Improving the Practice of Giving Feedback on ESL Learners’ Written Compositions

L10 5

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  • Title: Improving the Practice of Giving Feedback on ESL Learners’ Written Compositions
  • Author(s): Samuel Ouma Oyoo
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review
  • Keywords: Composition Writing, English as a Second Language, Giving Feedback
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 5
  • Year: 2010
  • ISSN: 1447-9494 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1447-9540 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1447-9494/CGP/v17i05/47066
  • Citation: Oyoo, Samuel Ouma. 2010. "Improving the Practice of Giving Feedback on ESL Learners’ Written Compositions." The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review 17 (5): 337-354. doi:10.18848/1447-9494/CGP/v17i05/47066.
  • Extent: 18 pages

Abstract

There has been increased research interest in the area of feedback in students’ written compositions since Truscott’s (1996) article that strongly argued against error correction in ESL learners’ writings. Many of these research studies have, however, concentrated on the effect of teacher written corrective feedback (WCF) on ESL learners’ writing. Little attention has been given to the use of alternative feedback strategies to supplement teacher written feedback on learners’ writing. Besides, many of these studies have been more concerned with describing students’ responses rather than trying to improve teachers’ feedback practice. This study was, therefore, aimed at improving the practice of giving feedback on ESL learners’ written compositions through use of self-correction and conferencing on ESL learners’ compositions to supplement improved teacher written feedback. The study this paper draws from employed a qualitative approach within an action research design. It used a sample of Form 3 (Year 10 equivalent) ESL class in a secondary school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Data collected from interviews, observations, informal conversations and feedback exit slips with students and the subject teacher formed the basis of reflections and analysis. The findings show that the use of these additional strategies (self-correction and conferencing on ESL learners’ compositions) can lead to improved quality of learners’ written compositions and learners’ increased motivation and confidence in writing. This study concludes by recommending the use of these strategies to improve the practice of providing feedback on ESL learners’ compositions to improve their writing skills.