The effect of feedback on learners of a Foreign Language in the development of the writing skill 1. INTRODUCTION Putting ones ideas and thoughts in writing is a natural skill but it can also be acquired with practice through a set of instructions in formal classroom settings and other learning environments…
Although writing is one of the most important aspects of language learning, it has been observed that when learning second language much emphasis is on the fluency of speech and error free writing is neglected. A written piece of work with grammatical and other errors is a real eyesore and shows poor command over the language. Writing in a second language is difficult for students mostly because they do not have sufficient working knowledge of the target language. The biggest challenge the students of second language face is writing an error free composition. Error free composition in second language is possible through practice and through the guidance of the teacher in the form of feedback. Research shows that feedback plays an important role in language learning as it not only helps in the development of writing skills of the students but it also improves the general language learning (Hyland 2011). Teachers give different type of feedback in different situations; usually errors in speech are corrected on the spot while errors in writing are corrected after some time. Teachers either simply point out the errors or sometimes write comments. Self-correction and peer correction are common techniques for error correction but learners have little confidence in these techniques and prefer their teachers’ remarks. ...
Written comments from the teachers, on the other hand, are not easy to ignore and cannot be forgotten and are thus the most preferred form of feedback used in teaching. Though written feedback is very useful in helping students develop their writing skills while learning a foreign language, empirical evidence gleaned from experience of teaching written French language skills to undergraduate students, shows that there is a lack of engagement with written feedback on their written language assignments. This impedes student progress in target language acquisition. This research study aims to identify how students engage with written feedback provided by their teachers and while focusing on undergraduate French students aims to explore the level of engagement of students with different forms of responses in the area of language learning. This qualitative research project that started from the premise that students may be unaware of the ways in which feedback can be exploited as a valuable learning tool, progressed to identify the ways in which students currently respond to feedback from their tutors and how and why they feel a certain form of feedback is more effective. Based on the findings, this study also suggest new ways of delivering feedback in different formats and how the written feedback can be improved further in ways that are considered more effective by the students. 1.1 Background and Context Despite the paramount importance of written feedback on the assignments of students learning foreign language, less emphasis is placed on research in this area. There has been research on what students perceive about writing in a second language (Ismail 2011); also teaching writing to students of foreign language (Gaudiani 1981; Caywood & Gillian ...
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