peer review-Peer Review

一 : Peer Review

Peer Review
Looking at Texts from a Reader’s Point of View

Peer Review? What is that?
? Objective feedback
– Seeing someone’s text from your own perspective – Explaining to them how you ‘see’ it – Being kind, yet honest, in the process

The ‘Who’ of Peer Review
? Who is the best person to review your writing?
– Peers… because they probably think like you – Instructors… because they know what they hope to teach you – Friends… because they can catch mistakes you do not see – Tutors at Purdue’s Writing Lab/OWL Email Tutors… because they are trained to work with writing needs

The ‘What’ of Peer Review
? What is the best way to ‘use’ Peer Review?
– Response-Centered Workshops
? Peers note their personal responses to the text ? Writer of the text listens but does not enter conversation ? Process-based

– Advice-Centered Workshops
? Peers first review and then give advice on the text ? Writer and Reviewer then talk together ? Product-based

The ‘Where’ of Peer Review
? Where does Peer Review work best?
– Peer Review works best in a structured environment
? Classrooms ? Conferences ? Writing Lab

– The Writing Lab at Purdue is Peer Review
? Thirty-minute sessions ? Assignment ? Feedback

The ‘When’ of Peer Review
? When does Peer Review work best?
– When you need overall feedback
? How does it sound? ? What do you think? ? Does it make sense?

– When you need specific feedback
? ? ? ? ? ? ? Thesis statement Topic Sentences Organization Introduction Conclusion Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling Syntax

The ‘Why’ of Peer Review
? Why does Peer Review work?
– – – – – We see our writing ‘through’ another person We see how other students think and write We see others’ writing strengths & weaknesses We see new ideas and new ways of explaining ideas We learn to look at our own writing in a different way

The ‘How’ of Peer Review
Peer Review works by being a helpful reader ? Ways you can respond as a helpful reader:
– If you get confused or lost
? ? ? ? ? ? Mark an ‘X’ in the text where you are confused Ask the writer to explain his or her ideas Ask the writer to state his or her thesis Ask the writer to state the question the thesis answers Help the writer to brainstorm (mapping, outlining, etc.) Ask the writer to fill in the blanks:
– My purpose in this paper is _________________. – My purpose in this section is ________________.

The ‘How’ of Peer Review
? Being a helpful reader (cont.):
– If you cannot see the point


? Ask the writer ‘So what?’ questions. ? In other words, ask the writer – ‘What does this sentence have to do with your thesis?’ – ‘What does this point have to do with this paragraph?’ – ‘What does this paragraph have to do with the paper?’

– Playing devil’s advocate
? Counter the writer’s stance or thesis ? Bring up

other perspectives ? Ask the writer ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions

– Offer more examples and details to the writer – Leave the final decisions to the writer

The Allyn & Bacon Guide
The following information is taken from the Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing:

Response-Centered Workshops:
1. 2. 3. 4. Ask students to bring in four copies of their papers. Divide the class into groups of three or four students. Ask one student to read a paper aloud. Students then make notes on their copies, making note of where they understand, are confused, think the writer makes a good point, feel they need more information, etc. Each group member orally explains his/her notes. Each writer member listens without making comments.

5. 6.

The Allyn & Bacon Guide
The following information is taken from the Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing:

Advice-Centered Workshops:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Ask students to bring in four copies of their papers. Divide the class into groups of four students. Each group of four divides into pairs. Each pair exchanges papers with the other pair. Working collaboratively, each pair reviews the two papers, one at a time, orally discussing the paper. The reviewers write down advice to the writer on the paper. Papers are returned to their owners. If time permits, the group members discuss their comments orally.

Where Can You go for Additional Help with Peer Review? Purdue University Writing Lab Heavilon 226 Grammar Hotline: (765) 494-3723 Online Writing Lab (OWL): Email with brief questions:

The End

二 : 什么是 Peer Review?

网友Smile Zhu[peer review]什么是 Peer Review?给出的答复:

三 : peer-review

Peer-review as an Important Way to Improve the Teaching

of English Writing in Senior High School

Wang Jinhong

1. Introduction

Writing is an essential part of English study in senior high school which takes up 20 percent in the NMET. The new curriculum standards stipulate that we have to regard it as the general goal in the English teaching cultivating students’ capacity of utilizing language comprehensively. However, how to make the English writing teaching more effective has been puzzling many English teachers for many years. And correcting errors in writing is an indispensable component of writing teaching process. Traditionally, it was believed that correcting the students' writing is the teacher's tasks, but it often resulted in the low quality in writing teaching. Therefore, it's of great significance to explore the effective correction method to improve the teaching quality in writing. This paper is on the basis of the theory of "Cooperative Learning" and Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and process teaching approach. Based on those , and according to the previous researches , the author designed a writing teaching model suitable for the senior high school students -- peer review to help the student to evaluate and revise their articles.

As is known to all, the teaching of writing focuses on the formal accuracy of the language, such as grammar, syntax, and words. Usually, the linear process of teaching writing is like the following: the teacher assigning the writing topic, students writing, the teacher correcting the formal errors such as words spelling, sentence structure, etc. The students’ writing is an individual and isolated process. Besides that, teachers work their heart out of marking students’ homework underlining and correcting errors one by one, however, students turn blind eyes to exercise books and still make the same mistakes next time. It’s a pity that teachers spend a large quantity of time checking and evaluating homework earnestly in return of failure and ignorance. Peer

review is a writing activity in which students form pairs or groups to read each other's composition and make suggestions for revision (Mangelsdorf, 1992). It is also termed peer feedback, peer response, peer revision, peer critiquing, peer evaluation, peer editing, etc. In the teaching of English composition , peer review refers to the practice of letting students review and correct the compositions f or each other . Studies have shown t hat students do not learn well when they are isolated , silent “receivers” of knowledge ( Ellis, 1985) . Indeed , learning is most effective when students overcome both isolation and silence . Peer review exercises succeed in writing class because they give students the opportunity to become actively involved in t he activities with their peers .

Although peer review enjoys strong theoretical support and has become a regular feature of writing instructions abroad, it remains a rare scene in the teaching of

English writing in China. Mangelsdorf (1992:117) said this is because peer review is a common activity of the process approach, whereas writing instruction in China is

dominated by the product approach, in which only teachers respond to student writing. In recent years, however, more and more Chinese teachers have become interested in the process approach. Ferris points out that as peer review is highly recommended by process proponents, it's very likely that Chinese teachers will try this activity when they adopt the process approach. This study intends to investigate three questions:

(1) How do senior high students of China react to peer review and teacher comments?

(2) What effect does peer review have on student revision?

(3) What kind of problems exist during the application of peer review in senior high schools? How to avoid or solve these problems?

This study has great significance in China as nowadays in China, big classes that characterize the teaching of English load the teachers greatly. Usually a teacher has to teach 100 students or so, and the number is going on continuously due to the increase of enrollment in recent years. That means, besides preparing and giving lessons, the teacher has to mark 100 compositions for each writing assignment. Due to the limited time permitted being spent in giving feedback, teachers either decrease the assignment or reduce the corrections and comments. However, neither of the choices does any

good to the improvement of students’ writing ability. Under such circumstance, peer review can liberate teachers from stacks of papers and ensure students much practice on writing. In addition, it can make students more responsible for their own learning so as to develop more learner autonomy. Therefore, it is necessary for the present study to explore the possibility of adopting peer review in EFL writing classroom.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Theoretical foundation

Keh (1990: 34 ) said Feedback is a fundamental element of a process approach to writing. In the process approach, reviewing is a greatly enhanced by “having more than one person working on it, and the generation of ideas is frequently more lively with two or more people involved than it is when writers work on their own” (Hammer, 2003). As several ESL composition researchers have noted, the peer review has the potential to be a powerful learning tool. Mittan (1989) wrote that peer reviews achieve the following: provide students with an authentic audience: increase students’ motivation for writing; enable students to receive different views on their writing; help students learn to read critically their own writing; and assist students in gaining confidence in their writing etc.

Cooperative learning (Johnson and Johnson, 1986: 3) is “ the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each others’ leaning”. The research clearly indicates that Cooperation compared with competitive and individualistic efforts typically results in (a) higher achievement and greater productivity, (b) more caring, supportive, and committed relationships, and (c) greater psychological health, social competence, and self-esteem. Cooperative learning also resulted in more higher-level reasoning, more frequent generation of new ideas and solutions, and greater transfer of what is learned from one situation to another than did competitive or individualistic learning. Specifically, cooperative learning experiences promote positive effectiveness in the following areas: Student achievement, critical thinking competencies, positive attitudes toward subject area,

time on task, interpersonal attraction and cohesion, social support, importance of peer relationships, accuracy of perspective taking, group interaction and social skills, self-esteem and mutual respect (Johnson & Johnson, 1999: 67).

Vygotsky holds that social interaction plays an important role in the development of cognitive ability and learning is not an individual but a cognitive activity that happens through social interaction. He determined at least two developmental levels in order to discover the actual relations of the developmental process to learning capabilities. The first level can be called the actual developmental level and the other the potential level. He defines the zone of proximal development as “ the distance between the actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peer.”

According to Vygotsky (1978), students are capable of performing at higher intellectual levels when asked to work in collaborative situations than when asked to work individually. Group diversity in terms of knowledge and experience contributes positively to the learning process. According to his theory, peer review will provide the students an instructional environment in which students both as readers and writers to interact and thus can contribute to the development of writing abilities.

2.2 Definitions of “peer review”

Peer review, also known as peer response, peer revision, peer editing, peer tutoring, peer critique, peer comment, or peer feedback, Mangelsdorf said (1992), is a common activity in a process-oriented writing class during which students read each other’s drafts and make suggestions for revision after the first draft of the paper is completed in the writing process. Peers read the first draft and provide the writer with their comments or suggestions, helping writers to evaluate and to improve the content, clarity, and organization of their papers. Through such peer reviewing activities, student writers get feedback from their peer readers, which helps them revise their papers to be more effective. For beginning ESL students, informal peer-review sessions usually consist of a group of three or four students reading or listening to a peer’s draft and commenting on what they want to know more about, where they were

confused, and so on. The writers then use these responses to decide how to revise their writings. At more advanced levels of instruction, students can use worksheets to answer questions concerning the draft’s thesis, unity, development, focus and so on

Peer review has different modes: 1) oral: peers read the paper and then give suggestions orally; 2) written: peers read the paper and write comments and give them back to the writer; 3) oral plus written: peers read the paper, write comments and then discuss the comments with the writer; 4) computer-mediated: peers read papers on line and offer feedback on line through delayed-time or real-time mode (Badger, 2000).

2.3 Previous studies of “ peer review”

Nowadays, peer review is common in the process of EFL writing classes, and research has begun to address the effectiveness of peer feedback for EFL writing instruction. By using peer feedback in the EFL writing classes, many researchers find that it brings a genuine sense of audience into classroom, helps develop students’ critical reading and analysis skills, and encourages students to focus on their intended meaning by discussing alternative points of view that can lead to the development of those ideas. By now, many different aspects of peer feedback have been investigated through a variety of both qualitative and quantitative methods: (a) the impact of peer feedback on subsequent drafts; (b) the effects of training on peer feedback; (c) the quality of peer feedback; (d) the students’ ability to identify areas in need of revision; (e) the student toward peers’ texts; (f) the analysis of talk during peer response session from task, social and cultural points of view; (g) the affective advantages of peer feedback; and the students’ perception of effectiveness of peer feedback (Li, 2000:


In the early studies about peer response on the effectiveness of ESL writing groups, Moore (1986) stressed that peer response was useful in teaching students

important skills that were critical to effective writing and that it was necessary to train students to become peer responders and gave an explanation of what peer response was and the following four-part pep talk: 1) you’re capable of critiquing each other’s essays; 2) it is your responsibility to give and take criticism well, remembering that

the writers are always ultimately responsible for their own writing, not the evaluators;

3) don’t forget to give positive comments; 4) critiquing other’s work is useful for you, too—you’ll learn skills that will enable you to better evaluate your own work.

Kate Mangelsdorf (1992) conducted a peer review study, attempting to examine the students’ opinions on the effectiveness of peer review in ESL writing classes. They were asked the following questions after experienced the peer review process: How effective are peer reviews for ESL composition students? What do students gain from this task? What are its limitations? How should this task be structured so that ESL students from various backgrounds and ability levels can benefit from it? The overall responses showed that 55 percent had positive comments; 30 percent students had mixed comments and 15 percent had negative comments. More specifically, most students reported that peer review helped them revise their essays especially the content. “ Peer review helped most of them to see different perspectives about their topics and to generate, clarify and develop their ideas.” However, many of the students believed that peer review had “ neither helped them to be responsible for their improvement nor to be confident in their ability to critique a text” . 77 percent of the negative thoughts expressed by the students about peer review concerned the limitations of students as critics; the largest number of complaints dealt with the students’ lack of trust in their peers’ responses to their texts. The complaints from some students about peer review also suggest that peer review sessions have to be carefully organized in order to be successful.

Lochhardt (1995) wrote that results from a questionnaire given to his own

students about peer feedback showed students felt the peer feedback useful in gaining a conscious awareness that they were writing for more than just the teacher. Students also found peer feedback useful for obtaining immediate feedback and detecting problems in others’ papers.

Mendonca (1994) found that the writers revised their essays based on their peers’ comments, which suggests that peer reviews “develop in students the crucial ability of reviewing their writing with the eyes of another” ( Zamel’s, 1982: 206) and allow them to modify their written texts to meet the needs of their audience. The students’

comments during the post interviews also seemed to confirm this claim.

Tsui and Ng (2001) reported on a study of the roles of teacher and peer

comments in revisions in writing among L2 learners in Hong Kong. Both quantitive and qualitative data were obtained and triangulated. The findings show that some learners incorporated high percentages of both teacher and peer comments, some incorporated higher percentages of teacher comments than peer comments, and others incorporated very low percentages of peer comments. From the interviews wit the learners, four roles of peer comments that contributed positively to the writing process were identified. Peer comments enhance a sense of audience, raise learners’ aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, encourage collaborative learning, and foster the ownership of text. This suggests that even for less mature L2 learners, peer comments do play an important part.

Jacobs and Zhang (1989) conducted an investigation using a questionnaire with the following for the purpose of finding out the differences between peer review, and self- review. The questionnaire included the following 3 questions: 1. Did L2 learners provide mostly faulty review to their peers? 2. Was peer review more effective or less effective than traditional teachers’ feedback? 3. How did L2 learners feel about the use of peer review? Would they welcome it or resist it? The results showed that “ small amount of miscorrection” was found in peer feedback. Besides, students’ opinions about teachers’ feedback and peer feedback were also collected using a questionnaire and they revealed that many students prefer teacher correction, which was considered to be more reliable, to peer feedback.

Many researchers reported that trained peer feedback might yield better effect. Berg (1999) investigated the effects of peer review on ESL students’ revision and writing outcomes, and also considered an often- cited suggestions for successful peer response—training students to effectively participate in the peer response activity. The principal question addressed by the study is whether trained peer response shaped ESL students’ revision types and writing quality. Effects of trained peer review were investigated through a comparison of 46 ESL students divided into two groups, one trained in how to participate in peer review to writing and the other not trained.

Results of the investigation indicate that trained peer review positively affected ESL students’ revision types and quality of texts.

Rollinson (2005) pointed out that only if the class is adequately set up and trained can the benefits of the peer feedback activity be fully realized. He briefly summarized some of the main arguments in favor and against peer feedback, and explained how teachers can establish a positive context for effective peer group response by organizing proper procedures and training. He wrote that pre- training should have focused the students on the need to act as collaborators rather than

correctors, and the teacher may leave the groups relatively free to develop their own feedback procedures—always bearing in mind the stated objective of “ helping the writer do a better next draft”. Broadly speaking, pre- training concerns three areas: awareness raising ( the principles and objectives of peer response); productive group interaction ( collaboration, supportiveness, tact, etiquette); and productive response and revision ( basic procedures, effective commenting, reader writer dialogue, effective revision).

Zhang (1995) stated that well- articulated and purposeful peer response activities can be beneficial. The key to making peer response a welcome component in writing classrooms lies in teacher planning and student training. Some guiding principles for peer review have been developed intended as adaptable guidelines for writing

instructors in ESL and EFL contexts, to be used selectively and creatively for various classroom scenarios. The guidelines, which emphasize the pre- peer review stage, are generally summarized as follows: Plan when peer review should be introduced in the writing process; decide when to incorporate teacher’s comments in the writing

process; discuss students’ prior experience with peer review and group work; creat a comfortable environment for students to establish peer trust; select the mode of peer response; create purposeful and appropriate peer response sheets for a given task, genre, and purpose; model the peer response process. Give students enough time to become familiar with peer response procedures; let students decide on grouping and group rules; provide students with linguistic strategies; instruct students in how to ask the questions; set up a mock peer review activity; encourage students to negotiate

meaning on the various peer comments; monitor student and group progress.

3. Conclusion

Though peer review is claimed to have a variety of pedagogical and

psychological benefits, research has also revealed some difficulties that may diminish the promised effects of peer response groups. The frequently reported difficulties are students’ lack of knowledge and skills needed for peer response and students’

lukewarm attitude toward peer feedback, which is resulted from lack of confidence in peers’ feedback. The fact that English is a foreign language makes it more difficult for Chinese learners to give constructive feedback. Because they themselves are

inter-language users, students will be unlikely to believe other learners’ responses to their writings and therefore may not incorporate peer suggestions while revising. Moreover, the traditional image and perception of a teacher affect students’ attitudes toward peer suggestions. Teachers are traditionally viewed as the authority figures, the possessors of knowledge, and the ones who are responsible for responding to students’ work. Students who view the teacher as “ the one who knows ” may ignore the response of other students.

The result of this study yield some positive effects of peer review and the students’ attitudes towards peer review. Overall, this study supports the claim, that peer review is a valuable form of feedback in the EFL writing instruction. Yet, the researchers are unable to address any possible changes between the female students’ attitudes towards peer review and the male students’. This would be another

interesting topic worth further study. In addition, future studies might investigate if peer review develops the students’ ability to revise their own writing without receiving input from their peers or teachers. Research should also investigate how different groupings of peer review, peer review dyads or peer review groups, affect the dynamics of peer review negotiations.


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writing. [J]. Foreign Language World 77: 19-23.

Lochhardt, C. 1995. Analyzing talk in ESL peer response groups: stances, functions,

and content. [J]. Language Learning 45: 605-655.

Mendonca, C. O. & Johnson, J. 1994. Peer review negotiations: revision activities in

ESL writing instruction. TESOL Quarterly 28: 745-769.

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comments in revising their drafts? TESOL Quarterly 27: 135-141. 6.

Sengupta, S. 1998. Peer evaluation: "I am not the teacher". [J]. ELT 52: 19-28. Teo, P. 1999. Process writing: peer evaluation revisited [J]. REACT 8(1): 16-24. Zhang, S. Q. 1995. Reexamining the affective advantage of peer feedback in the ESL

writing class. [J]. Second Language Writing 4: 209-222.

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Social Science Edition 19: 85-88.

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