Writing, peer feedback, and revision : a comparison of l1 and l2 college freshmen with longitudinal analyses
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Peer feedback is one of the most popular and widely adopted methods used for writing instruction in both the L1 and L2 classrooms. Previous studies that examined peer feedback suggest different benefits and purposes for the method based on the writers’ language group. However, no study has systematically analyzed the peer feedback comments generated by L1 and L2 writers under comparable conditions. While many studies have reported the short-term benefits of peer feedback on writing, little is known in the field about the longitudinal effects of peer feedback on students’ writing ability. This study compares the peer feedback comments of L1 (n=34) and L2 (n=30) college freshman generated in three peer review sessions over a semester using an online peer feedback tool SWoRD. Feedback segments (n=4,227) were coded for sixteen feedback features reported to affect the helpfulness of feedback comments. Students’ peer feedback profiles were compared between the language groups as well as between the first, second, and third peer review sessions to investigate quantitative and qualitative differences between the language groups and across the feedback sessions. Cases of students who achieved increase in writing scores over the semester and students with no or negative increase in writing scores were explored in-depth on the feedback they generated, feedback they received, and the revisions they made in order to identify the areas in which they differed. The results show that contrary to common perceptions, L1 and L2 writers overall generated similar amount and types of feedback comments, with statistical difference found only in the percentage of criticism comments that explicitly stated problems. Students’ feedback comments did not change significantly, either in quantity or quality, over time. However, students reported that the feedback they received and provided became more accurate and more helpful over time. Students who achieved an increase in their writing scores behaved differently than those who experienced little or no change in their scores. The improve group made more Type 4 revisions, which is adding/deleting idea chunks, than the non-improve group; the non-improve group received more global criticism feedback than the improve group; little difference was found in the feedback the two groups generated.