Exploring Peer Revision as a Strategy in the ESL Writing Classroom
1 Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
2 SMK Mohd Khalid Johor Bahru
One of the issues affecting the efficacy of peer revision in the writing classroom is that of the knowledge of peer reviewers. Do peer reviewers have sufficient knowledge of content and language to critique the works of their peer writers? Do they provide feedback on content as much as they do for language? Proponents of social constructivism posit that learners learn best when they are involved in exploring, discovering and transforming their ideas and those of their peers through interaction, negotiation and collaboration. In the writing classroom, student writers and reviewers are given the opportunity to build meaning based on their own experiences. This study examined the types of comments made by Malay ESL peer reviewers and their perceived usefulness towards improving peer writers’ composition. Comments on peer writing were collected from ten upper secondary school peer reviewers for equal number of peer writers through reviewer feedback form, peer conferencing session, reviewer field notes and writers’ multiple drafts. Findings of the study show that peer reviewers were able to provide revisions in both areas of content and language. Additionally, the strategies used to providing feedback on content included alteration and reordering, clarification and suggestion, as well as praise and criticism. Overall peer revision has a positive impact on writing and this has implications for teaching and learning, more so for teachers who are overburdened with marking.
Key words: Peer revision / constructivism / English as a Second Language / common errors / strategies to correct errors
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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