What Are the Best Practices for Offering Instructor Formative Feedback on L2 Academic Writing?

University essay from Malmö universitet/Malmö högskola/Institutionen för kultur, språk och medier (KSM); Malmö universitet/Malmö högskola/Institutionen för kultur, språk och medier (KSM)

Abstract: The syllabus for English 5 through 7 in Sweden states that students should learn to understand and write different types of text, one being academic papers. Therefore, teachers are required to guide students in their academic writing process as they transition to formal written English.  Through this study, we aim to investigate the best practices of formative feedback from instructors on L2 academic writing and see the attitudes of students and teachers when it comes to given and received feedback. Moreover, we also aim to connect the results that are found through research to the Swedish national curriculum. This will be done through educational databases such as the Malmö university library database and ERIC. We have found a total of ten empirical studies that touch upon the two aforementioned aims. Research in the field of formative feedback displays how students have a healthier attitude towards oral communication as they may directly communicate with the instructor at the cost of time. In contrast, instructors disagree by claiming that it is not as efficient as written feedback where they may take on a larger number of students in a shorter amount of time whilst providing more accurate responses. Teachers ought to be aware that while efficiency is important, it is not as vital as student progression in academic writing. Also, it would be interesting to examine the attitudes and levels of comfort of students in regards to peer reviewing and self-feedback with a focus on L2 learners.

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