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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 24, 2021

Discrepancies in Teachers’ Perceptions and Reported Practices: The Case of Written Feedback in an EFL Context

Hooman Saeli and An Cheng

Abstract

As Ferris (2014) states, teachers have received insufficient research attention regarding their perceptions and practices of feedback. This study, therefore, was an attempt to qualitatively explore Iranian EFL teachers’ feedback-related perceptions and practices. In addition, the discrepancies between the reported perceptions and practices were examined. The data collection consisted of qualitative interviews with 14 teachers. The data analysis (i. e., data coding using the grounded theory approach) helped develop a coding scheme in which a number of thematic categories and subcategories were delineated with regard to feedback. The findings, accordingly, revealed some noteworthy discrepancies between the teachers’ perceptions and practices. For instance, although the teachers valued peer-feedback and selective correction, they reported providing teacher-generated feedback and comprehensive commentary on grammatical errors, respectively. Also, the teachers were aware of the importance of indirect methods of correction (e. g., to promote learner autonomy), but mostly gave explicit feedback on their students’ grammatical issues. Overall, we showed that these discrepancies primarily resulted from students’ expectations. We also discussed the findings in light of sociocultural considerations and the tenets of learner engagement with feedback.

Zusammenfassung

Feedbackpraktiken von Lehrenden sind nach Ferris (2014) im Fremdsprachenunterricht unzureichend empirisch erforscht worden. Diese qualitative Studie zielt darauf ab, Feedbackpraktiken und deren Wahrnehmung von Lehrenden im Kontext von Englischunterricht im Iran zu untersuchen. Zu diesem Zweck stützt sie sich auf 14 qualitative Interviews mit Lehrenden an einer iranischen Sprachschule, in denen die Lehrenden über ihre Feedbackpraktiken befragt werden. Die Interviewdaten werden nach dem grounded theory approach in mehrere analytische Kategorien unterteilt. Aus der Analyse ergeben sich Diskrepanzen zwischen den von den Lehrenden idealisierten Feedbackpraktiken und jenen, die sie in der Praxis anwenden. Diese Diskrepanzen stehen in einem weiteren Zusammenhang mit der Erwartungshaltung von Lernern an den Unterricht und an die Lehrenden. Abschließend werden die Ergebnisse im Kontext von soziokulturellen Erwartungen im Iran und der Erwartungshaltung von Lernern an den Umgang mit Feedback diskutiert.

Résumé

Comme le dit Ferris (2014), les enseignants ont reçu une attention insuffisante à la recherche sur leurs perceptions et pratiques de remarques. Cette étude, alors, tentait d’explorer de manière qualitative les perceptions et pratiques à propos des remarques des enseignants iraniens d’anglais langue étrangère. En plus, les différences entre le perceptions et pratiques constatées ont été examinées. La collection des données consistait d’interviews qualitatifs avec 14 enseignants. L’analyse des données (c’est-à-dire un codage de données en utilisant l’approche de la théorie ancrée) a eu pour résultat le développement d’un schéma de codage dans lequel un nombre de catégories et de sous-catégories thématiques sont définies par rapport aux remarques. Les résultats, donc, révèlent quelques différences notables entre les perceptions et pratiques des enseignants. Ces différences sont principalement en raison des attentes des étudiants. Finalement, les résultats sont discutés à la lumière de plusieurs considérations socioculturelles iraniennes et des principes d’engagement avec les remarques de la part des étudiants.

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Appendix

Note : The teachers were asked to reflect on their students’ feedback-related preferences, as well.

Background information:

  1. Age; educational background; academic degree; TEFL-related courses; teacher training; teaching experience.

Feedback-related perceptions and practices:

  1. Do your classes involve writing? How do you compare the importance of grammar feedback and grammatical accuracy with their content and organization counterparts in student writing? Discuss, please.

  2. What do you think of students’ errors in writing? Positive? Negative? Discuss, please.

  3. How do you correct students’ errors in writing? Direct? Indirect? One-on-one conferences? How much correction? Comprehensive? Selective? Discuss, please.

  4. Who provides correction on errors in student writing? You? Peers? Self-correction? Outside sources? Discuss, please.

Published Online: 2021-02-24
Published in Print: 2021-09-09

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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