Gunma JALT:

Grammar Feedback in Writing Instruction: Beyond the Yes/No Debate

Date: Sunday, June 17th, 2012 Time: 2:15 PM - 4:45 PM

Speaker: Paul Kei Matsuda

Grammar feedback has long been considered a sine qua non of second language writing instruction, but John Truscott's (1996) controversial article has ignited what has become a long-standing debate over the efficacy of grammar feedback. While there is some evidence to suggest that grammar feedback can contribute to long-term language development, it is still not possible for teachers to predict what kind of feedback is going to lead to language development. Yet, many teachers continue to evaluate student writing based on language development. In doing so, teachers end up penalizing students for what they cannot teach reliably. In this presentation, the presenter -- an experienced writing teacher, researcher and teacher educator -- will emphasize the importance of aligning teaching and assessment. Specifically, he will propose assessment without evaluation -- that is, focus on formative rather than summative feedback -- as a way out of the grammar-feedback dilemma. The session will likely end with a lively discussion of how this proposed solution might work in practice.

Paul Kei Matsuda is Professor of English and Director of Second Language Writing at Arizona State University, USA, where he works closely with master's and doctoral students in applied linguistics, composition studies, rhetoric and TESOL. Co-founding chair of the Symposium on Second Language Writing and editor of the Parlor Press Series on Second Language Writing, Paul has edited dozen books on second language writing and published numerous articles and book chapters on history and theory of second language writing as well as research on identity in written discourse, among other topics. He has also taught a wide-range of writing courses as well as courses for writing teachers and researchers. Born and raised in Japan, he learned English mostly through reading and writing.

Organization: Gunma Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Gunma JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1,000 yen

Venue: Gunma University, Muse Hall

Location: Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan


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