A Comparison of L1 and ESL Written Feedback Preferences: Pedagogical Applications and Theoretical Implications

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Tyler Carter Suthathip Thirakunkovit


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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Carter, T., & Thirakunkovit, S. (2019). A Comparison of L1 and ESL Written Feedback Preferences: Pedagogical Applications and Theoretical Implications. Journal of Response to Writing, 5(2). Retrieved from https://journalrw.org/index.php/jrw/article/view/137
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Author Biographies

Tyler Carter, Duke Kunshan University

Dr. Tyler Carter, an assistant professor of English Language at Duke Kunshan University, China. His research interests focus on comparative rhetoric and cross-cultural communication, with a special emphasis on the rhetorics of Eastern meditation practices.

Suthathip Thirakunkovit, Mahidol University

Dr. Suthathip Thirakunkovit, a lecturer in the Applied Linguistics Program, the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Mahidol University. Her research interests broadly focus on test validation and writing assessments.