L2 Learners’ Engagement with Direct Written Corrective Feedback in First-Year Composition Courses

Izabela Uscinski


This study explores students’ response to direct written corrective feedback (WCF) in first-year composition courses. To that end, it focuses on analyzing students’ engagement with direct feedback and meta-awareness of the corrections provided on one of their drafts. Data include students' revisions recorded with screen capture software and the video-stimulated recall, which was transcribed and coded for evidence of engagement and meta-awareness. The findings of the study indicate that students’ engagement and meta-awareness may be affected by pedagogical factors, such as feedback delivery method. Based on the insights gained from this study, I suggest that direct feedback may be more beneficial if it is provided in a comment or in the margin of the paper, and that it may have a higher potential for learning if a brief explanation about the nature of the error is included. In addition, students may need to be provided with guidelines on how to engage with their instructors' feedback. I conclude by suggesting that if direct WCF is provided, students should be held accountable for learning from the feedback, and I recommend ways in which this can be done without penalizing students for not showing immediate improvements on subsequent writing projects. 


Written corrective feedback, direct correction, ESL writers, second language writing, electronic feedback, track-changes, engagement, meta-awareness, noticing

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