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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Developing English-as-a second- language learners’ feedback literacy: reconceptualizing feedback and rethinking feedback practices

Chong, Sin Wang (2020) Developing English-as-a second- language learners’ feedback literacy: reconceptualizing feedback and rethinking feedback practices. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)


This thesis is a compilation of six published journal articles on assessment feedback in English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) writing classrooms and a commentary discussing findings and materials in these six publications. Findings and materials in these publications, which focus on ESL learners in secondary school (Grade 7), community college, and university, are synthesized in the commentary using a three-dimensional conceptual framework, student feedback literacy (Chong, 2020).
Feedback, which is defined as a sense-making process of students to turn assessment information into action to improve their learning process or quality of their work, is one of the most powerful means to improve students’ learning. In ESL writing classrooms, a quintessential feedback process includes students’ active engagement with feedback provided by their teachers, peers, or other sources (e.g., from automatic writing evaluation software). Such engagement would, in turn, enable students to utilize formative information in the feedback to improve their written texts. In the feedback literature, while there has been much discussion on the mechanical aspect of feedback, that is, how teachers should go about giving feedback to facilitate students’ uptake of formative information (e.g., by engaging students in feedback dialogues), there is a dearth of research on understanding factors which affect students’ engagement with feedback. Recently, Carless and Boud (2018) proposed a conceptual framework of feedback literacy which conceptualizes types of student engagement with feedback (cognitive, emotional, and behavioural engagement). Drawing upon Carless and Boud’s (2018) feedback literacy framework and sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978; 1981), this thesis presents and discusses six of my articles published in international refereed journals with reference to two research questions: (1) How is feedback conceptualized by ESL learners?; and (2) how can feedback activities develop feedback literacy of ESL learners? These articles are anchored on a coherent theme related to assessment feedback and students’ engagement with feedback.
Among the six, two articles (Chong, 2017a; 2019b) are primary studies, two are conceptual papers (Chong, 2017b; 2018b) and ‘theory-into-practice’ papers (Chong, 2018a; 2019a) respectively. Adopting an exploratory practice research approach and grounded within a qualitative, interpretivist research paradigm, data of the two primary studies were collected from content analysis of students’ peer feedback (Chong, 2017a), openended questionnaire (Chong, 2019b), and semi-structured, focus group interviews (Chong, 2019b). Adopting grounded theory and phenomenology as the methodologies, thematic analysis was conducted through inductive and deductive coding to analyze data in the two primary studies. Regarding the conceptual papers and ‘theory-intopractice’ papers, narrative literature review techniques were used to summarize and critically interpret major findings. Finally, qualitative research synthesis was employed as the methodology of the commentary to bring together findings and materials in the six publications, categorizing major insights by referring to the proposed student feedback literacy framework.
The findings suggest three sources of feedback (teacher, peer, and computer) and three feedback orientations (assessment of learning, assessment for learning, and assessment as learning). Moreover, written corrective feedback, peer feedback, and the use of exemplars were discussed in relation to their affordances to empower ESL learners to be more feedback literate. This thesis is a unique contribution to the feedback literature base because of its complementary focus on theory and practice. Moreover, in bringing together an interpretation of findings and recommendations of feedback practices, I have adopted an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon feedback literature in the fields of language education and assessment in higher education.

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Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 14323

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Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2022 15:49
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 08:46


Author: Sin Wang Chong

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Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education

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