Written feedback in an English Language writing class
The Malaysian English syllabi for primary schools, secondary schools, and higher learning institutions focus mainly on the four skills, i.e. listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Among the four skills, writing is the most difficult skill to master, and it becomes harder when using a second language. Because of this, when students write in a second language, it is very important that the feedback they receive are useful and motivating. There are many views on what academics give as feedback and how it is given which will help to motivate and improve the students’ writing. This paper attempts to identify the common practices and styles of giving feedback by academics at a public university in Malaysia. The respondents for this research are students and academics, who were learning and teaching an academic writing module in the university. The students were given a questionnaire which was adapted from Montgomery & Baker (2007) and Lee (2003) and the academics were interviewed in order to obtain in-dept information regarding the matter being investigated. This research also aims to obtain the students’ perceptions and suggestions on what they consider as good, clear, and motivating feedback.
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