The nature of Indonesian English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' feedback in L2 writing: An activity theory perspective
AffiliationSchool of Languages and Linguistics
Document TypePhD thesis
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© 2019 Nanang Zubaidi
The overall aim of the thesis was to investigate the nature of Indonesian English as A Foreign Language (EFL) teachers’ feedback on L2 writing, particularly their feedback practices, decision-making processes while providing feedback, and factors which influenced their feedback practices using Activity Theory (Engestrom, 1987, 2001, 2016; Leont’ev, 1978, 1981) as the theoretical framework. Nine EFL university teachers and 24 students were recruited to participate in a case study approach using multiple data collection methods. First, the teachers were interviewed individually twice (i) at the beginning of semester to collect information about their beliefs towards written feedback and (ii) at the end of the semester to obtain information their development in feedback provision over the semester, in particular their feedback practices, decision-making processes, and factors which influence their feedback practices. Then, using think-aloud protocols, six teachers were requested to provide written feedback on four students’ consecutive drafts of essay. It was followed by recording teacher-student writing conferences conducted by each teacher with these four students to collect information about the teachers’ oral feedback. Observations were conducted twice during the semester. Finally, the teaching documents (syllabus, assessment rubric, modules, and students’ essay drafts) were collected. The data were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively and were discussed using Engestrom’s (1987, 2001, 2016) and Leont'ev’s (1978, 1981) generations of Activity Theory. The main findings suggested that the teachers provided multiple sessions of written feedback followed by oral feedback using teacher-student writing conferences. Both written and oral feedback methods complemented each other, but both served different functions. The teachers’ focus and priority of written and oral feedback were similar: language use, mechanics and referencing style, content, and organisation. The teachers mostly provided indirect feedback in the written feedback sessions, and they mostly used graduated oral prompts to scaffold the students’ learning in the writing conferences. The teachers seemed to follow an ordered but not always linear pattern of the decision-making processes while providing feedback, consisting of (a) task definition, (b) text reviewing (and problem identification), and (c) feedback decision (or feedback provision and follow-up). Moreover, the teachers exhibited various decision-making actions in both feedback sessions which focused on metacognitive (i.e. focusing on self-monitoring own feedback) and cognitive (i.e. focusing on language use, mechanics and referencing style, content, and organisation) aspects of writing. Metacognitive actions appeared to be mostly exhibited in the task definition stage, while cognitive actions were mainly exhibited in the text reviewing (and problem identification) and feedback decision (feedback provision and follow-up) stages. When making decisions regarding feedback, the teachers considered their students’ L2 writing profiles, as well as students’ responses to the teachers’ feedback in the previous draft (in the written feedback sessions) and the students’ responses to the teachers’ graduated oral prompts (in the writing conferences sessions). Finally, the teachers’ feedback practices appeared to be shaped and mediated by a myriad of interrelated individual and contextual factors.
KeywordsIndonesian EFL teachers’ feedback; written and oral feedback; second language writing; activity theory; English as a Foreign Language; English as a Foreign Language
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