ESL students in peer review: An action research study in a university English for Academic Purposes course

Jane Hislop, Elke STRACKE

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    This paper presents the findings of an action research study undertaken in a first-year English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at a New Zealand university. The project focused on ESL learners’ beliefs about peer review and involved learners providing feedback on a peer’s draft essay and receiving that peer’s feedback. Students noted this activity in an entry in their language learning diary, and that entry became the main source of data collected. The research aimed to explore learners’ beliefs about peer review: how they felt about giving and receiving feedback, having peers read their writing, and the usefulness of peer review. Despite peer review becoming a frequently-used activity in university ESL/EFL writing classes, it is often unpopular with ESL students. This study describes the benefits and challenges of first-year students in providing and receiving feedback. It raises issues such as plagiarism and the effects of language proficiency levels on types of feedback. It discusses the value of conducting research from two perspectives: both the student reviewer and the writer receiving feedback. The analysis revealed that these students held strong beliefs about peer review. It also indicated that training students to participate in such an activity can deliver a richer experience leading to positive beliefs about peer review.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2
    Pages (from-to)9-44
    Number of pages36
    JournalUniversity of Sydney Papers in T E S O L
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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