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This study explores the perceptions of first-year composition (FYC) students towards written teacher feedback and compares the preferences of L1 and ESL writers. We used an online questionnaire to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The first part of the questionnaire consists of 43 Likert items that asked students to rate teacher feedback in the context of a selected argumentative essay, and the second part is two open-ended questions that asked students their opinions on teacher feedback. A total of 345 FYC students participated in the study. Even though our results showed several predictable findings (e.g., that both L1 and ESL writers appreciate specific feedback that offers directions for improvement rather than general comments regarding errors in the writing, and ESL writers particularly prefer direct corrective feedback), we have found several other more noteworthy similarities and differences (e.g., that L1 writers prefer to receive grammatical feedback as much as ESL writers do, and L1 writers preferred comments that allowed for negotiation, whereas ESL writers preferred comments that highlighted the rightness or wrongness of global and language concerns). Ultimately, these findings are meant to help FYC instructors work with L1 and ESL writers in classrooms that contain both.
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