The effect of feedback timing on L2 Spanish vocabulary acquisition in synchronous computer-mediated communication

Carly Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The benefits of corrective feedback (CF) for second language (L2) learning are empirically attested, and multiple factors mediating CF effectiveness have been investigated. However, the timing of oral CF has received less attention given most research examines corrections provided immediately after an error. Delayed CF also warrants investigation; it occurs naturally in L2 classrooms and may be an appealing alternative in online learning contexts. Existing CF timing research shows either no significant differences between immediate and delayed CF, or advantages for immediate CF. To elucidate mixed findings, more CF timing studies are needed, especially those considering the effects of factors such as CF type, linguistic target and communication mode. Regarding communication mode, the effect of CF timing on errors made during text-based synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC), for instance, has received less attention. Examining text-based SCMC is important given its empirically attested benefits for L2 learning, and in some cases its advantage over face-to-face interaction for fostering CF effectiveness. Investigating the role of CF timing on errors made in text-based SCMC will contribute to efforts to maximize CF effectiveness in online learning environments, which are becoming increasingly common. In this study, 30 third-year learners of Spanish as a foreign language completed a one-way information-gap task with an interlocutor using Skype text-chat. On vocabulary errors, learners received either immediate or delayed error repetition plus recast, or no CF. Results revealed both CF groups significantly outperformed the comparison group on an oral picture description task, with no significant differences between immediate and delayed CF. Results may be due to the salience of the CF modality, type, and target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-208
Number of pages24
JournalLanguage Teaching Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Spanish vocabulary learning
  • corrective feedback (CF) timing
  • recast
  • repetition
  • text-based synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC)
  • text-chat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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