d language is the significance of pronunciation error correction and its subsequent effects on language learning. Looking at the teacher and learner interaction allows us to examine the type of language communication that is practiced within the classrooms. Although studies have been conducted on teacher’s feedback, limited research is known about teacher’s verbal or immediate feedback in the classroom. This study provides an awareness of the feedback practices employed in the classroom interaction and learner learning.
In the context of teaching and learning languages, various definitions of the term feedback have been proposed. Most of these definitions indicate that feedback refers to informing learners about their work in progress. More specifically, this form of interaction shows learners their errors and guides them to correct their work (Ur, 1996; Lewis, 2002). An important point that needs consideration concerns the purpose of providing feedbacks. According to Boud (2002), “A good feedback is given without personal judgment or opinion, given based on the facts, always neutral and objective, constructive and focus on the future” (p.7).
Thus, the use of appropriate and qualified type feedback can be viewed as a significant tool in enhancing learner learning. Mastropieri and Scruggs (1994) expounded that feedbacks should be outcome-focused and encouraging. However, Lenz, Ellis and Scanlon (1996) suggested that not only should feedback focus on what learners did incorrectly, but also on matters to improve future accomplishments. Attending to these forms of feedback would facilitate teachers in identifying learners’ needs and more likely to see positive outcome from learners.
Among the studies about error correction, recast has proved to be the most frequent error correction. Recast is one type of interactional feedback that has received much attention in second language acquisition .It involves the teacher’s reformulation of all or part of a learner’s utterance, minus the error and it often takes the form of confirmation checks. Spada and Frohlich (1995; cited in Lyster and Randa 1997) also referred to such reformulations as “paraphrase”. Recasts are generally implicit in that they are not introduced by phrases such as “You mean,” “Use this word,” and “You should say”. However, some Recasts are more salient than others in that they may focus on one word only, whereas others incorporate the grammatical or lexical modifications into a sustained piece of discourse. Recasts also include translations in response to a learner’s use of the first language (Lyster and Randa, 1997).
A Recast is a technique used in language teaching to correct learners’ errors in such a way that is not obstructed. To Recast an error, a teacher will repeat the error back to the learner in a corrected form. Recasts are used both by teachers in formal educational settings, and by adults to improve children’s native language skills. A frequently used technique is for the adult to imitate the child’s speech. In this form of Recast, the adult repeats the child’s incorrect phrases incorrect form. This enables the child to learn the correct pronunciation, grammar and sentence structure. Recasts can be used for teaching second languages. In this form the Recast is usually more than a simple repeating of the learner’s words. The teacher will correct the learners’ errors but also extend the learning by additional words or phrases (such as asking a question). Recasts are provided only when learners failed to provide the correct form. Once provided, the learners are required to repeat the teachers’ reformulation.
Recasts draw learner’s attention to mismatches between input and output and cause them to focus on form. The learner modifies his utterance by repeating the feedback. However, Recasts are much less likely to lead to immediate self-correction by the learners, relatively speaking, than are other feedback types. Recasts are well suited to communicative classroom discourse, because they tend not to interrupt the flow of communication, keep learners’ attention focused on meaning, and provide scaffolds that enable learners to participate in interaction that requires linguistic abilities exceeding their current developmental level. Up to now there have been many studies of the role of Recast in second and foreign language acquisition.
In these studies the greater effectiveness of Recasts lies in situations where learners are given additional cues that help them recognize Recasts as feedback on pronunciation error.
Much like explicit error correction, Metalinguistic Feedback diverts the focus of conversation towards rules features of the target language. Metalinguistic Feedback contains either comments, information or questions related to the well-formedness of the learners’ utterance, without explicit providing the correct form. According to Lyster and Randa, 1997, Metalinguistic comments generally indicate that there is an error somewhere. Metalinguistic information generally provides either some grammatical Metalanguage that refers to the nature of the error (e.g., “It’s masculine”) or a word definition in the case of lexical errors. Metalinguistic questions also point to the nature of the error but attempt to elicit the information from the learners (e.g., “Is it feminine?”).
Metalinguistic Feedback points to the nature of the error but attempts to elicit the information from the learner. This type of feedback shows the learners or forces them to think about why something in the language functions the way that it does, i.e.: “Is that how you would say it in English?” In brief Metalinguistic Statement aims at eliciting a self-correction from the learner.
According to Lyster (2007), Metalinguistic Feedback can lead learners to self-repair, whereas Recasts can lead only to repetition of correct forms by learners. Lyster (2007) argued that self-repair following a Metalinguistic Feedback requires a deeper level of processing than repetition of a teacher’s Recast. Self-repair is thus more likely to destabilize interlanguage forms as learners are pushed to reanalyze interlanguage representations and to attend to the retrieval of alternative forms. In contrast to self-repair following a Metalinguistic Feedback, repetition of Recast does not engage learners in a similarly deep level of processing nor necessitate any reanalysis.
Teaching pronunciation involves a variety of challenges. To begin with, teachers often find that they do not have enough time in class to give proper attention to this aspect of English instruction. When they do find the time to address pronunciation, the instruction often amounts to the presentation and practice of a series of tedious and seemingly unrelated topics. Drilling sounds over and over again (e.g., minimal pair work) often leads to discouraging results, and discouraged learners and teachers who prefer to avoid pronunciation altogether.
There are also psychological factors that affect the learning of pronunciation in ways that are not so true of studying grammar or vocabulary. For one thing, the most basic elements of speaking are deeply personal .According to Acton, w. 2002, our sense of self and community are bound up in the speech-rhythms of our first language (L1). These rhythms were learned in the first year of life and are deeply rooted in the minds of the learners. Therefore it is common for learners to feel uneasy when they hear themselves speak with the rhythm of a second language (L2). They find that they “sound foreign” to themselves, and this is troubling for them. Although the uneasiness is usually unconscious, it can be a major barrier to improve intelligibility in the L2.
A teacher can help overcome this psychological barrier and other challenges by thinking of the goal of pronunciation instruction not as helping learners to sound like native speakers but as helping them to learn the core elements of spoken English so that they can be easily understood by others. In other words, teachers and learners can overcome the frustrations, difficulties, and boredom often associated with pronunciation by focusing their attention on the development of pronunciation that is “listener friendly”. After all, English pronunciation does not amount to mastery of a list of sounds or isolated words. Instead, it amounts to learning and practicing the specifically English way of making a speaker’s thoughts easy to follow.
This research provided teachers’ awareness of the feedback practices adopted in the classroom & strongly insisted on showing the teachers’ perceptions about Recast and Metalinguistic Feedback’s effects on the pronunciation which is the way in which a language or a particular word or sound is pronounced. .
1.2. Statement of the problem
Although several theoretical reasons emphasize the importance and effectiveness of Recasts in SLA studies, other researchers believe that Recasts usually pass unnoticed by learners.
Studies on corrective feedback and pronunciation have yielded different results, some confirming the previous research and some others casting doubt on what the predecessors have tackled. The learners attend to their pronunciation less frequently, probably because in speaking activities their goal is oriented towards communication. As long as they think their pronunciation do not pose any obstacle in understanding each other, they tend to leave it unattended. Another possible explanation is that the learners themselves were unable to identify the errors in their pronunciation; nor were their conversation partners, or they did not intend to point the errors out for the sake of face-saving. These differing results leave us in a quandary. Shall I correct? Does my correction affect the learners’ feelings? Should I terminate the flow of speech? All these questions and so many others lead us to make a final decision and put an end to all our uncertainties. Moreover in most institutional classes in Iran, teachers feel uncertain about where and how to correct the learners’ pronunciation mistakes. Since the correction feedbacks such as Recast and Metalinguistic Feedback have great effects on language teaching and learning in a classroom and ignoring them lead to ineffective teaching and learning strategies, therefore understanding learners’ pronunciation mistakes and knowing teachers’ perceptions have always been one of the highly controversial issues among language teaching experts. This present study gave some teachers’ perceptions about the solutions to all these problems.
1.3. Research Questions
Based on the purpose of the study, the researcher raised the following questions:
1) What are the teachers’ perceptions about the effects of Recast on Elementary learners’ pronunciation?
2) What are the teachers’ perceptions about the effects of Metalinguistic Feedback on Elementary learners’ pronunciation?
3) Is there any significant difference between teachers’