Reformulation and Self-correction: Insights into correction strategies for EFL writing in a school context

VIAL Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics

This study compares the effectiveness and classroom appropriateness of two correction strategies (reformulation and self-correction) for EFL writing with a school group of 16 Spanish learners of English. The study examines the reduction of errors in students’ drafts through a writing-correction-rewriting task which includes: (i) a reformulation session in which learners received feedback in the form of a reformulated text and (ii) a self-correction session in which learners received no feedback. In both sessions students worked in pairs and had to report and explain their proposed corrections. Results show that whereas reformulation outperformed self-correction as regards error detection, both strategies had a positive effect on error reduction of those errors which had been previously reported. Also, learners failed to report errors beyond sentence level with both strategies. As regards classroom appropriateness, neither reformulation nor self-correction seemed fully successful and some variations to adapt them to regular teaching praxis are suggested.