Learning from Giving Feedback : Insights from EFL Writing Classrooms in a Swedish Lower Secondary School
Sammanfattning: The present thesis aims to describe teenagers as peer reviewers and explore possible benefits of giving feedback. My study was carried out in two EFL classrooms in year eight in a Swedish lower secondary school, where the pupils were engaged with the written task to write an informative reply letter in English. The teaching unit included negotiations of a joint criteria list, feedback training, peer review, and the production of first and final drafts of the reply letter. Data were collected from multiples sources: texts produced in class, audio- and video-recordings, questionnaires and interviews.My main findings suggest that pupils can learn about writing from giving feedback. By adopting a reader perspective, the pupils raised their genre and audience awareness. Moreover, the peer-reviewed reply letters served as inspiration both in terms of transfer of structure, such as rhetorical organisation, and of ideas and content. Self-reports indicated that the pupils in my study enhanced their ability to self-assess and edit their own writing, which suggests that transferable skills were developed as a result of peer review. As regards micro-level aspects of writing, reading and commenting on peers’ reply letters seemed to influence a smaller number of pupils to transfer patterns and spelling. In their role as peer reviewers, the pupils successfully identified strengths and weaknesses in their peers’ writing, but the feedback comments did not include much specific formative information.My findings contribute to research on L2 writing and peer feedback by showing that younger learners can benefit from giving feedback. This is significant since previous research has mainly been carried out at university and college level. In addition, by combining text analyses, classroom observation and pupils’ self-reports, my study offers a comprehensive understanding of peer review.
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