Emotional scaffolding through editing conferences

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Joseph Falout, Nihon University



The error correction debate in second language (L2) writing should include the aspect of the emotional learning of the L2 student. The debate has been focused on the cognitive processing of language rather than on the emotional needs of the student. Interviews in this study with graduate students who faced extensive error corrections revealed that teacher immediacy motivated them in a challenging task and that their situational interest led to self-directed L2 study beyond the frame of the task. Suggestions for the teacher come from the pedagogy of emotional scaffolding, which is intended to positively influence learner affect toward learning.

In a recent meta-analysis of error correction studies, Truscott (2007) concluded this practice has little positive effect on cognitive learning. This aspect centers the ongoing controversy about whether error correction is beneficial for learning (Casanave, 2004), with little investigation about its effect on affective development. In this study I interviewed learners who had faced extensive error corrections, asking about the affective influence it had on their learning.