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critical discourse analysis; feedback; student response; teacher-written commentary; academic literacy


This study explores student written responses to teacher feedback and analyzes these responses through the framework of critical discourse analysis (CDA). Drawing on CDA, we examined the structural, interactional, and interdiscursive features of 21 students’ paragraph-length comments on formative teacher feedback on their first assignment draft in a first-year composition class and investigated relations between the text, interaction, and context. The structural analysis indicates that the students’ comments demonstrate their emerging academic literacy skills. Our interactional analysis shows that most students took on an active role as a good student and a hardworking writer, but some students exerted their agency by taking the opportunity to resist the authority of the teacher, while others rejected it altogether. Our interdiscursive analysis illustrates that students used not only language from the teacher’s comments, but also metalanguage of the composition classroom to formulate their responses. Based on our findings, we discuss implications for teaching practices and future avenues for research on students’ responses to teacher feedback.



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