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An Investigation into University Students' Perceptions of Peer Review in EFL Writing

Author: ZhangQiuPing
Tutor: RaoZhenHui
School: Jiangxi Normal University
Course: Second Language Acquisition
Keywords: peer review process approach EFL college writing revision writingproficiency level
CLC: H319.3
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 36
Quote: 0
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Abstract


Peer review in ESL writing class has been an interesting research topic in L2research in the1980s. Since then, the process approach to teaching composition beganto take hold in classrooms worldwide. Unfortunately, researches on peer review inChina are not as productive as that in Western countries. Therefore, it is necessary toconduct some studies on peer review in Chinese writing context to help languagelearners and educators have a comprehensive understanding of peer review.On the basis of previous researches on peer review abroad and home, the presentstudy investigated university students’ perceptions of peer review in EFL writingclassroom.120second-year English major students from a university in He Nanprovince were involved in this study. The author examined how these studentsresponded to peer review, and the differences in attitudes toward peer review betweenhigh-level and low-level English major students. For the purpose of gaining relevantdata, a questionnaire, a semi-structured interview, and an English proficiency testwere used to collect data. The data from this study were analyzed by the SPSSVersion13.0for Windows. The major findings in this study were summarized asfollows:1) English major students strongly expressed positive reactions to the peer reviewactivity.72.5%of students in this study liked reading peers’ writing,62.5%ofthem liked peer review session and59.2%liked reading peers’ written comments.By comparison, most students preferred reading peers’ writing (Mean=3.5667) toparticipating in peer review session (Mean=3.4139) and reading peers’ writtencomments (Mean=3.3861). Meanwhile, most students claimed they were able tomake some changes into their writing content, organization and language throughpeer review activity. Students also had a positive attitude to composition revisiondespite they disliked the current writing instruction.2) There were some differences in attitudes towards peer review between high-levelstudents and low-level students. By comparison, there were significant differencesboth in reading peers’ writing (P=0.000) and in participating in peer review session (P=0.044) between high-level group and low-level group. However, nosignificant differences in reading peers’ written comments (P=0.087) were foundbetween the two groups. To be more specific, low-level group students were morepositive to the usefulness of reading peers’ writing and participating in peerreview than high-level group students. As for the writing situation, there wassignificant difference between the two groups. However, there was no significantdifference in composition revision between high proficient students and lowproficiency students.Based on the above findings, some pedagogical implications for the teaching ofwriting were drawn from the present study. Firstly, peer review should be integratedinto English writing instruction in the context of Chinese EFL teaching in line withthe process writing approach. Secondly, it is necessary to form peer review pairs orgroups by language ability. Next, peer review training should be conducted carefullyand comprehensively. Finally, the role of teachers and students in writing classroomshould be reassigned.

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