expected to learn the right use of the auxiliary verb “to have”, and the use of past participles in the present perfect tense. They were divided into two groups. Each group was rand group was randomly assigned to one of the two experimental conditions: Recast versus explicit negative feedback. Positive feedback was provided for both groups. Pictures were used to elicit conversation and an oral test was administered to collect the data. Results supported the effectiveness of Recast compared to explicit negative feedback. On the basis of the results, the use of recasts in college EFL classes is recommended.
2.2.7. Empirical Studies

2.2.7.1. Descriptive Studies

A number of descriptive studies have examined the occurrence and nature of Recast, learners’ response to Recast and their noticing and interpretation of Recasts. They generally found that recast occurs with high frequency in conversational interaction. This fact alone may be enough to justify this study’s investigation into Recast
Lyster and Ranta (1997) found an overwhelming tendency for teachers to use Recasts (55% of the total number of turns containing feedback). However, they also found Recast least likely to lead to learner uptake: Sheen’s (2004) study also indicated that Recasts were the most frequent feedback type. Meanwhile the rate of learner uptake following Recast was the lowest of all feedback types. Oliver (1995) showed 61% of the feedback in his study were Recast.
Panova and Lyster (2002) found that teachers preferred to use Recasts. However, the rate of learners’ uptake following these Recasts was very low. So did Lyster and Mori’s (2006) study. Lyster (1998) discovered that the corrective force entailed in Recasts might easily go unnoticed by learners due to their implicit nature. Therefore although being used most frequently, Recast is ineffective in leading to learner uptake, and this may be due to its ambiguous nature, because the learner might not interpret a Recast as a correction on form but as a confirmation of meaning.
Concerning this, there were studies that examined the learner’s perception of Recasts. Mackey, Gass, and McDonough (2000) found that Recasts most frequently followed morpho-syntactic errors. However, they were least likely to be perceived as a correction on morpho-syntax. Philp (2003) found that learners noticed over 60-70 % of Recasts.
However, learners’ accurate recall was constrained by the level of the learner and by the length and number of changes of the Recast. Carpenter, Jeon, MaGregor and Mackey (2006) showed that learners were significantly less successful at distinguishing Recasts from repetitions. Egi (2007) found that when Recasts were long and substantially different from their problematic utterances, learners tended to interpret them as responses to content. So, the researcher suggested that the length of Recast and number of changes might partially determine the explicitness of recasts and thus affected the learners’ interpretation. These studies indicate that learners do experience difficulty in interpreting Recast as corrective feedback.
However, when Recasts certain features that make their corrective force explicit it is easy for them to interpret Recast accurately, but the nature of these features and their corresponding effect on the role of Recast in SLA remain unknown. This study attempted to analyze some of these features.
2.2.7.2. Experimental Studies

There is a growing body of experimental research on the effects of Recasts in SLA and the relative efficacy of recast and other types of corrective feedback.
Doughty and Varela (1998) compared the effects of corrective Recasts and the provision of no feedback. The results indicated that the Recast group showed significantly greater gains over the control group. Mackey and Philip (1998) also investigated the effects of intensive Recasts and concluded that Recasts might be effective when the learners were able to perceive the corrective nature of the recast. Likewise, Ishida (2004) also found a significant effect of Recast on the acquisition of Japanese aspectual form –tei(ru).
Moreover, Han (2002) showed that individualized attention, consistent focus, developmental readiness, and intensity might be necessary for Recasts to facilitate learning. Sheen (2008) found that language anxiety is also a factor influencing the effect of Recast and that less anxious learners could benefit more from Recasts. It can be concluded from the above studies that Recast is effective in leading to L2 grammatical development, especially when such learner characteristics as language level, attention and language anxiety are taken into consideration. It is also more effective when these characteristics are combined with other explicit features such as consistent focus and intensity.
However, no study has investigated the relative effectiveness of relatively implicit Recasts combined with other explicit features. This study made an effort to do so. Researchers did find, however, that Recast, which is generally regarded as a form of implicit negative feedback, is less effective than those explicit feedback forms such as models, prompts, elicitation, etc.
Lyster (2004) investigated the differential effects of recasts and prompts. The results indicated that the Recast group was inferior to the prompt group at posttests. This limited effectiveness of Recasts and the superiority of prompts was further reported by Ammar and Spada (2006) and Lyster and Izquierdo (2009). One of the major explanations they proposed for the superiority of prompt over Recast was its explicitness. That is, prompt was more explicit than Recast and thus highlighted the teacher’s corrective objective, which was far less explicit and quite ambiguous in Recast. Ellis, Lowen, and Erlam (2006) showed a clear advantage for Metalinguistic explanation over Recast. Likewise, Nassaji (2009) also found explicit feedback, i.e., elicitation, led to higher rates of immediate and delayed post interaction correction than Recasts.
It can be concluded from these studies that Recasts are less effective than explicit types of negative feedback such a prompt, elicitation, and Metalinguistic explanation. Its inferiority is acknowledged to be due to its ambiguous corrective force and the overt corrective nature of explicit negative feedback. Therefore, is it possible that if Recast is made more explicit, it could lead to greater developmental gain? However, to date no study has addressed this question. The present study made an attempt to answer it.
2.3. Researches Related to Metalinguistic Feedback

2.3.1. Categories of Metalinguistic Feedback

Metalinguistic Feedback can be divided into four broad categories (Tunmer, et al., 1988):
• Phonological
• Word
• Syntactic
• Pragmatic awareness

Phonological and word awareness refer to the ability to think about and use phonemes and words. Syntactic awareness is the ability to think about the structure of language. The final category, pragmatic awareness, involves the purposes for which we use language (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Perhaps with so much emphasis being placed on the development of phonological awareness, other aspects of language are being ignored. We believe that in a balanced literacy program, attention must also be placed on the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic components of language learning of the four types of Metalinguistic abilities, phonological and word awareness have received the most attention (Tunmer, et al., 1988). Many Kindergarten and first grade teachers predominately focus on these aspects of Metalinguistic development.
This is understandable because there is much evidence to support that phonemic, awareness is a powerful predictor of later reading achievement (Juel, Griffith, & Gough 1986; Lomax and McGree, 1987; Tunmer & Nesdale, 1985). Because there are many resources for teachers on how to provide instruction that aids children in acquiring and developing phonemic awareness, we have chosen to focus this paper on instructional practices which teachers of emergent and early readers can use to enhance the learning of these other often overlooked aspects of language learning.
2.3.1.1. Syntactic Awareness
Syntactic awareness is an understanding for the structure of our language and influences reading development by enabling readers to monitor their comprehension processes and by helping children acquire useful word recognition skills other than sound symbol correspondence. (Tunmer et al., 1988; Roth, Speece, Cooper, De La Paz, 1996). Children with a good ear for the structures of standard English as well as literary structures are more skilled at trying out different pronunciations of words with uncommon spellings until they find the one that “sounds right” and “makes sense” in terms of standard language structures. This puts children who speak English as a second language or in an informal register (Joos, 1967) at a disadvantage. For instance, the pattern “ough” is pronounced differently in each of the following words: dough, cough, and rough.
In order to identify these words, a successful reader must know the different pronunciations for the spelling pattern, have word knowledge, and have a sense of what would be appropriate would be appropriate syntactically. Syntactic awareness is a skill that even young children can develop. Children under the age of two demonstrate knowledge of syntactic awareness when they understand the difference between two sentences where the subject and predicate are reversed. Very young children understand the difference between “Mommy is calling Daddy,” and “Daddy is calling Mommy.” As children mature, their own sentences grow in length and complexity. This sophistication allows them to understand and use more complex language (Snow et al., 1998).
Children become more sensitive to semantic and syntactic features in reading as they mature and have more opportunities to use language.
These skills develop dramatically in grades one through three (Muter & Snowling, 1998). If syntactical awareness is a fundamental language skill that children need to become successful readers, we need to ask how teachers can provide instruction that scaffolds the development of these skills.
There are several strategies that we have found to be effective. Teachers regularly engage in shared, interactive and guided writing with their students, but for the vast majority of time they model concepts of print, print conventions, and phonics skills. We have found that if time is spent modeling and thinking aloud about the structure of language and especially written language, children begin to internalize this knowledge. Following is a transcript of what this conversation and writing might look like:
Teacher: “I want to write about our trip to the zoo yesterday and

I need your help.” “What would be a good way to start my story?”

Turn to your neighbor and discuss possible