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

14 - Focused versus Unfocused Corrective Feedback

from Part IV - Feedback Provider, Feedback Intensity, and Feedback Timing


A question that received considerable interest from language teachers and researchers alike is what corrective feedback (CF) should look like to be maximally beneficial to learners’ second language development. This chapter zooms in on two feedback types that have been distinguished in the CF literature: focused and unfocused CF. After a careful characterization of these two feedback options, theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical arguments are discussed for both of them. The chapter furthermore provides a synthesis of oral and written feedback studies into the (relative) value of focused and unfocused CF. It concludes with suggestions for further research and implications for L2 classrooms.