Developing students' writing skills through feedback
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
Learning through feedback is currently an important topic for researchers and teachers. Feedback is an important part of teaching, which is used in our daily classroom practices in different forms i.e. written, verbal and non-verbal. In the classroom, it takes place between the teacher and the students or between or among the students. Feedback is considered to be an important learning tool if it is given and acted upon effectively. This study is an effort to find the answer to the question of how a teacher can provide feedback to the English as a Second Language (ESL) primary school students in a way, which will help them to develop their writing skills. To answer the question, an action research was conducted in a classroom setting. An attempt has been made to make the feedback constructive by describing the students' actual performance, giving encouragement and specific suggestions for further improvement. Feedback was provided in writing as well as verbally. To examine the impact of the feedback the study followed a process writing approach, in which the focus of the feedback was on: content, syntax, grammar and mechanics, organization and vocabulary. The writing process involved two cycles. Each cycle had one topic comprising of three drafts. The classroom teacher's services were utilized in planning, teaching, classroom management as well as in providing feedback to half of the class. The data has been gathered through interviews, conferencing, research memos and from students' drafts. The effects of the feedback in developing students' writing skills have been seen by analyzing the drafts of eight students and by exploring their views about the feedback. The findings show that the feedback helped the students in bringing about specific changes in different areas of their writing including content, syntax, conventions, organization and vocabulary. The students who incorporated the feedback in their writing made visible improvement while those who did not incorporate it thoroughly in their writing made less improvement. The feedback was viewed as encouraging, helpful, motivating for learning, enjoyable and thought provoking, in terms of highlighting the potential for improvement in the need areas.
Khan, H. (2002). Developing students' writing skills through feedback (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.