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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: February 2021

20 - Corrective Feedback in Instructional Pragmatics

from Part V - Corrective Feedback and Language Skills


This chapter has two broad aims: to explore the potential for a role for corrective feedback in instructional pragmatics; and to review studies of instructional pragmatics that have investigated the effectiveness of corrective feedback. The chapter starts with the observation that there has been a disinclination to correct learners’ pragmatic errors. In fact, studies of instructional pragmatics rarely refer to “errors,” which is a construct integral to feedback studies. Allowing for this difference in orientation, the chapter discusses potential issues related to correcting pragmatic errors, such as challenges in identifying errors, the feasibility of correcting pragmalinguistic versus sociopragmatic errors, and the lack of firm norms to use in correction. Next, the chapter summarizes the findings of nine studies published between 2005 and 2017 and assesses their methodological strengths and weaknesses. The review revealed that although most of the studies reported positive effects for corrective feedback, many of the studies reviewed suffered from major methodological limitations. Owing to the nature of the available evidence, the chapter advocates neither for nor against the implementation of corrective feedback in instructional pragmatics. The chapter concludes by providing guidelines for future principled investigations into the role of corrective feedback in instructional pragmatics.