Writing Instruction in Foreign Language Courses: Multiple Perspectives on the Impact of Peer Feedback on Studentsâ Writing Proficiency
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Research shows that peer feedback can help students develop and advance their Zone of Proximal Development through their engagement in collaborative interaction with their peers (De Guerrero & Villamil, 1994, 2000; Donato, 2004; Lantolf, 2004; Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; Liu & Hansen, 2005). Peer feedback can also help students improve their writing proficiency, including organization of their texts and awareness of the mechanics of the language necessary for successful communication of the intended message (Kinsler, 1990; Hu, 2005; Williams, 2005).
Framed within a sociocultural perspective on foreign language learning and development, and following a manuscript approach, this dissertation consists of a series of studies that aim to explore: (a) whether participation in a peer feedback experience has a positive impact on studentsâ foreign language writing proficiency; (b) whether guidelines plus training in how to provide meaningful feedback have a different impact on studentsâ foreign language writing proficiency than guidelines alone; (c) around what themes students focus the feedback they provide to their peers; and (d) what studentsâ perceptions of the peer feedback experience are.
The results of the first the study, which consisted of a pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design, showed that students significantly improved their writing proficiency after participating in a peer feedback experience, regardless of training. Further the results of this study indicated that, on average, trained and untrained students provided written peer feedback focused mainly on global aspects rather than local aspects. The results of the second study, which consisted of a mixed methods approach, showed that, on average, students had high perceptions of the peer feedback experience and that they perceived that their partnerâ s feedback had helped them improve the global aspects of their composition more than the local aspects. Students expressed that what they liked the most about the experience was getting a different perspective on their writing, and what they liked the least was that they felt they were not proficient enough in the foreign language to provide meaningful feedback to their peers.
- Doctoral Dissertations