Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 3 September 2023                                   Pp. 87-109

Full Paper PDF

      Written Corrective Feedback Scientometric Review (1987–2022)

Xuan Wang
School of Foreign Studies
Northwestern Polytechnical University, China

Jingying Zuo
School of Foreign Studies
Northwestern Polytechnical University, China
Corresponding Author:

Xinyi Wang
School of Foreign Studies
Northwestern Polytechnical University, China


Received:05/11/2023         Accepted: 08/22/2023                Published:09/24/2023


Written corrective feedback is widely used in language learning and teaching, and related studies have attracted significant attention in recent years. Through analysis and visualization of 497 articles indexed in the Web of Science core collection over the past 35 years using CiteSpace, this scientometric review aims to explore the developmental stages, involved disciplines, geospatial fingerprint, main research streams, and emerging research trends of written corrective feedback. The following stages were identified based on the timeline of publications and citations: the sprouting phase (1987–2005), the fluctuating phase (2006–2016), and the explosive phase (2017–2022). The interdisciplinary trend toward written corrective feedback becomes increasingly prominent throughout each stage, and its primary disciplines range from linguistics and cognitive science to psychology and computer science. The primary research contexts for written corrective feedback research are ESL and EFL; countries with multiple coexisting language variants have prioritized research in this field. Existing studies have witnessed a shift from quantitative to qualitative research, and case studies focusing on individual differences are emerging as a newer research frontier. As one of the first few scientometric reviews of written corrective feedback since the phrase first appeared as a combined index term, this study is significant as a reference for comprehensively understanding the intellectual background, dynamics, and evolution of this research field.
Keywords: CiteSpace, co-citation, language learning, scientometrics, written corrective feedback

Cite as:  Wang, X., Zuo, J., & Wang, X.  (2023). Written Corrective Feedback Scientometric Review (1987–2022).
Arab World English Journal, 14 (3) 87-109.


Abdullah, A., Azmi, M., Hassan, I., Atek, E., & Jusoh, Z. (2021). Investigation into common errors in English writing among non-academic staff at a Malaysian public university. Arab World English Journal12(4), 446-461. doi:10.24093/awej/vol12no4.29

Aknouch, L., & Bouthiche, H. (2022). Types and sources of Moroccan EFL students’ errors in writing: A study of error analysis. Arab World English Journal, 13(4), 67-79. doi:10.24093/awej/vol13no4.5

Alharbi, M. (2022). Exploring the impact of teacher feedback modes and features on students’ text revisions in writing. Assessing Writing, 52.

Anderson, P., Bergman, B., Bradley, L., Gustafsson, M., & Matzke, A. (2010). Peer reviewing across the Atlantic: Patterns and trends in L1 and L2 comments made in an asynchronous online collaborative learning exchange between technical communication students in Sweden and in the United States. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 24(3), 296-322. doi:10.1177/1050651910363270

Barrot, J. (2023). Using automated written corrective feedback in the writing classrooms: Effects on L2 writing accuracy. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 36(4), 584-607. doi:10.1080/09588221.2021.1936071

Bitchener, J. (2008). Evidence in support of written corrective feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 17(2), 102-118. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2007.11.004

Bitchener, J. (2012). A reflection on ‘the language learning potential’ of written CF. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(4), 348-363. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2012.09.006

Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2008). The value of written corrective feedback for migrant and international students. Language Teaching Research, 12(3), 409-431. doi:10.1177/1362168808089924

Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2010). Raising the linguistic accuracy level of advanced L2 writers with written corrective feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 19(4), 207-217. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2010.10.002

Cao, Z., & Mao, Z. (2022). Studies on positive evidence feedback in second language writing: Status quo and implications. RELC Journal, 10.

Chandler, J. (2003). The efficacy of various kinds of error feedback for improvement in the accuracy and fluency of L2 student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(3), 267-296. doi:10.1016/s1060-3743(03)00038-9

Chen, C. (2017). Science mapping: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Data and Information Science, 2(2), 1-40. doi:10.1515/jdis-2017– 0006.

Chen, C., Dubin, R., & Kim, M. (2014). Emerging trends and new developments in regenerative medicine: A scientometric update (2000-2014). Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, 14(9), 1295-1317. doi:10.1517/14712598.2014.920813

Chen, C., Ibekwe-SanJuan, F., & Hou, J. (2010). The structure and dynamics of co-citation clusters: A multiple-perspective co-citation analysis. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(7), 1386-1409. doi:10.1002/asi.21309

Chen, C., & Leydesdorff, L. (2014). Patterns of connections and movements in dual-map overlays: A new method of publication portfolio analysis, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(2), 334-351. doi:10.1002/asi.22968

Chen, J., Zhang, L., & Parr, J. (2022). Improving EFL students’ text revision with the self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) model. Metacognition and Learning, 17(1), 191-211. doi:10.1007/s11409-021-09280-w

Chen, W. (2022). Investigating novice EFL writing teachers’ beliefs and practices concerning written corrective feedback across contexts: A case study from a complexity theory perspective. Language Awareness.

Cheng, G. (2017). The impact of online automated feedback on students’ reflective journal writing in an EFL course. The Internet and Higher Education, 34(7), 18-27. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2017.04.002

Cheng, G. (2022). Exploring the effects of automated tracking of student responses to teacher feedback in draft revision: Evidence from an undergraduate EFL writing course. Interactive Learning Environments, 30(2), 353-375. doi:10.1080/10494820.2019.1655769

Cheng, X., & Zhang, L. (2021). Teacher written feedback on English as a foreign language learners’ writing: Examining native and nonnative English-speaking teachers’ practices in feedback provision. Frontiers in Psychology, 12.

Cho, H., & Kim, Y. (2022). Learning Korean honorifics through individual and collaborative writing tasks and written corrective feedback. Applied Linguistics Review, 13(1), 19-47. doi:10.1515/applirev-2018-0075

Cho, H., Kim, Y., & Park, S. (2022). Comparing students’ responses to synchronous written corrective feedback during individual and collaborative writing tasks. Language Awareness, 31(1), 1-20. doi:10.1080/09658416.2021.1937194

Ellis, R. (2009). A typology of written corrective feedback types. ELT Journal, 63(2), 97-107. doi:10.1093/elt/ccn023

Ellis, R. (2010). EPILOGUE: A framework for investigating oral and written corrective feedback. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32(2), 335-349. doi:10.1017/S0272263109990544

Ellis, R., Sheen, Y., Murakami, M., & Takashima, H. (2008). The effects of focused and unfocused written corrective feedback in an English as a foreign language context. System, 36(3), 353-371. doi:10.1016/j.system.2008.02.001

Elola, I., & Oskoz, A. (2010). Collaborative writing fostering foreign language and writing conventions development. Language Learning & Technology, 14(3), 51-71. doi:10.1007/s10956-010-9217-8

Ferris, D. (1999). The case for grammar correction in L2 writing classes: A response to Truscott (1996). Journal of Second Language Writing, 8(1), 1-11. doi:10.1016/S1060-3743(99)80110-6

Ferris, D. (2002). Treatment of error in second language student writing. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Ferris, D. (2004). The “grammar correction” debate in L2 writing: Where are we, and where do we go from here? (and what do we do in the meantime…?). Journal of Second Language Writing, 13(1), 49-62. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2004.04.005

Ferris, D. (2010). Second language writing research and written corrective feedback in SLA intersections and practical applications. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32(2), 181-201. doi:10.1017/s0272263109990490

Ferris, D., & Hedgcock, J. (2014). Teaching L2 composition: Purpose, process, and practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Fu, H., & Liu, X. (2022). EFL learner engagement in automatic written evaluation. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.

Goldstein, L. (2004). Questions and answers about teacher written commentary and student revision: Teachers and students working together. Journal of Second Language Writing, 13(1), 63-80. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2004.04.006

Guenette, D. (2007). Is feedback pedagogically correct? Research design issues in studies of feedback on writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 16(1), 40-53. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2007.01.001

Guo, X. (2022). A bibliometric analysis of child language during 1900–2021. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.

Han, Y., & Hyland, F. (2015). Exploring learner engagement with written corrective feedback in a Chinese tertiary EFL classroom. Journal of Second Language Writing, 30(1), 31-44. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2015.08.002

Han, Y., & Hyland, F. (2019). Academic emotions in written corrective feedback situations. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 38(1), 1-13. doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2018.12.003

Hyland, K. (2013). Faculty feedback: Perceptions and practices in L2 disciplinary writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 240-253. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2013.03.003

Jiang, J., & Fan, L. (2022). Visualizing the knowledge domain of language experience: A bibliometric analysis. Sage Open, 12(1), 1-17. doi:10.1177/21582440211067252

Kang, E., & Han, Z. (2015). The efficacy of written corrective feedback in improving L2 written accuracy: A meta-analysis. Modern Language Journal, 99(1), 1-18. doi:10.1111/modl.12189

Kepner, C. (1991). An experiment in the relationship of types of written feedback to the development of second language writing skills. Modern Language Journal, 75(3), 305-313.

Kim, Y., Choi, B., Kang, S., Kim, B., & Yun, H. (2020). Comparing the effects of direct and indirect synchronous written corrective feedback: Learning outcomes and students’ perceptions. Foreign Language Annals, 53(1), 176-199. doi:10.1111/flan.12443

Koltovskaia, S. (2020). Student engagement with automated written corrective feedback (AWCF) provided by Grammarly: A multiple case study. Assessing Writing, 44.

Kurzer, K. (2018). Dynamic written corrective feedback in developmental multilingual writing classes. TESOL Quarterly, 52(1), 5-33. doi:10.1002/tesq.366

Lee, I. (2013). Research into practice: Written corrective feedback. Language Teaching, 46(1), 108-119. doi:10.1017/s0261444812000390

Lee, I. (2019). Teacher written corrective feedback: Less is more. Language Teaching, 52(4), 524-536. doi:10.1017/s0261444819000247

Lee, S., & Briggs, N. (2021). Effects of using machine translation to mediate the revision process of Korean university students’ academic writing. ReCALL, 33(1), 18-33. doi:10.1017/s0958344020000191

Lee, S., & Du, Q. (2021). Quantifying native speakerism in second language (L2) writing: A study of student evaluations of teaching. Applied Linguistics, 42(3), 541-568. doi:10.1093/applin/amaa033

Li, S., & Roshan, S. (2019). The associations between working memory and the effects of four different types of written corrective feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 45, 1-15. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2019.03.003

Li, S., & Vuono, A.(2019). Twenty-five years of research on oral and written corrective feedback in System. System, 84, 93-109. doi:10.1016/j.system.2019.05.006

Lim, M., & Aryadoust, V. (2022). A scientometric review of research trends in computer-assisted language learning (1977-2020). Computer Assisted Language Learning, 35(9), 2675-2700. doi:10.1080/09588221.2021.1892768

Liu, Q. D., & Brown, D. (2015). Methodological synthesis of research on the effectiveness of corrective feedback in L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 30(1), 66-81. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2015.08.011

Lopez, M., Van Steendam, E., Speelman, D., & Buyse, K. (2018). The differential effects of comprehensive feedback forms in the second language writing class. Language Learning, 68(3), 813-850. doi:10.1111/lang.12295

Mao, Z., & Lee, I. (2020). Feedback scope in written corrective feedback: Analysis of empirical research in L2 contexts. Assessing Writing, 45.

Miao, J., Chang, J., & Ma, L. (2023). Research trends of written corrective feedback in L2 writing: A bibliometric analysis. SAGE Open, 13(1). doi:10.1177/21582440221135172

Moradkhani, S., & Mansouri, B. (2023). Impact of a research-informed intervention on L2 teachers’ WCF cognitions and practices: A sociocultural perspective. System.

Moser, A. (2020). Written corrective feedback: The role of learner engagement. Cham: Springer.

Mujtaba, S., Parkash, R., & Nawaz, M. (2020). Do indirect coded corrective feedback and teachers short affective comments improve the writing performance and learners uptake? Reading & Writing Quarterly, 36(1), 34-47. doi:10.1080/10573569.2019.1616638

Nowbakht, M., & Olive, T. (2021). The role of error type and working memory in written corrective feedback effectiveness on first-language self error-correction. Written Communication, 38(2), 278-310. doi:10.1177/0741088320986554

Papi, M., Bondarenko, A., Wawire, B., Jiang, C., & Zhou, S. (2020). Feedback-seeking behavior in second language writing: Motivational mechanisms. Reading and Writing, 33(2), 485-505. doi:10.1007/s11145-019-09971-6

Patra, I., Alazemi, A., Al-Jamal, D., & Gheisari, A. (2022). The effectiveness of teachers’ written and verbal corrective feedback (CF) during formative assessment (FA) on male language learners’ academic anxiety (AA), academic performance (AP), and attitude toward learning (ATL). Language Testing in Asia, 12(1), 1-21. doi:10.1186/s40468-022-00169-2

Polio, C., Fleck, C., & Leder, N. (1998). “If I only had more time:” ESL learners’ changes in linguistic accuracy on essay revisions. Journal of Second Language Writing, 7(1), 43-68.

Roemer, R. & Borchardt, R. (2015). Meaningful metrics: A 21st century librarian’s guide to bibliometrics, altmetrics, and research impact. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries

Schmidt, R. (2011). The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 11(2), 37-41. doi:10.1093/applin/11.2.129

Sheen, Y. (2007). The effect of focused written corrective feedback and language aptitude on ESL learners’ acquisition of articles. TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 255-283. doi:10.2307/40264353

Sheen, Y., Wright, D., & Moldawa, A. (2009). Differential effects of focused and unfocused written correction on the accurate use of grammatical forms by adult ESL learners. System, 37(4), 556-569. doi:10.1016/j.system.2009.09.002

Shen, R., & Chong, S. (2023). Learner engagement with written corrective feedback in ESL and EFL contexts: A qualitative research synthesis using a perception-based framework. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 48(3), 276-290. doi:10.1080/02602938.2022.2072468

Shin, H. W. (2022). Comparative analysis of written corrective feedback strategies: A linear growth modeling approach. IRAL-International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 23. doi:10.1515/iral-2021-0174

Shintani, N. (2016). The effects of computer-mediated synchronous and asynchronous direct corrective feedback on writing: A case study. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(3), 517-538. doi:10.1080/09588221.2014.993400.

Shintani, N., & Ellis, R. (2013). The comparative effect of direct written corrective feedback and metalinguistic explanation on learners’ explicit and implicit knowledge of the English indefinite article. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 286-306. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2013.03.011

Shintani, N., Ellis, R., & Suzuki, W. (2014). Effects of written feedback and revision on learners’ accuracy in using two English grammatical structures. Language Learning, 64(1), 103-131. doi:10.1111/lang.12029

Sinha, T., & Nassaji, H. (2022). ESL learners’ perception and its relationship with the efficacy of written corrective feedback. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 32(1), 41-56.

Storch, N., & Wigglesworth, G. (2010). Learners’ processing, uptake, and retention of corrective feedback on writing case studies. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32(2), 303-334. doi:10.1017/s0272263109990532

Thornbury, S. (1997). Reformulation and reconstruction: Tasks that promote ‘noticing’. ELT Journal, 51(4), 326-335. doi:10.1093/elt/51.4.326

Truscott, J. (1996). The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes. Language Learning, 46(2), 327-369. doi:10.1111/j.1467-1770.1996.tb01238.x

Truscott, J. (1999). What’s wrong with oral grammar correction. Canadian Modern Language Review, 55(4), 437-456. doi:10.3138/cmlr.55.4.437

Truscott, J. (2007). The effect of error correction on learners’ ability to write accurately. Journal of Second Language Writing, 16(4), 255-272. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2007.06.003

Van Beuningen, C., De Jong, N., & Kuiken, F. (2012). Evidence on the effectiveness of comprehensive error correction in second language writing. Language Learning, 62(1), 1-41. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00674.x

Vogel, R. (2014). What happened to the public organization? A bibliometric analysis of public administration and organization studies. The American Review of Public Administration, 44(4), 383-408. doi:10.1177/0275074012470867

Vyatkina, N. (2010). The effectiveness of written corrective feedback in teaching beginning German. Foreign Language Annals, 43(4), 671-689. doi:10.1111/j.1944-9720.2010.01108.x

Wang, X., Zuo, J., Liu, F., & Sun, Z. (2023). A scientometric review of research trends in language assessment literacy. Education Sciences13(2), 190. doi:10.3390/educsci13020190

Yu, S., Geng, F., Liu, C., & Zheng, Y. (2021). What works may hurt: The negative side of feedback in second language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 54, 100850.

Zabihi, R., & Erfanitabar, D. (2021). The revision effects of varying degrees of written corrective feedback explicitness on L2 learners’ writings. RELC Journal.

Zhang, Z., & Hyland, K. (2018). Student engagement with teacher and automated feedback on L2 writing. Assessing Writing, 36, 90-102. doi:10.1016/j.asw.2018.02.004

Zheng, Y., & Yu, S. (2018). Student engagement with teacher written corrective feedback in EFL writing: A case study of Chinese lower-proficiency students. Assessing Writing, 37, 13-24. doi:10.1016/j.asw.2018.03.001

Zhou, Y., Yu, S., & Wu, P. (2022). Revisiting praise as feedback in L2 writing: Where are we going? RELC Journal. doi:10.1177/00336882221123100

Received: 05/11/2023  
Accepted: 08/22/2023   
Published: 09/24/2023  

Dr. Xuan Wang is currently Assistant Professor at the School of Foreign Studies, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China. She completed her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2018 and her research interest is second language vocabulary development, language testing and teaching, and language policy and planning. ORCID:

Jingying Zuo is a Master student in applied linguistics at School of Foreign Studies, Northwestern Polytechnical University. Her areas of interest include nonverbal communication in the second language class, language pedagogy, and tacit knowledge in education.

Xinyi Wang is an undergraduate student in English major at School of Foreign Studies, Northwestern Polytechnical University. Her research interests are Applied Linguistics, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).