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Understanding Text and Screencast Feedback through Appraisal

"Understanding Text and Screencast Feedback through Appraisal"
2017 Second Language Research Forum: Growing Connection in Second Language Research
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Oct. 12-15, 2017

Presentation Abstract: Understanding Text and Screencast Feedback through Appraisal

Understanding implications of technology choices in instructor feedback can be difficult given the varied affordances of modes and the often mode-specific frameworks used in analyzing feedback. This presentation focuses on an analysis of the evaluative language resources used by three ESL writing instructors across technology-mediated modes of feedback: screencasts and MS Word comments. Appraisal analysis, an interpersonal analysis situated in Systemic Functional Linguistics, is used to investigate this language resource use across the two types of feedback to show differences in how feedback is conveyed. With a focus on attitude and engagement, this analysis reveals differences in the role of feedback and the position of reviewers across technological modes and the potential of appraisal as a framework to understand instructor feedback. Understanding how such technology shapes instructor feedback can help instructors make informed choices and find tools that best match their intentions.

Colloquium Overview:

As technology has become an integral component of academic writing, the search to understand how it impacts students, instructors, and pedagogy has grown. This colloquium considers three technological tools-- e-portfolios, AWE, and screencast feedback -- through studies of evaluation found in written reflections, student interviews, and instructor comments.


Research in computer-assisted language learning contexts has often centered on evaluation. These evaluations are often about a technology (e.g., opinions in interviews) or through a technology (e.g., technology-mediated feedback). One way to understand nuances in such evaluation is through an investigation of the language resources employed. This is achieved through application of the appraisal framework (Martin & White, 2005) situated in Systemic Functional Linguistics.


This colloquium connects three studies employing appraisal analysis to better understand technology in second language writing research. These studies reveal how students evaluate specific technological interventions through interviews and reflective writing and how technology choices may shape instructor feedback. The papers in this colloquium connect SFL, technology, and second language writing research through applications of the appraisal framework.



Martin, J. & White, P. (2005). The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.