Victor Guillen Solano


In recent years UK universities have attracted an increasing number of international students.  Their socialisation into different academic practices greatly depends on their ability to write in English since writing is the main way in which students demonstrate their learning at university. This paper looks into the widely-shared view that tutor feedback can help students develop their academic literacy and argues that academic writing and feedback-giving are social practices influenced by cultural, institutional and departmental contexts. The research combined quantitative and qualitative methods to explore academic expectations, experiences of feedback and perceptions of its impact on international students’ academic literacy. The study found that non-UK students on full-time postgraduate taught courses seem to be at a considerable disadvantage because of factors like limited English language skills, or lack of familiarity with cultural, academic, disciplinary or professional conventions. The research found no evidence of a systematic approach for tutors or institutions to measure the impact of feedback on student learning. In this study, feedback  seemed to make a limited contribution to students’ understanding of literacy practices due to a number of both individual and institutional factors.