Teaching, 46:1-40. Sheen, Y. (2004). Corrective feedback and learner uptake in communicative classrooms across instructional settings. Language Teaching Research, 8: 263 – 300.


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