Feeding Written Corrective Feedback Forward: English Language Learners' Writing Improvement in a Portfolio-Keeping Atmosphere

Document Type : Original Article


University of Isfahan


Keeping portfolio opens a window on the way teachers try to assess students' writing improvement and learning capacity. Implementing this curricular innovation, the present study was an attempt to grow tutor-student dynamic involvement in giving/receiving written corrective feedback (WCF). To this end, two intact classes of EFL university students participated, each experiencing a distinct portfolio-keeping model (working vs. showcase) while receiving WCF from triadic sources (self, peer, & tutor) and varying tutor feedback types (indirect-unfocused vs. direct-focused).  Students' performance on "TOEFL Test of Written English"andtheir grades in the previous writing course, namely "Advanced Grammar and Sentence Writing"were averaged out for both groups (Working Portfolio Group/WPG and Showcase Portfolio Group/ SPG) to assign them as low-, medium- and high-proficiency L2 writers. Written products kept in their portfolios were examined to see how differently the participants benefited from WCF sources/types. The findings revealed that WPG participants were more responsive to the working portfolio model than those in SPG who received delayed tutor evaluation in showcase portfolio approach. The article concludes with some pedagogical implications on how to use feedback to improve the quality of revised written texts and to support learning through writing.


Aghajanloo, K., Mobini, F., & Khosravi, R. (2016). The effect of teachers' written corrective feedback (WCF) types on intermediate EFL learners' writing performance. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 7(3), 28-37.##
Allen, D., & Katayama, A. (2016). Relative second language proficiency and the giving and receiving of written peer feedback. System, 56, 96-106.##
Amrhein, H. R., & Nassaji, H. (2010). Written corrective feedback: What do students and teachers think is right and why? Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique appliquee, 13(2), 95-127.##
Arndt, V. (1993). Response to writing: Using feedback to inform the writing process. In M. Brock & L. Walters (Eds.), Teaching composition around the Pacific rim: Politics and pedagogy (pp. 90-116). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.##
Ashwell, T. (2000). Patterns of teacher response to student writing in a multiple-draft composition classroom: Is content feedback followed by form feedback the best method? Journal of Second Language Writing, 9(3), 227-257.##
Aydin, S. (2010). EFL writers' perceptions of portfolio keeping. Assessing Writing, 15(3), 194–203.##
Berg, E. C. (1999). The effects of trained peer response on ESL students' revision types and writing quality. Journal of Second Language Writing, 8(3), 215-241.##
Birjandi, P., & Hadidi Tamjid, N. (2012). The role of self-, peer and teacher assessment in promoting Iranian EFL learners' writing performance. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 37(5), 513-533.##
Bitchener, J., & Ferris, D. R. (2012). Written corrective feedback in second language acquisition and writing. New York: Routledge.##
Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2008). The value of a focused approach to written corrective feedback. ELT Journal, 63(3), 204-211.##
Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2009). The contribution of written corrective feedback to language development: A ten month investigation. Applied Linguistics, 31(2), 193-214.##
Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2015). Written corrective feedback studies: Approximate replication of Bitchener & Knoch (2010a) and van Beuningen, De Jong, & Kuiken (2012). Language Teaching, 48(3), 405-414.##
Bruton, A. (2009). Designing research into the effects of grammar correction in L2 writing: Not so straightforward. Journal of Second Language Writing, 18(2), 136-140.##
Chandler, J. (2003). The efficacy of various kinds of error feedback for improvement in the accuracy and fluency of L2 student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(3), 267-296.##
Chandler, J. (2009). Response to Truscott. Journal of Second Language Writing, 18(1), 57-58.##
Chang, C.-C., & Tseng, K.-H. (2011). Using a Web-based portfolio assessment system to elevate project-based learning performances. Interactive Learning Environments, 19(3), 211-230.##
Chen, S., Nassaji, H., & Liu, Q. (2016). EFL learners' perceptions and preferences of written corrective feedback: A case study of university students from Mainland China. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 1(1), 5-21.##
Conrad, S. M., & Goldstein, L. M. (1999). ESL student revision after teacher-written comments: Text, contexts, and individuals. Journal of Second Language Writing, 8(2), 147-179.##
Daneshvar, E., & Rahimi, A. (2014). Written corrective feedback and teaching grammar. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 136, 217-221.##
Davison, C., & Leung, C. (2009). Current issues in English language teacher-based assessment. TESOL Quarterly, 43(3), 393-415.##
Diab, N. M. (2015). Effectiveness of written corrective feedback: Does type of error and type of correction matter? Assessing Writing, 24, 16-34.##
Ducken, D. (2014). Written corrective feedback in the L2 writing classroom. Retrieved from the http://dc.ewu.edu/theses/221##
Duff, P., & Hornberger, N. H. (2008). Language socialization: Encyclopedia of language and education (Vol. 8). New York: Springer.##
Ellis, R. (2008). A typology of written corrective feedback types. ELT Journal, 63(2), 97-107.##
Ellis, R. (2013). Corrective feedback in teacher guides and SLA. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research. 1(3), 1-18.##
Ellis, R., Sheen, Y., Murakami, M., & Takashima, H. (2008). The effects of focused and unfocused written corrective feedback in an English as a foreign language context. System, 36(3), 353-371.##
Evans, N. W., Hartshorn, K. J., McCollum, R. M., & Wolfersberger, M. (2010). Contextualizing corrective feedback in second language writing pedagogy. Language Teaching Research, 14(4), 445-463.##
Faigley, L., & Witte, S. (1981). Analyzing revision. College composition and communication, 32(4), 400-414.##
Fazilatfar, A. M., Fallah, N., Hamavandi, M., & Rostamian, M. (2014). The effect of unfocused written corrective feedback on syntactic and lexical complexity of L2 writing. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 482-488.##
Ferris, D. R. (2006). Does error feedback help student writers? New evidence on the short-and long-term effects of written error correction. In K. Hyland & F. Hyland (Eds.), Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues (pp. 81-104). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.##
Ferris, D. R. (2010). Written corrective feedback in second language acquisition and writing studies. Language Teaching, 45(4), 446-459.##
Fox, J., & Hartwick, P. (2011). Taking a diagnostic turn: Reinventing the portfolio in EAP classrooms. In D. Tsagari & I. Csépes (Eds.), Classroom-based language assessmeent (pp. 47-61). Frankfurt am Main, DE: Peter Lang.##
Gharehbagh, M. J., Stapa, S. H., & Darus, S. (2019). The effects of written corrective feedback using Wikis among ESL learners. 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature. 25(1), 55-68.##
Ghoorchaei, B., Tavakoli, M., & Ansari, D. N. (2010). The impact of portfolio assessment on Iranian EFL students' essay writing: A process-oriented approach. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies, 10(3), 35-51.##
Goldstein, L. M. (2006). Feedback and revision in second language writing: Contextual, teacher, and student variables. In K. Hyland & F. Hyland (Eds.), Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues (pp. 185-205). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.##
Hairston, M. (1986). On not being a composition slave. Training the new teacher of college composition. Urbana, IL: NCTE.##
Hamp-Lyons, L., & Condon, W. (1993). Questioning assumptions about portfolio-based assessment. College Composition and Communication, 44(2), 176-190.##
Hamp-Lyons, L., & Condon, W. (2000). Assessing the portfolio: Principles for practice, theory, and research. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.##
Han, Y., & Hyland, F. (2015). Exploring learner engagement with written corrective feedback in a Chinese tertiary EFL classroom. Journal of Second Language Writing, 30, 31–44.##
Hanjani, A. M., & Li, L. (2014). Exploring L2 writers' collaborative revision interactions and their writing performance. System, 44, 101-114.##
Hartshorn, K., & Evans, N. (2012). The differential effects of comprehensive corrective feedback on L2 writing accuracy. Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching, 3(2), 217-247.##
Hedgcock, J., & Ferris, D. R. (2013). Teaching L2 composition: Purpose, process, and practice. New York: Routledge.##
Hirvela, A., & Pierson, H. (2000). Portfolios: Vehicles for authentic self-assessment. In G. Ekbatani & H. Pierson (Eds.), Learner-directed assessment in ESL (pp. 105-126). Manwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.##
Hosseiny, M. (2014). The role of direct and indirect written corrective feedback in improving Iranian EFL students' writing skill. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 668-674.##
Hu, G., & Lam, S. T. E. (2010). Issues of cultural appropriateness and pedagogical efficacy: Exploring peer review in a second language writing class. Instructional Science, 38(4), 371-394.##
Hung, S.-T. A. (2006). Alternative EFL assessment: Integrating electronic portfolios into the classroom. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Indiana, USA.##
Hyland, F., & Hyland, K. (2001). Sugaring the pill: Praise and criticism in written feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 10(3), 185-212.##
Hyland, K. (2009). Teaching and researching writing (2nd Ed.). Harlow: Longman.##
Hyland, K., & Hyland, F. (2006). Feedback on second language students' writing. Language Teaching, 39(2), 83-101.##
Kang, E., & Han, Z. (2015). The efficacy of written corrective feedback in improving L2 written accuracy: A meta‐analysis. The Modern Language Journal, 99(1), 1-18.##
Karim, K., & Nassaji, H. (2019). The effects of written corrective feedback: A critical synthesis of past and present research. Instructed Second Language Acquisition, 3(1). 28-52.##
Lam, R. (2013). Two portfolio systems: EFL students' perceptions of writing ability, text improvement, and feedback. Assessing Writing, 18(2), 132-153.##
Lam, R. (2015). Convergence and divergence of process and portfolio approaches to L2 writing instruction: Issues and implications. RELC Journal, 46(3), 293–308.##
Lam, R. (2016). Assessment as learning: Examining a cycle of teaching, learning, and assessment of writing in the portfolio-based classroom. Studies in Higher Education, 41(11), 1900-1917.##
Lam, R. (2018). Feedback in writing portfolio assessment. In Portfolio assessment for the teaching and learning of writing, (pp. 59-72). Singapore: Springer.##
Lam, R., & Lee, I. (2009). Balancing the dual functions of portfolio assessment. ELT Journal, 64(1), 54-64.##
Lee, G., & Schallert, D. L. (2008). Meeting in the margins: Effects of the teacher-student relationship on revision processes of EFL college students taking a composition course. Journal of Second Language Writing, 17(3), 165-182.##
Lee, I. (2005). Error correction in the L2 writing classroom: What do students think? TESL Canada Journal, 22(2), 1-16.##
Lee, I. (2007). Feedback in Hong Kong secondary writing classrooms: Assessment for learning or assessment of learning? Assessing Writing12(3), 180-198.##
Lee, I. (2008). Ten mismatches between teachers' beliefs and written feedback practice. ELT Journal, 63(1), 13-22.##
Lee, I. (2009). A new look at an old problem: How teachers can liberate themselves from the drudgery of marking student writing. Prospect: An Australian Journal of Teaching/Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), 24(2), 34-41.##
Lee, I. (2013). Research into practice: Written corrective feedback. Language Teaching, 46(1), 108-119.##
Lee, I. (2017). Classroom writing assessment and feedback in L2 school contexts. Singapore: Springer.##
Lee, I., Mak, P., & Burns, A. (2016). EFL teachers' attempts at feedback innovation in the writing classroom. Language Teaching Research, 20(2), 248-269.##
Li, H., & Lin, Q. (2007). The role of revision and teacher feedback in a Chinese college context. Asian EFL Journal, 9(4), 230-239.##
Li, S. (2010). The effectiveness of corrective feedback in SLA: A meta-analysis. Language Learning, 60(2), 309-365.##
Middleton, G., Allen, D., & Shibata, N. (2009). An introduction to peer review (DVD). KOMEX and the Department of English Language, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Tokyo.##
Min, H.-T. (2006). The effects of trained peer review on EFL students' revision types and writing quality. Journal of Second Language Writing, 15(2), 118-141.##
Nassaji, H. (2015). The interactional feedback dimension in instructed second language learning: Linking theory, research, and practice. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ##
Ng, L. L., & Ishak, S. N. A. (2018). Instructor's direct and indirect feedback: How do they impact learners' written performance? 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature. 24(3), 95-110.##
Parr, J. M., & Timperley, H. S. (2010). Feedback to writing, assessment for teaching and learning, and student progress. Assessing Writing, 15(2), 68-85.##
Porte, G. (1996). When writing fails: How academic context and past learning experiences shape revision. System, 24(1), 107-116.##
Radecki, P. M., & Swales, J. M. (1988). ESL student reaction to written comments on their written work. System, 16(3), 355-365.##
Romova, Z., & Andrew, M. (2011). Teaching and assessing academic writing via the portfolio: Benefits for learners of English as an additional language. Assessing Writing, 16(2), 111-122.##
Salimi, A. & Ahmadpour, M. (2015).The effect of direct vs. indirect written corrective feedback on L2 learners' written accuracy in EFL context. International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies. 4(1), 10-19.##
Sato, T. (1991). Revising strategies in Japanese students' writing in English as a foreign language. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA.##
Schulz, R. A. (2001). Cultural differences in student and teacher perceptions concerning the role of grammar instruction and corrective feedback: USA‐Colombia. The Modern Language Journal, 85(2), 244-258.##
Sengupta, S. (1998). From text revision to text improvement: A story of secondary school composition. RELC Journal, 29(1), 110-137.##
Sheen, Y. (2010). Differential effects of oral and written corrective feedback in the ESL classroom. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32(2), 203-234.##
Sheen, Y., Wright, D., & Moldawa, A. (2009). Differential effects of focused and unfocused written correction on the accurate use of grammatical forms by adult ESL learners. System, 37(4), 556-569.##
Shehadeh, A. (2011). Effects and student perceptions of collaborative writing in L2. Journal of Second Language Writing, 20(4), 286-305.##
Storch, N. (2010). Critical feedback on written corrective feedback research. International Journal of English Studies, 10(2), 29-46.##
Van Beuningen, C. (2010). Corrective feedback in L2 writing: Theoretical perspectives, empirical insights, and future directions. International Journal of English Studies, 10(2), 1-27.##
Van Steendam, E., Rijlaarsdam, G., Sercu, L., & van den Bergh, H. (2010). The effect of instruction type and dyadic or individual emulation on the quality of higher-order peer feedback in EFL. Learning and Instruction, 20(4), 316-327.##
Wigglesworth, G., & Storch, N. (2012). What role for collaboration in writing and writing feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(4), 364-374.##
Yang, S.-h. (2011). Exploring the Effectiveness of Using Peer Evaluation and Teacher Feedback in College Students' Writing. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher (De La Salle University Manila), 20(1), 144-150.
Zhao, H. (2010). Investigating learners' use and understanding of peer and teacher feedback on writing: A comparative study in a Chinese English writing classroom. Assessing Writing, 15(1), 3-17.##