EFL College Students’ Experiences and Attitudes Towards Teacher-Student Writing Conferences

Chun-Chun Yeh
National Chung Cheng University

Published 2016



A substantial body of research has demonstrated the important role of providing feedback in students’ writing development. Among the various feedback methods, the teacher-student writing conference has often been rated
by learners as the most beneficial to writing development, but research on
English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students’ perceptions of writing conferences is scant. Aiming to investigate students’ experiences and attitudes
towards writing conferences, this study collected data through questionnaires and individual interviews with 34 EFL students from 2 college English
writing classes. Findings suggested that the students held high expectations
and gave high ratings on the helpfulness and success of the conferences that
they experienced. Affectively, the questionnaire results indicated a generally
positive experience, but the interviews revealed that attending conferences
provoked anxiety in some learners. Most significantly, the study found that
although students did not openly reject setting and leading the agenda, most
were not enthusiastic about taking on the responsibility of establishing the
direction of the conference.