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EFL College Students’ Engagement with Automated Written Corrective Feedback on Writing: A Case Study of High-and-Low Language Proficiency Learners

Kai-Lin Wu
Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan


Automated written corrective feedback (AWCF) on second language writing has recently gained importance in writing research; however, few studies investigated learner engagement with AWCF in the EFL learning contexts. Therefore, this multiple case study explored how EFL college students engaged behaviorally, cognitively, and effectively with AWCF given by Grammarly. It involved two high-proficiency students and two low-proficiency students in a college composition classroom at a private university in Taiwan. They were instructed to use Grammarly to correct grammatical errors in their drafts of expository writing. Their essay drafts, Grammarly’s PDF reports of document statistics, screenshot recordings of using Grammarly, simulated recalls, and semi-structured interviews were analyzed qualitatively to understand their three-dimension engagement with corrective feedback. The study found that the four students accepted most of the corrective feedback given by Grammarly. However, the high-proficiency students seemed to have more cognitive engagement with AWCF than the low-proficiency students. While the high achievers tended to question AWCF with distrust, the low achievers relied more on the corrective feedback. As for effective engagement with AWCF, the four students held positive attitudes toward immediate direct corrective feedback and recognized its usefulness. Based on the findings, pedagogical implications for integrating AWCF in the second language writing classroom are provided.


automated written corrective feedback, learner engagement, Grammarly, language proficiency, EFL learners

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023