A Master of Arts Thesis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Submitted to the College of Arts and Sciences by Fatmah Ahmed Hammoudi Entitled, "UAE High School Students' Perceptions of Teachers' Feedback on their Writing," January 2007. Available are both Soft and Hard Copies of the Thesis.
For most teachers, marking students' papers and responding to their writing is a daunting and tedious task. It is also a practice that could carry potential dangers and requires careful consideration. However, feedback from teachers is one of the crucial aspects of the classroom writing process and one of the teachers' most important roles in writing instruction. It is, therefore, important to develop an awareness of the nature and the function of feedback so that both teachers and students play their roles effectively in the writing classroom. This study sheds light on the nature of UAE high school teachers' feedback to students' compositions and students' perceptions and expectations regarding this feedback. It also investigates the correlation between the nature of the teachers' feedback and students' motivation, attitudes, and perception of writing skill. The main purpose of the study was to investigate high school students' perceptions of teachers' feedback on their writing. It seeks answers for the following questions: What kind of feedback do students think they get? Do they think they get enough and supportive feedback? Do they believe in the usefulness of teachers' feedback on writing? What do they do with the feedback they get? And what preferences might they have? To achieve the purpose of this study, both quantitative and qualitative data were extracted from multiple sources including surveys, interviews, and samples of students' papers. Results indicated that the majority of UAE high school students recognize the value of teachers' feedback in improving their learning and encouraging them to write; however, their comments implied that the feedback they received is not as effective as it could be. Based on the results of this study, the nature of teachers' feedback did not seem to be as informative as it could be. Besides, the majority of students felt short-changed, as they believed that teachers do not provide enough supportive feedback on their writing.