Feedback practice as responsive pedagogy in teaching English as a foreign language
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- Institutt for lærerutdanning 
The objective of the thesis is to examine conditions that facilitate feedback practice as responsive pedagogy in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL). The thesis comprises three articles and a meta-text. The research is conducted in Norwegian lower secondary school and considers three distinct perspectives: the classroom perspective (art. I); the student perspective (art. II); and the teacher perspective (art. III). Feedback practice is understood as how feedback is exercised in classroom settings based on the beliefs teachers and students hold about feedback. Responsive pedagogy is conceptualised as a recursive dialogue between the learner’s internal feedback and external feedback provided by significant others, focused on self-regulation and self-efficacy. The overarching research question is: ‘What are conditions that facilitate feedback practice as responsive pedagogy in teaching English as a foreign language?’. The overarching research question is answered by three sub-questions, corresponding with each of the three articles of the thesis. The theoretical framework of the thesis considers feedback practice as responsive pedagogy embedded in learning-oriented assessment and social cognitive theory. Social cognitive theory highlights students’ self-regulation and self-efficacy. A social cognitive view of responsive pedagogy posits that students exercise agency in feedback dialogues recursively between internal and external feedback through three phases of self-regulation: forethought; monitoring; and self-reflection. In this perspective, students’ behaviour is neither externally controlled nor mechanically shaped as students’ exercise personal efficacy through a system of triadic reciprocal causation. Learning-oriented assessment recognises the joint involvement of teachers and students in feedback processes. Assessment as learning is a concern of responsive pedagogy in teaching EFL as the external target language (L2) feedback dialogue activates the internal L2 feedback dialogue of the learner. Data consisted of three samples and three data collections: i. video observation (65 lessons; two schools); ii. student surveys (1137 students; six schools); and iii. teacher interviews (10 teachers; two schools). Through an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, classroom, student, and teacher perspectives were studied by use of quantitative and qualitative methods. Instruments were the Classroom Assessment Scoring System–Secondary Manual (CLASS-S), the Responsive Pedagogy Questionnaire (RPQ), and the Responsive Pedagogy Interview Guide (RPIG). All instruments and procedures were piloted prior to data collection. Four conditions for feedback practice as responsive pedagogy in teaching EFL were identified: i. a shift in thinking towards L2 feedback dialogues; ii. fostering internal L2 feedback; iii. A culture for self-efficacious feedback in EFL; and iv. capitalising on students’ EFL competence. First, the relevance of L2 feedback dialogues was emphasised in the exploration of the first subquestion, although feedback was often controlling or resembling Initiation-Response-Evaluation (IRE) interactions in the first language (L1). High perceived self-efficacy, external goal orientation, and opportunity to self-regulate learning were considered important for feedback dialogues in the analyses of the second sub-question. Yet, the findings associated with the third sub-question identified a structural constraint in terms of a hidden summative system that hindered the full potential for formative feedback practices with teachers experiencing difficulties with dialogic feedback. Second, supporting students’ own internal L2 feedback indicates an important move for self-regulated learning in teaching EFL. However, the general absence of facilitation of self-regulated learning and great variation of teacher L2 use related to the first sub-question highlighted that this was an area of improvement. The results from the exploration of the second sub-question suggested that aspects of self-regulated learning and self-efficacy were crucial for students’ perceived usefulness of feedback. However, the beliefs of the interviewed EFL teachers from the analyses of the third sub-question indicated that the teachers were divided as to whether self-regulated learning was useful for students. In addition, some of the teachers expressed that more L2 use was an improvement aspect of their teaching. Third, a culture for self-efficacious feedback in teaching EFL recognises that feedback should not only accelerate learning but also strengthen students’ self-beliefs and confidence in the L2. The results from the exploration of the first sub-question indicated that teachers’ feedback was more approving/disapproving than self-efficacious. The path analysis related to the second subquestion strengthened the understanding of how students’ self-efficacy was associated with their perceptions of feedback practice, but that they also had to experience the EFL teaching as enjoyable and have opportunities to self-regulate their learning along with an awareness of learning goals. The findings from the analyses of the third sub-question showed that teachers had different beliefs of the relevance of self-efficacy facilitation. For some teachers, adjusting students’ expectations and beliefs to fit with the summative examination system was more important. The fourth condition for feedback practice as responsive pedagogy in teaching EFL is related to capitalising on students’ EFL competence. This is a realisation that students possess knowledge and skills that can be utilised in classroom teaching. The analyses of the first subquestion, however, pointed in the direction that teachers only to a low extent recognized students’ EFL competence or interests. The great variation in L2 use for teachers highlighted teacher differences in the willingness to communicate in the L2, which consequently affected students’ L2 use. The results associated with the second sub-question suggested that students were divided as to whether they found the teaching of EFL enjoyable with a generally low mean score. The analyses of the third sub-question indicated a theory-practice gap in teachers’ beliefs as the ideal was fostering L2 communicative competence, but that practices often consisted of correction and testing. The thesis suggests that feedback practice as responsive pedagogy might be embedded in a learning-oriented assessment framework and social cognitive theory. The theoretical framework highlights how feedback dialogues could be facilitated in a way that might foster students’ self-regulation, self-efficacy, and L2 communicative competence. The explanatory sequential mixed methods design was used to examine feedback practice as responsive pedagogy from classroom, student, and teacher perspectives. Basing the teaching of EFL more in L2 feedback dialogues might develop teachers’ and students’ feedback literacy, as both teachers and students need to be feedback literate and actively participating in responsive pedagogy.
Has partsPaper 1: Vattøy, Kim-Daniel; Gamlem, Siv Therese Måseidvåg. Teacher–student interactions and feedback in English as a foreign language classrooms. Cambridge Journal of Education 2020 s. 1-19 https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2019.1707512
Paper 2: Vattøy, K.-D., & Smith, K. (2019). Students’ perceptions of teachers’ feedback practice in teaching English as a foreign language. Teaching and Teacher Education, 85, 260–268. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2019.06.024
Paper 3: Vattøy, K.-D. (2020). Teachers’ beliefs about feedback practice as related to student self-regulation, self-efficacy, and language skills in teaching English as a foreign language. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 64, 100828. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2019.100828