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A Corrective Feedback Intervention in a Minority French Language School
Ayotte Irwin, Tracy
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Abstract Educators in French schools in southern Ontario are challenged with the task of increasing their students’ oral linguistic ability in French within their predominantly English-speaking surroundings. Additionally, teachers wonder how they can provide guidance without discouraging students’ efforts and negatively affecting their self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not corrective feedback (CF) from teachers and peers decreased the number of anglicisms and grammatical errors that students typically make and how an intervention based on CF would affect students’ self-efficacy with respect to their beliefs about their own communication skills. The research was premised on sociocultural and skills acquisition theory. The study employed a convergent mixed methods design that took place in a Grade 3/4 classroom in a French school in southern Ontario for a period of 4 months. Quantitative data were collected from oral communication tests, standardized vocabulary tests, and attitudinal tests. Qualitative data were derived from field notes taken from observations and interviews. The quantitative results indicated that the number of anglicisms and grammatical errors did not diminish significantly but students’ behaviour showed an increased awareness of language form and an increased willingness to improve. Qualitative and quantitative findings suggest that CF did not negatively affect students’ self-efficacy. As well, the findings indicated that students’ self-confidence and pride, their perceptions of improvement, and collaboration skills all increased during the CF intervention. Overall, this research provides implications for practice, research, and theory that can be used to implement effective ways of improving oral communication skills in minority language instruction through CF.