Innovating teacher feedback with writing activities aimed at raising secondary school students’ awareness of collocation errors

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Barry Lee Reynolds
Mark Feng Teng


The study examined the types of written corrective feedback given by second language writing teachers on Taiwanese secondary school students’ collocation errors. First, the written corrective feedback that teachers provided on learners’ word choice errors was examined to uncover the types of feedback provided. Then, analysis focused on verb–noun collocations to draw attention to how students had been receiving different types of written corrective feedback from teachers on a single collocation error type. Results showed that some sentences tagged as including word choice errors only contained rule-based errors. Furthermore, for verb-noun collocation errors, teachers chose to provide indirect and direct feedback almost equally at the expense of metalinguistic feedback. Based on the results, we suggested options for second language writing teachers when providing feedback on word choice errors.


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How to Cite
Reynolds, B. L., & Teng, M. F. (2021). Innovating teacher feedback with writing activities aimed at raising secondary school students’ awareness of collocation errors. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 11(3), 423-444.
Author Biographies

Barry Lee Reynolds, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China

Barry Lee Reynolds, PhD, is Assistant Professor of English Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Macau, Macau SAR, China. He has taught the English language and trained English language teachers at thirteen institutions in the USA, Taiwan, and Macau. His research interests are in the areas of vocabulary acquisition, second language literacy education, and computer assisted language learning. His most recent co-edited volumes include Innovative Approaches in Teaching English Writing to Chinese Speakers (2021, De Gruyter Mouton) and English Literacy Instruction for Chinese Speakers (2019, Palgrave). He also serves as an editorial board member for several journals and is Section Editor for Open Linguistics (De Gruyter Mouton).

Contact details: Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Room 1017, E33, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau SAR (

Mark Feng Teng, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China

Mark Feng Teng, PhD, is a language teacher educator in mainland China and a research fellow at University of Macau. His research interests mainly focus on L2 vocabulary acquisition and metacognition in L2 writing. His work has appeared in journals such as Applied Linguistics, Language Awareness, Language Teaching Research, Applied Linguistics Review, and System, among many others. He has recently co-edited two volumes published by Palgrave and De Gruyter. His recent monographs appeared in Springer, Routledge, and Bloomsbury. He is co-editor of On the Internet section, TESL-EJ.

Contact details: Faculty of Education, University of Macau, E33, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau SAR (


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