In EFL writing classes, teachers give feedback with the assumption that it will help students improve. In contrast, Truscott (1996) argues that feedback has little to no value to students. This presentation, using data gathered from a first-year university liberal arts reading course, seeks to document and measure the potential effectiveness of two forms of feedback (explicit commentary and coded feedback) and the pros and cons of both forms. This research project examines two classes of 25 students each who wrote seven 400-500 word papers on a variety of topics. One class was given explicit commentary feedback while the second class received coded feedback. Over the course of one term, grades were recorded and compared to examine any differences between the two classes while receiving different methods of feedback. The data does not exhibit any significant variation, perhaps indicating that the type of feedback used is not so important. In fact, over the course of the term, there was no significant improvement in the students' writing. Secondly, this presentation will present students' perceptions of teacher feedback, as recorded by a 6-point Likert scale questionnaire. Interestingly, the vast majority of the students indicated that they wanted feedback from the teacher, even though feedback did not appear to have much impact on their writing. One interpretation is that students simply want feedback from the teacher in the same way children seek attention from parents: simply for emotional rather than practical reasons.
Steven Charles, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Japan
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
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