Saudi EFL Preparatory Year Students’ Perception about Corrective Feedback in Oral Communication

  •  Maha Alhaysony    


This study sought to investigate the attitudes of Saudi EFL students towards corrective feedback (henceforth CF) on classroom oral errors. The subjects were 3200 (1223 male and 1977 female) students enrolled in an intensive English language programme in the preparatory year at the University of Ha'il. A questionnaire was the main instrument. This study seeks to extend our knowledge by examining the relationship between CF and gender, proficiency level, and students’ track. The results revealed that students generally have a positive perception of oral CF. Further, delayed CF was more favoured than immediate feedback. Of the methods of CF used by the teacher, the students preferred asking for clarification, repetition, explicit feedback, metalinguistic feedback, elicitation, and recasting; the majority of them regarded no correction as a poor method. Although the students wanted all of their oral errors to be corrected, they reported wanting their serious errors to be corrected first, followed by frequent errors, individual errors, and then, less serious errors; less frequent errors was the least preferred category. Regarding the choice of correctors, students favoured teacher correction, then self-correction, and finally, classmate correction. As far as the three variables considered, the analysis of the data revealed that in sum, regardless of gender, students’ proficiency level, and track, all students had similar beliefs about CF and strongly favoured receiving frequent CF in English oral communication classes once they were made aware of the purpose, significance, and methods of CF. However, the findings of the study showed that there was a significant gender difference, with women responding to CF significantly more than men. Moreover, the results revealed that highly proficient students preferred CF more than students with a lower proficiency, although there were no significant differences for most of the items. Additionally, there were some significant differences among students with different tracks. Pedagogical implications, limitations of the study, and recommendations for further research are also discussed.

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