Återkoppling, engagemang, bearbetning : Återkopplingspraktiker i undervisning om akademiskt skrivande för studenter med svenska som andraspråk

Sammanfattning: This thesis examines written feedback on texts in a university preparatory course, Qualifying Course in Swedish for University Studies. The general aim is to illuminate feedback practices in the teaching of academic writing to adult second language students of Swedish and what characterises the feedback practices, with an interest in lecturer and student perspectives. Data were collected from six groups at two universities and consist of 53 texts written by students that include feedback from lecturers, interviews with 24 students and four lecturers, and 47 student survey responses. The study is based on sociocultural theory. Another perspective on writing in academic contexts relates to the concept of cognitive academic language proficiency. The written feedback was categorised to examine the focus of the lecturers’ comments and how they were formulated. To interpret and analyse the transcribed interviews, qualitative content analysis was used with Mediated Learning Experience and learner engagement.The results reveal that the focus of the feedback was mainly determined by so-called external factors, syllabi, and criteria in assessment documents. The form of the feedback was mainly motivated by the lecturers’ perceptions of how good feedback should be given and they seemed to have feedback styles that they adhered to. Three of them emphasised the importance of indirect feedback because of its potential to stimulate student reflection and involvement in text revision. The fourth lecturer mainly gave direct correction because they felt that the students needed that support, and that one semester was too short a time for real language development to take place.Lecturers said that feedback must be explicit if students are to understand it and avoid praise so that students are not misled into thinking that their texts are of higher quality than they actually are. Despite these views, however, all lecturers mitigated their feedback in some way. Students were generally positive towards both the feedback and the lecturers and felt that the feedback process could lead to writing development. A distinct pattern in what was valued positively was clear and detailed feedback that directed them towards opportunities for improvement, which showed what was problematic, and why it was problematic. There was also consensus on the importance of praise in the feedback to indicate the strengths of a text, for making development visible, and above all, for the motivation it provided. There were somewhat mixed opinions regarding whether indirect or direct feedback was preferred. Indirect feedback was positively valued because it required reflection and engagement for revisions to be made, but some of the students also confirmed the need for direct correction. Negative emotions towards the feedback were, for example, caused by uncertainty about the linguistic level of their texts, and voluminous feedback, although many of the students felt that extensive feedback was necessary. Although the students generally seemed to understand both the lecturers’ feedback and what caused their mistakes, they highlighted the need for extended oral and personal dialogue with lecturers to improve their processing possibilities. In conclusion, regardless of the lecturers’ attitudes to the learning potential of feedback, their feedback was clearly not given procedurally but was deliberate and thoughtful. Students’ commitment to processing their texts was similarly evident.

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