Essay on Research Article Critique: A Critique on Bitchener

1061 Words 5 Pages
The objectives of this study were: “(1) to investigate whether targeted corrective feedback on ESL student writing results in improved accuracy in new pieces of writing over a 2-month period and (2) to investigate whether there is a differential effect on accuracy for different corrective feedback options.” (p.103)

Methods and results
This study aimed to answer the following questions:
1. Does accuracy in the use of two functions of the English article system vary over time?
2. Does accuracy in the use of these features vary according to the type of corrective feedback provided?
3. Does accuracy in the use of these features vary as a result of the interaction of feedback type and time?
Seventy five low intermediate level ESL students
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In this test, the students were given a picture and then asked to describe what was happening in it. All three pictures for the pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest were similar in nature, depicting a beach scene, a camping site, and a park picnic respectively. Some key words were provided next to the picture to help minimize students’ anxiety level. They were then asked to complete the writing task in 30 minutes.

The findings showed that, compared to the control group, the accuracy of the three experimental groups improved significantly right after the first treatment until the delayed posttest. This indicated that direct, focused CF was effective in improving the students’ accuracy in using articles. However, pairwise comparison further showed that the significant differences were only between group 1, group 3, and group 4, meaning that the result obtained by group 2 (Direct CF + W) was not significantly different from the control group.

Critique of the method
There are several points worth discussing in this article. The first and the most important one is the integration of the ‘mini lesson’ in the treatment given to group 1. As the researcher had explained, this mini lesson comprised of explaining “the rules and examples that the students had received on their returned texts. Additional examples were illustrated on the whiteboard and discussed with the class. The students were then given a short ‘controlled practice’ exercise and asked to fill in

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