Effects of Recasts and Elicitations in Dyadic Interaction and the Role of Feedback Explicitness


  • This study was supported by a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I would like to thank the editor and anonymous reviewers of Language Learning for their helpful suggestions and comments on earlier versions of this article.

should be addressed to Hossein Nassaji, Department of Linguistics, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3045, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 3P4. Internet: nassaji@uvic.ca


The present study investigated the effects of two categories of interactional feedback—recasts and elicitations—on learning linguistic forms that arose incidentally in dyadic interaction. The study also identified implicit and explicit forms of each feedback type and examined their subsequent effects immediately after interaction and after 2 weeks. Data came from 42 adult English as a second language learners who participated in task-based interaction with two native- speaker English language teachers and received various forms of recasts and elicitations on their nontargetlike output. The effects of feedback were measured by means of learner-specific preinteraction scenario descriptions and immediate and delayed postinteraction error identification/correction tasks. The results showed a higher degree of immediate postinteraction correction for recasts than for elicitations. The results also showed that in both cases the more explicit forms of each feedback type led to higher rates of immediate and delayed postinteraction correction than the implicit forms. However, the effects of explicitness were more pronounced for recasts than for elicitations. These latter findings suggest that although both recasts and elicitations may be beneficial for second language learning, their effectiveness might be closely, but differentially, related to their degree of explicitness.