August 11, 2000 (Preliminary Report)
5. Duration of the Experiment, Data Collection and Types of Feedback
The experiment was conducted for about three months between May and July, 2000. During this period, the subjects in the Control Group submitted seven letter-writing assignments (Tests 1 through 7) as part of the requirements of the correspondence course mentioned above. These letters were checked by two native-speaking staff members of the course under the supervision of this author and, after being added a full (i.e., non-selective) and explicit error correction in accordance with the usual procedure of the course, were sent back to respective subjects by surface mail. These letters were copied and filed for records before they were sent back.
All the assignments submitted by the subjects in the Experiment Group were checked by this author and returned by email after being added a selective feedback with no explicit error correction (as opposed to the full and explicit error correction given to the Control Group). In doing so, a particular attempt was made to encourage the subjects to refer to the BLC Concordancer in finding the right "solutions" to the problems in question, as shown in the following sample of instructor's feedback:
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