Teachers' Practices and Students' Preferences for Feedback on Second Language Writing: A Case Study of Adult ESL Learners


  • Hiroko Saito




The first part of this study investigated the fit between teachers' practices and students' preferences for feedback and the students' strategies for handling feedback on their written work. The second part of this study focused on students' perception of "thinking prompts" for their writing, an innovative approach used in their ESL writing classes, following Bereiter and Scardamalia's idea of "procedural facilitation" (1987). Thirty-nine students in ESL intensive courses and an ESL Engineering writing class were asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning feedback and thinking prompts. In addition, three classes were observed to see how each teacher used feedback and thinking prompts in their classes and for responding to students' writings. The results show that students preferred teacher feedback (teacher correction, teacher correction with comments, error identification, commentary, teacher-students conferencing) to non-teacher feedback (peer correction and self correction), though the three teachers used non-teacher feedback frequently in their classes. These students' strategies for handling feedback varied depending on the type of feedback each teacher gave on the student's paper. Among the thinking prompts, students found the rule prompt most useful and the LUL2 comparison prompt least useful. The results suggest that the extent to which the thinking prompts are integrated in the class and students conceptualize them is reflected in their attitudes toward thinking prompts.




How to Cite

Saito, H. . . . . . . . . . . (1994). Teachers’ Practices and Students’ Preferences for Feedback on Second Language Writing: A Case Study of Adult ESL Learners. TESL Canada Journal, 11(2), 46–70. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v11i2.633