Written Corrective Feedback in a Bilingual Writing Classroom: How Do Teachers Match Their Beliefs With Students’ Preferences?
Over the last decade research has proven that written corrective feedback (WCF) is extensively used in second language writing classroom contrary to Truscott’s (1996) assertion that it is detrimental to student learning. Most of these studies investigated the efficacy of different types of WCF instead of teachers’ WCF beliefs and students’ preferences in a bilingual writing classroom. The present study seeks to investigate teaching practices and bilingual writers’ WCF preferences whose home language is Sesotho at a public high school in South Africa. Data collected included the feedback given by two ESL teachers to six bilingual writers on their writing with follow-up interviews with the teachers, and questionnaires completed by the students on direct corrective feedback in the form of corrections of errors next to or above the original errors and indirect corrective feedback in the form of error underlining. The study found that students preferred comprehensive direct corrective to indirect corrective feedback due to the immediate identification of the correct form and certainty of the correct answer. The study also found that teachers believe that accuracy in writing is important in terms of grammatical accuracy and a sense of accountability and desire to satisfy the expectations of students.
Keywords— Written corrective feedback, bilingual writers, teachers’ beliefs, students’ preferences, grammatical accuracy.