As email requests from students to professors have become increasingly common in academic settings, research has also shown second-language (l2) students unfamiliarity with email etiquette in l2 has adversely affected their communication with their professors. The present study examines whether giving corrective feedback on students performance during pragmatics-focused activities leads to their subsequent improvement in producing and recognising pragmatically appropriate email requests in the above context. Two intact classes of vietnamese efl (english as a foreign language) intermediate level students were randomly assigned to either direct-feedback condition or meta-pragmatic feedback condition, but received similar explicit pragmatic pre-instruction. Another intact class was randomly selected as a control group. Students pragmatic performance was measured by means of a pre-test, an immediate and delayed post-tests, which consisted of a production and a recognition task. The results indicate that the treatment groups performed significantly better than the control group in the production task, but there was no significant difference between the two treatment groups. On the other hand, students who received meta-pragmatic feedback significantly outperformed those receiving direct feedback and the control group in the recognition task. These findings indicate the varying effects of the two types of written corrective feedback on different areas of l2 pragmatic competence. 2015 Taylor & francis.