How positive are tutors when responding to written assignments of MA in education students?


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Document Type

Archival Material/Manuscript

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This article reports the results of an investigation which determined the degree or level of 'positivisation' in the language and discourse of tutors providing written comments to assignments of part-time MA in Education students in a teaching and learning institution in the UK. A previous study (Spear, Lock and McCulloch 1997) had found that tutors who observed lessons by teacher-trainees emphasized praise, support and encouragement in their comments or verbal feedback. My investigation reports on whether the same is true with tutor written comments to students' assignments. The methods adopted for the investigation consisted of qualitative discourse analysis (which identified the judgments of tutors in their comments), concordance analysis of 270 comment sheets (which identified the most common words preferred by tutors), and semi-structured interviews done with tutor participants in the research. The results revealed tutor preference for positive judgments, the use of highly positive linguistic forms, and the tendency to couch negative judgments in suggestions.



Teacher Education and Professional Development


Feedback (Psychology); Student teachers—Rating of

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