Academic journal article International Journal of English Studies

Written Corrective Feedback: Practitioners' Perspectives

Academic journal article International Journal of English Studies

Written Corrective Feedback: Practitioners' Perspectives

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Considerable attention has been given to written corrective feedback (WCF) in second language writing (L2) over the past several decades. One of the central questions has focused on the appropriateness of its use in L2 writing. In these academic discussions, scholars frequently describe how WCF is utilized in the classroom. However, many of these claims of teacher practice have no research base, since few studies have actually asked teachers what place WCF has in their writing classroom (Ferris, et al., in press/2011a; Ferris, et al., in press/2011b; Hyland, 2003; Lee, 2004). This paucity of data from teachers about their WCF practices is problematic. Understanding teacher perspectives on corrective feedback is integral to our understanding the place of WCF in L2 writing pedagogy. Accordingly, this article reports on a study that asks two fundamental research questions: (a) To what extent do current L2 writing teachers provide WCF? and (b) What determines whether or not practitioners choose to provide WCF? These questions were answered by means of an international survey completed by 1,053 L2 writing practitioners in 69 different countries. Results suggest that WCF is commonly practiced in L2 pedagogy by experienced and well-educated L2 practitioners for sound pedagogical reasons.

KEY WORDS:

error correction, L2 writing, written corrective feedback,

RESUMEN

Durante las últimas décadas se ha prestado bastante atención a la pertinencia del empleo de feedback correctivo (FC) sobre los textos producidos por los alumnos en una segunda lengua. Aunque hay bastantes descripciones sobre cómo se emplea el FC en el aula, muchas de las afirmaciones sobre la práctica docente no tienen una base científica ya que son pocos los estudios en los que se ha preguntado directamente a los profesores el lugar que el FC ocupa en sus clases (Ferris, et al., in press/2011a; Ferris, et al., in press/2011b; Hyland, 2003; Lee, 2004). Esta escasez de datos es problemática ya que las percepciones de los profesores sobre el del FC son fundamentales a la hora de entender su puesta en práctica. Teniendo todo ello en cuenta, este artículo presenta un estudio que plantea dos preguntas de investigación fundamentales: (a) ¿En qué medida proporcionan FC los profesores de escritura en L2? y (b) ¿Cuáles son los factores que determinan ese uso o falta de uso? Por medio de una encuesta internacional, 1053 profesores de escritura en L2 en 69 países diferentes contestaron a estas preguntas. Los resultados indican que el FC es una práctica pedagógica común en L2 que se lleva a cabo por docentes experimentados y bien formados teniendo en cuenta sólidos motivos pedagógicos.

PALABRAS CLAVE:

Corrección de errores, escritura en segundas lenguas, feedback de corrección escrita

1. INTRODUCTION

Corrective feedback is a long-standing educational practice that can arguably be linked to almost everything we learn (Evans, Hartshorn, McCollum, & Wolfersberger, 2010; Hattie & Timperley, 2007). According to Russell and Spada (2006), in language learning "the term corrective feedback [refers] to any feedback provided to a learner, from any source, that contains evidence of learner error of language form" (p. 134). The value of such feedback in second language (L2) writing has been debated in the literature for several decades. Theorists have attempted to answer many questions related to written corrective feedback (WCF) in L2 writing. For instance: Is it helpful or harmful to students? (Chandler, 2003; Ferris, 2007; Truscott, 1996, 2007; Zamel 1985); Should it be given to students at all proficiency levels, or only at beginning levels? (Bitchener & Knoch, 2009a; Kepner, 1991); Should WCF be given to students explicitly or implicitly? (Bitchener, Cameron, & Young, 2005; Hyland & Hyland, 2002; Lalande, 1984); Should it be given directly or indirectly? (Ferris, 1997, 2001, 2006; Ferris, & Roberts, 2001; Ellis, 1998; Lee, 2004; Sheen, Wright, & Moldawa, 2009); Should all written errors be marked or only select errors? …

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