n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Learners' belief systems and writing instruction

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



An investigation, using a locally designed survey questionnaire, backed by in-depth interviews with a selected sample of respondents, and notes from classroom observation, was carried out with first-year students at a historically black university on: their preuniversity writing experiences, their folk beliefs about the roles, usefulness, and shortcomings of different types of feedback (especially student feedback) on their writing. Among the findings was the lack of pre-university writing experience by first year students that confirmed the predicted need for writing instruction as a priority. Also unsurprising was the preference by the respondents for teacher feedback over peer feedback. Unpredicted, however, was the learners' openness to the use of peer feedback in revision, most often than not when peers act as providers, not as recipients. This article underscores the importance of reflective research as a source of information for innovative pedagogy: the findings may inform writing instruction and help anticipate problems in process writing as a transformational tool.

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