Computer-mediated corrective feedback in Chinese as a second language writing: Learners’ perspectives

Yufen HSIEH, Cha Kie HIEW, Yong Xiang TAY

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of written corrective feedback in promoting second language (L2) learners’ linguistic accuracy (Bitchener and Knoch in Language Teaching Research 12(3):409–431, 2008a, ELT Journal 63(3):204–211, 2008b, Applied Linguistics 31(2):193–214, 2010a; Ellis et al. in System 36(3):353–371, 2008; Ferris in Journal of Second Language Writing 13(1):49–62, 2004, Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 81–104, 2006; Sheen in TESOL Quarterly 41:255–283, 2007; Van Beuningen et al. in Language Learning 62, 1–41, 2012). In practice, however, learners can hardly receive prompt feedback in a large class with mixed levels of language proficiency. This study explored fifth-grade students’ perceptions of the benefits and challenges of using an automated essay marking system in a writing class. Chinese learners with high-intermediate and low-intermediate levels of proficiency obtained instant error feedback on Chinese characters, collocations, and grammar after submitting their essays to the system. A questionnaire and interviews were then conducted to collect the students’ views. The results showed that computer-mediated corrective feedback was generally perceived as effective and helpful for improving language accuracy in writing. According to the interview results, the most commonly perceived benefits of the system included convenient and instant access to corrective feedback as well as increased awareness of L2 form. The marking system served as a supplement to teachers in the writing class. Compared to the low-intermediate group, the high-intermediate group had a more positive attitude toward metalinguistic feedback. On the other hand, negative perceptions of the system could result from incomprehensibility/inaccuracy of feedback, preference for handwriting over typing, as well as limitations of the system design. The findings have implications for future research and implementation of an automated marking system as a pedagogical tool in writing classes. Copyright © 2017 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese as a second language assessment
EditorsDongbo ZHANG, Chin-Hsi LIN
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789811040894
ISBN (Print)9789811040870
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Hsieh, Y., Hiew, C. K., & Tay, Y. X. (2017). Computer-mediated corrective feedback in Chinese as a second language writing: Learners’ perspectives. In D. Zhang & C.-H. Lin (Eds.), Chinese as a second language assessment (pp. 225-246). Singapore: Springer.


  • Corrective feedback
  • Computer-mediated writing
  • Chinese as a second language

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