Harnessing Peers' Power in EFL

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Feng-Ming Chi

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Department of English, NTNU


The purpose of this paper was to investigate how Taiwanese EFL university students employed peer feedback as a form of revising activity to re-construct their original writing and how they evaluated peer feedback as a social act of revising activities. Nine Taiwanese EFL university students participated in this study; all were sophomore English majors. Participants revised their original writing based uponJwo types ofpeer feedback: one with written comments and the other from face-to-face oral communication. The verbal self-reporting protocols and the semi-structured oral interviews were used for data coIlection, whereas the topical unit was first used to code these two types of data. Then, the thematic analysis and the comparative content analysis were both applied to group, organize, analyze, and interpret the topical units. As a resuIt, three themes were generated: revision as problem solving, as meaning-negotiation, and as repositioning. As for the participants' attitudes toward peer feedback as a social act of revision, aIl of them preferred revision with oralcommunication to the one with written comments, since the former served as an immediateßssistance and provided more compelling impetus for them to revise. Some pedagogical implications are suggested for classroom practice.