This quasi-experimental study was designed to investigate the role and value of two major interactional feedback techniques: recasts and elicitations in communicative Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA) classrooms. A preliminary pilot study based on observing 20 AFL classes suggested to the author of this paper that both recasts and elicitations are widely used in correcting learners' grammatical mistakes, especially subject-verb agreement errors (50%, and 30% for recasts and elicitations, respectively). Accordingly, the purpose of the current classroom-based study is to investigate which of the two feedback strategies, under investigation, could lead to substantial changes in Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) learners' inter-language, in terms of the effect these strategies might have on the short-term development of AFL learners' target- like ECA subject-verb agreement forms. Pretest- immediate/delayed posttests were used to investigate the impact of recasts (an input-based feedback) and elicitations (an output-based feedback) on 24 AFL low intermediate learners. Four experimental groups were formed: two recasts groups with 10 participants, and two elicitations groups with 14 participants. The results of the immediate post-test, which was carried out on the same day of the treatment, showed no significant effect for both recasts and elicitations on learners' immediate pick-up of target-like ECA subject-verb agreement forms. However, the two elicitations groups significantly outperformed the two recasts groups on the delayed posttest, which was carried out two days after the treatment. The results of the delayed posttest also showed that the two elicitations groups significantly benefited more than the two recasts groups in terms of their recall of target-like ECA subject-verb agreement forms, which further added to the learners' inter-language development.

Degree Name

MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2013

First Advisor

El Essawi, Raghda

Committee Member 1

Abouel Seoud, Dalal

Committee Member 2

Taha, Zeib


156 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Arabic language -- Dialects -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Arabic language -- Study and teaching -- Egypt.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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This dissertation would not have been possible without the support of many people to whom I would like to express my thanks and appreciation. My deepest gratitude to the readers of my paper: Dr. Raghda El Essawi,Dr. Dalal AboulSeoud, and Dr. ZeibTaha who helped in various ways throughout the preparation of this dissertation with their guidance, insightful suggestions, and continuous support. Beyond this thesis, I have gained tremendously from the expertise of all these people, for which I am extremely grateful. Special thanks to Ms. Rasha Essam who helped me in the qualitative alysis of data. Without her help, this study would not have been possible. I would also like to thank her for her patience, kindness, and readiness to be there for me all the time. I am also indebted to the ALI CALL staff: Mr. Ayman Abdel Hafez, Mr. Mohammed Ali, and Mr. Medhat El Kamhawy who did all the required video recording for the study. Their professiolism and cheerful manner while carrying out their duties will always be appreciated. I owe a great debt of gratitude to all the AFL teachers at the ALI department of the American University in Cairo (AUC), who volunteered to take part in the study and also encouraged their students to participate: Mr. Ihab Atta, Mr.Haitham Salah El-Din, and Mr. Sayed Deifallah, Mrs. bila Al Asyouti, Mrs. ShahiraYacout, and Mrs. Shereen Hassan. My deepest thanks to my fellow graduate students who volunteered to participate with their classes: Mr. Mahmoud Baiyoumy, Ms. Esraa Essa, and Ms. Sarah Aboul Goukh. I also owe a great debt of gratitude to the administration of the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo for allowing me to carry out part of my study at the institute. Special thanks to Dr. Rudolf E. de Jong, the director of the institute, and to Mr. Adel Orabi, Senior Instructor at the institute, for volunteering to participate in the study with his classes. I am really grateful to them both. I am also very grateful to all my colleagues who offered tremendous support throughout my entire graduate studies experience. I will always cherish the moments we have spent together. This thesis is dedicated to my family: my father, my mother, and my sister, Dr. Hala El Ramly, professor at the Economics Department, AUC. I would like to thank them for the encouragement and support they have always shown me. I would like also to thank my mother-in-law for her continuous support. I also dedicate this thesis to my husband Ibrahim, who spared no effort in helping me see this work to completion. I also dedicate it with all my heart to my children, Yehia and Seif, for having endured the whole process with all its attendant inconveniences. I also dedicate this thesis to all my professors at the TAFL Department: Dr. El Said Badawi, Dr. Zeib Taha, Dr. Raghda El Essawi, Dr. Dalal AboulSeoud, and Dr. Ashraf Abdou. I dedicate it also to Dr. Fred Perry and Dr. Atta Gebril from the TEFL department. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to all these inspiratiol teachers whose vast knowledge and expertise in the area of language learning and second language acquisition have enriched my own learning experience.