Redressing the roles of correction and repair in research on second and foreign language learning

Joan Kelly Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Correction and repair as components of an instructional practice that facilitates learning have figured prominently in research on classroom-based second and foreign language learning. 1 Recent studies incorporating a conversation analytic (CA) perspective on second language acquisition (SLA) have also focused on repair and correction. From a CA perspective, the practice of repair is a fundamental organization of interaction for dealing with troubles in achieving common understanding about the interactional work that parties in an interaction are doing together. Correction is a particular type of repair in which errors are replaced with what is correct. Applying this understanding to studies using CA to examine language classroom interaction, we find that although the CA terms repair and correction are used, in many cases, the focus of analysis is on the instructional components of correction and repair. I argue that conflating the CA practice and the instructional components misconstrues the former and, in so doing, conceals the important role that each set of practices plays in language classrooms. To make my case, I review research on correction and repair from both CA and SLA perspectives, laying out their distinctive features, and then use these understandings to examine the treatment of repair and correction in studies using CA to study SLA. I conclude with a brief discussion of implications for CA-based research on second and foreign language learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-526
Number of pages16
JournalModern Language Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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