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Written corrective feedback at a Saudi University : English language teachers’ beliefs, students’ preferences, and teachers’ practices

Alkhatib, Nada (2015) Written corrective feedback at a Saudi University : English language teachers’ beliefs, students’ preferences, and teachers’ practices. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This study investigates the beliefs and practices of writing tutors regarding written corrective feedback (WCF) in a Saudi Arabian university. The central focus of this work is threefold: (a) the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding the provision of WCF on students’ L2 writing, (b) the factors that prevent teachers from enacting their beliefs into practices, and (c) the relationship between students’ preferences and teachers’ practices regarding WCF. Ten writing tutors and their thirty students at the English language and Literature department at the University of Dammam participated in this study. Semi-structured interviews were utilized to understand teachers’ beliefs and students’ preferences. In order to understand teachers’ actual WCF practices, teachers were observed while teaching writing over almost a full semester. The think-aloud protocols of teachers while providing feedback on their students’ writing were examined and teachers’ feedback on student writing was analysed. Finally, stimulated-recall interviews were conducted to understand the factors that influence teachers’ WCF practices. The study showed both congruence and tensions between teachers’ beliefs and practices. Teachers’ beliefs were greatly congruent with their practices regarding the amount and focus of WCF. Conversely, teachers’ beliefs were incongruent concerning the explicitness of WCF, the use of positive feedback, and the source of WCF. Several contextual factors related to the university overall context (e.g. time allocated to cover the syllabus), teachers (e.g. teaching experience), and students (e.g. proficiency levels) were found to affect teachers’ practices. As for the relationship between students’ preferences and teachers’ practices, complete congruence was found in terms of teachers being the key providers of feedback. Conversely, students’ preferences were incongruent with teachers’ practices regarding the explicitness of WCF, the focus of WCF, and the provision of positive feedback. Finally, although students valued teachers’ WCF and placed a great importance to it, they faced difficulties understanding some of their teachers’ comments. This study concludes by providing some implications which could serve more than one purpose by creating knowledge which will be useful for researchers in the field of language teacher cognition and WCF.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Nada Alkhatib
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 16:11
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 16:11
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15382

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