Written Languaging, Direct Correction, and Second Language Writing Revision


  • This research was supported in part by a Language Learning Doctoral Dissertation Grant and a Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up (21820002) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in Japan. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2010 annual conference of the American Association of Applied Linguistics. This article is based on part of the author's doctoral dissertation, which was completed at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. I am thankful to Merrill Swain, Nina Spada, Alister Cumming, Sharon Lapkin, and Charlene Polio for their continuous support and encouragement during my doctoral study. I also would like to thank the editor, Lourdes Ortega, and the anonymous reviewers of Language Learning for their invaluable comments on earlier versions of this article. My thanks also go to Kyoko Baba, Linda Borer, Manami Suzuki, Adrian Leis, Micheal McManus, and Paul Quinn for commenting on this article. Of course, I alone am responsible for any remaining errors. Finally, my sincere thanks go to the students and teachers for their participation in this study.

Wataru Suzuki, Miyagi University of Education, Department of English Education, 149 Aza-Aoba Aramaki Aoba-ku Sendai Miyagi 980–0845, Japan. Internet: suzukiw@staff.miyakyo-u.ac.jp


It has been argued that languaging plays a crucial role in learning a second language (L2). The effects of languaging, especially oral languaging (e.g., collaborative dialogue, private speech), have been tested on the learning of L2 knowledge domains. This study explored the effects of written languaging by asking 24 Japanese learners of English to write out their own explanations in Japanese of the corrections they received on a draft they had written. The effects of the type (e.g., grammar based vs. lexis based) of written languaging were then assessed by inspecting the success of immediate subsequent text revisions. Two major findings emerged. First, written languaging about direct feedback on linguistic errors in the first essay helped learners successfully correct these errors during immediate revision. Second, both lexis- and grammar-based written languaging were associated with improved accuracy. These findings support arguments that providing learners with the opportunity to language about or reflect on their developing linguistic knowledge in the course of L2 learning mediates L2 learning and development. Theoretical and pedagogical implications are also discussed.