Tag Archives: Writing

Mobile apps for academic writing

While browsing through the #eapchat stream on Twitter this evening, I came across a tweet by Alannah Fitzgerald (@AlannahFitz ) regarding a mobile app that claims to “not write or review your essays for you…[but] provide easy tips for avoiding plagiarism, conducting research, thinking critically, making strong arguments and presenting your work well.” Big talk.

My eyes opened just a bit wider. Is this part of the new m-learning golden path I’ve heard much about finally cracking its way into EAP? 

Created by University College London, Academic Writing in English (AWE) is a free app available for iPhone, iPad and Android. It claims to use authentic examples of academic writing amongst its interactive exercises. 

I’m off to download it now and see what it really offers. Do you have experience with it or any other mobile app for EAP?


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?