The Differential Effects of Source of Corrective Feedback on ESL Writing Proficiency

Date
1985
Authors
Shuquiang, Zhang
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Abstract
In teaching writing to second language learners of English, various corrective procedures are employed as feedback to assist the revision stage of the writing process. These procedures include the use of peer, teacher and/or self-feedback as stimuli for successful revision. Whether or not any one of these types of feedback is superior to the others has not yet been determined objectively. Related to this question is how ESL learners themselves feel about those corrective procedures from different sources. The experiment and survey reported here are intended to illuminate the differential effects of teacher feedback, peer feedback and self-feedback upon the informational/rhetorical and grammatical/mechanical aspects of ESL writing proficiency at three levels ranging from lower-intermediate to advanced. It is found that across the proficiency levels, manipulation of the feedback type variable produces no significant differences on the informational/rhetorical aspect of ESL writing proficiency. But in the grammatical/mechanical category, feedback has a main effect. There is also evidence to suggest that teacher feedback might be the most effective procedure in dealing with grammatical inaccuracy. Survey results reveal that the supposedly "palatable" peer feedback is not as well received by ESL learners as the traditional teacher feedback. In teaching writing to second language learners of English, various corrective procedures are employed as feedback to assist the revision stage of the writing process. These procedures include the use of peer, teacher and/or self-feedback as stimuli for successful revision. Whether or not any one of these types of feedback is superior to the others has not yet been determined objectively. Related to this question is how ESL learners themselves feel about those corrective procedures from different sources. The experiment and survey reported here are intended to illuminate the differential effects of teacher feedback, peer feedback and self-feedback upon the informational/rhetorical and grammatical/mechanical aspects of ESL writing proficiency at three levels ranging from lower-intermediate to advanced. It is found that across the proficiency levels, manipulation of the feedback type variable produces no significant differences on the informational/rhetorical aspect of ESL writing proficiency. But in the grammatical/mechanical category, feedback has a main effect. There is also evidence to suggest that teacher feedback might be the most effective procedure in dealing with grammatical inaccuracy. Survey results reveal that the supposedly "palatable" peer feedback is not as well received by ESL learners as the traditional teacher feedback.
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Keywords
tesol, esl writing, corrective feedback, teacher feedback, peer feedback, self feedback
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