The effects of oral corrective feedback and language anxiety on pronunciation development

María Luquin Urtasun, Hanne Roothooft.
Estudios de Lingüística Inglesa Aplicada

While a substantial body of research has shown that oral corrective feedback (CF) is effective for the acquisition of foreign language grammar, very few studies have focused on the impact of CF on pronunciation development. Moreover, there is a dearth of CF research which takes individual differences such as foreign language anxiety into account. The present study therefore investigated the effects of recasts and metalinguistic feedback on the pronunciation of the -ed ending, comparing 30 low- and high-anxiety learners with an A2+ level of English at a Spanish secondary school. A pre-test/post-test design involving a reading-aloud test and a storytelling treatment was applied to a recast (n=10), metalinguistic feedback (n=10) and control group (n=10). Each of the three groups was further divided into a high-anxiety (n=5) and low-anxiety group (n=5). Significant differences were found between the recast and control group, confirming previous research showing that recasts are beneficial for pronunciation development. However, despite certain indications that low-anxiety learners benefited more from CF, and high-anxiety learners seemed to benefit especially from recasts, no significant differences between the anxiety-groups could be identified in this study.