EFL Teachers and Learners’ Perceptions, Beliefs and Practices on Written Corrective Feedback in the Saudi Higher Education Context
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Access to the thesis restricted for 24 months (two years).
An area of research that has witnessed an enormous surge of research studies as well as extensive debates in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), is the Written Corrective Feedback (WCF) concept and practices in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) contexts. Over the past three decades, there has been a plethora of research studies on WCF, however, most studies had few limitations which necessitated a wider prospect into the various issues concerned with WCF. This research study, following an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, which was conducted in the Saudi context, brought a new angle into this heavily debatable area of research where a link was sought to bridge the gap between the teachers and students’ perceptions of WCF and their preferred WCF type in an EFL context taking advantage of a large number of participants to take part in a single study on WCF. Online teacher and learner questionnaires were utilised with the participation of 320, both male and female, EFL teachers, and 840 EFL male and female learners from Preparatory Year Program (PYP) at six government universities in Saudi Arabia. Then, semi-structured interviews with 10 EFL, male and female teachers and 10, male and female learners were conducted to explore their perceptions, attitudes and practices (in the case of the EFL teachers) towards this important issue in TESOL and where differences as well as agreements among the teachers and learners exist, so as to attempt to enlighten EFL/ESL professionals on various aspect of WCF as seen by both teachers and learners. Data analysis included quantitative analysis of the teacher and learner questionnaires as well as qualitative and thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews. The teachers, as well as the learners expressed high level of interest towards WCF. Similarly, the learners also believed that their overall language learning can be elevated by having a well-structured WCF which they need to be familiar with. Results of the data analysis also indicated that there are still some differences in the way teachers and learners perceive the WCF in general where teachers prefer coded WCF, whereas, learners prefer unfocussed WCF. There were positive unified agreements, however, between the EFL teachers and learners which gave the indication that there should be more discussions and research studies in order to reach a mutual understanding and a beneficial solution that aims to elevate the scope of TESOL teaching and learning. Furthermore, establishing writing centres at universities in Saudi Arabia where WCF is fully detailed for learners, may also represent an area for continued focus. Recommendations and suggestions for future research include conducting a similar research study in a different EFL context and compare the results to the outcome in this study.
EdD in TESOL