Student and teacher beliefs about written CF and the effect those beliefs have on uptake: a multiple case study of Laos and Kuwait
The effectiveness of various types of written corrective feedback (written CF) to improve second language writer’ written accuracy is an issue that is currently receiving a lot of attention in the field of second language learning. The present study has continued with that focus by investigating whether beliefs about written CF vary between students in two contexts (an IEP in Laos and one in Kuwait), whether those students’ beliefs differ from their teachers’ and whether differences in beliefs seem to impact uptake and retention. The study also investigates whether there are any differences in the type of feedback that is most effective in the two contexts. By comparing two contexts and looking at beliefs about written CF, this study seeks to investigate the topic from a sociocognitive perspective, which is in contrast to the mostly cognitive focus of previous studies.
A multi-method approach to data collection was used, with data being collected through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and writing prompts. The combination of questionnaires and interviews was used to overcome the weakness of using a self-report questionnaire as the sole means of collecting data regarding students’ beliefs about written CF. Regarding the writing prompts, the study employed a pre-test, post-test, delayed post-test, second delayed post-test design where feedback was given after the pre-test and the initial post-test. The groups were as follows: direct feedback, indirect feedback, metalinguistic feedback, and control. Students were placed into feedback groups according to their answers in the questionnaires and interviews, with some receiving their preferred type of feedback and others receiving another type of feedback.
Findings from the study revealed a number of differences in beliefs both among students (particularly Lao participants), between student groups and between students and their teachers. Findings also indicated that the type of feedback that is most effective varied between Lao and Kuwaiti students and that beliefs about written CF seemed to impact uptake and retention in the Lao group but not the Kuwait group. The results of this study contribute to the understanding about which factors may impact written CF. Contributions to theory and research have been provided. Practical suggestions for pedagogy and future research have also been given.