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Holistic perspective on Feedback for adult beginners in an online course of Swedish
Göteborgs universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7578-5717
2015 (English)In: Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, ISSN 1457-9863, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 51-71Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although several inquiries highlight the importance of feedback in language teaching and learning, there is a need for knowledge concerning a holistic perspective on feedback in the empirical context of written feedback for L2 adult beginners. The study reported here provides additional evidence about teachers’ actual feedback and student attitudes to feedback. The unit of analysis addresses a new context, namely Swedish as a second language, in an online course for adult beginners. The study included ten male and female university-level students with different cultural backgrounds. The purpose was to analyze several previ ously scientifically tested feedback categories for writing, which were conceptually replicated in the present study, as well as to additionally explore a new category for feedback on pronunciation in the same context. To establish causality, this study used attribution theory. The findings revealed top rankings for language accuracy and pronunciation in students’ evaluation. The teacher gave the most feedback on language accuracy. These results provide support for the importance of feedback on language accuracy which supports the empirical results of other inquiries. Furthermore, the study’s explorative findings support the need for further investigations on feedback on pronunciation. A proposition for future research is that more holistic type studies be conducted, including different categories and proficiency levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 9, no 2, p. 51-71
Keywords [en]
adult beginners, feedback, language learning, L2, pronunciation, student attitudes, writing
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-29944DOI: 10.17011/apples/urn.201512174094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-29944DiVA, id: diva2:1313033
Available from: 2019-05-02 Created: 2019-05-02 Last updated: 2019-05-02
In thesis
1. Skriftlig lärarrespons för vuxna nybörjare i svenska som andraspråk: teoretiska perspektiv, responspraktik och uppfattningar
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skriftlig lärarrespons för vuxna nybörjare i svenska som andraspråk: teoretiska perspektiv, responspraktik och uppfattningar
2019 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Teacher written feedback for adult beginners in Swedish as a second language : Theoretical perspectives, feedback practices, student and teacher perceptions
Abstract [en]

This compilation thesis serves to fill a research gap in teacher written feedback on second language (L2) writing and pronunciation by focusing on adult beginners of culturally diverse backgrounds. Basically, this thesis seeks to answer three questions: 1. What do teachers focus on and in what manner is feedback given?, 2. What are the teachers’ beliefs about feedback?, and, 3. What are the students’ preferences concerning feedback? The study presented in the first article concerns international students and elaborates on a model for analyzing teacher feedback practices regarding writing and pronunciation and the students’ ranking of that feedback. Based on the need for a holistic perspective recognized in the first study, the second article presents and discusses the research gap regarding feedback in adult beginner-learner L2 contexts and proposes a hermeneutic approach in the field of L2 research. In article three and four, a new feedback analysis model based on hermeneutics was applied for the design of a questionnaire, which includes the Likert scale and ranking. These studies investigated teachers’ (article three) and students’ (article four) perceptions and priorities regarding feedback. Data from the students’ questionnaires indicated that the students evaluated feedback on grammatical structures in writing as top priority. They generally valued all feedback manners, but clearly preferred specific praise and specific criticism. Results from the teachers’ questionnaires, combined with interviews, showed that they evaluated almost all categories as important but the ranking showed that there was a variation between teachers’ perceptions, which was influenced by a lack of time, and communication with the students, together with technical problems in web-based contexts. The analysis indicates several factors contributing to the complexity of feedback and, thus, providing feedback requires intuition and dexterity on the part of teachers. It is suggested that aligning students’ expectations and teachers’ practices and beliefs is especially important in distance-learning contexts in order to facilitate new understanding for clarifying the meaning of feedback.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, 2019
Series
Göteborgsstudier i nordisk språkvetenskap, ISSN 1652-3105 ; 35
Keywords
feedback, adult beginners, second language, Swedish, hermeneutics, teacher perceptions, student perceptions, teacher written feedback, pronunciation, writing
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-29946 (URN)978-91-87850-71-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-05-02 Created: 2019-05-02 Last updated: 2019-05-02Bibliographically approved

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