Investigating teachers’ written corrective feedback practices in a Saudi EFL context
How do they align with their beliefs, institutional guidelines, and students’ preferences?
In recent years there have been a growing number of studies on written corrective feedback (WCF), particularly in terms of the efficacy of different types of WCF. However, few of these studies have investigated what shapes teachers’ WCF practices and how they align with students’ preferences. This study, conducted with staff and students in a large Saudi university that has strict guidelines on WCF provision, examined the teachers’ WCF practices in relation to the institutional guidelines, their own beliefs about the most effective forms of WCF as well as their students’ preferences. Data collected included the feedback given by three teachers on their students’ writing (15 students per teacher), follow-up interviews with the teachers, and questionnaires completed by the students. The study found that although the teachers followed the strict guidelines and provided comprehensive indirect feedback, these practices did not always accord with their beliefs. Most of the WCF given tended to be on mechanics, and the teachers seemed unaware that this was the main focus of their feedback. They were also largely unaware that their students preferred direct feedback and mainly on grammar. We conclude our paper with some policy recommendations.
Keywords: students' preferences, teachers' beliefs, written corrective feedback, EFL
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