University of Leicester
2017XERRIAGIUSSPhD.pdf (166.46 MB)

Reading and Writing about Unseen Literary Texts at a Post-16 School in Malta: Practices, Perceptions, Feedback, and Challenges

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posted on 2018-01-02, 16:54 authored by Stephanie Xerri Agius
This study explores the practices of preparing students for reading and writing about unseen literary texts at a post-16 school in Malta. The types of feedback students receive on their essays about unseen literary texts are also examined. This study discusses whether students apply their teachers’ feedback to future writing. Data collection occurred through semi-structured interviews with students and teachers, and classroom observation. The study adopts an interpretivist paradigm, and data were analyzed according to a grounded theory methodology. The reported findings are presented according to four elements of grounded theory: Processes, Actions, Perceptions, and Challenges. The study’s main contribution is to present interconnected research on three categories: reading, writing, and feedback. Primarily, how reading and writing about unseen texts take place, how they are perceived, and the challenges students face. This leads to a consideration of teacher feedback on writing, how it is provided and perceived, feedback application and challenges in the latter. Students’ and teachers’ perceptions in shaping practices emerged as a recurring issue in all three categories. The perceptions also highlight a number of challenges pertaining to writing essays and using teacher feedback. The study concludes that the differing perceptions held by teachers might be influencing the students’ attitudes towards unseen literary texts, leading to a fear of literary criticism and writing. Hence, holding more dialogues between teachers and students on the nature of reading and writing about unseen texts is suggested. Another conclusion heightens the need for more work on feedback provision and application. Timing and the language of feedback emerged as pressing issues over which there was doubt and uncertainty. These conclusions prompt further research and training on the multifaceted nature of reading and writing about unseen texts, and feedback application.



Dymoke, Sue; Rogerson-Revell, Pamela; Davies, Diane

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Education

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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