Iranian EFL Teachers’ and Learners’ Perspectives of Oral Error Correction: Does Timeline of Correction Matter?


  • Ali Akbar Farahani University of Tehran, Iran
  • Soory Salajegheh University of Tehran, Iran



corrección de errores, línea de tiempo de la corrección, corrección inmediata, corrección retardada.


Although the provision of error correction is commonly utilized in education, there are controversies regarding ‘when’ correction is most effective and why it is effective. This study investigated the differences between Iranian EFL teachers and learners regarding their perspectives towards the timeline of error correction in the speaking skill. Two main categories of immediate and delayed feedback types were determined with the immediate category specifically referring to ‘very soon’ and ‘after speaking’ and the delayed one relating to ‘after activities’ and ‘end of class’ sub-categories. To empirically test the hypothesis behind the study, a total of 460 teachers and learners were invited to complete Fukuda’s questionnaire. The obtained data were analyzed through MANOVA, the results of which showed teachers’ preferences towards the immediate correction and the learners’ inclination towards the delayed correction. Based on the results, specific properties and circumstances in relation to the timing of feedback were proposed to enhance its efficiency in L2 classrooms.

Author Biographies

Ali Akbar Farahani, University of Tehran, Iran

Ali Akbar Farahani is professor of English and linguistics in the English Department of the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. He obtained his M.A. in Linguistics from Leeds University, England in 1986 and his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the same university in 1990.

Soory Salajegheh, University of Tehran, Iran

Soory Salajegheh is a graduate student in the English Department of the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Allan, D. (1991). Tape journal: Bridging the gap between communication and correction. English Teaching Journal, 45, 56–72.

Bartram, M., & Walton, R. (1991). Correction. New York, NY: Language Teaching Publications.

Brosvic, G. M., Epstein, M. L., Cook, M. J., Dihoff, R. E. (2005). Efficacy of error for the correction of initially incorrect assumptions and of feedback for the affirmation of correct responding. The Psychological Record, 55(3), 401–418.

Brown, A. (2009). Students’ and teachers’ perceptions of effective foreign language teaching: A comparison of ideals. The Modern Language Journal, 93, 46–60.

Brown, H. D. (2000). Principle of language learning and teaching. White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley Longman.

Chaudron, C. (1977). A descriptive model of discourse in the corrective treatment of learners’ errors. Language Learning, 27, 29–46.

Corder, S. P. (1981). Error analysis and interlanguage. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Dulay, H., & Burt, M. (1974). Errors and strategies in child second language acquisition. TESOL Quarterly, 8, 129–136.

Ellis, R. (2005). Analyzing learner language. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Ellis, R. (2007, May). Corrective feedback in theory, research and practice. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on ELT in China & The 1st Congress of Chinese Applied Linguistics, Beijing Foreign Language Studies University, Beijing, China. Retrieved from

Ellis, R., Basturkmen, H., & Lowen, S. (2001). Learner uptake in communicative ESL lessons. Language Learning, 51(2), 281–318.

Firwana, S. S. (2011). A comparison between Palestinian EFL teachers’ and students’ attitudes toward oral error and their correction. The Journal of the Islamic University of Gaza (Humanities Research Series), 19(2), 1527–1558. Retrieved from %D9%81%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A9.pdf

Fukuda, Y. (2004). Treatment of spoken errors in Japanese high school oral communication classes (Unpublished Master’s thesis). California State University, San Francisco, CA.

Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and learning in the language classroom. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Hendrickson, J. (1978). Error correction in foreign language teaching: Recent theory, research, and practice. Modern Language Journal, 62, 387–398.

Katayama, A. (2007). Learners’ perceptions toward oral error correction. In K. Bradford- Watts (Ed.), JALT 2006 Conference Proceedings (pp. 34–42). Tokyo, Japan: JALT.

Kelly, S. (2006). Error correction. English Language Centre, 17, 68–107.

Kim, J. H. (2004). Issues of corrective feedback in second language acquisition. Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, 4(2), 1–24.

Kulhavy, R. W., Yekovich, F. R., & Dyer, J. W. (1977). Feedback and response confidence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 68(5), 522–528.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2014). Teaching grammar. In M. Celce-Murcia, D. Brinton, & M.A. Snow (Eds.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (4th ed.) (pp. 256–270). Boston, MA: National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning.

Lemley, D. C. (2005). Delayed versus immediate feedback in an independent study high school setting (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

Lennon, P. (1991). Error: Some problems of definition, identification and distinction. Applied Linguistics, 12, 33–62.

Lewis, M. (2005). Role of self-correction in learning ESP. ESP World, 20(3), 72–84.

Loewen, S. (2004). Uptake in incidental focus on form in meaning-focused ESL lessons. Language Learning, 54(1), 153–188.

Lyster, R. (1998). Negotiation of form, recasts, and explicit correction in relation to error types and learner repair in immersion classrooms. Language Learning Journal, 42(2), 183–218.

Lyster, R., & Ranta, L. (1997). Corrective feedback and learner uptake: Negotiation of form in communicative classrooms. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19, 37–66.

Mackey, A., Gass, S., & McDonough, K. (2000). How do learners perceive interactional feedback? Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 22(4), 471–497.

MacIntyre, P., & Gardner, R. (1994). The subtle effects of induced anxiety on cognitive processing in the second language. Language Learning, 44, 283–305.

Mendelson, D. (1990). How to correct errors in the communicative language talking class. Prospect, 5(1), 67–83.

Mendez, E. H. (2010). Oral corrective feedback: Some ways to go about it. FEL, 2(1), 25–38.

Nakata, T. (2014). Effects of feedback timing on second language vocabulary learning: Does delaying feedback increase learning? Language Teaching Research, 7, 23–42.

Nunan, D., & Lamb, C. (1996). The self-directed teacher: Managing the learning process. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. (1986). Approaches and methods in language teaching: A description and analysis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Rolin-Ianziti, J. C. (2006). Teacher corrective practices in the foreign language classroom: The effect of timing. In C. Hopkinson & C. Hall, Social change in the 21st Century 2006 Conference Proceedings, Queensland University of Technology, Carseldine Campus, Brisbane, Australia, 27 October, 2006 (pp. 1-14). Brisbane, Australia: Centre for Social Change Research, Queensland University of Technology. Retrieved from

Rolin-Ianziti, J. (2010). The organization of delayed second language correction. Language Teaching Research, 14(2), 183–206.

Salikin, H. (2001). Learner's perception of oral error correction: An interpretive study. JIBS (Jurnal Ilmu Bahasa dan Sastra), 1(2), 103–129.

Schulz, R. A. (2001). Cultural differences in student and teacher perceptions concerning the role of grammar instruction and corrective feedback: USA-Colombia. The Modern Language Journal, 85(2), 244–258.

Schroth, M. L., & Lund, E. (1993). Role of delay of feedback on subsequent pattern recognition transfer tasks. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 18, 15–22.

Swain, M. (1995). The output hypothesis: Just speaking and writing are not enough. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 50, 158–164.

Timson, S., Grow, A., & Matsuoka, M. (1999). Error correction preferences of second language learners: A Japanese perspective. The Japan Association of College English Teachers (JACET) Bulletin, 30, 135–147.

Ziahosseiny, S. M. (2005). A contrastive analysis of Persian and English & error analysis. Tehran, Iran: Nashr-e Vira.