Rewriting and Teachers’ Feedback

By Malek Mhedhbi.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Work on writing has intensified and taken on greater depth and breadth. While general writing processes (Fukao & Fujii, 2001) are still issues of interest, work on sub-processes such as rewriting (Kobayashi & Rinnert, 2001; Miller, 2000) has increased and become more sophisticated. The study was designed to investigate the effect of teachers’ feedback on the quality of students’ rewritings. The administration of a written assignment to 32 intermediate business learners of English allowed the teacher to revise their compositions. The Teacher’s feedback was based on the use of a specific marking system that indicated errors on content and form with written positive and negative comments (praise, criticism and precise suggestions). Such a coding system is explained to the students and they were provided with a key and a few examples. In phase 1, the teacher returned the revised drafts to students, who were asked to read the comments carefully, correct the problems identified and rewrite their compositions. In phase 2, the students were asked to work collaboratively by following peer feedback guidelines. Such guidelines referred to checking peers’ questions, summaries and suggestions while reading the compositions to another classmate. At this stage, revision was done by a peer through pedagogical procedures where the teacher provided clues and pointers but not the correct solution. In phase 3, a 10 item-questionnaire of a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (Strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree), with multiple & open ended questions, was administrated. It was done to investigate the relationship between teacher/peer feedback and students’ motivation to rewrite and to examine the relationship between students’ production and attention to accuracy in form or meaning. The data of students’ writings was compared and analyzed through the use of an assessment checklist which was based on 3 criteria: content and ideas, organization and form, and writing conventions. In data analysis, the statistical package of social science analyzed students’ motivation to the rewriting activity and their concern to form or content. The results of suggested that error correction produces more accurate final draft in terms of grammatical structures, correct spelling and clear organization of ideas. The results revealed also a relationship between teacher/peer feedback and motivation. Teachers’ written comments and peers’ interaction in writing class had a positive effect in motivating students to rewrite. Furthermore, data analysis of the questionnaire suggested that students’ focus of attention in rewriting was particularly concerned with grammatical correction rather than meaning.

Keywords: Rewriting, Teacher Feedback, Error Correction

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.854MB).

Malek Mhedhbi

Assistant, Linguistics , Department of English, University of Jendouba (Tunisia), Bardo, Tunis, Tunisia

I am interested in teaching English as a foreign language in Tunisia. I have studied linguistics and have finished my master degree’s research study entitled “Politeness and Language Variation”. I am currently working on my Ph.D. I have been teaching for 3 years. This has been a good experience for me, as it has helped me to develop my work in the different language skills. I have taught a range of modules including: reading, writing, morphology, commercial English, and general English. Such modules have enriched my knowledge about the valuable pedagogical procedures on language, general composing processes and sub-processes, and reading skills and sub-skills in text comprehension.


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