Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in English

First Advisor

Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham

Second Advisor

John Crutchfield


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



This exploratory case study aimed to investigate the meanings that second language (L2) learners derive from their writing purposes revising processes and their engagement with dialogic feedback. The goal was to grasp the meaning that revision experiences had for L2 learners (n=17) and to understand the context within which they were operating and its influence on their revision behavior. In order to gain a better understanding of L2 learner engagement and investment in the revision processes which were bound to time and context the case study was built upon an ecological-semiotic approach to learning. The case study aimed to construct a clearer reality within a bounded system – a culture of a classroom feedback practices learner and teacher histories – and bounded by time (4 9 and 30 months) to understand why some L2 learners benefited from feedback and others did not. Drawing on dialogic interactions interviews writing samples and intensive revisions qualitative interpretations were used to discover factors that explained L2 learner variation in receiving processing and applying dialogic feedback. The findings suggest that (1) dialogic feedback acted as a communicative sign-making process that developed L2 learners’ writing and revisions and encompassed writing as a personal act that occurred in a classroom setting; (2) L2 learners encountered unique opportunities and constraints that afforded and limited their L2 writing learning experiences in a variety of ways in which individual differences played a significant role; (3) the way L2 learners responded to a writing task differed according to how they interpreted the goal of the task or the goal they set for themselves in relation to the task and task conditions; (4) L2 learners may hold different even contradictory beliefs about L2 writing and revisions at different times influenced by diverse personal and contextual factors which shaped their approaches to revisions; and (5) L2 learners varied enormously with regard to revisions as well as affective factors such as writing anxiety attitude and investment. The results of the study present a better understanding of L2 learners’ perspectives and the value of feedback as a revising tool.



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