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A study of teacher feedback on peer feedback in EFL writing and its relation to self-regulation

A study of teacher feedback on peer feedback in EFL writing and its relation to self-regulation
A study of teacher feedback on peer feedback in EFL writing and its relation to self-regulation
Feedback is considered one of the most important parts of teaching writing. Learners need to receive responses they can act upon to retain strengths and improve weaknesses of their performances. Feedback that is regular, immediate, sufficient, and, most importantly, of good quality is necessary in order to help the learners to develop. Improving the way feedback is provided is, therefore, as important as feedback itself. However, as research so far has suggested, there is no consensus on which is the most effective way to employ feedback. As a result, we still need more information to add to this controversial practice. Apart from that, in writing class with a large number of students, and with teachers who have heavy workload, giving feedback with such aforementioned characteristics is not always possible. These limitations bring peer feedback into light as it has been recommended as a fruitful solution. Peer feedback not only helps both the giver and the receiver improve writing quality but also helps them to become more self-regulated. However, for peer feedback to work effectively, students who give peer feedback need to be trained appropriately.

This study applies the concept of scaffolding as a mean to train the students to possess necessary skills on giving peer feedback. The research objectives are to investigate the effectiveness of using teacher feedback on peer feedback in helping the students to give more effective peer feedback and to become self-regulated learners. The teacher/researcher who acts as scaffolding provider gives feedback on students’ peer feedback. The students’ improvement of feedback ability is expected to help improve their writing quality. Twenty-six third year English major students were asked to take part in the study which is divided into two phases: the learning of argumentative writing and feedback training phase, and the writing of argumentative essays and the peer feedback phase.

Students’ texts, questionnaires, video records of students’ interactions, audio records of teacher-student conference, students’ reflective diaries, and observatory comments from university colleagues were used as the data collection tools. The data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.

The results of the study can be summarized as follows. 1) The teacher feedback on the students’ peer feedback can help improve the students’ feedback quality. By the end of the study, the participants were able to provide proper feedback that covered the agreed areas which include text organization, content, idea development, and language use comparing to the early stage of the study where they only spent time commenting on some areas especially grammar and content. 2) The feedback quality that has improved resulted in the writing quality that has also improved at the end of the study. The aspect which has been improved the most is text organization. The writing scores also suggested that the participants have made improvement on content and language use. 3) The use of teacher feedback on peer feedback enables the students to possess behaviours of self-regulated learners which include the ability to give detailed explanations to points at hand, identify writing problems and provide solutions to the problems, express clear knowledge of the writing genre, use proper strategies to deliver comments, evaluate both peers’ and own writing quality, share knowledge of the genre, correct the giver’s errors, and take over the talk from the giver. The students showed behaviours of other regulation as they asked for opinions and confirmations, and accept the giver comment with little intention to question the comment quality. The object regulation behaviours can be seen when the students went off the topic at hand, talked about their weakness of grammar, and mentioned the insufficient time for writing. 4) The students’ opinions towards the research method were positive. The students were convinced that the research activities had helped them to write better, to have more confidence to evaluate and give comments to peers’ writing, and to have self-study skills. They reflected that the activity was useful for their future career too.

The results also suggested that the participants sometimes made superficial comments on areas such as idea development, and language use. It also found that the students occasionally made rubber stamp comments. In terms of the pairing of the students, the findings suggested that the students no matter what level of proficiency they had received benefit from the activity. However, the interaction could be effected by pairs with different levels of language proficiency.
Phuwichit, Kamonwat
5879283b-962c-4e4d-8c39-3a8df5795bae
Phuwichit, Kamonwat
5879283b-962c-4e4d-8c39-3a8df5795bae
Archibald, Alasdair
15b56a58-87df-4322-8367-70f4daff3f42

(2016) A study of teacher feedback on peer feedback in EFL writing and its relation to self-regulation. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 269pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Feedback is considered one of the most important parts of teaching writing. Learners need to receive responses they can act upon to retain strengths and improve weaknesses of their performances. Feedback that is regular, immediate, sufficient, and, most importantly, of good quality is necessary in order to help the learners to develop. Improving the way feedback is provided is, therefore, as important as feedback itself. However, as research so far has suggested, there is no consensus on which is the most effective way to employ feedback. As a result, we still need more information to add to this controversial practice. Apart from that, in writing class with a large number of students, and with teachers who have heavy workload, giving feedback with such aforementioned characteristics is not always possible. These limitations bring peer feedback into light as it has been recommended as a fruitful solution. Peer feedback not only helps both the giver and the receiver improve writing quality but also helps them to become more self-regulated. However, for peer feedback to work effectively, students who give peer feedback need to be trained appropriately.

This study applies the concept of scaffolding as a mean to train the students to possess necessary skills on giving peer feedback. The research objectives are to investigate the effectiveness of using teacher feedback on peer feedback in helping the students to give more effective peer feedback and to become self-regulated learners. The teacher/researcher who acts as scaffolding provider gives feedback on students’ peer feedback. The students’ improvement of feedback ability is expected to help improve their writing quality. Twenty-six third year English major students were asked to take part in the study which is divided into two phases: the learning of argumentative writing and feedback training phase, and the writing of argumentative essays and the peer feedback phase.

Students’ texts, questionnaires, video records of students’ interactions, audio records of teacher-student conference, students’ reflective diaries, and observatory comments from university colleagues were used as the data collection tools. The data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.

The results of the study can be summarized as follows. 1) The teacher feedback on the students’ peer feedback can help improve the students’ feedback quality. By the end of the study, the participants were able to provide proper feedback that covered the agreed areas which include text organization, content, idea development, and language use comparing to the early stage of the study where they only spent time commenting on some areas especially grammar and content. 2) The feedback quality that has improved resulted in the writing quality that has also improved at the end of the study. The aspect which has been improved the most is text organization. The writing scores also suggested that the participants have made improvement on content and language use. 3) The use of teacher feedback on peer feedback enables the students to possess behaviours of self-regulated learners which include the ability to give detailed explanations to points at hand, identify writing problems and provide solutions to the problems, express clear knowledge of the writing genre, use proper strategies to deliver comments, evaluate both peers’ and own writing quality, share knowledge of the genre, correct the giver’s errors, and take over the talk from the giver. The students showed behaviours of other regulation as they asked for opinions and confirmations, and accept the giver comment with little intention to question the comment quality. The object regulation behaviours can be seen when the students went off the topic at hand, talked about their weakness of grammar, and mentioned the insufficient time for writing. 4) The students’ opinions towards the research method were positive. The students were convinced that the research activities had helped them to write better, to have more confidence to evaluate and give comments to peers’ writing, and to have self-study skills. They reflected that the activity was useful for their future career too.

The results also suggested that the participants sometimes made superficial comments on areas such as idea development, and language use. It also found that the students occasionally made rubber stamp comments. In terms of the pairing of the students, the findings suggested that the students no matter what level of proficiency they had received benefit from the activity. However, the interaction could be effected by pairs with different levels of language proficiency.

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More information

Published date: September 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 401691
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/401691
PURE UUID: 46b75839-9a14-4ea1-bf27-a60a3113fc65

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Date deposited: 01 Dec 2016 12:21
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 18:00

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Contributors

Author: Kamonwat Phuwichit
Thesis advisor: Alasdair Archibald

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