Language Learner Perspectives on Written Corrective Feedback Provided by Their Teachers
Giacon, William Louis
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Written Corrective Feedback (WCF) is one method by which a teacher provides a learner with feedback related to errors in their writing. Currently, English as a second language (ESL) learners’ perceptions of Written Corrective Feedback are still relatively under-researched. On the other hand, learners’ perceptions of Oral Corrective Feedback have been studied to a greater degree (e.g., Kim & Mostafa, 2021). The present study aims to further spotlight learners’ voices and add to current research by focusing on how the participants perceive the benefits and drawbacks of WCF, as well as their emotional reactions. The four participants in this study were recruited from an English language teaching school in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as from an invitation posted to the school’s social media pages. A multiple-case study approach was adopted to gain richer and deeper insights into the four participants’ viewpoints. To this end, several data gathering tools were created, including questionnaires with Likert-type scale items and open-ended questions, as well as a semi-structured interview. Previous studies into this topic had not made it possible for their participants to experience a variety of WCF methods; therefore, several stages were added to these research procedures in order to increase the participants’ awareness and experience of such teaching practices. An online information session about WCF was provided by the researcher and the writing tasks were marked using a variety of different WCF methods so that the participants were able to contribute deeper insights into the comparative value of these processes. The data from these different tools were examined for patterns and relevance to the research questions, and were triangulated to enhance their validity. Findings from the study in regard to their WCF preferences showed that the participants strongly preferred feedback on all writing errors, and that most of them indicated a preference for WCF methods which allowed them to correct their errors themselves with some assistance from the teacher. The participants’ rationales for these two preferences matched, as they indicated that increased awareness of the errors they produced made it possible for them to avoid making these errors in their future writing. In the finding related to their emotional reactions to WCF, some participants stated that they had experienced negative emotions due to the feedback they had received from their teachers. However, these participants were able to quickly overcome these negative emotions and then meaningfully engage with the feedback. Their perception that WCF is necessary in order to improve the accuracy of their grammar and accomplish their goals helped them to manage this initial reaction. The significance of this study lies in its findings, which both support previous research as well as adding new insights related to the participants’ emotional reactions and the reasons given for their WCF preferences.