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This article reports on a study that investigated the preferences of L2 university students regarding effective writing response strategies. The following questions guided the study: 1) Do L2 university students prefer to receive direct or indirect teacher feedback on writing problems? 2) Do the students prefer to receive (a) written corrective feedback (WCF) only or (b) oral feedback in one-to-one conferences as well as WCF? 3) In the case of 2(b), do the students prefer to receive oral feedback during or after WCF? The study employed mixed methods involving quantitative surveys of 30 Canadian university students from two EAP writing classes and qualitative interviews with 11 of those surveyed. Results demonstrate that the students preferred direct feedback more on grammar, vocabulary, register, and clear expressions than on mechanics. They also preferred direct feedback more at the course start than toward the end. More importantly, the students preferred coursework-based conferencing (Eckstein, 2013), particularly, simultaneous oral-written feedback (SOWF), a format that allows students and teachers to negotiate (Nassaji, 2017) and dialogue (Grigoryan, 2017) while teachers mark assignments. The article details the reasons behind student preferences and discusses the advantages and feasibility of a simultaneous oral-written feedback approach (SOWFA).
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