Identifying the Most Effective Strategies for Providing Students with Writing Feedback: A Comprehensive Review of Existing Methodologies and Theories
Attaining proficiency in writing remains one of the most challenging goals for second language learners of English and their teachers. Effective writing demands much more than a general understanding of grammar rules. In order to accomplish a sophisticated writing task such as a composition, students must effectively employ their mastery of grammar to generate a coherent, cohesive text with a clear message. Unlike the productive skill of speaking, effective writing must generally cannot rely on circumlocution or a sympathetic interlocutor in order to help convey a message. Rather, it requires that students generate, often upon spontaneously and upon demand, a coherent, cohesive text. Grammatical and spelling errors, inappropriate word choice and lack of formal structure can all impede the message which the student wishes to deliver in the writing task. Currently accepted pedagogical practice maintains that constructive feedback is key to helping students develop and hone their writing skills. While specific feedback styles and approaches vary, two broad strategies of reformulation and self-correction predominate. The aim of this article is to conduct an extensive review of the current methodologies as well as the theoretical underpinnings that guide these practices with the intention of laying the groundwork for a quantitative study into this issue at our institute.
accuracy; assessment; cohesion; discourse; error correction; feedback; grammar awareness; reformulation; self-correction; text