Online writing center responses and advanced EFL students' writing: An analysis of comments, students' attitudes, and textual revisions
Liliana Beatriz Anglada, Texas Tech University, United States
Texas Tech University . Awarded
This dissertation analyzes the suggestions for revision sent by on-line writing center consultants in the US to advanced EFL students in Argentina and examines the students' reactions to this type of feedback. Previous ESL/EFL writing process research, specifically in the area of revision, has explored issues such as peer critique and teacher feedback. Quite a few studies have focused on learners' attitudes to feedback, while others have paid particular attention to feedback incorporation during revision work. Most of these studies, however, have been conducted in regular classes where either ESL/EFL instructors or peers responded to drafts. Results from these studies tend to be inconclusive and cannot be applied to specific monolingual settings. Furthermore, very few studies have investigated how having a real audience of native English speakers, and receiving suggestions from them, may affect ESL/EFL writing. The research conducted for this project was an attempt to explore this issue.
This study follows a case study methodology. During the 1997 academic year, one group of advanced EFL students taking a literature course at the teacher-training college “Juan Zorrilla de San Martín” (Córdoba, Argentina) e-mailed their short essays to and received feedback from the writing consultants at the Texas Tech University On-line Writing Center, on two occasions. The participants' attitudes toward these electronic exchanges were analyzed through survey answers and interviews. Three different taxonomies created for the purposes of this study were used to code and subsequently examine the writing center consultants' comments and the students' textual changes.
Results show that, despite some difficulties with the technical implementation of the project, these EFL students benefited from the interaction with native English speaker consultants via e-mail exchanges. These students not only appreciated the feedback received but also employed a high percentage of comments to their advantage by making changes that enhanced their texts. Although a high percentage of the revisions involved formal or structural problems—as opposed to global or macro-structural concerns—the number of modifications the students incorporated in their final drafts supports the use of on-line writing center responses during the revision stage in EFL settings.
Anglada, L.B. Online writing center responses and advanced EFL students' writing: An analysis of comments, students' attitudes, and textual revisions. Ph.D. thesis, Texas Tech University.
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