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Development of a New Feedback Model Concerning Adult Beginners´ Writing in a Second Language (Liivi Jakobson, Dalarna University, Sweden)

9:30 AM, Thursday 29 Apr 2021 EDT (30 minutes)
  Virtual session
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Liivi Jakobson, Dalarna University, Sweden

Title: Development of a New Feedback Model Concerning Adult Beginners´ Writing in a Second Language

Keywords: feedback analysis model; adult beginners; teacher written feedback; writing


This study serves to fill a research gap in teacher written feedback on second language (L2) writing by focusing on adult beginners, previously uninvestigated in feedback studies (Author 2018). The purpose of this study is to answer the question: How can a feedback analysis model be developed for analyzing teacher feedback practices for beginners from a holistic perspective? Inspired by hermeneutics this study relates the whole and its parts.

The data was collected from a communicative online course in Swedish for immigrants at beginner level. All communication between teachers (N=3) and students (N=39) took place in a learning management system without any physical meetings. The analysis of this study dealt with teacher feedback on 60 texts from 12 of the students with the aim to see what the teachers naturally paid attention to.

Unlike previous L2-studies, this study adopts the main categories from Straub (1996), i.e. the focus, (what the teachers focus in comments) is separated from manners (how the teachers communicate with the students). The new model for analyzing teachers’ verbal comments is partly based on subcategories adopted from previous research models (Ferris et al. 1997; Hyland & Hyland 2001; Hyland 2001) but is also further developed.

The analysis of feedback strengthens the importance of applying the main distinction between focus and manner in an L2-context. Within focus, the teachers addressed language accuracy the most. Within language accuracy, five subcategories were added compared to a few categories in previous L2-studies in main category ‘focus’. The categorization is: grammatical structures, vocabulary, mechanics, spelling and language in general. Concerning manner, politeness and reinforcement to learning outcomes were new response categories. Results revealed that within the main category ‘manner’, all three teachers gave mostly information, but also different forms of suggestions. There was also variation between teachers, for example, concerning praise.

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