Responding in writing: the effects of written feedback on the writing skills of adult ESL learners

Maura Katherine Rhodes

    Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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    This study examined the effects of three different types of teacher
    written feedback on the writing of adults for w h o m English is a
    Second Language (ESL). Thirty subjects were assigned to either a
    Responsive feedback group, Corrective feedback group or
    Responsive/Corrective combined feedback group. Each of the
    feedback groups comprised 10 participants. Each of the participants
    corresponded through letter writing with the researcher each
    week, for a period of eight weeks. The researcher responded in
    writing to each of the participants using the feedback appropriate
    to the group to which they were assigned. Data were obtained on
    the quantity of writing each participant produced, the frequency of
    spelling mistakes, the development of a theme within a letter and
    the quality of the written work produced. Results of an Analysis of
    Variance ( A N O V A ) revealed statistically significant differences in
    the quality of written work produced, as measured on a
    standardised test and by teacher ratings, with all three groups
    showing improvements. Scheffe follow up procedures, however,
    revealed no statistically significant differences between the groups.
    There were no statistically significant differences in the frequency
    of mispellings and in the quantity of work produced (i.e., the
    number of words written) by participants. It was found that
    participants w h o received some form of responsive feedback
    developed a theme to their correspondence earlier than others.
    Social validation of the correspondence program revealed that
    students who received replies to their letters expressed a higher
    level of satisfaction. Results of the present study provide support
    that the writing of adult ESL learners is enhanced by practice alone
    and that the use of such correspondence programs which
    involves teachers responding in writing to their ESL learners
    might be beneficial.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    Publication statusUnpublished - 1991

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