Oral corrective feedback on L2 writing from a sociocultural perspective

A case study on two writing conferences in a Chinese university


  • Ye Han The University of Hong Kong
  • Fiona Hyland The University of Hong Kong




oral corrective feedback, writing conferences, negotiation


From the perspective of sociocultural theories, individual writing conferences between a teacher and a student offer an optimal dialogical framework for negotiating and adjusting oral corrective feedback (CF) to L2 students’ developmental levels with the aim of enhancing students’ ability to self-correct. While some empirical findings support the use of negotiated CF, little research has examined the extent to which teachers negotiate CF with their students or the way they change their CF strategies in naturalistic writing conferences, especially in the Chinese EFL context. The current case study used and adapted regulatory scales for CF developed by Aljaafreh and Lantolf (1994) and by Erlam, Ellis, and Batstone (2013), to analyse teacher talk addressing linguistic errors in two writing conferences at a Chinese university. The two teachers were found to use very different approaches to providing CF. One teacher often began with implicit CF and gradually tailored her subsequent CF after eliciting the student’s responses. Contrastingly, the other teacher often diagnosed errors and supplied correction without inviting input from the student. The findings suggested that teachers’ beliefs about feedback, their goals of having writing conferences, availability of time resources, and the curriculum focus could impact their choice to negotiate CF with students.

Author Biographies

Ye Han, The University of Hong Kong

Ye Han is an assistant professor in the School of Humanities and Social Science at Harbin Institute of technology, (Shenzhen). She recently obtained a PhD in English Language Education from the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include written corrective feedback, writing conferences, and the interface between cognition and emotion in second language writing.

Fiona Hyland, The University of Hong Kong

Fiona Hyland is an honorary associate professor in the English Language Education Division in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. She has more than thirty years of experience teaching and researching in the areas of applied linguistics and teacher education in international contexts. She has published widely in journals and edited volumes on the subject of feedback. She is co-author of Feedback in Second Language Writing: Contexts and Issues (2006) Cambridge University Press.



How to Cite

Han, Y., & Hyland, F. (2017). Oral corrective feedback on L2 writing from a sociocultural perspective: A case study on two writing conferences in a Chinese university. Writing and Pedagogy, 8(3), 433–459. https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.27165



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