Tag Archives: skills

June 17: Peer feedback on EAP writing

Photo by Adam Simpson, eltpics.com

Photo by Adam Simpson, eltpics.com

Morra & Romano (2008) report on findings regarding student attitudes towards peer feedback on ESL & EAP writing and discuss the implications of these and similar results on the pedagogy of peer feedback. A few lines I thought were poignant, the first of which is regarding training to give feedback:

An interesting tendency observed in many studies of peer feedback in ESL and EFL settings is that students’ attitudes toward their peers’ reviews and comments seem to be conditioned by the amount and quality of training and preparation they receive in class previous to their actual participation in peer-response groups; that is, the more planned instruction the students receive, the better they seem to respond to the activity (Berg, 1999; Ferris & Hedgcock, 1998; Hansen & Liu, 2005; Hu, 2005; Mittan, 1989; Rollinson, 2005; Stanley, 1992). [20-21] 

Giving students appropriate training and guidance on how to go about reviewing their classmates’ texts stands out as a crucial point when trying to generate a positive attitude toward peer feedback. [26]

And this regarding fear of giving/receiving feedback from peers:

Students also revealed that they avoided making critical comments in order to prevent conflict with their classmates. Some of them feared their writing being mocked publicly in the classroom. Teachers reported that, at the end of a peer-feedback session, most

students put away their compositions in their folders and never revised them. [21]

Together with appropriate and gradual training, the organization of small groups appears to be an effective technique to put peer feedback into practice since it might help to lower apprehension and fear and eventually lead to establishing a relaxed and stress-free atmosphere. [26]

And lastly this on combining feedbacks:

…there appears to be much to be gained from combining oral and written feedback in peer-response groups and from complementing peer feedback with final teacher feedback. [26]

Source: Morra and Romano (2008).  University Students’ Reactions to Guided Peer Feedback of EAP Compositions. Journal of College Literacy and Learning 35:19-30.

To follow along with our Twitter discussion, please read through the transcript: http://chirpstory.com/li/90144

Maybe you have thoughts and experiences with feedback on writing?



May 6 – Teaching genres rather than standard essays – do we know how?

Today we discussed how writing for different genre fits into our EAP courses. Issues that arose over the two chats included:

  • What genre actually is
  • What essays actually are
  • Where we get samples of authentic genre writing from for our students
  • The relationships we have with content-course professors
  • The level we pitch genre analysis and writing at
  • If 5-paragraph essays hold any useful weighting
  • ESP coursebook authenticity in their samples and genre teaching

If you’d like to comment on any of these issues or any others related to this topic, maybe you’d also like to check out the transcripts from the chats too:

1st chat (9AM EST / 2PM UK): http://chirpstory.com/li/75287
2nd chat (3PM EST / 8PM UK): http://chirpstory.com/li/75319

April 15 – The issue of skill transferability

Photo by @escocesa_madrid via eltpics.com
Do students transfer skills from one activity to another?

Today’s chat involved the issue of skill transferability. More specifically, two focal questions began things off:

  • How immediately transferable to students’ actual academic study should EAP be?
  • How do we make students see the transferability better?

Read the transcript here: http://chirpstory.com/li/68890

The final burning question left with everyone to consider:

  • What is one activity you’ve used with students that emphasised the transferability of a taught skill to their content courses?

Feel free to blog about these topics on your own blogs (then link back here) or discuss in the comments here.