English as a Second Language

Faculty Advisor

Jim Hu


Aptly put by Dana R. Ferris (2014), the purpose of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teachers giving feedback to their students in academic writing courses is “not just about eradicating errors in writing but also about helping their students to develop control of academic language” (p. 69). However, are the present strategies for giving feedback on language problems in academic writing moving towards this goal? Do the end-users of these strategies - the students - see their writing improve over time? If not, what kind of guidance are students looking for? This study aims at addressing these questions by doing a comparative study of the feedback strategies used by teachers and those preferred by students. Their responses are further analyzed to study whether the preferences change with types, frequency, and timing of language problems, and whether there are other modes of feedback that are equally if not more effective. Drawing on the responses received from teachers and students, the study presents critical implications of such a comparison between the preferences on ESL academic writing pedagogy and provides practical suggestions for the teaching faculty.