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The IUP Journal of English Studies :
A Comparison of Teacher Feedback Versus Students’ Joint Feedback on EFL Students’ Composition
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The purpose of this study is to compare teacher-written feedback with joint feedback of student reviewers after intra-feedback session. A group of twenty-one university students and an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher participated in the study. From the results, it was found that both teacher and students were concerned with surface-level errors during peer feedback and indicated less engagement with other aspects of the composition such as content and organization. Moreover, the analysis of the comments indicated that the most frequent feedback type provided by both teacher and students was “directive” and the least frequent one was “summary.” The findings of the study suggest that incorporation of intra-feedback practice into EFL writing instruction can help teachers change the individualized learning atmosphere by establishing an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Furthermore, joint feedback of reviewers provided during the process of intra-feedback is to some extent similar to the teacher’s feedback; therefore, it can be concluded that intra-feedback can serve as a complementary practice in writing courses.

 
 
 

Over the past decades, writing pedagogy has shifted from the traditional product-oriented approach to a process-oriented approach (Graham and Sandmel 2011; Lee 2006). In product-oriented writing, the teacher sets students a writing topic and receives the final draft for correction without any intervention in the process of writing. However, process-oriented writing approach emphasizes the process of invention and discovery, and collaborative participation of peers. In process writing, the importance of grammar correction is reduced, and the presentation of individual perspectives and meaning making are emphasized. An important component of L2 (second language) writing instruction in process approach is “response to revisions,” which includes teacher’s or peers’ response or feedback to ideas, organization, and style (Hyland 1996). This approach views writing as a dynamic, nonlinear, and recursive process (Leki 1990; Mangelsdorf 1992; Zamel 1985). Peer feedback refers to learners’ engagement in the process of sharing and receiving ideas as well as provision of constructive comments and suggestions in order to improve a piece of writing. Part of the great appeal of peer feedback is also derived from its strong foothold in theoretical principles of social interaction and mediation in individual development. Vygotsky (1978) emphasizes that learning is a cognitive activity, changing the focus on learning from individual to the interaction within a social environment. Therefore, peer interaction is vital to improve learning quality since it permits students to construct knowledge through social sharing and interaction.

Although the potential benet of peer feedback for writing development has been supported in several research studies, it was viewed with doubt due to several reasons. A number of studies cautioned that some learners are likely to provide feedback on surface errors and consequently their comments may not help revision. Similarly, Storch (2004) claimed that most peer responses are focused on the product of writing rather than the process, and many learners in L2 settings commented on the micro-level errors (local) rather than the macro-level ones (global). Moreover, in order to provide helpful comments, student reviewers need to possess the necessary skills. As Zue (1995, 517) warns, “We cannot assume that because students work in peer groups, they will automatically engage in and benefit from interaction and negotiation of meaning.” Therefore, students need to be trained to acquire the necessary skills in order to do more complicated tasks since they are not considered qualified enough to give helpful comments. Tsui and Ng (2000), in their study on the influence of peer and teacher feedback on the writing of secondary EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners, found that the teacher is considered as the only source of authority and the one who is qualified to provide suitable comments. However, it is not clear how teacher’s comment compares to peer’s comment in terms of quality, and whether the latter is, indeed, not as qualified as the former. Against this background, this study is an attempt to examine the comments of teacher and the joint comment of peer reviewers as provided following an intra-feedback session on the EFL students’ compositions.

 
 

Journal of English Studies ,Participants,Procedure , Comparison of Global Versus Local Comments,Comparison of Six Comment Categories.