Peer Review, Collaborative Revision, and Genre in L2 Writing
Memari Hanjani, Alireza
Date: 12 March 2013
University of Exeter
PhD in Education
During the last few decades peer collaboration has been commonly practised in Second Language (L2) writing classrooms. Despite the conceptual shift towards process, student-centred orientation to writing pedagogy, there are still many L2 composition courses around the world which consider writing as a finished product and assign ...
During the last few decades peer collaboration has been commonly practised in Second Language (L2) writing classrooms. Despite the conceptual shift towards process, student-centred orientation to writing pedagogy, there are still many L2 composition courses around the world which consider writing as a finished product and assign a central role to writing instructors. This qualitative case study research is one of the first attempts which have been set out to probe the interactional dynamics, revision behaviours, writing performance, and perceptions of Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students engaged in peer review and collaborative revision activities in two genres, process and argumentation, in light of sociocultural perspective of learning. The participants were 5 lower intermediate to intermediate English translation student dyads enrolled in a semester long essay writing course. Drawing on the data collected from audio-recordings, observations, written texts, and interviews, the study investigated how this group of L2 learners approached these two distinct tasks, how they reacted to the feedback they received either from their partners or teacher, how they used the comments to improve their writing performance, and how they viewed each of the tasks they were involved in. Analysis of audio-recorded data revealed that students stayed on task for most of the allocated time and employed three distinct dyadic negotiations; evaluative, social, and procedural with both partners being capable of pooling ideas and providing each other scaffolded help regardless of their level of L2 writing proficiency. However, the majority of conversations and scaffolding concentrated on surface level features of compositions. Further, examination of written texts produced by students during writing cycles demonstrated that they incorporated higher number of teacher‟s comments into their subsequent drafts than their peers‟ feedback and collaborative revision contributed to greater degree of improvement in the quality of the essays they developed compared to peer reviewing. Retrospective interviews also indicated that collaborative tasks were generally perceived as useful, yet the participants expressed scepticism about the validity of peer comments and did not feel competent enough to address their partners‟ papers. Nevertheless, they showed more favourable reactions towards collaborative revision activity than peer reviewing. The researcher concludes that collaborative revision can be used as an interim activity for the move from the traditional, product-based, teacher fronted L2 writing pedagogy to a more theoretically sound, process-based, student fronted approach to writing instruction in EFL contexts.
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