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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Issues in Applied Linguistics

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ial is a refereed journal managed by scholars in the field of applied linguistics. Our aim is to publish outstanding research from faculty, independent researchers, and graduate students in the broad areas of second language acquisition, language socialization, language processing, language assessment, language pedagogy, language policy, making use of the following research methodologies (but not limited to): discourse analysis, conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, critical race theory, and psychophysiology. ial publishes articles, book reviews, and interviews with notable scholars.

Issues in Applied Linguistics

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Linguistic Features of Formative Feedback on ESL Argumentative Writing: Comparing Pre-service and Experienced Teachers

This experimental study investigated pre-service and experienced teachers’ formative feedback responding to upper-secondary English as a Second Language (ESL) argumentative essays. It examined differences in feedback quality and linguistic features regarding teaching experience and text quality (high/low). We developed holistic criteria of effective formative feedback based on empirical findings in order to rate comments by 26 experienced and 41 pre-service teachers. Natural language processing tools were then applied to evaluate linguistic features of these comments. Results indicate that teachers provided more high-quality feedback to stronger essays than to weaker texts. No significant difference was found between pre-service and experienced teachers in terms of feedback quality. Further, comment length and absence of negative adjectives seem to predict feedback quality. Implications for research and practice are discussed.