Vol. 2. No. 3 A-1 January 1997
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Computer Generated Error Feedback and Writing Process: A Link

Judy F. Chen
Business English Instructor
The Overseas Chinese College of Commerce,
Taichung, Taiwan, ROC


This study examines a possible link between computer generated feedback and changes in Taiwan EFL business writing students' writing strategies. By using computer software that measured details of students' writing, including: time spent on a document, amount of editing on a document, specific errors made in the document, and the amount of text copied from resource material, the author was able to perform numerous detailed analyses.

Students were randomly assigned to test and control groups with control students receiving a placebo computer feedback and the test group receiving real computer generated feedback on their errors. While the majority of feedback was teacher based and exactly the same for the two groups, different writing strategies were evident in the two groups by the third assignment.

Conclusions point to the important impact computer generated feedback appears to have on students, including the encouragement of a more process oriented approach in their writing. Such a finding has the potential of allowing Teachers to incorporate more process writing in their classrooms where they once though impossible, due to the large EFL class sizes so common in Asia.

Keywords: CALL, EFL, writing, composition, feedback, teaching

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