Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English Language Teaching, Aliabad Katoul Branch, Islamic Azad University, Aliabad Katoul, Iran

2 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


Corrective feedback (CF) as a multifaceted practice needs to be explored from different perspectives. Achieving relative consensus among language teachers and experts in a particular context on the most effective CF strategy for monolingual and bilingual language learners appears to be understudied. As such, a fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) model was applied to accommodate varied and conflicting opinions in ranking the effect of three corrective feedback strategies including mid-focused oral metalinguistic CF, written metalinguistic CF, and oral/written metalinguistic CF. To this end, 79 monolingual Persians and 79 bilingual Turkmens aged between 13 and 18 from two language institutes in Golestan Province of Iran participated in the study comprising three experimental and one control group each. The experimental groups were provided with CF strategies on their most recurrent grammatical errors detected through pretests while the control groups received none. The results of the fuzzy TOPSIS approach ranked oral/written metalinguistic CF and oral metalinguistic CF as the best strategies for monolingual Persians and bilingual Turkmens respectively. The fuzzy TOPSIS approach provided experts with the opportunity to include their opinions on the weight of criteria and the impact of CF strategies towards enhancing the experts’ agreement on the issue. It was shown that a single CF strategy might not be appropriate for all EFL learners in different contexts. The approach also provided a framework for soliciting wider participation of the experts when conditions favor the application of multi-criteria decision-making methods, or speedier assessments are required.


Main Subjects

Aghajanloo, K., Mobini, F., & Khosravi, R. (2016). The effect of teachers’ written corrective feedback types (WCF) on intermediate EFL learners’ writing performance. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 7(3), 28-37.
Ahmadian, M., Mehri, E., & Ghaslani, R. (2019). The effect of direct, indirect, and negotiated feedback on the linguistic accuracy of EFL learners in writing. Issues in Language Teaching, 8(1), 1-32.
Al Mubarak, A. A. (2017). An investigation of academic writing problems level faced by undergraduate students at Al Imam Al Mahdi University-Sudan. English Review: Journal of English Education, 5(2), 175-188.
Alaa, M., Albakri, I. S. M. A., Singh, C. K. S., Hammed, H., Zaidan, A. A., Zaidan, B. B., Albahri, O. S., Alsalem, M.  A., Salih, M.  M., Almahdi, E.  M., Baqer, M. J., Jalood, N. S., Nidhal, S., Shareef, A. H., & Jasim, A. N. (2019). Assessment and ranking framework for the English skills of pre-service teachers based on fuzzy Delphi and TOPSIS methods. IEEE, 7, 201-223.
Al-Hammadi, A. S., & Milne, R. H. (2004). A neuro-fuzzy classification approach to the assessment of student performance. Proceedings of the 2004 IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems, Hungary, 837-841. doi: 10.1109/FUZZY.2004.1375511
Amin, M. Y., & Saadatmanesh, S. (2018). Discovering the effectiveness of direct versus indirect corrective feedback on EFL learners’ writings: A case of an Iranian context. International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies, 5(2), 171-181.
Bitchener, J. & Knoch, U. (2008). The value of written corrective feedback for migrant and international students. Language Teaching Research, 12(3), 409-431.
Bitchener, J. (2008). Evidence in support of written corrective feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 17(2), 102-118.
Bitchener, J., & Ferris, D. R. (2012). Written corrective feedback in second language acquisition and writing. New York: Routledge.
Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2009). The relative effectiveness of different types of direct written corrective feedback. System, 37(2), 322-329.
 Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2010). The contribution of written corrective feedback to language development: A ten-month investigation. Applied Linguistics, 31(2), 193-214.
Bitchener, J., & Storch, N. (2016). Written corrective feedback for L2 development. Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
Bitchener, J., Young, S., & Cameron, D. (2005). The effect of different types of corrective feedback on ESL student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14(3),191-205.
Carless, D. (2006). Differing perceptions in the feedback process. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 219-233.
Chandler, J. (2003). The efficacy of various kinds of error feedback for improvement in the accuracy and fluency of L2 student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(3), 267-296.
Cohen, A. D. (2018). Reflections on a career in second language studies: Promising pathways for future research. L2 Journal, 10(1), 1-19.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education (8th ed). London: Routledge.
Du, J. (2018). Evaluation method of English teaching quality based on a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation. International Conference on Intelligent Transportation, Big Data & Smart City (ICITBS), Xiamen, 661-664. : doi:10.1109/ICITBS.2018.00172
Duc, D. A., Thach, P. N., Phuong, B. H., Dung, C. C., Van, L. H., & Diep, P. T. H. (2019). A dynamic fuzzy multiple criteria decision-making approach for lecturer performance evaluation. Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences, 22(3), 250-261.
Eastwood, J. (2003). Oxford practice grammar for intermediate (2nd ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ebadi, E. (2014). The effect of focused metalinguistic corrective feedback on Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ essay writing ability. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 5(4), 878-883.
Ellis, R. (2009). A typology of written corrective feedback types. ELT Journal, 63(2), 97-107.
Ertuğrul Í., & Karakaşoğlu, N. (2007). Fuzzy TOPSIS method for academic member selection in engineering faculty. In Iskander M. (ed.), Innovations in E-learning, Instruction Technology, Assessment, and Engineering Education (pp. 151-156). The Netherlands: Springer.
Eslami, Z., & Derakhshan, A. (2020). Promoting advantageous ways for teachers and learners to deal with corrective feedback. Language Teaching Research Quarterly, 19(special issue), 48-65.
Fedrizi, M., & Molinari, A. (2013). A multi-expert fuzzy TOPSIS-based model for the evaluation of e-learning paths. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference of the European Society for Fuzzy Logic and Technology (EUSFLAT), Italy, 554-558.  doi: 10.2991/eusflat.2013.84
Ferris, D. R. (1999). The case for grammar correction in L2 writing classes: A response to Truscott (1996). Journal of Second Language Writing, 8(1), 1-11.
Ferris, D. R. (2010). Second language writing research and written corrective feedback in SLA. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32(2), 181-201.
Ferris, D. R. (2011). Treatment of error in second language student writing. (2nd ed). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Ferris, D. R. (1995). Teaching students to self-edit. TESOL Journal, 4(4), 18-22.
Hosseini Bay, Z., & Dehghan, M. (2019). The effects of gradual and indirect feedback on EFL learners’ grammar development and beliefs. Journal of Teaching Language Skills, 38(2), 81-106.
Hota, H. S., Sharma L. K., & Pavani, S. (2014). Fuzzy TOPSIS method applied for ranking of teacher in higher education. In M. Durga Prasad and P. Srikanta (eds.), Intelligent computing, networking, and informatics: Proceedings of the international conference on advanced computing, networking, and informatics (pp.1225-1233). New York: Springer.
Hwang, C. L., & Yoon, K. (1981). Multiple attribute decision-making: Methods and applications. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Hyland, K., & Hyland, F. (2006). Feedback on second language students’ writing. Language Teaching, 39(2),83-101.
Ivanova, V., & Zlatanov, B. (2019). Application of fuzzy logic in online test evaluation in English as a foreign language at the university level. Proceedings of the 45th International Conference on Application of Mathematics in Engineering and Economics, 1-8. doi: org/10.1063/1.5133519
Johns, A. M. (1995). Genre and pedagogical purposes. Journal of Second Language Writing, 4(2), 181-190.
Karim, K. & Nassaji, H. (2019). The effects of written corrective feedback: A critical synthesis of past and present research. Instructed Second Language Acquisition, 3(1), 28-52.
Khaki, M., & Heidari Tabrizi, H. (2021). Assessing the effect of direct and indirect corrective feedback in process-based vs product-based instruction on learners’ writing. Language Teaching Research Quarterly, 21, 35-53.
Kheradmand Saadi, Z., & Saadat, M. (2015). Iranian EFL learners’ grammatical knowledge: Effect of direct and metalinguistic corrective feedback. English Language Teaching, 8(8), 112-120.
Khoshi, A., Gooshki, H. S., & Mahmoudi, N. (2018). The data on the effective qualifications of teachers in medical sciences: An application of combined fuzzy AHP and fuzzy TOPSIS methods. Data in Brief, 21, 2689-2693.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). Understanding language teaching: From method to postmethod. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Liu, Q., & Brown, D. (2015). Methodological synthesis of research on the effectiveness of corrective feedback in L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 30(4), 66-81.
Liu, Y. (2015). Research on the foreign language teaching effectiveness evaluation with intuitionistic fuzzy information. Journal of Intelligent and Fuzzy Systems, 28(2), 787-793.
Lyster, R. M., & Ranta, L. (1997). Corrective feedback and learner uptake: Negotiation of form in communicative classrooms. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19(1), 37-66.
Moayeri, M., Shahvarani, A., Behzadi, M. H., & Hosseinzadeh-Lotfi, F. (2015). Comparison of fuzzy AHP and fuzzy TOPSIS methods for math teacher selection. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 8(13), 1-10.
Murphy, M., & Smalzer, W. R. (2009). Grammar in use for intermediate. (3rd ed). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nădăban, S., Dzitac, S., & Dzitac, I. (2016). Fuzzy TOPSIS: A general view. Procedia Computer Science, 91, 823-831.
Nassaji, H. (2017). The effectiveness of extensive versus intensive recasts for learning L2 grammar. The Modern Language Journal, 101(2), 353-368.
Nassaji, H., & Kartchava, E. (eds.) (2017). Corrective feedback in second language teaching and learning: Research, theory, applications, implications. New York: Routledge.
Pavani, S., Sharma, L. K., & Hota, H. S. (2013).  A group expert evaluation for teachers by integrating fuzzy AHP and TOPSIS models. Proceedings of IEEE International Conference in MOOC, Innovation and Technology in Education (MITE), India, 85-90. doi: 10.1109/MITE.2013.6756311
Pedrycz, W., Ekel, P., & Parreiras, R. (2011). Fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making models, methods, and applications. U.K: Wiley.
Rezaei, S., & Derakhshan, A. (2011). Investigating recast and metalinguistic feedback in task-based grammar instruction. Journal of Language Teaching Research, 2(3), 655-663. 
Sadat, T., Zarifi, A., Sadat, A., & Malekzadeh, J. (2015). Effectiveness of direct and indirect corrective feedback on Iranian EFL learners’ accuracy and retention of conditional sentences types I, II &III. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 5(10), 2023-2028.
Sahin, B., Leung Yip, T. L., Tseng, P. H., Kabak, M., & Soylu, A. (2020). An application of a Fuzzy TOPSIS multi-criteria decision analysis algorithm for dry bulk carrier selection. Information11(5), 1-16.
Salehi, M., & Bahrami, A. (2018). An error analysis of journal papers written by Persian authors. Cogent Arts and Humanities, 5(1), 1-16.
Schulze, M., & Smith, B. (2015). In theory, we could be better. CALICO Journal, 32(1), 1-6.
Shafiee Sarvestani, M., & Pishkar, K. (2016). The effect of written corrective feedback on the accuracy of English article usage in L2 writing. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 3(1), 110-120.
Shahballa, A. H., & Alamdar Youli, F. (2012). Reading comprehension of different genres: A fuzzy approach. International Journal of English Linguistics, 2(1), 17-27.
Shahballa, A., Ghonsooly, B., & Karami, H. (2019). Developing and validating a new version of an EFL multiple-choice reading comprehension test based on fuzzy logic. Journal of Language Horizons, 3(1), 71-92.
Sinha, S. (2017). Fuzzy logic-based teaching/learning of a foreign language in multilingual situations. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 7(2), 71-84.
Sobrino, A. (2013). Fuzzy logic and education: Teaching the basics of fuzzy logic through an example (by way of cycling). Education Sciences, 3(2), 75-97.
Truscott, J. (1996). Review article: The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes. Language Learning, 46(2), 327-369.
Wang, R. (2016). Improvement of flipped classroom teaching model based on fuzzy comprehensive evaluation model. The Eighth International Conference on Measuring Technology and Mechatronics Automation, China, 335-338. doi10.1109/ICMTMA.2016.88
Zadeh, L. A. (1965). Fuzzy sets. Information and Control, 8(3), 338-353.
Zadeh, L. A. (2008). Is there a need for fuzzy logic? Information Sciences, 178(13), 2751-2779.