An investigation of effective feedback processes involving the writing skill in VCE second language classrooms

2017-05-15T06:46:09Z (GMT) by Thomas, Miki
This thesis describes an investigation of feedback processes during Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) second language writing classes. The research explored the various feedback methods used for VCE second language students’ writing; the findings suggest possible effective feedback methods that effectively develop and maintain students’ writing skills. My research was based on the premise that the “voice” of students is vital to both the analysis and discussion of specific feedback methods and how these are valued in their writing. I reviewed feedback methods and sought to document and identify the benefits of feedback on students’ writing compositions. Existing literature indicates that feedback is a consequence of performance on tasks. The function of feedback is based around three important questions: Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next? (Hattie, 2009, p. 177). Students and teachers seek answers to those three questions in any feedback process; it is with these answers that they are able to create a productive and effective learning environment. Recent research points to levels and steps that can be used to answer the three feedback questions. These steps are in accordance with Hattie’s (2009) well-known study in the field. The first, ‘Task’ level, relates to how well tasks are understood by the learner. The ‘Process’ level links understanding of the effective process needed to understand. The third level, ‘Self-regulation’ or ‘Self-monitoring’, involves modifying and adapting learner skills towards actions and self; this also involves the level and skill of personal evaluation. The research question at the heart of this thesis is: how does Hattie’s feedback model translate into actual feedback processes commonly used for VCE second language writing? What are VCE students’ perceptions and understandings of the most effective feedback strategies on second language writing tasks? My study involved the analysis of responses from students in their last year of secondary education studying Chinese, French and Japanese as second languages. A mixed methods research design involving surveys and semi-structured interviews was used to collect data.