LINGUIST List 25.2209

Mon May 19 2014

Diss: English, Applied Ling, Lang Acq, Socioling: Cote: 'The Role of Student Attitude towards Peer Review ...'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <>

Date: 13-May-2014
From: Robert Cote <>
Subject: The Role of Student Attitude towards Peer Review in Anonymous Electronic Peer Review in an EFL Writing Classroom
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Institution: University of Arizona
Program: Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Program
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2013

Author: Robert Arthur Cote

Dissertation Title: The Role of Student Attitude towards Peer Review in Anonymous Electronic Peer Review in an EFL Writing Classroom

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Mary Wildner-Bassett
Jun Liu
Chantelle N. Warner
Suzanne Panferov

Dissertation Abstract:

Over the past 30 years, there has been little consensus on the benefits of peer review (PR) with respect to
the teaching of expository writing in English to non-native speakers. Lu & Bol (2007) reported on several ESL
writing instruction studies (Chaudron, 1983; Mangelsdorf, 1992; Paulus, 1999) that suggested peer feedback
was as good as, and in some cases better than teacher feedback in helping revise and improve students'
papers (p. 101). Brammer & Rees (2007), however, reported, 'We frequently hear students complain bitterly
that peer review is a waste of time or blame their peers for `not catching all the mistakes' and students do not
stay on task during the peer review process' (p. 71). The literature also identifies social issues that can
negatively affect the outcome of face-to-face PR, such as students being easily biased or not honest when
providing feedback due to friendship, gender, race, interpersonal relationships, or personal preferences
(Carson & Nelson, 1996; Ghorpade & Lackritz, 2001; MacLeod, 1999; Nilson, 2003; Zhao, 1998). To
maximize the benefits of PR and reduce social interferences, this study incorporated anonymous electronic-
peer review with 25 EFL students enrolled in an expository writing class in Spain. The goal of this dissertation
is to explore the relationship between students' attitudes towards peer review and one) the amount and type
of corrections a student makes to an essay in anonymous electronic-peer review, and two) the amount and
type of corrections a student incorporates into his/her original essay after receiving feedback from a peer.
The participants completed several Likert questionnaires, participated in PR training, wrote two drafts of an
essay and were interviewed. The interviews provided data not only on the corrections mentioned above, but
also how the participants viewed the experience, the effects PR had on their writing, insecurities about their
English writing skills, and confidence they had in themselves and their peers based on perceived target
language competence. Findings include discussion on perceptions and implications of electronic peer review
on EFL learners' ability to provide helpful feedback and the willingness of the students to participate in peer
review again in the future.

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