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Peer response and second language writers 1997

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P E E R R E S P O N S E A N D S E C O N D L A N G U A G E W R I T E R S by E I L E E N J O A N T I T H E C O T T B.A., Queen's U n i v e r s i t y , 1961 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE EDUCATION We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1997 © E i l e e n Joan T i t h e c o t t , 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of r^T^uJLp/. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada o I DE-6 (2/88) 1 1 A b s t r a c t T h i s s t u d y e x p l o r e d the v a l u e o f p e e r response groups w i t h second language s t u d e n t s l e a r n i n g w r i t i n g . I t was co n d u c t e d i n a s m a l l u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e w i t h 12 i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s from A s i a , most o f whom were i n Canada t o improve t h e i r E n g l i s h i n o r d e r t o e n r o l l i n u n i v e r s i t y and c o l l e g e programs. The s t u d y s p e c i f i c a l l y i n v e s t i g a t e d a) t h e p e r c e p t i o n s of s t u d e n t s w i t h r e g a r d t o p e e r response b) whether t h o s e p e r c e p t i o n s changed o v e r the l e n g t h of t h e s t u d y c) what s t u d e n t s a c t u a l l y d i d d u r i n g the response s e s s i o n s and f i n a l l y d) how t h e y changed t h e i r e s s a y s as a r e s u l t o f p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h e s e s s i o n s . S t u d e n t s were asked t o submit t h r e e j o u r n a l e n t r i e s d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f the semester d e s c r i b i n g t h e i r v i e w s o f the p e e r response s e s s i o n s . D u r i n g one p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n t h e groups were a u d i o t a p e d and t h o s e t a p e s were t r a n s c r i b e d . D r a f t e s s a y s and f i n a l c o p i e s were a l s o c o l l e c t e d . Throughout t h e c o u r s e o f t h e semester I kept a j o u r n a l o f my o b s e r v a t i o n s and t h o u g h t s . J o u r n a l e n t r i e s , and t r a n s c r i p t s were a n a l y z e d and d i s c u s s e d . D r a f t s of e s s a y s and f i n a l c o p i e s were compared I l l t o a s c e r t a i n what changes had been made by t h e w r i t e r s . F i n a l l y , the changes were a n a l y z e d t o d e t e r m i n e i f t h e y were the r e s u l t o f comments made by p e e r s d u r i n g the s e s s i o n s . An a n a l y s i s of the d a t a r e v e a l e d t h a t t h e s t u d e n t s , a l t h o u g h A s i a n and from c u l t u r e s where c l a s s e s a r e t r a d i t i o n a l l y t e a c h e r - c e n t e r e d tended t o be p o s i t i v e about p e e r r e s p o n s e and became somewhat more p o s i t i v e as t h e semester p r o g r e s s e d . They a p p r e c i a t e d t h e b e n e f i t s o f p e e r response but d i d have some c o n c e r n s , m a i n l y c e n t e r e d around p e e r feedback. D u r i n g the s e s s i o n s s t u d e n t s engaged i n a v a r i e t y o f s o c i a l , c o g n i t i v e and l i n g u i s t i c a c t i v i t i e s as t h e y worked t o a c c o m p l i s h the a s s i g n e d t a s k . S t u d e n t s d i d r e v i s e t h e i r e s s a y s u s i n g p e e r comments a l t h o u g h not as much as I had hoped. Comments by some of the s t u d e n t s i n d i c a t e d t h e y r e s e r v e d t h e r i g h t t o d e c i d e whether t o f o l l o w t h e a d v i c e g i v e n by t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s o r n o t . R e s u l t s suggest t h a t i t i s i m p o r t a n t f o r t e a c h e r s t o c o n t i n u e t o use p e e r response s e s s i o n s even w i t h s t u d e n t s from c u l t u r e s where t e a c h e r - c e n t e r e d c l a s s e s a r e t h e norm s i n c e b e n e f i t s seem t o outweigh d i s a d v a n t a g e s . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t i i T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s i i i L i s t o f T a b l e s i v L i s t o f F i g u r e s v Acknowledgments v i CHAPTER I I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Purpose o f t h e Study 1 Background t o t h e Study 2 Peer Response Groups ' 3 S i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e Study 7 Scope of t h e Study 7 L i m i t a t i o n s o f the Study 8 O r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e T h e s i s 8 I I Review o f L i t e r a t u r e 10 The P r o c e s s Approach t o W r i t i n g 14 C o o p e r a t i v e L e a r n i n g 18 Groups and Language L e a r n i n g 2 0 T h e o r i e s o f Language L e a r n i n g 2 2 Peer Response i n the ESL W r i t i n g C l a s s r o o m 24 Peer I n t e r a c t i o n 25 Impact on R e v i s i o n 2 8 P r e f e r e n c e f o r Types of Feedback 32 Student P e r c e p t i o n s 34 J o u r n a l W r i t i n g 3 6 I I I Methodology 4 3 The C o n t e x t 43 Placement o f S t u d e n t s 44 The CESL Program 4 5 The P a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h e R e s e a r c h 46 The Course 53 The C l a s s 54 P a s t Approaches t o R e v i s i o n 56 The Peer Response Model 60 Reasons f o r Choosing the Model 62 Conduct o f t h e Study 66 Language T r a i n i n g 67 The Teacher's R o l e 69 The F i r s t Peer Response S e s s i o n 71 Subsequent Peer Response S e s s i o n s 76 Data C o l l e c t i o n 77 A n a l y s i s o f t h e Data 80 P e r c e p t i o n s of Peer Response S e s s i o n s 80 A n a l y s i s o f Student Comments 82 A n a l y s i s o f Changes i n S t u d e n t s ' P e r c e p t i o n s 85 Peer Response I n t e r a c t i o n 85 E f f e c t s o f Peer Response on R e v i s i o n 87 IV R e s u l t s of the Study 88 S t u d e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s o f p e e r response s e s s i o n s v a r i e d from s t u d e n t t o s t u d e n t . 88 Student p e r c e p t i o n s of p e e r response s e s s i o n s changed o v e r the c o u r s e o f t h e semester. 90 S t u d e n t s saw the b e n e f i t s o f Elbow's (1973) model o f pe e r response s e s s i o n s but had con c e r n s about c e r t a i n a s p e c t s as w e l l . 94 S t u d e n t s had problems w i t h the concept of p e e r feedback. 99 S t u d e n t s engaged i n f i v e s o c i o c o g n i t i v e a c t i v i t i e s . 102 S t u d e n t s p r o v i d e d s c a f f o l d i n g i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s . 107 S t u d e n t s d i s p l a y e d b o t h c o l l a b o r a t i v e and n o n - c o l l a b o r a t i v e b e h a v i o u r . I l l S t u d e n t s d i s p l a y e d a f f e c t i n t h e i r b e h a v i o u r when w o r k i n g i n p e e r response groups. 113 Some s t u d e n t s used feedback from p e e r response s e s s i o n s i n r e v i s i n g t h e i r e s s a y s . 115 v i B o t h l e s s p r o f i c i e n t and more p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s b e n e f i t e d from p e e r response s e s s i o n s . 118 V D i s c u s s i o n and I m p l i c a t i o n s 123 S t u d e n t s ' P e r c e p t i o n s of Peer Response 123 Changes i n P e r c e p t i o n s o v e r the Semester 12 6 B e n e f i t s and Concerns 128 Peer I n t e r a c t i o n 129 R e v i s i o n 131 Feedback I s s u e s 132. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r T e a c h i n g 134 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r R e s e a r c h 137 Summary 13 8 R e f e r e n c e s 141 v i i L i s t o f T a b l e s T a b l e 4.1 H o l i s t i c R a t i n g s o f J o u r n a l E n t r i e s 89 T a b l e 5.1 Comparison o f H o l i s t i c R a t i n g s 124 A s i a n P a r t i c i p a n t s T a b l e 5.2 Comparison o f H o l i s t i c R a t i n g s A l l P a r t i c i p a n t s 126 v i i i L i s t o f F i g u r e s F i g u r e 3.1 Sample of n o t e s t a k e n d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n 61 F i g u r e 3.2 F a c i l i t a t i v e p h r a s e s i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s 68 F i g u r e 3.3 I n h i b i t i n g p h r a s e s i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s 69 i x Acknowledgment s I would l i k e t o e x p r e s s my g r a t i t u d e t o my a d v i s o r , Dr. G l o r i a Tang f o r h e r u n f a i l i n g p a t i e n c e and g r a c i o u s a s s i s t a n c e as I worked t o complete t h i s p r o j e c t . To my f r i e n d and c o l l e a g u e , L i n d a , I e x t e n d my thanks f o r h e r t i m e and h e r w i l l i n g n e s s t o l i s t e n . To my f a m i l y , C a t h e r i n e , P a u l and i n p a r t i c u l a r Howard, J a n i c e and L i n d s a y I am d e e p l y g r a t e f u l . W ithout y o u r encouragement, y o u r h e l p and a t t i m e s y o u r s a c r i f i c e s , I would n e v e r have been a b l e t o a c h i e v e my g o a l s . J.T. 1 CHAPTER ONE I n t r o d u c t i o n Purpose o f t h e Study The purpose o f t h i s s t u d y i s t o e x p l o r e , t h r o u g h a c t i o n r e s e a r c h , t h e v a l u e o f pe e r response groups as t h e y f u n c t i o n i n one second language c l a s s r o o m . More s p e c i f i c a l l y t h e s t u d y i n v e s t i g a t e s whether o r not and t o what e x t e n t s t u d e n t s b e n e f i t from r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e w r i t i n g o f t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s and from r e c e i v i n g t h e r e s p o n s e s o f t h e i r p e e r s t o t h e i r own work. T h i s s t u d y a d d r e s s e s a r e a l c o n c e r n on the p a r t o f b o t h w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t o r s and t h e i r s t u d e n t s r e g a r d i n g whether p e e r response s e s s i o n s promote w r i t i n g development i n t h e c l a s s r o o m . The u n d e r s t a n d i n g g a i n e d from the r e s u l t s o f t h e s t u d y w i l l i n f o r m t e a c h i n g and improve l e a r n i n g c o n d i t i o n s f o r s t u d e n t s ( E l l i o t t , 1991). The s t u d y seeks t o o b t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n i n response t o the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s : 1. What a r e the p e r c e p t i o n s o f s t u d e n t s i n v o l v e d i n pee r response s e s s i o n s ? 2. Do s t u d e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s o f pe e r response change o v e r t h e c o u r s e of a semester? 2 3. What do s t u d e n t s do d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s ? 4. What w i l l I l e a r n about p e e r response s e s s i o n s t h a t w i l l i n f o r m and improve my t e a c h i n g ? Background t o the Study P o s t - s e c o n d a r y i n s t i t u t i o n s i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s and Canada a r e a c t i v e l y r e c r u i t i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s t o t h e i r campuses. The reaso n s f o r t h i s a r e b o t h p o l i t i c a l and economic. The r e s u l t i s t h a t enrolment of s t u d e n t s f o r whom E n g l i s h i s a second language (ESL) s t u d e n t s i s s t e a d i l y i n c r e a s i n g even i n s m a l l u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e s away from major urban centers.. At t h i s u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e , the . U n i v e r s i t y C o l l e g e o f t h e C a r i b o o , f o r example, t h e r e a r e a p p r o x i m a t e l y 400 i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s and 20 f u l l - t i m e ESL i n s t r u c t o r s w h i c h r e p r e s e n t s a f o u r f o l d i n c r e a s e i n t h e p a s t decade. I n t e r n a t i o n a l , s t u d e n t s , m a i n l y from A s i a a t t h i s c o l l e g e , a r e i n N o r t h A m e r i c a t o complete c e r t i f i c a t e , d i p l o m a and degree programs. T h e i r t u i t i o n f e e s a r e h i g h as ar e t h e i r l i v i n g expenses, and t h e y f i n d t h e m s e l v e s under c o n s i d e r a b l e p r e s s u r e t o f i n i s h t h e i r e d u c a t i o n as q u i c k l y as p o s s i b l e . However, t h e i r f a c i l i t y w i t h E n g l i s h f o r academic purposes v a r i e s c o n s i d e r a b l y from s t u d e n t t o s t u d e n t , and some i n d i v i d u a l s need a d d i t i o n a l language i n s t r u c t i o n and su p p o r t b e f o r e t h e y a r e a b l e t o e n r o l l i n mainstream c o u r s e s and programs. T y p i c a l l y , t h e s e s t u d e n t s a re p l a c e d i n ESL c l a s s e s t o improve t h e i r E n g l i s h . C l e a r l y , t h e r e a r e advantages t o b e i n g i n a s u p p o r t i v e environment where a l l t h e s t u d e n t s have e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t a re s i m i l a r and where i n s t r u c t o r s a r e t r a i n e d t o a s s i s t s t u d e n t s w i t h t h e i r language development. I n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s a r e , however, a n x i o u s t o p r o c e e d as q u i c k l y as p o s s i b l e towards t h e i r g o a l s and f i n d i n g t h e y must t a k e p r e p a r a t o r y ESL c o u r s e s i s o f t e n d i s a p p o i n t i n g f o r them. A c k n o w l e d g i n g t h e sense-of urgency t h a t i s an.ever- p r e s e n t f a c t o f l i f e f o r many of t h e s e s t u d e n t s , w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t o r s a r e concerned t h a t c l a s s r o o m approaches and a c t i v i t i e s promote language a c q u i s i t i o n , and, i n d e e d , a r e p e r c e i v e d t o promote language a c q u i s i t i o n . Peer Response Groups One approach t o p r o m o t i n g language a c q u i s i t i o n i s t h e use o f p e e r response groups i n the w r i t i n g c l a s s r o o m . The use o f such groups has i n c r e a s e d w i t h t h e s h i f t t o t h e p r o c e s s approach t o w r i t i n g and t h e consequent emphasis on 4 h e l p i n g s t u d e n t s t o a c q u i r e s t r a t e g i e s " f o r g e t t i n g s t a r t e d . . . f o r d r a f t i n g . . . f o r r e v i s i n g . . . a n d f o r e d i t i n g ( S i l v a , 1990, p.15). My i n t e r e s t i n p e e r response was k i n d l e d by Urzua's (1987) s t u d y o f f o u r South-East A s i a n c h i l d r e n as t h e y s h a r e d t h e i r w r i t i n g w i t h each o t h e r and t h e i r t e a c h e r . The b e n e f i t s t h e y g a i n e d were r e a l : an i n c r e a s e d awareness o f a u d i e n c e , a sense o f v o i c e and a sense o f the power o f t h e language. Her f i n d i n g s . s o i m p r e s s e d me t h a t I wondered i f o l d e r ESL s t u d e n t s would respond and b e n e f i t i n a s i m i l a r way t o t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o t a l k about t h e i r w r i t i n g w i t h t h e i r p e e r s . I n s e a r c h i n g the l i t e r a t u r e f o r s t u d i e s c o n d u c t e d w i t h c o l l e g e s t u d e n t s , I found s e v e r a l q u a l i t a t i v e r e p o r t s . These f o c u s e d on the b e n e f i t s o f p e e r response as r e p o r t e d by t h e s t u d e n t s , y e t n o t e d a number of c o n c e r n s as w e l l (Obah, 1993; J a c o b s , 1987; D a v i e s and Omberg, 1988). I t was not s u r p r i s i n g t o r e a d t h a t " p r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e d e e p l y d i v i d e d as t o t h e e f f i c a c y o f t h e s m a l l group approach" and t h a t "the c o n f l i c t s f e l t by p r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e p a r a l l e l e d i n t h e s m a l l body of r e s e a r c h so f a r conducted on r e s p o n s e groups" (Dipardo & Freedman, 1988). 5 C o n t i n u i n g t o i n v e s t i g a t e the l i t e r a t u r e o f r e s p o n s e groups I found t h a t r e s e a r c h e r s t u r n e d t h e i r a t t e n t i o n t o s p e c i f i c a s p e c t s o f p e e r response. N e l s o n and Murphy (1992), f o r example, i n v e s t i g a t e d whether f o u r s t u d e n t s who worked t o g e t h e r used p e e r comments i n r e v i s i n g t h e i r d r a f t s . S t u d e n t s were g i v e n g u i d i n g q u e s t i o n s and "wrote r e s p o n s e s on o t h e r s t u d e n t s ' d r a f t s " (p.136). The r e s e a r c h e r s a l s o i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e f a c t o r s t h a t c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e s t u d e n t s u s i n g o r not u s i n g p e e r s ' s u g g e s t i o n s . S i m i l a r l y , Mendonca and Johnson (1994) s t u d i e d t h e n e g o t i a t i o n s t h a t o c c u r r e d i n the p e e r r e v i e w s and t h e i r e f f e c t on r e v i s i o n s , and i n t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n , t h e y recommended the i n c l u s i o n o f p e e r r e s p o n s e i n second language w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n . M a n g l e s d o r f (1992) i n a . s t u d y of what s t u d e n t s thought o f p e e r response d i s c o v e r e d t h a t A s i a n s t u d e n t s l o o k e d l e s s f a v o u r a b l y on t h i s a c t i v i t y t h a n s t u d e n t s from o t h e r c o u n t r i e s . T h i r t y - t h r e e p e r c e n t of the A s i a n p a r t i c i p a n t s i n h e r s t u d y had n e g a t i v e o p i n i o n s o f p e e r response s e s s i o n s . These f i n d i n g s were s t a r t l i n g t o me s i n c e my s t u d e n t s came m a i n l y from c o u n t r i e s i n A s i a . As a r e s u l t of r e a d i n g the l i t e r a t u r e on p e e r r e s p o n s e groups, I c o n c l u d e d t h a t I needed t o conduct my own s t u d y o f 6 p e e r r e s p o n s e groups, a s . t h e y f u n c t i o n e d i n my c l a s s r o o m . Through p l a n n i n g t o use t h e groups, t a k i n g a c t i o n t o implement them and m o n i t o r i n g t h e i r p r o g r e s s as c o m p r e h e n s i v e l y as p o s s i b l e , I would come t o u n d e r s t a n d what my s t u d e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s o f pe e r response were, I would a s c e r t a i n what s t u d e n t s a c t u a l l y d i d d u r i n g s e s s i o n s , and I would see what s t u d e n t s r e v i s e d as a r e s u l t o f t h e fee d b a c k from p e e r s . O n l y when I had t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n would i t be p o s s i b l e t o improve my p r a c t i c e and, as a consequence, improve l e a r n i n g c o n d i t i o n s f o r my s t u d e n t s . My purpose t h e n i n c o n d u c t i n g t h i s r e s e a r c h , t o improve my p r a c t i c e i n my w r i t i n g c l a s s e s , made the c h o i c e o f a c t i o n r e s e a r c h a l o g i c a l one s i n c e i t "aims t o f e e d p r a c t i c a l judgment i n c o n c r e t e s i t u a t i o n s " ( E l l i o t t , 1991, p.69). I t was my hope t h e r e s u l t s o f t h i s s t u d y would s u p p o r t o t h e r s t u d i e s i n a p o s i t i v e way. M a i n l y , however, I e x p e c t e d t h a t w i t h a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the pe e r response p r o c e s s t h a t I would be a b l e t o determine whether the advantages outweighed the co n c e r n s and whether c o n c e r n s might be m i t i g a t e d and s t u d e n t p e r c e p t i o n s changed by changes t o t h e p r o c e s s . . ••• 7 S i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e Study T h i s s t u d y was based on the a s s u m p t i o n t h a t p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s i s a w o r t h w h i l e , e n r i c h i n g a c t i v i t y f o r s t u d e n t s i n the second language w r i t i n g , c l a s s r o o m . I e x p e c t e d t h a t e x a m i n i n g t h e p r o c e s s i n a comprehensive manner would p r o v i d e r e a s o n s why t h i s i s so. .1 a l s o e x p e c t e d t h a t t h i s e x p l o r a t i o n would e x p l a i n what problems o r concerns e x i s t w i t h p e e r response groups and suggest.ways t o improve the conduct o f p e e r response s e s s i o n s i n w r i t i n g c l a s s r o o m s and c o n s e q u e n t l y , improve l e a r n i n g c o n d i t i o n s f o r s t u d e n t s . Scope of t h e Study The s t u d y was based on d a t a c o l l e c t e d i n one ESL w r i t i n g c l a s s w i t h t w e l v e s t u d e n t s o f A s i a n o r i g i n . These s t u d e n t s i n t h r e e groups of- f o u r worked t h r o u g h o u t t h e semester s h a r i n g and r e s p o n d i n g t o each o t h e r ' s e s s a y s . W r i t i n g a b i l i t y v a r i e d c o n s i d e r a b l y w i t h i n each group. I c o l l e c t e d j o u r n a l e n t r i e s f o r a n a l y s i s , j o u r n a l e n t r i e s c o n c e r n i n g s t u d e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s of t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e p r o c e s s . The p e e r response s e s s i o n s f o c u s i n g on 8 the f o u r t h e s s a y o f t h e semester were r e c o r d e d , and t h e r e c o r d i n g s t r a n s c r i b e d f o r a n a l y s i s . F i n a l l y , f i r s t and second d r a f t s were compared t o each o t h e r and t h e n i n t u r n , compared t o t h e p e e r t a l k d u r i n g t h e s e s s i o n . I n t h i s way the impact o f the- s e s s i o n s •  on e s s a y r e v i s i o n was d e t e r m i n e d . L i m i t a t i o n s o f the Study Because t h i s i s an e x p l o r a t o r y s t u d y o f a s m a l l number of p a r t i c i p a n t s , t h e r e s u l t s cannot be g e n e r a l i z e d t o a p p l y t o a l l p e e r response s e s s i o n s w i t h ESL s t u d e n t s a t a s i m i l a r .point i n t h e i r w r i t i n g development. I t i s e x p e c t e d , however, t h a t the r e s u l t s o f t h e s t u d y w i l l s u p p o r t o t h e r r e s e a r c h i n t h i s f i e l d , a d d i n g t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f how p e e r response groups f u n c t i o n and how t h e y a r e v i e w e d by p o s t - s e c o n d a r y ESL s t u d e n t s o f A s i a n background. O r g a n i z a t i o n of the T h e s i s I n t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r , Chapter Two, t h e p r o f e s s i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e p e r t a i n i n g t o p e e r response groups i n second language w r i t i n g c l a s s r o o m s i s r e v i e w e d . 9 C h a p t e r Three o u t l i n e s t h e methodology used i n t h e s t u d y . I t d e s c r i b e s t h e c o n t e x t of the s t u d y , t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s , d e t a i l s t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f d a t a and e x p l a i n s how t h e d a t a were a n a l y z e d . The f o u r t h c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h e s t u d y . S i n c e t h i s was an e x p l o r a t o r y s t u d y , t h e s e f i n d i n g s a r e more a c c u r a t e l y o b s e r v a t i o n s and are so d e s i g n a t e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r . F i n a l l y , C h a p t e r F i v e d i s c u s s e s the o b s e r v a t i o n s and c o n s i d e r s t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s of the s t u d y f o r t e a c h i n g and f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . 10 CHAPTER TWO Review o f t h e L i t e r a t u r e Peer response groups are an i n c r e a s i n g l y f r e q u e n t f e a t u r e o f second language w r i t i n g c l a s s r o o m s . Peer .. res p o n s e groups, s t a n d . a t the c e n t e r o f a f o r t u i t o u s convergence o f t h e o r i e s o f language development, and t h e o r i e s o f language l e a r n i n g and t e a c h i n g i n second language c l a s s r o o m s . To e x p l i c a t e the t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n s of w h i c h p e e r response groups a r e the embodiment, the r e v i e w o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e examines f i r s t t h e p r o c e s s approach t o w r i t i n g , an approach i n i t i a l l y put f o r t h by f i r s t language r e s e a r c h e r s (Flower & Hayes, 1981) and l a t e r i n v e s t i g a t e d by second language w r i t i n g s c h o l a r s and t e a c h e r s (Raimes, 1985; Zamel, 1983) . The p r o c e s s approach t o w r i t i n g has a t i t s h e a r t , e v a l u a t i o n ( H i l g e r s , 1986; Samway, 1993). When w r i t e r s r e r e a d , change t e x t , g a t h e r more i n f o r m a t i o n , t h e y do so because t h e y have e v a l u a t e d t h e i r work. Peer r e s p o n s e groups p r o v i d e an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r p e e r s t o d e v e l o p c r i t e r i a • 11 f o r e v a l u a t i o n and t o p r a c t i c e e v a l u a t i n g t h e i r own w r i t t e n t e x t and t h a t o f o t h e r s . I n t h e communicative language c l a s s r o o m , t h e f o c u s i s on s t u d e n t - c e n t e r e d l e a r n i n g as opposed t o t h e more t r a d i t i o n a l t e a c h e r - f r o n t e d c l a s s (Savignon, 1991). W h i l e c e r t a i n l y i n s t r u c t i o n by t h e t e a c h e r i s s t i l l a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t o f c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t y , o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o use groups a r e s e i z e d when t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n t o l e a r n i n g o f t h o s e groups i s e v i d e n t t o p r a c t i t i o n e r s . Peer response groups a l l o w t h e w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t o r t o move towards a more e q u i t a b l e b a l a n c e • between t e a c h e r - c e n t e r e d i n s t r u c t i o n and s t u d e n t - c e n t e r e d a c t i v i t i e s . The main advantage of s t u d e n t - c e n t e r e d a c t i v i t i e s , i f t h e y a r e c o r r e c t l y s t r u c t u r e d , i s the i n c r e a s e d o p p o r t u n i t y , i n d e e d t h e n e c e s s i t y , on the p a r t o f s t u d e n t s t o n e g o t i a t e meaning. " N e g o t i a t e d i n t e r a c t i o n " (Gass and S e l i n k e r , 1994, p. 217) i s a c r u c i a l f a c t o r i n second language a c q u i s i t i o n . When members of a p e e r response group c o n v e r s e i n o r d e r t o make meaning c o m p r e h e n s i b l e and t o a c c o m p l i s h t h e t a s k t h e y have been g i v e n , t h e y e x p e r i e n c e i n c r e a s e d o p p o r t u n i t y t o a c q u i r e language. 12 C o o p e r a t i v e language l e a r n i n g i n i t s v a r i o u s forms employs s t r u c t u r e s , and t a s k s w h i c h r e q u i r e s t u d e n t s t o work t o g e t h e r u s u a l l y on a group p r o j e c t . The b e n e f i t s o f u s i n g c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g ' s t r a t e g i e s a r e w e l l r e s e a r c h e d and numerous. They i n c l u d e academic achievement, improved s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , i n c r e a s e d s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e and language development, f o r b o t h f i r s t and second language s t u d e n t s (Coelho, 1992;. S l a v i n , 1991) . F i n a l l y , w i t h t h e t r a n s l a t i o n and p o p u l a r i z a t i o n o f V y g o t s k y ' s (1986) t h e o r i e s o f language development, more r e s e a r c h e r s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e becoming c o g n i z a n t o f t h e im p o r t a n c e o f speech i n l e a r n i n g a language. F o r V y g o t s k y l e a r n i n g comes about as a r e s u l t of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . H i s concept o f t h e "zone o f p r o x i m a l development" p r e s u p p o s e s two p e r s o n s w o r k i n g t o g e t h e r , one more c a p a b l e who p r o v i d e s a s s i s t a n c e s o . t h a t the o t h e r can a c c o m p l i s h more t h a n he might a l o n e . - Peer response groups formed so t h a t t h e y a r e heterogeneous i n a b i l i t y a f f o r d l e s s p r o f i c i e n t w r i t i n g s t u d e n t s an o p p o r t u n i t y t o be a s s i s t e d by more c a p a b l e p e e r s and t h u s a c c o m p l i s h more t h a n t h e y might a c c o m p l i s h a l o n e . 13 B e f o r e e x a m i n i n g t h e r e s e a r c h i n t o p e e r response groups, t h e i r f u n c t i o n i n g and t h e i r impact, t h e r e f o r e , t h i s c h a p t e r w i l l r e v i e w the l i t e r a t u r e o f : 1. The p r o c e s s approach t o w r i t i n g , 2. C o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g , 3 . Groups and language l e a r n i n g , and 4. T h e o r i e s o f language l e a r n i n g . The f i n a l element o f the l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w i s an e x p l i c a t i o n of t h e use o f j o u r n a l w r i t i n g as an e v a l u a t i v e t o o l . F o r s t u d e n t s , a s s e s s i n g t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s completes t h e c i r c l e as s e t f o r t h by V y g o t s k y (1986). I n j o u r n a l s , p u b l i c speech ( c o n v e r s a t i o n ) becomes thought and w r i t i n g , making t h a t speech p u b l i c once more and t h e r e f o r e a v a i l a b l e as t h e s u b j e c t f o r f u r t h e r c o n v e r s a t i o n . I t i s f i t t i n g , t h e n , f o r t h i s c h a p t e r t o c o n c l u d e w i t h l i t e r a t u r e w h i c h i l l u m i n a t e s e v a l u a t i o n -the c e n t r a l f e a t u r e o f p e e r r e s p o n s e . 14 The P r o c e s s Approach t o W r i t i n g The p r o c e s s approach t o w r i t i n g c l a i m e d t h e i n t e r e s t , o f t e a c h e r s and r e s e a r c h e r s i n the l a t e 1970's and e a r l y 1980's as an a l t e r n a t i v e t o a f o c u s on form (Raimes 1991). R e s e a r c h e r s F l o w e r and Hayes (1981) a r t i c u l a t e d a c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s t h e o r y of w r i t i n g based on p r o t o c o l a n a l y s i s . The c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s t h e o r y s t o o d i n s t a r k c o n t r a s t t o "the t r a d i t i o n a l paradigm o f s t a g e s " (p.367). I n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l v i e w , t h e w r i t e r completes one st a g e towards t h e d e s i r e d w r i t t e n p r o d u c t and t h e n i n a l i n e a r f a s h i o n moves on t o t h e next s t a g e . However, i n the p r o c e s s model, "the major u n i t s o f a n a l y s i s " (p.367) a r e not viewed as s t a g e s but as "mental p r o c e s s e s , such as the p r o c e s s o f g e n e r a t i n g i d e a s " (p.367). F o r F l o w e r and Hayes (1981),'the a c t o f w r i t i n g i n v o l v e s t h e t a s k environment, the w r i t e r ' s l o n g term memory and t h e w r i t i n g p r o c e s s : p l a n n i n g , t r a n s l a t i n g , r e v i e w i n g . P l a n n i n g i s co m p r i s e d of g e n e r a t i n g i d e a s , o r g a n i z i n g and g o a l s e t t i n g . I n t r a n s l a t i n g , t h i n k i n g (which a c c o r d i n g t o V y g o t s k y i s p r i v a t e speech) t r a n s f o r m s i n t o w r i t t e n language. F i n a l l y , r e v i e w i n g i n the p r o c e s s model has two p a r t s : e v a l u a t i n g and r e v i s i n g . When a w r i t e r r e v i e w s p r e v i o u s work, t h a t r e v i e w may. l e a d t o f u r t h e r w r i t t e n t e x t 15 o r t o e v a l u a t i o n and r e v i s i o n . The p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g t h e n i s c l e a r l y n o n - l i n e a r and r e c u r s i v e . The r e s e a r c h i n t o the p r o c e s s approach i n f i r s t language (LI) c o m p o s i t i o n prompted second language (L2) t h e o r i s t s t o a l s o i n v e s t i g a t e the w r i t i n g p r o c e s s . Zamel (1982) s t u d i e d p r o f i c i e n t ESL w r i t e r s and d e t e r m i n e d t h a t t h e y "use s t r a t e g i e s s i m i l a r t o t h o s e used by n a t i v e s p e a k e r s o f E n g l i s h " (p.203). Zamel d i s c u s s e d t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e r e s e a r c h f o r t e a c h i n g i n some d e t a i l : s t u d e n t s need t o t a l k p r i o r t o w r i t i n g t o g e n e r a t e i d e a s ; t o p i c s f o r w r i t i n g s h o u l d be c o m p e l l i n g ; time f o r w r i t i n g m u l t i p l e d r a f t s i s i m p o r t a n t ; r e v i s i o n becomes t h e f o c u s o f the w r i t i n g c o u r s e ; and s t u d e n t s need t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o share t h e i r w r i t i n g w i t h p e e r s so t h a t t h e y may see " t h e i r w r i t i n g w i t h the eyes o f a n o t h e r " (p.206). Raimes (1985) i n a s i m i l a r s t u d y , t h i s time o f u n s k i l l e d ESL w r i t e r s , f ound t h a t s t u d e n t s w i t h a l i m i t e d p r o f i c i e n c y i n E n g l i s h were a b l e t o v i e w w r i t i n g as a p r o c e s s o f d i s c o v e r i n g meaning and were a b l e t o g e n e r a t e language and i d e a s . There were d i f f e r e n c e s , however, between t h e u n s k i l l e d L2 s t u d e n t s i n Raimes' s t u d y and u n s k i l l e d L I w r i t e r s . "What t h e y need i s "more o f e v e r y t h i n g : more t i m e ; more 16 o p p o r t u n i t y t o t a l k . . . m o r e i n s t r u c t i o n and p r a c t i c e i n g e n e r a t i n g , o r g a n i z i n g and r e v i s i n g i d e a s " (p.250). F i n a l l y , t h e s t u d e n t s • i n Raimes'. s t u d y were a n x i o u s t o g e t i d e a s down on paper. I n t h e i r w r i t i n g , s t u d e n t s were aware of t h e t e a c h e r as v t h e o n l y a u d i e n c e ' and were u n a b l e t o a d d r e s s t h e a u d i e n c e s u g g e s t e d i n t h e w r i t i n g prompt. As a consequence of the s t u d y , Raimes su g g e s t e d t h a t t e a c h e r s employ t h i n k - a l o u d t e c h n i q u e s as "a t e a c h i n g t o o l t o p r o v i d e an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r the w r i t e r t o v e r i f y an a u d i e n c e and engage i n a c r e a t i v e d i a l o g u e " (p.252). She a l s o s p e c u l a t e d i n h e r d i s c u s s i o n t h a t s t u d e n t s who e s t a b l i s h an a u d i e n c e f o r themselves and "view the t a s k as one o f n e g o t i a t i o n w i t h a r e a d e r might u l t i m a t e l y make more p r o g r e s s t h a n t h o s e who see t h e t a s k s o l e l y as a l i n g u i s t i c problem" (p.251). These comments r e g a r d i n g t h e i m p o r t a n c e , of a u d i e n c e f o r d e v e l o p i n g w r i t e r s s u p p o r t t h e c u r r e n t use of p e e r response groups i n ESL c l a s s r o o m s . I n a l a t e r s t u d y , Zamel (1987) i n a comprehensive s u r v e y o f r e s e a r c h i n w r i t i n g pedagogy encouraged t e a c h e r s t o assume a l e s s c o n t r o l l i n g r o l e i n t h e c l a s s r o o m and "adopt a pedagogy t h a t r e c o g n i z e s who our s t u d e n t s a r e . . . [ a n d ] acknowledges t h e s e s t u d e n t s ' a t t e m p t s a t 17 c r e a t i n g and n e g o t i a t i n g meaning" (p.709). She t a l k e d o f a l l o w i n g s t u d e n t s t o behave l i k e s c h o l a r s , making knowledge and s t a t e d : T h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o what our s t u d e n t s do, what we • do as t e a c h e r s and how t h e two i n t e r a c t would i n v o l v e us i n . . . d e s c r i p t i o n t h a t t a k e s i n t o account t h e f u l l c o n t e x t o f human event" (p.710). Zamel u r g e d t e a c h e r s t o t a k e up t h e c h a l l e n g e o f t h i s k i n d o f i n q u i r y . A d o p t i n g the p r o c e s s approach t o w r i t i n g i n t h e second language c l a s s r o o m , as a d v o c a t e d by Raimes and Zamel, l e a d s i n s t r u c t o r s n a t u r a l l y i n t o the r e a l m o f c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g and p e e r group response (DiPardo and Freedman, 1988). Members of a group, t h r o u g h c o n v e r s a t i o n , h e l p each o t h e r g e n e r a t e i d e a s ; t h e y s u p p o r t and encourage each o t h e r d u r i n g t h e composing p r o c e s s and p r o v i d e an i n c r e a s e d sense o f a u d i e n c e f o r each o t h e r (Urzua, 1987). Through i n t e r a c t i o n , w r i t e r s become aware of t h e r e a d e r f o r whom the t e x t i s composed. W r i t i n g , once thought of as s i l e n t , s o l i t a r y and s e c r e t becomes the f o c u s o f c o n v e r s a t i o n f o r a community of p e e r s i n t h e p r o c e s s c l a s s r o o m (Obah, 1993). 18 C o o p e r a t i v e L e a r n i n g C o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g has a l o n g h i s t o r y i n t h e w e s t e r n w o r l d and. was " d e s c r i b e d i n the Talmud by Q u i n t i l i a n i n t h e f i r s t c e n t u r y " (Olsen and Kagan, 1992, p.3) . C o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g has been e x t e n s i v e l y r e s e a r c h e d s i n c e 1960 and has been shown t o r e s u l t i n academic achievement, s o c i a l and p e r s o n a l development and language l e a r n i n g (pp.4-5) and t h e s e g a i n s e x t e n d t o second language l e a r n e r s as w e l l as n a t i v e s p e a k i n g s t u d e n t s ( K e s s l e r , 1992).. B e j a r a n o (1994) summarizes c o o p e r a t i v e ' l e a r n i n g from Johnson and Johnson (1987) . C o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g encourages i n d i v i d u a l a c c o u n t a b i l i t y i n groups t h a t a r e heterogeneous i n a b i l i t y and p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , r e c o g n i z e s t h a t s t u d e n t s need t o be t a u g h t s o c i a l ' s k i l l s , l e t s t h e t e a c h e r observe group i n t e r a c t i o n and i n t e r v e n e o n l y when n e c e s s a r y , and i n c o r p o r a t e s o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r groups t o p r o c e s s t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s (p.200). One o f t h e • k e y f e a t u r e s o f c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g i s . p o s i t i v e i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e , which o c c u r s when t h e achievements of one i n d i v i d u a l b e n e f i t the e n t i r e group. Once p o s i t i v e i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e i s e s t a b l i s h e d , a l l group members become i n t e r e s t e d i n h e l p i n g a l l t h e others.. "Group g o a l s and i n d i v i d u a l a c c o u n t a b i l i t y " ( S l a v i n , 1990, p.53) a r e c r u c i a l 19 t o t h e s u c c e s s o f c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g w i t h younger s t u d e n t s . However, some q u e s t i o n remains about whether t h e s e f e a t u r e s a r e n e c e s s a r y w i t h c o l l e g e l e v e l s t u d e n t s . S l a v i n (1990) c i t e s a s t u d y by Dansereau (1988) w h i c h " p r o v i d e s examples of s u c c e s s f u l approaches t o c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g a t the c o l l e g e l e v e l w i t h o u t group g o a l s o r i n d i v i d u a l a c c o u n t a b i l i t y " (p.53). V a r i o u s forms of c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g e x i s t , and t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s depends upon the s u i t a b i l i t y o f the approach. One model of c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g i s the s t r u c t u r a l approach (Kagan, 1990) . S t r u c t u r e s a r e " c o n t e n t - f r e e ways of o r g a n i z i n g s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n i n the c l a s s r o o m " (Kagan, 1990, p.12). Because t h e y a r e c o n t e n t - f r e e t h e y can be used r e p e a t e d l y w i t h d i f f e r e n t s u b j e c t m a t t e r . V a r i o u s s t r u c t u r e s have v a r i o u s f u n c t i o n s . I n 'Roundrobin' f o r example, each s t u d e n t i n t u r n s h a r e s something w i t h h i s o r h e r teammates. A c c o r d i n g t o Kagan, t h i s s h a r i n g i s p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l when the t e a c h e r wants s t u d e n t s t o e x p r e s s i d e a s and o p i n i o n s , o r t o c r e a t e s t o r i e s . When s t u d e n t s use t h i s s t r u c t u r e , t h e y p a r t i c i p a t e e q u a l l y i n the t a s k (p., 14). The s t r u c t u r e , ' r o u n d r o b i n ' , i s p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l s u i t e d t o t h e w r i t i n g p r o c e s s c l a s s r o o m where s t u d e n t s i n response groups s h a r e • 20 t h e i r e s s a y s w i t h each o t h e r f o r t h e b e n e f i t . o f a l l . Elbow's (1973) model o f p e e r response groups i l l u s t r a t e s how the s t r u c t u r e ' r o u n d r o b i n ' i s employed. Groups and Language L e a r n i n g C o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g approaches, have i n c r e a s e d i n p o p u l a r i t y i n second language c l a s s r o o m s . W i t h i n t h e group s e t t i n g , s t u d e n t s have t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r i n c r e a s e d i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h t h e i r p e e r s . Working t o g e t h e r t o complete a t a s k , language l e a r n e r s n e g o t i a t e meaning: a s k i n g p r o c e d u r a l q u e s t i o n s , s e e k i n g c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f groupmates' s t a t e m e n t s , c h e c k i n g f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g , e x p l a i n i n g and so on. A r e a l need t o communicate compels members o f t h e group t o expend t h e e f f o r t r e q u i r e d t o make th e m s e l v e s u n d e r s t o o d and t o u n d e r s t a n d . Long and P o r t e r (1985) s e t out p e d a g o g i c a l and p s y c h o l i n g u i s t i c arguments f o r group work. The f o r m e r a r e s i m i l a r t o t h e b e n e f i t s w h i c h a c c r u e t o c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g : i n c r e a s e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r language p r a c t i c e ; improved q u a l i t y of s t u d e n t t a l k ; o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g i n s t r u c t i o n ; a p o s i t i v e a f f e c t i v e c l i m a t e and i n c r e a s e d m o t i v a t i o n (Long & P o r t e r , 1985, pp. 208 - 212). The p s y c h o l i n g u i s t i c arguments f o r group 21 work a r e o f a t l e a s t e q u a l , i f not g r e a t e r , i m p o r t a n c e t o second language t e a c h e r s c o n t e m p l a t i n g group work i n t h e c l a s s r o o m . I n heterogeneous groups, more f l u e n t s p e a k e r s w i l l adapt t h e i r language t o be c o m p r e h e n s i b l e t o t h o s e l e s s p r o f i c i e n t i n the language,,by a s k i n g more q u e s t i o n s , g i v i n g a p l a c e o f prominence t o the t o p i c o f t h e s e n t e n c e , and by empl o y i n g d e v i c e s f o r c l a r i f y i n g . Long and P o r t e r (1985) c o n t e n d t h a t "the more language t h a t l e a r n e r s h e a r and u n d e r s t a n d and t h e more c o m p r e h e n s i b l e i n p u t t h e y r e c e i v e , t h e f a s t e r and b e t t e r t h e y l e a r n " (p. 214). Krashen's (1980, 1982) e x p l a n a t i o n f o r a c c e l e r a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g , c i t e d i n Long and P o r t e r (1985), i s the Input H y p o t h e s i s i n w h i c h he s t a t e s t h a t a language l e a r n e r needs t o e n c o u n t e r new f e a t u r e s o f t h e language i n a c o n t e x t w h i c h makes them c o m p r e h e n s i b l e . Comprehensible i n p u t , however, i s no l o n g e r deemed s u f f i c i e n t f o r language a c q u i s i t i o n and r e c e n t second language a c q u i s i t i o n s t u d i e s have f o c u s e d on o u t p u t . P r o d u c i n g c o m p r e h e n s i b l e o u t p u t , i t i s su g g e s t e d , "may f o r c e t h e l e a r n e r t o move from semantic p r o c e s s i n g t o s y n t a c t i c p r o c e s s i n g " (Swain, 1985, p.249 i n Gass and S e l i n k e r , 1994, p.213). The I n t e r a c t i o n H y p o t h e s i s combines t h e s e c o n c e p t s and i s s e t out i n Gass and S e l i n k e r (1994) as f o l l o w s : 22 , There a r e t h r e e p a r t s : (1) c o m p r e h e n s i b l e i n p u t i s n e c e s s a r y f o r a c q u i s i t i o n , (2) c o n v e r s a t i o n a l • i n t e r a c t i o n ( n e g o t i a t i o n ) makes the i n p u t c o m p r e h e n s i b l e (3) c o m p r e h e n s i b l e o u t p u t a i d s l e a r n e r s i n moving from semantic p r o c e s s i n g t o s y n t a c t i c p r o c e s s i n g (p.219). N e g o t i a t i o n i s a c r u c i a l , s t e p and " r e q u i r e s a t t e n t i v e n e s s and i n v o l v e m e n t b o t h of whi c h a r e n e c e s s a r y f o r s u c c e s s f u l communication" (p.219). Second, n e g o t i a t i o n r a i s e s l e a r n e r s ' awareness of the d e f i c i e n c i e s o f t h e i r speech, and i n o r d e r t o make t h e i r speech c o m p r e h e n s i b l e , t h e y must f i r s t d e t e r m i n e what the problem i s f o r t h e l i s t e n e r and t h e n make r e p a i r s t o t h e i r o u t p u t . T h i s a b i l i t y t o t h i n k about language " t h i s m e t a l i n g u i s t i c awareness" i s thought t o be " a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i n c r e a s e d a b i l i t y t o l e a r n a language" (p.220). T h e o r i e s o f Language L e a r n i n g F i n a l l y , t h e o r i e s about how p e o p l e l e a r n language and g e n e r a t e knowledge s u p p o r t t h e use o f group work i n t h e second language c l a s s r o o m . V y g o t s k y ' s t h e o r i e s emphasize the i m p o r t a n c e o f s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n i n l e a r n i n g . He c l a i m s that, "good l e a r n i n g i s t h a t which i s i n advance o f development" (Vygotsky, 1978, p.89 i n D i P a r d o and Freedman, 23 1988, p.129). L e a r n i n g t a k e s p l a c e i n t h e s t u d e n t s ' "zone of p r o x i m a l development" (Vygotsky, 1986, p.187). T h i s zone r e p r e s e n t s the d i f f e r e n c e between what a s t u d e n t i s . a b l e t o a c c o m p l i s h i n d e p e n d e n t l y and what s/he i s a b l e t o a c c o m p l i s h w i t h t h e a s s i s t a n c e o f a d u l t s o r more c a p a b l e p e e r s i n a c o o p e r a t i v e s e t t i n g . V y g o t s k y sees the development o f thought o r t h i n k i n g as a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f speech o r s p e a k i n g . Thought i s f o r him i n t e r n a l i z e d speech and i s borne from t h e i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h o t h e r s i n a s o c i a l s e t t i n g . Knowledge t h e n i s g e n e r a t e d by a community o f p e e r s ; meaning i s c r e a t e d by s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n (Vygotsky, 1986). I n s t r u c t o r s a r e becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y c o n v i n c e d o f t h e im p o r t a n c e o f speech i n t h e c l a s s r o o m and a r e d e v i s i n g means of i n t e g r a t i n g c o o p e r a t i v e groups i n t o t h e i r c l a s s r o o m i n s t r u c t i o n . I n the second language w r i t i n g c l a s s r o o m , p e e r response groups r i c h i n t a l k about the a c t i v i t y o f w r i t i n g a r e t h e a n t i t h e s i s o f the t r a d i t i o n a l s o l i t a r y , s i l e n t and s e c r e t w r i t e r (Obah, 1993). I n summary, p e e r response groups a r e s u p p o r t e d by g e n e r a l t h e o r i e s of language l e a r n i n g , p r i n c i p l e s o f c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g , the c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s t h e o r y o f w r i t i n g and t h e o r i e s o f second language a c q u i s i t i o n . I t i s 24 not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t peer response groups have become t h e f o c u s o f c o n s i d e r a b l e s t u d y , and i t i s t o t h i s r e s e a r c h we now t u r n . Peer Response i n t h e ESL W r i t i n g C l a s s r o o m I n t h e p a s t decade, p e e r response groups have become i n c r e a s i n g l y p o p u l a r i n ESL w r i t i n g c l a s s r o o m s s i n c e many t e a c h e r s a r e s h i f t i n g the emphasis o f t h e i r i n s t r u c t i o n from t h e p r o d u c t o f w r i t i n g t o the p r o c e s s of w r i t i n g . I n a d d i t i o n , t h e o r i e s o f language a c q u i s i t i o n s u p p o r t t h e use of groups i n second language c l a s s r o o m s . R e s e a r c h i n t o p e e r response groups has become i n c r e a s i n g l y i m p o r t a n t and i s d e s i g n e d t o f u r t h e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the c o m p l e x i t y o f t h e s e groups so t h a t s t u d e n t s might b e n e f i t as much as p o s s i b l e . R e s e a r c h i s f o c u s e d on a number o f a s p e c t s o f p e e r r e s p o n s e : p e e r t a l k o r the i n t e r a c t i o n t h a t t a k e s p l a c e d u r i n g the a c t i v i t y ; t he r e v i s i o n o f e s s a y s t h a t i s t h e r e s u l t o f p e e r i n t e r a c t i o n ; p r e f e r e n c e s f o r t y p e s o f feedback; and f i n a l l y , t he p e r c e p t i o n s o f s t u d e n t s t o w a r d p e e r response s e s s i o n s . 25 Peer I n t e r a c t i o n - . I n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o what a c t u a l l y o c c u r s d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s i s j u s t b e g i n n i n g . Mendonca and Johnson (1994) e x p l o r e d t y p e s and f r e q u e n c i e s of p e e r n e g o t i a t i o n d u r i n g response s e s s i o n s . Twelve advanced n o n n a t i v e s p e a k e r s o f E n g l i s h worked i n dyads t o r e v i e w each o t h e r ' s e s s a y s . S t u d e n t s r e a d t h e i r p e e r ' s . e s s a y and gave o r a l feedback g u i d e d by q u e s t i o n s . I n a d d i t i o n , s t u d e n t s were t o l d t o f o c u s on any p o i n t s i n t h e t e x t t h a t were u n c l e a r o r d i f f i c u l t t o u n d e r s t a n d . The r e s e a r c h e r s , i n c o n s i d e r i n g t h e t r a n s c r i p t s o f t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s , c a t e g o r i z e d f i v e t y p e s o f n e g o t i a t i o n and c a l c u l a t e d t h e f r e q u e n c y of each type.- Then, th e a u t h o r s d e t e r m i n e d what p e r c e n t a g e of each type o f n e g o t i a t i o n was w r i t e r - g e n e r a t e d and what p e r c e n t a g e was r e a d e r - g e n e r a t e d . Mendonca and Johnson (1994) c o n c l u d e d t h a t p e e r s were a b l e t o f o c u s on l o c a l and g l o b a l d i s c o u r s e i s s u e s ; p e e r s became "aware of how t h e i r w r i t i n g a f f e c t e d r e a d e r s . . . and c o u l d s h a r e knowledge about w r i t t e n t e x t s " (p. 756). The r e s e a r c h e r s a l s o c o n c l u d e d t h a t " r e v i e w e r s tended t o i n i t i a t e a l l t y p e s o f n e g o t i a t i o n s e xcept e x p l a n a t i o n s o f c o n t e n t " (p. 756). 2 6 V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o (1996) a l s o i n v e s t i g a t e d p e e r i n t e r a c t i o n s d u r i n g response s e s s i o n s . F i f t y - f o u r s t u d e n t s , homogeneous i n terms o f language p r o f i c i e n c y , n a t i v e language, l e n g t h o f time i n an E n g l i s h s p e a k i n g c o u n t r y and p r e v i o u s ESL c o u r s e s were t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s . S t u d e n t s worked i n p a i r s , r e a d t h e i r c o m p o s i t i o n s a l o u d and, t h e n , u s i n g a R e v i s i o n Sheet h e l p e d t h e i r p e e r s t o r e v i s e t h e i r c o m p o s i t i o n s . By d i s c o v e r i n g and c l a s s i f y i n g b e h a v i o u r t h a t a i d e d r e v i s i o n , t h e a u t h o r s o f t h i s s t u d y a t t e m p t e d t o r e v e a l "a sense of t h e i n t r i c a c y and t o t a l i t y o f t h e whole r e v i s i o n p r o c e s s as [they] o b s e r v e d i t " (p. 69). To t h i s end, V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o (1996) i d e n t i f i e d seven s o c i a l - c o g n i t i v e a c t i v i t i e s r e l a t e d t o r e v i s i o n , f i v e m e d i a t i n g s t r a t e g i e s s t u d e n t s employed t o f a c i l i t a t e t he r e v i s i o n p r o c e s s and f o u r s i g n i f i c a n t a s p e c t s of s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r e v i d e n t d u r i n g p e e r i n t e r a c t i o n . T h i s s t u d y was a more comprehensive l o o k a t "what a c t u a l l y o c c u r s when two L2 l e a r n e r s engage i n a j o i n t r e v i s i o n and how t h e y manage t o a s s i s t each o t h e r " (p.' 54) . W h i l e t h e s e f i n d i n g s were o f c o n s i d e r a b l e i n t e r e s t , t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o ' s (1996) s t u d y were v e r y c a r e f u l l y s e l e c t e d . F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s needed t o 27 d e t e r m i n e i f r e s u l t s c o u l d be r e p l i c a t e d w i t h a group of s t u d e n t s more r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the ESL p o p u l a t i o n w i t h whom most t e a c h e r s work. I n my s t u d y , I was i n t e r e s t e d t o see i f V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o ' s (1996) r e s u l t s c o u l d be d u p l i c a t e d w i t h the s t u d e n t s who e n r o l l e d i n my c o m p o s i t i o n c l a s s . I wondered i f my r e s u l t s might be more l i m i t e d as seemed t o be t h e case i n Mendonca and Johnson's (1994) s t u d y . I t appeared as i f t h e t y p e s o f n e g o t i a t i o n n o t e d by Mendonca and Johnson (1994) were s i m i l a r t o t h e s c a f f o l d i n g s u b - s t r a t e g i e s found by V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o (1996). S t a n l e y (1992) i n v e s t i g a t e d whether c o a c h i n g s t u d e n t s t o be b e t t e r p e e r e v a l u a t o r s would improve s t u d e n t i n t e r a c t i o n s . T r a n s c r i p t s were a n a l y z e d and a code d e v e l o p e d f o r e v a l u a t o r s ' r e s p o n s e s and w r i t e r s ' r e s p o n s e s . T h i s was s i m i l a r t o Mendonca and Johnson's (1994) w r i t e r - g e n e r a t e d and r e a d e r - g e n e r a t e d t y p e s o f n e g o t i a t i o n s . S t a n l e y ' s code, however, more c l o s e l y r e s e m b l e d t h e s c a f f o l d i n g s u b s t r a t e g i e s i d e n t i f i e d by V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o (1996). The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n S t a n l e y ' s (1992) s t u d y were e n r o l l e d i n a freshman c o m p o s i t i o n c o u r s e and had TOEFL s c o r e s o f 547 i n one s e c t i o n , 549 i n a second s e c t i o n . Age 28 of t h e s t u d e n t s was s i m i l a r as was the mean l e n g t h o f r e s i d e n c y i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s . S t u d e n t s were from a v a r i e t y o f language backgrounds. One s e c t i o n was g i v e n e x t e n s i v e c o a c h i n g b e f o r e p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s ; t h e o t h e r s e c t i o n was more t y p i c a l l y p r e p a r e d u s i n g a d e m o n s t r a t i o n of a p e e r - e v a l u a t i o n s e s s i o n . Types of r e s p o n s e s were a n a l y z e d o v e r s i x a u d i o t a p e d s e s s i o n s . S t a n l e y ' s (1992) f i n d i n g s p o i n t t o c o n s i d e r a b l y more c o n v e r s a t i o n when s t u d e n t s r e c e i v e c o a c h i n g and " s u b s t a n t i a l l y more s p e c i f i c r e s p o n s e s t o w r i t i n g " (p. 226). Impact on R e v i s i o n . I n the same s t u d y r e f e r r e d t o above, S t a n l e y (1992) examined d r a f t s and the t r a n s c r i b e d p e e r e v a l u a t i o n s e s s i o n s which i m m e d i a t e l y p r e c e d e d them f o r e v i d e n c e o f response t o t h e e v a l u a t o r ' s comment i n b o t h coached and uncoached s e c t i o n s . R e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d more r e v i s i o n s f o l l o w e d from p e e r e v a l u a t i o n s i n t h e coached group. P o i n t i n g remarks appeared t o r e s u l t more o f t e n i n r e v i s i o n s t h a n o t h e r t y p e s o f remarks. S t a n l e y c o n c l u d e d t h a t p e e r - e v a l u a t i o n groups were wort h the e f f o r t w i t h coached s t u d e n t s . "Among the uncoached groups, t h e l e v e l o f r e v i s i o n i h response t o e v a l u a t o r s ' comments was q u i t e a b i t 29 l o w e r " (p. 22 9 ) . Without c o a c h i n g one might q u e s t i o n t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f pe e r response. F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h needs t o ad d r e s s t h i s i s s u e . Hedgcock and L e f k o w i t z (1992) conducted a s t u d y i n t h e f o r e i g n language (FL) c o n t e x t . A c o n t r o l group r e c e i v e d w r i t t e n feedback from the i n s t r u c t o r s o n l y , f i r s t on c o n t e n t and t h e n on grammar. I n the e x p e r i m e n t a l group, groups o f t h r e e w i t h a w r i t t e n p r o t o c o l , c a r r i e d out p e e r r e s p o n s e o r a l l y , u s i n g p h o t o c o p i e s of t h e i r p e e r s ' w r i t t e n t e x t . " I n a second r e v i e w s e s s i o n s t u d e n t s . . . f o c u s e d on f o r m a l f e a t u r e s o f t e x t , such as grammar and l e x i c a l c h o i c e " (p. 261). The r e s e a r c h e r s n o t e d p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e f a c t t h a t t h e s t u d e n t s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n pe e r feedback p e r f o r m e d as w e l l as t h o s e who r e c e i v e d t e a c h e r feedback. S e c o n d l y , t e a c h e r feedback r e s u l t e d i n improvement i n the a r e a o f grammar w h i l e t h e pe e r group members made r e v i s i o n s t o c o n t e n t , o r g a n i z a t i o n and v o c a b u l a r y . "The o r a l / a u r a l r e v i e w p r o c e d u r e d i d not produce a s t o u n d i n g l y b e t t e r L2 c o m p o s i t i o n s i n t h i s s t u d y , b u t , t h e d a t a suggest t h a t t h e t e c h n i q u e . . . does not r e s u l t i n g r a m m a t i c a l l y i n f e r i o r w r i t i n g " (p. 264). Fathman and W h a l l e y (1990) had s i m i l a r r e s u l t s . Hedgcock and L e f k o w i t z (1992) c o n c l u d e d t h a t • . 30 e v a l u a t i o n i n t h e FL c l a s s r o o m r e s u l t e d i n s a t i s f a c t o r y r e v i s i n g b e h a v i o u r . T h i s s t u d y encouraged me t o use o r a l f e e dback w i t h t h e p e e r response groups i n my s t u d y . I b e l i e v e d t h a t u s i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s would not cause the s t u d e n t s ' w r i t i n g t o s u f f e r i n terms o f a c c u r a c y . As a t e a c h e r / r e s e a r c h e r i t was my r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o ensure t h a t my r e s e a r c h d i d not d i s a d v a n t a g e my s t u d e n t s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , I was p l e a s e d t o r e a d o f Hedgcock and L e f k o w i t z (1992) f i n d i n g s Mendonca.and Johnson (1994) d e s c r i b e d t h r e e p a t t e r n s o f r e v i s i o n r e v e a l e d when s t u d e n t s f i r s t and second d r a f t s were compared w i t h t a p e s c r i p t s o f peer response s e s s i o n s . S t u d e n t s used p e e r comments t o rev i s e ' ; s t u d e n t s d i d not change t h e i r e s s a y s even though s u g g e s t i o n s had been made; s t u d e n t s changed t h e i r e s s a y s f o r reas o n s o t h e r t h a n p e e r comments. The r e s e a r c h e r s found t h a t i n 53% o f t h e i n s t a n c e s o f r e v i s i o n s , s t u d e n t s i n c o r p o r a t e d t h e i r p e e r s ' comments. .These r e s u l t s need t o be r e p l i c a t e d i n f u r t h e r s t u d i e s . Connor and Asenavage (1994) approached r e v i s i o n i n a d i f f e r e n t way. . U s i n g F a i g l e y and W i t t e ' s (1981) taxonomy o f r e v i s i o n s , t h e r e s e a r c h e r s d e t e r m i n e d whether s t u d e n t 31 r e v i s i o n s were s u r f a c e changes o r t e x t - b a s e d changes. The s t u d y was conducted w i t h two pe e r response groups o f f o u r s t u d e n t s each from an ESL freshman w r i t i n g c l a s s . The s o u r c e o f each r e v i s i o n was n o t e d (group, t e a c h e r , s e l f / o t h e r s ) and r e v i s i o n s were c a t e g o r i z e d . R e s u l t s were somewhat s u r p r i s i n g . The a u t h o r s r e p o r t e d t h a t s t u d e n t s made numerous r e v i s i o n s but r e l a t i v e l y few o f th o s e were t h e r e s u l t o f p e e r s ' comments. The ty p e of comments made d u r i n g t h e s e s s i o n d e t e r m i n e d t h e type of r e v i s i o n s made. O v e r a l l "5% o f t h e r e v i s i o n r e s u l t e d from p e e r comments, 35% c o u l d be d e s c r i b e d as r e s u l t i n g from t e a c h e r comments and 60%...as a r e s u l t o f s e l f / o t h e r s " (p. 267). These r e s u l t s seem t o c o r r e s p o n d t o th o s e r e p o r t e d by S t a n l e y w i t h uncoached groups. A l s o mentioned by the r e s e a r c h e r s was t h e f a c t t h e " r e v i s i o n s based on t e a c h e r comments were p r i m a r i l y s u r f a c e l e v e l : f o r m a l changes such as s p e l l i n g , t e n s e , p u n c t u a t i o n and m e a n i n g - p r e s e r v i n g changes such as a d d i t i o n s arid d e l e t i o n s " ( F a i g l e y & W i t t e , 1981, p. 403). Connor and Asenevage (1994) s u b s t a n t i a t e d the f i n d i n g s o f Hedgcock and L e f k o w i t z (1992) who r e p o r t e d t h a t "the r e v i s i o n s made by the c o n t r o l group which r e c e i v e d o n l y t e a c h e r f eedback were p o s i t i v e i n t h e a r e a o f grammar" (p. 2 63). 32 F i n a l l y , N e l s o n and Murphy (1993) examined why s t u d e n t s were not c o n s i s t e n t i n u s i n g p e e r comments t o r e v i s e t h e i r e s s a y s . Four s t u d e n t s were the s u b j e c t s i n t h i s s t u d y , each from a d i f f e r e n t c o u n t r y . I n a n a l y z i n g the t r a n s c r i p t s o f t h e d r a f t s t h e r e s e a r c h e r s n o t e d two major p a t t e r n s o f b e h a v i o u r on t h e p a r t o f t h e s t u d e n t s w h i c h t h e y l a b e l l e d : a) i n t e r a c t i v e / n o n i n t e r a c t i v e and b) c o o p e r a t i v e / d e f e n s i v e . The r e s u l t s o f the s t u d y by N e l s o n and Murphy (1993) p o i n t t o t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f c o o p e r a t i o n and n e g o t i a t i o n i n b r i n g i n g about r e v i s i o n t o e s s a y s as a r e s u l t o f p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . P r e f e r e n c e s f o r Types of Feedback. A t h i r d f o c u s o f s t u d i e s i n t o p e e r response s e s s i o n s i s the p r e f e r e n c e s f o r t y p e s o f feedback. U s i n g a q u e s t i o n n a i r e , S a i t o (1994) i n q u i r e d o f s t u d e n t s i n t h r e e c l a s s e s t h e i r o p i n i o n s o f t h e u s e f u l n e s s o f d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f feedback. Student a t t i t u d e s t o each k i n d o f feedback were c a t e g o r i z e d . as p o s i t i v e , n e u t r a l o r n e g a t i v e . R e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t s t u d e n t s tended t o f a v o u r t e a c h e r feedback o v e r p e e r feedback o r s e l f c o r r e c t i o n " (p. 60). Responses (80%) i n one c l a s s , however, i n d i c a t e d a c c e p t a n c e o f p e e r r e s p o n s e as 1 33 u s e f u l . T h i s c l a s s was composed of advanced s t u d e n t s e n r o l l e d i n a u n i v e r s i t y c r e d i t c o u r s e . "These s t u d e n t s ' a t t i t u d e s and m o t i v a t i o n s p r o b a b l y d i f f e r e d from t h e o t h e r two c l a s s e s because t h e y were i n a c r e d i t c o u r s e and r e q u i r e d t o t a k e t h e c l a s s " (p. 4 9 ) . Acce p t a n c e o f p e e r feedback might depend, i t seems, on language p r o f i c i e n c y and m o t i v a t i o n and a t t i t u d e s . Zhang's (1995) s t u d y i n t o the a f f e c t i v e advantage o f p e e r feedback w i t h second language c l a s s e s was a l s o d e s i g n e d t o d e t e r m i n e i f s t u d e n t s p r e f e r r e d t e a c h e r , p e e r , o r s e l f f eedback. When q u e s t i o n e d d i r e c t l y "93.8% o f t h e 81 p a r t i c i p a n t s chose t h e t r a d i t i o n a l t e a c h e r feedback o v e r n o n - t e a c h e r feedback" (p. 216). Connor and Asenavage (1994) d i d not d i r e c t l y q u e s t i o n s t u d e n t s r e g a r d i n g t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e s . Teacher feedback ( a f t e r a second d r a f t ) was combined w i t h p e e r feedback ( a f t e r a f i r s t d r a f t ) . R e s u l t s as p r e v i o u s l y n o t e d i n d i c a t e d the " e f f e c t o f p e e r comments i n b o t h groups was s m a l l , o n l y about 5% o f t o t a l r e v i s i o n s " (p. 2 66). I n a d d i t i o n , " r e v i s i o n s made as a r e s u l t o f t e a c h e r comments were p r i m a r i l y s u r f a c e changes" (p. 265). A l t h o u g h I d i d not p l a n t o e x p l i c i t l y ask my s t u d e n t s t o i n d i c a t e a p r e f e r e n c e f o r a p a r t i c u l a r t y pe o f feedback, 34 t h e s e s t u d i e s a l e r t e d me t o a c o n c e r n t h a t I would need t o watch f o r . . . Student P e r c e p t i o n s . The f i n a l f o c u s o f p e e r r e s p o n s e r e s e a r c h i s on t h e p e r c e p t i o n s o f s t u d e n t s , and t h e i r r e a s o n s f o r t h o s e p e r c e p t i o n s . M a n g l e s d o r f (1992) found t h a t " f o r most of the s t u d e n t s . . . i n t h e s t u d y , p e e r r e v i e w s were p e r c e i v e d as a b e n e f i c i a l t e c h n i q u e t h a t h e l p e d t h e s t u d e n t s r e v i s e t h e i r p a p e r s " (p. 278). S t u d e n t s p i n p o i n t e d c o n t e n t , o r g a n i z a t i o n and s t y l e as a r e a s where p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s h e l p e d them improve. " N e g a t i v e v i e w s on p e e r r e v i e w s f o c u s on. l i m i t a t i o n s o f the s t u d e n t r e v i e w e r and t h e t a s k i t s e l f " (p. 277). One f a c t s t o o d o u t . I n M a n g l e s d o r f ' s s t u d y "almost a l l o f t h e s t u d e n t s w i t h t o t a l l y n e g a t i v e v i e w s came from c u l t u r e s t h a t s t r e s s t e a c h e r - c e n t e r e d c l a s s r o o m s " (p. 280). These r e s u l t s were o f i n t e r e s t t o me s i n c e my s t u d e n t s are m o s t l y o f A s i a n background and I wondered i f the r e s u l t s would h o l d t r u e f o r my c l a s s e s and p e e r response s e s s i o n s . Obah (1993) i n v e s t i g a t i n g t h e p e r c e p t i o n s h e r s t u d e n t s had o f p e e r response found them t o be q u i t e p o s i t i v e and a p p r e c i a t i v e o f the s o c i a l c o n t a c t i n groups, t h e 35 o p p o r t u n i t y t o speak E n g l i s h and share i d e a s , and t h e chance t o l e a r n from o t h e r p e o p l e ' s m i s t a k e s . These s t u d e n t s d i d have c o n c e r n s m a i n l y r e g a r d i n g f e e l i n g s of i n a d e q u a c y when asked t o c r i t i q u e a n o t h e r ' s paper. There were a l s o c o n c e r n s about th e f a c t t h a t some s t u d e n t s were a p a t h e t i c and l e s s h a r d w o r k i n g t h a n o t h e r members of the group. Obah n o t e d a " v i s i b l e i n c r e a s e i n c o n f i d e n c e , more f l u e n t w r i t i n g and a growth i n mutual r e s p e c t between t e a c h e r and s t u d e n t s " (p. 13). My s t u d y was prompted by a number of c o n c e r n s . F i r s t , I wondered i f my s t u d e n t s would b e n e f i t as s t u d e n t s seem t o have i n many s t u d i e s (Obah, 1993; M a n g l e s d o r f , 1992; M i t t a n , 1989). Would th e y , because t h e y were A s i a n , have n e g a t i v e v i e w s o f p e e r response s e s s i o n s ? These q u e s t i o n s prompted me t o conduct my s t u d y on the t o p i c of p e e r r e s p o n s e . I t seemed n e c e s s a r y t o conduct my own s t u d y i n my own c o n t e x t s i n c e r e s u l t s r e g a r d i n g r e v i s i o n and p e e r i n t e r a c t i o n appeared t o depend on the d e s i g n o f the s t u d y . I n V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o ' s (1996) s t u d y , i n p a r t i c u l a r , s t u d e n t s were v e r y c a r e f u l l y chosen. Would r e s u l t s be t h e same w i t h a c l a s s composed of s t u d e n t s who were heterogeneous i n background, language p r o f i c i e n c y and e d u c a t i o n ? The 36 l i t e r a t u r e i n v e s t i g a t i n g p eer response s e s s i o n s and t h e i r c o m p l e x i t y prompted me t o e x p l o r e p e e r response i n my c l a s s r o o m t h r o u g h a c t i o n r e s e a r c h . J o u r n a l W r i t i n g E v a l u a t i o n o f p e e r response a c t i v i t i e s has t a k e n t h e form o f b o t h i n t e r v i e w and r e f l e c t i v e j o u r n a l w r i t i n g . I n b o t h t y p e s , when t e a c h e r s / r e s e a r c h e r s asked s t u d e n t s t o r e f l e c t upon t h e pe e r r e v i e w p r o c e s s , t h e y were a s k i n g t h e s t u d e n t s t o engage i n what Gere (1987) r e f e r s t o as d e b r i e f i n g . "By d i s c u s s i n g t h e i s s u e s t h a t have a r i s e n i n the group, e x p l a i n i n g what t h e y have l e a r n e d , and e x p l o r i n g u n r e s o l v e d i s s u e s , p a r t i c i p a n t s l e a r n t o m o n i t o r t h e i r own t h i n k i n g and e v a l u a t e t h e i r own p r o g r e s s " ( p . I l l ) . T h i s d e b r i e f i n g . o r e v a l u a t i o n i n my s t u d y t o o k t h e form o f a j o u r n a l e n t r y , a m e t a c o g n i t i v e i n s t r u m e n t t o a s s i s t s t u d e n t s t o i n t e g r a t e a l l t h a t t h e y had e x p e r i e n c e d , t h i s t i m e i n w r i t t e n form. Many second language i n s t r u c t o r s a r e h a v i n g s t u d e n t s keep j o u r n a l s as p a r t o f c o u r s e r e q u i r e m e n t s . The j o u r n a l s a r e v a r i o u s l y r e f e r r e d t o as ' l e a r n i n g l o g s ' (Myers, 1990) ' d i a r i e s ' (McDonough, 1994) 'academic j o u r n a l s ' ( C a r s w e l l , 37 1988), ' d i a l o g u e j o u r n a l s ' ( C a r r o l l , 1994; Holmes and Mo u l t o n , 1995,). The name the i n s t r u c t o r uses t o i d e n t i f y t h e t y p e o f j o u r n a l r e q u i r e d depends upon t h e purpose f o r wh i c h t h e assignment o f j o u r n a l w r i t i n g i s g i v e n . L e a r n i n g l o g s , f o r example, a r e g e n e r a l l y f o r t h e purpose o f e x p l o r i n g r e s p o n s e s t o c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t i e s , r e f l e c t i n g upon the l e a r n i n g t h a t t o o k p l a c e and n o t i n g any c o n f u s i o n t h a t r e s u l t e d . S t u d e n t s r e f l e c t i n g upon the c l a s s r o o m may make s u g g e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g t e a c h e r s ' c l a s s r o o m p r a c t i c e s i f t h e y see t h e i r t e a c h e r s as w i l l i n g " t o c o n s i d e r ways o f s h a r i n g t h e power" (Myers, 1990, p.77). I n my view, d i a r i e s i m p l y a more p e r s o n a l , e x p r e s s i v e approach t o the- r e f l e c t i o n c o n t a i n e d t h e r e i n . I n McDonough's s t u d y o f f o u r e x p e r i e n c e d t e a c h e r s ' " p e r s o n a l - p r o f e s s i o n a l " (p.57) d i a r y e n t r i e s , t h e r e i s e v i d e n c e o f c o n s i d e r a b l e r e f l e c t i o n about i n d i v i d u a l s and the t e a c h e r s ' f e e l i n g s about t h o s e i n d i v i d u a l s and t h e i r p r e s e n c e i n the c l a s s r o o m . Academic j o u r n a l s seem t o presuppose t h a t t h e s t u d e n t s ' s u b m i s s i o n s w i l l be o f a more t h e o r e t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n w h i l e t h e d i a l o g u e j o u r n a l s u g g e s t s t h e development of a c o n v e r s a t i o n between i n s t r u c t o r and s t u d e n t o v e r the l e n g t h o f the c o u r s e . T h i s i s i n d e e d what r e s u l t e d i n Newman's (1998) e x p e r i e n c e . ' She 3 8 began p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the j o u r n a l w r i t i n g h e r s e l f when she r e a l i z e d h e r s t u d e n t s ' j o u r n a l w r i t i n g was "guarded and c a u t i o u s " (p.134). She began a d i a l o g u e w i t h h e r s t u d e n t s t h a t e s t a b l i s h e d an atmosphere w i t h i n w h i c h s t u d e n t s c o u l d s h a r e t h e i r i d e a s w i t h o u t c o n c e r n . J o u r n a l s i n w r i t i n g c l a s s e s have become i n c r e a s i n g l y - p o p u l a r f o r a number o f r e a s o n s . F i r s t , t h e y p r o v i d e an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r e x t e n s i v e w r i t i n g and the e n s u i n g b e n e f i t s of "improved f a c i l i t y w i t h s y n t a x and v o c a b u l a r y " (Casanave, 1994; p.185). Because t h e number o f t r a d i t i o n a l a s s i g n m e n t s s t u d e n t s a r e r e q u i r e d t o submit i n a semester i s l i m i t e d , j o u r n a l w r i t i n g p r o v i d e s a d d i t i o n a l w r i t i n g p r a c t i c e . T o p i c s a r e g e n e r a l l y open, a l t h o u g h o f t e n s t u d e n t s a r e encouraged t o w r i t e about i s s u e s and r e a d i n g s d i s c u s s e d i n t h e c l a s s . Teachers f o c u s on t h e meaning o f the t e x t and u s u a l l y g i v e o n l y minimal, feedback on grammar problems. R e s e a r c h has shown t h a t the w r i t i n g o f many . s t u d e n t s does improve even i f o n l y m i n i m a l feedback on form i s g i v e n t o s t u d e n t s (Robb, S h o r t r e a d .and Ross, 1986). W r i t i n g improves t h r o u g h j o u r n a l w r i t i n g a t l e a s t t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t i t becomes e a s i e r and f a s t e r t o w r i t e o v e r t i m e (Casanave, 1994). 39 I n a d d i t i o n t o e x t e n d i n g w r i t i n g p r a c t i c e , j o u r n a l s p r o v i d e a means o f communication between s t u d e n t s and t e a c h e r , a p r i v a t e forum f o r d i s c u s s i n g i s s u e s s u r r o u n d i n g c l a s s r o o m e v e n t s , a c t i v i t i e s , i n t e r a c t i o n s w h i c h t h e s t u d e n t s p r e f e r not t o b r i n g t o the i n s t r u c t o r ' s a t t e n t i o n d u r i n g c l a s s t i m e . Rapport i s e s t a b l i s h e d and t h e t e a c h e r has t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o e v a l u a t e c l a s s r o o m p r a c t i c e s and make changes i f a p p r o p r i a t e . I n some c a s e s , i n d i v i d u a l i n s t r u c t i o n may r e s u l t from a j o u r n a l e n t r y t o a s s i s t a s t u d e n t w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r problem ( C a r s w e l l , 1988). I n j o u r n a l s a s s i g n e d by i n s t r u c t o r s f o r t h e purpose o f t h i n k i n g about t h e c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t i e s , t h e r e a d i n g s and the l e a r n i n g t h a t i s t a k i n g p l a c e , t e a c h e r s hope f o r e v i d e n c e o f r e f l e c t i v e t h i n k i n g . Surbeck e t a l , (1991) examined j o u r n a l e n t r i e s t o det e r m i n e t h e k i n d o f t h i n k i n g s t u d e n t s d i d . They e s t a b l i s h e d t h r e e b r o a d c a t e g o r i e s , each d i v i d e d i n t o s u b c a t e g o r i e s t o c l a r i f y t he j o u r n a l e n t r i e s . The ' R e a c t i o n ' c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e d a f f e c t i v e r e s p o n s e s o f b o t h n e g a t i v e and p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s , d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e a c t i v i t i e s and p e r s o n a l c o n cerns t h a t a f f e c t e d t h e s t u d e n t ' s i n v o l v e m e n t i n c l a s s . The c a t e g o r y o f ' E l a b o r a t i o n ' was used t o i d e n t i f y s t a t e m e n t s o f e x p l a n a t i o n and t h a t 40 E l a b o r a t i o n was c l a s s i f i e d as c o n c r e t e , c o m p a r a t i v e o r g e n e r a l i z e d . The t h i r d c a t e g o r y was d e s i g n a t e d ' C o n t e m p l a t i o n ' . A j o u r n a l e n t r y was not r a t e d c o n t e m p l a t i v e u n l e s s i t i n c l u d e d s t a t e m e n t s from t h e p r e v i o u s two c a t e g o r i e s and " t h i n k i n g about p e r s o n a l p r o f e s s i o n s o r s o c i a l / e t h i c a l problems" (Surbeck, P a r k Han and Moyer, 1991, p.27). The r e s e a r c h e r s found from t h e i r a n a l y s i s t h a t , o n l y a few e n t r i e s c o u l d be l a b e l e d c o n t e m p l a t i v e a l t h o u g h many j o u r n a l e n t r i e s c o n t a i n e d e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e sequence l e a d i n g t o c o n t e m p l a t i o n was p a r t i a l l y d e v e l o p e d . To h e l p s t u d e n t s w r i t e r e f l e c t i v e l y , t h i s sequence s h o u l d be encouraged, the a u t h o r s c o n c l u d e d . C a r s w e l l (1988) i n w o r k i n g w i t h t e a c h e r s i n a g r a d u a t e c o u r s e a l s o hoped " t o encourage t h e p r o c e s s o f r e f l e c t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n , e x p l a n a t i o n and r e f l e c t i o n " (p.105). I n t h i s s t u d y , C a r s w e l l n o t e d t h a t the j o u r n a l s p r o v i d e d e v i d e n c e t h a t s t u d e n t s were b e g i n n i n g t o " i n v e s t i g a t e t h e n a t u r e and so u r c e o f t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l a c t i o n s a l t h o u g h much o f t h e w r i t i n g i s s t i l l a t the d e s c r i p t i v e and e x p l a n a t o r y l e v e l " ( p . I l l ) • J o u r n a l w r i t i n g i s not w i t h o u t problems. F i r s t , as a l r e a d y n o t e d i n t h e above d i s c u s s i o n , e n c o u r a g i n g 41 r e f l e c t i o n i n w r i t i n g i s not easy. S t u d e n t s a r e not used t o e x t e n d i n g t h e i r t h i n k i n g i n t h i s way and c o n s e q u e n t l y need t o be g i v e n models t o examine and perhaps q u e s t i o n s t o g u i d e t h e i r w r i t i n g . A second problem w i t h j o u r n a l s i s t h a t when the t e a c h e r i s the f i n a l a u t h o r i t y i n the c l a s s r o o m s i t u a t i o n , s t u d e n t s are p l a c i n g t h e m s e l v e s i n a v u l n e r a b l e p o s i t i o n i f t h e y w r i t e h o n e s t l y o f t h e i r f e e l i n g s about c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t i e s , and t h e r e a s o n s f o r t h o s e f e e l i n g s ( J a r v i s , 1992) . S t u d e n t s must be a b l e t o t r u s t t h e t e a c h e r , o r t h e j o u r n a l s w i l l be " l a c k i n g i n s p o n t a n e i t y and o f f e r l i t t l e i n s i g h t " (Newman, 1988, p.134). J a r v i s (1992) s u g g e s t s some s t u d e n t s make e v a l u a t i v e comments w i t h o u t j u s t i f y i n g them i n o r d e r t o s i m p l y be " p l e a s i n g t h e t e a c h e r " (p.137). She recommends a s k i n g s t u d e n t s why t h e y have made such comments. F i n a l l y , some s t u d e n t s may d i s l i k e j o u r n a l w r i t i n g . Holmes and Moulton(1995) document the case o f Dang who " e n j o y e d and b e n e f i t e d from f o r m a l w r i t i n g . . . [but] r e s i s t e d and d i s l i k e d t h e i n f o r m a l w r i t i n g o f t h e d i a l o g u e j o u r n a l s " (p.223). One f i n a l n o t e , because so many t e a c h e r s a r e u s i n g j o u r n a l s , s t u d e n t s may be r e s i s t i n g t h e p r a c t i c e . O f t e n , s t u d e n t s are asked t o s i m u l t a n e o u s l y keep 42 w r i t i n g j o u r n a l s , r e a d i n g j o u r n a l s and even t a l k i n g j o u r n a l s . The p o p u l a r i t y ,of j o u r n a l s i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e . J o u r n a l s do g i v e i n s t r u c t o r s i n s i g h t i n t o s t u d e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s on c l a s s r o o m i n s t r u c t i o n and t h i s i s " f o u n d a t i o n a l f i r s t - o r d e r knowledge we need t o do good work as t e a c h e r s " ( B r o o k f i e l d , 1995, p. 94).. W i t h the i n f o r m a t i o n we r e c e i v e from our s t u d e n t s ' j o u r n a l e n t r i e s , we can m o n i t o r our p r a c t i c e and f o r m u l a t e p l a n s f o r a c t i o n t h a t may improve t h a t p r a c t i c e . 43 CHAPTER THREE Methodology- C h a p t e r Three d e s c r i b e s the conduct o f the r e s e a r c h s t u d y . I t p r o v i d e s i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e c o n t e x t w i t h i n w h i c h t h e r e s e a r c h t o o k p l a c e , d e s c r i b e s t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the s t u d y and p r e s e n t s the pe e r response model chosen f o r use i n t h e s t u d y . S p e c i f i c s o f the s t u d y i n c l u d i n g language t r a i n i n g , t he t e a c h e r ' s r o l e and the f i r s t and subsequent p e e r response s e s s i o n s a re p r e s e n t e d l a t e r i n t h e c h a p t e r . A d i s c u s s i o n of the a n a l y s i s o f t h e d a t a c o n c l u d e s t h e c h a p t e r . The C o n t e x t T h i s s t u d y was u n d e r t a k e n i n a s m a l l u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e i n t h e i n t e r i o r o f B r i t i s h Columbia. F o r a number o f y e a r s t h i s i n s t i t u t i o n , l i k e many o t h e r s i n t h e p r o v i n c e , has been a c t i v e i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n . S t u d e n t s have been r e c r u i t e d from v a r i o u s c o u n t r i e s , m a i n l y Korea, Japan and Taiwan. S i n c e 1985, t h e number o f s t u d e n t s i n t h e E n g l i s h as a Second Language program has s t e a d i l y grown u n t i l c u r r e n t l y t h e r e a r e a p p r o x i m a t e l y 400 hundred s t u d e n t s and 44 2 0 f u l l t i m e ESL i n s t r u c t o r s . Some s t u d e n t s a r e i n Canada t o improve t h e i r E n g l i s h and t o e x p e r i e n c e a n o t h e r c u l t u r e ' and w i l l r e t u r n home a f t e r one o r two sem e s t e r s . O t h e r s a r e p r e p a r i n g f o r academic work i n c e r t i f i c a t e , d i p l o m a o r degree programs i n N o r t h A m e r i c a . Some o f t h e s t u d e n t s have f i n i s h e d degree programs i n t h e i r own c o u n t r i e s , w h i l e many o f t h e s t u d e n t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h o s e from Japan, have completed two y e a r s o f j u n i o r c o l l e g e i n t h e i r home c o u n t r i e s . Most have s t u d i e d E n g l i s h f o r a number of y e a r s i n programs w i t h an emphasis on grammar. An i n c r e a s i n g t r e n d i s becoming e v i d e n t , however, f o r the s t u d e n t s t o have had some " c o n v e r s a t i o n " c l a s s e s a t a p r i v a t e s c h o o l i n Canada o r i n t h e i r n a t i v e c o u n t r y . Placement of S t u d e n t s . S t u d e n t s a t the u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e a r e e n r o l l e d i n a p p r o p r i a t e w r i t i n g c l a s s e s based on t h e i r s c o r e s on a placement exam d e v e l o p e d i n - h o u s e . T h i s placement exam c o n s i s t s o f m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e q u e s t i o n s on v o c a b u l a r y , grammar and r e a d i n g ; a c o m p o s i t i o n ; and an o r a l i n t e r v i e w . . D u r i n g the exam, the s t u d e n t s have f o r t y - f i v e 45 m i n u t es i n wh i c h t o complete a w r i t i n g sample based on t h e prompt g i v e n . The c o m p o s i t i o n i s marked by two e x p e r i e n c e d t e a c h e r s , and i f t h e y a re not i n agreement about placement, a t h i r d i n s t r u c t o r e v a l u a t e s the w r i t i n g sample. The CESL Program. The C o l l e g e E n g l i s h as a Second Language (CESL) program a t the u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e has f i v e l e v e l s . The f i r s t two l e v e l s a r e f o r " h i g h b e g i n n e r " and "low e r i n t e r m e d i a t e " s t u d e n t s , and t h e s e l e v e l s r o u g h l y c o r r e s p o n d t o a 360 - 395 TOEFL s c o r e f o r L e v e l 1 and a 400 t o 450 s c o r e f o r L e v e l 2. S t u d e n t s p l a c e d i n L e v e l 3 a r e c o n s i d e r e d " i n t e r m e d i a t e " s t u d e n t s w i t h a TOEFL e q u i v a l e n c y o f 455-495. L e v e l 4 i s c o n s i d e r e d "upper i n t e r m e d i a t e " o r "lower advanced" w i t h a TOEFL e q u i v a l e n c y of 500-540. L e v e l 5 "advanced" has a TOEFL e q u i v a l e n c y o f 550 t o 575, and c o n s i s t s o f two c o u r s e s - a r e a d i n g and a w r i t i n g c o u r s e ; t h e s e combined form t h e p r e r e q u i s i t e s f o r f i r s t y e a r u n i v e r s i t y c o m p o s i t i o n and l i t e r a t u r e c o u r s e s . The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s s t u d y were "upper i n t e r m e d i a t e / l o w e r advanced" s t u d e n t s of E n g l i s h as a second language. 46 The P a r t i c i p a n t s i n the Res e a r c h The t w e l v e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the s t u d y were s t u d e n t s i n my L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g c l a s s i n the w i n t e r (January t h r o u g h A p r i l ) o f 1997 semester. S t u d e n t s had been p l a c e d i n L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g on t h e b a s i s of t h e i r r e s u l t s on t h e w r i t i n g s e c t i o n o f the placement t e s t , o f c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e L e v e l 3 w r i t i n g c o u r s e and t h e L e v e l 3 grammar c o u r s e b o t h w i t h marks-of 65% o r b e t t e r . W i t h the e x c e p t i o n of. one s t u d e n t , who was t a k i n g t h e L e v e l 3 grammar c l a s s c o n c u r r e n t l y w i t h the L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g , a l l the s t u d e n t s i n my c l a s s had t h e a p p r o p r i a t e p r e r e q u i s i t e s . The p a r t i c i p a n t s were two males and t e n females - a l l o r i g i n a l l y from c o u n t r i e s i n A s i a . T h e i r backgrounds, i n t e r e s t s and s t r e n g t h s v a r i e d c o n s i d e r a b l y . A b r i e f s k e t c h of each o f . t h e s t u d e n t s makes . the heterogeneous n a t u r e of the group e v i d e n t . A l l names i n the s t u d y a r e f i c t i t i o u s . B i l l was from Hong Kong. He had spent f i v e y e a r s s t u d y i n g i n Canadian h i g h s c h o o l s i n b o t h Kamioops and Vancouver. I n i t i a l l y , B i l l ' s f a m i l y had p l a n n e d t o e m i g r a t e from Hong Kong, but B i l l ' s f a t h e r d e v e l o p e d c a n c e r and t h e f a m i l y c o u l d not move t o Canada. I n c l a s s , B i l l was an 47 independent, c h e e r f u l s t u d e n t whose speech was f l u e n t . H i s l i s t e n i n g s k i l l s were a l s o v e r y good. B i l l ' s weaknesses were i n s p e l l i n g , p u n c t u a t i o n and grammar. H i s e s s a y s were always i n t e r e s t i n g and w e l l - o r g a n i z e d but r i d d l e d w i t h e r r o r s . H i s problems i n w r i t i n g were somewhat unique i n t h i s c l a s s . Sukjivan was a l a n d e d immigrant from I n d i a . She was m a r r i e d w i t h t h r e e c h i l d r e n . She had a t t e n d e d c o l l e g e i n I n d i a a l t h o u g h she had not g r a d u a t e d . Her p l e a s a n t n a t u r e and e n t h u s i a s m f o r t h e work made he r an a s s e t t o t h e c l a s s . S u k j i v a n ' s E n g l i s h development was s i m i l a r t o B i l l ' s i n t h a t h e r speech was f l u e n t , and she u n d e r s t o o d c o n v e r s a t i o n a l E n g l i s h . I n w r i t i n g , however, she had some d i f f i c u l t y a v o i d i n g run-on s e n t e n c e s and sentence fragment e r r o r s , and was f a i r l y t y p i c a l o f u n s k i l l e d L I w r i t e r s p r e p a r i n g f o r c o l l e g e programs. The c o n t e n t o f h e r e s s a y s , though, r e f l e c t e d h e r m a t u r i t y and h e r i n t e r e s t i n t h e themes s t u d i e d i n c l a s s . Jaesun was from Korea where she had been w o r k i n g as a t e a c h e r . Her g o a l was t o f i n i s h ESL and t h e n go t o a u n i v e r s i t y i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s t o t r a i n f o r a p o s i t i o n i n 48 t o u r i s m . Upon e n t e r i n g the c l a s s , Jaesun had a good command of t h e E n g l i s h language and had chosen t o t a k e t h e w r i t i n g c o u r s e f o r h e r own i n t e r e s t . When I s u g g e s t e d t o h e r e a r l y i n t h e semester t h a t she move t o L e v e l 5 w r i t i n g , she i n d i c a t e d t h a t she p r e f e r r e d t o remain i n L e v e l 4. A l s o from Korea, Sun was a u n i v e r s i t y g r a d u a t e i n b u s i n e s s . B e f o r e coming t o s t u d y a t the u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e , Sun had been e n r o l l e d a t a p r i v a t e c o l l e g e i n t h e c i t y t o improve h e r c o n v e r s a t i o n a l s k i l l s . A f t e r one semester when she r e a l i z e d she was no l o n g e r l e a r n i n g new v o c a b u l a r y and s t r u c t u r e s , she came t o the u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e . I n h e r p r i o r c o u r s e s , t h e f o c u s had been on c o n v e r s a t i o n , so Sun had not done v e r y much w r i t i n g i n E n g l i s h and i n i t i a l l y was not c e r t a i n t h a t the w r i t i n g c o u r s e would be p a r t i c u l a r l y h e l p f u l . She e n j o y e d , however, "thinking hard about important ideas". A l t h o u g h h e r s y n t a x was v e r y i r r e g u l a r , t h e c o n t e n t o f h e r e s s a y s was always t h o u g h t f u l l y p r e s e n t e d i n an i n t e r e s t i n g manner. Seven of the young women i n t h e c l a s s were from Japan. A l l o f them had been a t the u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e f o r a p p r o x i m a t e l y one y e a r . Yukiko was an e n t h u s i a s t i c s k i 49 b o a r d e r - and c l a s s p a r t i c i p a n t . She t a c k l e d h e r ass i g n m e n t s w i t h energy, a c c e p t e d s u g g e s t i o n s and was a competent w r i t e r . Riyoko, t h e second o f the seven, had been g i v e n p e r m i s s i o n t o t a k e the L e v e l 3 grammar p r e r e q u i s i t e c o n c u r r e n t l y w i t h t h e L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g c l a s s . She was not as c o n f i d e n t a w r i t e r as some of the o t h e r s a l t h o u g h h e r work was c e r t a i n l y a c c e p t a b l e . When h e r ESL program i s f i n i s h e d , R i y o k o w i l l e n r o l l i n the Tourism program. I n Japan, R i y o k o worked as a s e c r e t a r y and saved money t o come t o Canada. She was a v e r y m o t i v a t e d s t u d e n t i n my c l a s s and had a c l e a r g o a l towards w h i c h she was w o r k i n g . L i k e R i y o k o , Kyoko a l s o saved money t o a t t e n d c o l l e g e i n Canada. T h i s summer she r e t u r n e d t o Japan t o work. I f she can save enough f o r t u i t i o n and l i v i n g expenses, she w i l l r e t u r n f o r one more .year and t a k e T o u r i s m c o u r s e s . I n t h i s c o u r s e , Kyoko approached a w r i t i n g t a s k i n much t h e same way as a s k i l l e d n a t i v e speaker would do. She g a t h e r e d i d e a s about h e r t o p i c , wrote d r a f t s , r e - r e a d what she had w r i t t e n , made numerous changes and f i n a l l y , e d i t e d f o r s u r f a c e e r r o r s b e f o r e handing i n h e r e s s a y f o r e v a l u a t i o n . Satoko, a n o t h e r young Japanese woman, had g r a d u a t e d from u n i v e r s i t y and was a l s o p e r c e p t i v e and c a r e f u l i n h e r w r i t t e n a s s i g n m e n t s . Her knowledge o f t h e language was p r e c i s e and h e r work t h o u g h t f u l l y c r a f t e d . Most o f Sat o k o ' s a s s i g n m e n t s were c r e a t i v e i n terms o f c o n t e n t . S y n t a x was s t i l l a t t i m e s d i f f i c u l t f o r her, p a r t i c u l a r l y when she was t r y i n g t o e x p r e s s complex c o n c e p t s . L i k e Satoko, Naomi, t o o , was a c a r e f u l , competent w r i t e r . She p l a n n e d t o remain i n Canada i n o r d e r t o t a k e T o u r i s m c o u r s e s . Naomi had g r a d u a t e d from u n i v e r s i t y i n Japan, and so she worked d i l i g e n t l y a t any t a s k p r e s e n t e d t o her. She was q u i e t and c a r e f u l i n h e r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e work o f t h e c l a s s . Terumi's weakest s u b j e c t , she s a i d , was w r i t i n g . A t the t i m e o f t h e s t u d y , she was i n L e v e l 5 r e a d i n g , c o n c u r r e n t l y w i t h L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g , and h e r r e a d i n g t e a c h e r had n o t e d t h e d i f f i c u l t y she had w r i t i n g about l i t e r a t u r e . Terumi had been a t t h e u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e f o r t h r e e semesters and had p r o g r e s s e d from L e v e l 2 t o L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g i n t h r e e s e m e s t e r s . W h i l e she was a c o n s c i e n t i o u s worker, h e r v o c a b u l a r y was not s u f f i c i e n t l y d e v e l o p e d f o r academic 51 w r i t i n g . C o n s e q u e n t l y , she had problems w i t h a s s i g n m e n t s o t h e r t h a n p e r s o n a l , e x p r e s s i v e w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s . A n o t h e r l e s s p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t , Chie, was t a k i n g L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g f o r a second t i m e . She had not d e v e l o p e d h e r own v o i c e and i n o r d e r t o produce the work she f e l t would p l e a s e t h e t e a c h e r , she used a t h e s a u r u s t o "improve" h e r v o c a b u l a r y . Because she s p r i n k l e d t h e s e n e w l y - f o u n d c o n t e n t words t h r o u g h o u t h e r essay, a t t i m e s h e r s e n t e n c e s were i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e . C h i e had f o r s e v e r a l semesters w r i t t e n m a i n l y e x p r e s s i v e , j o u r n a l e n t r i e s and had r e c e i v e d r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e feedback on h e r w r i t i n g . As a consequence, she found i t d i f f i c u l t t o a c c e p t t h e f a c t t h a t h e r work d i d not meet the s t a n d a r d s e x p e c t e d a t t h i s l e v e l of t h e ESL w r i t i n g program. N o n e t h e l e s s C h i e was h o p i n g t o be a d m i t t e d t o Computer A i d e d D r a f t i n g i n September o f 1997 and, t h e r e f o r e , must complete L e v e l 5 w r i t i n g i n t h e summer. George was a s t u d e n t from Taiwan who began h i s s t u d i e s i n L e v e l 1 ("high b e g i n n e r " ) a t the u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e . George had p r o g r e s s e d s u c c e s s f u l l y from one l e v e l t o a n o t h e r each semester. W h i l e he was t o be commended, he had p r o g r e s s e d almost t o o r a p i d l y , p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r a language 52 program. I n t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s , George had g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y r e a d i n g a l o u d because many words were u n f a m i l i a r t o him. He worked v e r y h a r d t o complete h i s w r i t i n g a s s i g n m e n t s , s y n t h e s i z i n g r e a d i n g he d i d i n t h e l i b r a r y . H i s w r i t i n g , however, d i d not r e s o n a t e w i t h h i s v o i c e . Grace, a n o t h e r Taiwanese s t u d e n t , wrote i n a s i m i l a r manner. I f she needed i n f o r m a t i o n f o r an e s s a y, r a t h e r t h a n use h e r own e x p e r i e n c e , she r e a d i n the l i b r a r y and t h e n i n c o r p o r a t e d t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n i n t o h e r assignment. A g a i n h e r w r i t i n g l a c k e d a sense of v o i c e and f o r t h a t r e a s o n h e r e s s a y s were o f t e n not as w e l l d e v e l o p e d o r c o h e r e n t as I would have l i k e d . There were f o u r o t h e r s t u d e n t s i n t h i s c l a s s , Asako, who was a u d i t i n g and whose a t t e n d a n c e was i r r e g u l a r ; Tom, who r e t u r n e d t o Korea at mid-term; Ho Chung who w i t h d r e w i n o r d e r t o t r a v e l ; and Nao who was not w e l l f o r a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t o f t h e l a s t month of c l a s s . These f o u r s t u d e n t s were not i n c l u d e d i n the r e s e a r c h . For t h i s s t u d y , t h e t w e l v e s t u d e n t s d e s c r i b e d above, th o s e who p a r t i c i p a t e d f a i t h f u l l y i n t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s , c o n s t i t u t e d t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s . 53 The Course The L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g c o u r s e , (CESL 048) e n t i t l e d "Advanced C o m p o s i t i o n S k i l l s " i s based on the c o u r s e o u t l i n e approved by t h e E d u c a t i o n a l P o l i c y and P l a n n i n g Review committee a t the u n i v e r s i t y c o l l e g e . The g o a l o f t h e c o u r s e i s t o a s s i s t s t u d e n t s t o demonstrate t h e i r a b i l i t y t o w r i t e w e l l - o r g a n i z e d , t h o u g h t f u l c o m p o s i t i o n s o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y f i v e hundred words i n l e n g t h , i n r e a d i n e s s f o r t h e c o m p o s i t i o n c o u r s e i n L e v e l 5. The c o u r s e i s s i x t y hours l o n g s p a n n i n g a t w e l v e week p e r i o d . Course o b j e c t i v e s a r e more d e t a i l e d and o u t l i n e f o r t h e s t u d e n t s what i n s t r u c t o r s want them t o a c h i e v e . A t t e n t i o n i s d i r e c t e d t o i n c r e a s i n g c o n t r o l o v e r grammar i n E n g l i s h , i m p r o v i n g v o c a b u l a r y and u s i n g a v a r i e t y o f s e n t e n c e p a t t e r n s t o e x p r e s s complex i d e a s . Techniques such as f r e e w r i t i n g and b r a i n s t o r m i n g a r e p r a c t i s e d . The main emphasis of t h e c o u r s e i s on d e v e l o p i n g a l o g i c a l c o h e r e n t e s s a y w i t h a t h e s i s and w i t h adequate s u p p o r t i n g d e t a i l . The c o u r s e o u t l i n e f o r CESL 048 becomes the i n s t r u c t o r ' s c o n t r a c t w i t h the s t u d e n t s , and t e a c h e r s o f CESL 048 a r e o b l i g e d t o f o l l o w t h i s document. W i t h i n t h e s e 54 pa r a m e t e r s , however, t h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e freedom; t e a c h e r s choose t h e i r own t e x t s , f o r example, and s e l e c t approaches t o t h e t e a c h i n g o f w r i t i n g w hich a r e c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e i r v a l u e s and b e l i e f s . The C l a s s I n t h e w i n t e r semester, I t a u g h t CESL 048 s e c t i o n 03. Fo r t h i s c o u r s e , I chose t o use the t e x t , Communication and C u l t u r e (Gregg, 1993). The a u t h o r d e s c r i b e s t h e t e x t as f o l l o w s : The t e x t . . . i n t e g r a t e s r e a d i n g , w r i t i n g , and composing s k i l l s w i t h r i c h c o n t e n t m a t e r i a l from a well-known freshman a n t h r o p o l o g y t e x t b o o k . The b r o a d s u b j e c t o f human c u l t u r e has p r o v e d s t i m u l a t i n g t o b o t h s t u d e n t s and i n s t r u c t o r s , and i t p r o v i d e s a u s e f u l s p r i n g b o a r d f o r - c l a s s r o o m d i s c u s s i o n and c o l l e g e - l e v e l e x p o s i t o r y w r i t i n g (p. v i i ) . F o r each c h a p t e r i n t h e t e x t t h e r e i s a r e a d i n g s e l e c t i o n on a s p e c i f i c theme r e l a t e d t o c u l t u r e , a f o c u s on v o c a b u l a r y ; sentence l e v e l w r i t i n g e x e r c i s e s such as se n t e n c e c o m b i n i n g ; s m a l l group a s s i g n m e n t s ; and a s e c t i o n d e a l i n g w i t h a s p e c t s o f c o m p o s i t i o n development. I supplemented t h e t e x t where n e c e s s a r y w i t h m a t e r i a l s t o a s s i s t s t u d e n t s w i t h a s p e c t s o f w r i t i n g t h a t were 55 p r o b l e m a t i c f o r them. O f t e n t h e s e m a t e r i a l s were d e s i g n e d t o h e l p them p r a c t i s e d i f f i c u l t g r a m m a t i c a l p a t t e r n s o r t o p r e s e n t a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n on the theme o f t h e p a r t i c u l a r c h a p t e r under s t u d y . A t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f the semester s t u d e n t s were g i v e n an o v e r v i e w o f the c o u r s e o u t l i n i n g my e x p e c t a t i o n s and assig n m e n t s t h e y were r e q u i r e d t o complete. The f o c u s o f the c o u r s e was on the essay. F o r each o f the f i v e c h a p t e r s c o v e r e d d u r i n g t h e semester, s t u d e n t s were r e q u i r e d t o w r i t e an e s s a y o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y f i v e hundred words on t h e theme o f the c h a p t e r b e i n g s t u d i e d . Themes a r e " C u l t u r e and Human B e h a v i o u r " i n Chapter 1 and " C u l t u r e and Food H a b i t s " i n Ch a p t e r 2. Themes o f t h e next t h r e e c h a p t e r s a r e r e p r o d u c t i o n and f a m i l y , a . c r o s s c u l t u r a l v i e w o f economics and t h e c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n i n g o f t i m e . C o m p o s i t i o n t o p i c s a r e g i v e n i n t h e t e x t ; however, s t u d e n t s were p e r m i t t e d t o w r i t e on any a s p e c t o f t h e theme wh i c h was o f p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t t o them. The o n l y r e q u i r e m e n t was t h a t t h e y s e c u r e d my a p p r o v a l o f t h e t o p i c s e l e c t e d . The es s a y s were p r e p a r e d m a i n l y a t home w h i l e b r a i n s t o r m i n g , o u t l i n i n g , f r e e w r i t i n g and d i s c u s s i o n s o f t h e r e a d i n g s e l e c t i o n s p e r t a i n i n g t o t h e themes were a c t i v i t i e s c onducted w i t h t h e whole c l a s s . 56 I n a d d i t i o n t o e s s a y s , s t u d e n t s were r e q u i r e d t o w r i t e j o u r n a l e n t r i e s once e v e r y two weeks. These e n t r i e s were t o d e s c r i b e and t h e n r e f l e c t upon an e x p e r i e n c e from s t u d e n t s ' d a i l y l i v e s . F o r c e r t a i n e n t r i e s , t h e s t u d e n t s were d i r e c t e d t o r e f l e c t upon t h e i r c o u r s e work, th e c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t i e s and the p r o g r e s s t h e y were making i n t h e i r w r i t i n g . The j o u r n a l e n t r i e s were not marked f o r s p e l l i n g , grammar o r p u n c t u a t i o n . I r e a d and responded t o t h e e n t r i e s , a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s , s u g g e s t i n g r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l , e n c o u r a g i n g f u r t h e r r e f l e c t i o n . S t u d e n t s r e c e i v e d a mark of 5 out o f 5 i f t h e y completed t h e t a s k w i t h e v i d e n c e o f c a r e and a t t e n t i o n . No s t u d e n t r e c e i v e d a mark of l e s s t h a n 3.5 out o f 5 u n l e s s t h e j o u r n a l was not handed i n . The mark t h e n was 0. P a s t Approaches t o R e v i s i o n I n p r e v i o u s semesters I had approached r e v i s i o n p r i m a r i l y t h r o u g h t e a c h e r - s t u d e n t c o n f e r e n c e s . S t u d e n t s brought t h e i r d r a f t s t o i n d i v i d u a l c o n f e r e n c e s a t a p p o i n t e d t i m e s , and t o g e t h e r we d i s c u s s e d i s s u e s o f meaning, o r g a n i z a t i o n , coherence, adequate development of i d e a s and a c l e a r f o c u s f o r the c o m p o s i t i o n . Some a t t e n t i o n was g i v e n 57 t o s e n t e n c e s t r u c t u r e and grammar, p a r t i c u l a r l y when such problems o b f u s c a t e d the meaning t h e s t u d e n t w i s h e d t o convey. I n c l a s s , f o r r e v i s i o n purposes I had p r e v i o u s l y g i v e n s t u d e n t s prompt s h e e t s which d i r e c t e d a t t e n t i o n t o b o t h c o n t e n t and mechanics so t h a t s t u d e n t s were h e l p e d t o s e l f c o r r e c t t h e i r e s s a y s . When t h i s c l a s s a c t i v i t y was t a k i n g p l a c e , I m o n i t o r e d i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s ' p r o g r e s s . At t i m e s i n t h e p a s t , I had used p e e r r e s p o n s e groups t o h e l p s t u d e n t s work t o g e t h e r t o e v a l u a t e each o t h e r ' s w r i t i n g , but not w i t h any c o n s i s t e n c y o r s a t i s f a c t i o n . W h i l e t h e t h e o r y i n s u p p o r t o f p e e r response groups i n second language c l a s s r o o m s i s s u b s t a n t i v e , (Samway, 1993; M i t t a n , 1989; Urzua, 1987; M a n g e l s d o r f and Schlumberger, 1992), I had found managing such groups p r o b l e m a t i c . Problems o f o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t e n undermined t h e p o t e n t i a l v a l u e . F i r s t o f a l l , I found i t d i f f i c u l t t o group s t u d e n t s i n t o p r o d u c t i v e u n i t s . My w r i t i n g c l a s s e s had been g e n e r a l l y composed of s t u d e n t s from many language backgrounds, who p o s s e s s e d v a r y i n g degrees of f a c i l i t y w i t h E n g l i s h . I n a d d i t i o n , t h e y brought t o w r i t i n g groups t h e i r d i v e r s e p e r s o n a l i t i e s and t h e i r d i f f e r i n g a t t i t u d e s t oward w o r k i n g i n groups. W h i l e many s t u d e n t s were c o m f o r t a b l e 58 w i t h group work, some were r e l u c t a n t t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e p r o c e s s and one o r two even e x h i b i t e d o u t r i g h t r e s i s t a n c e . A second p r o b l e m I e x p e r i e n c e d u s i n g peer response groups was t h a t dominant s t u d e n t s tended t o d i r e c t t h e p r o c e e d i n g s and shy, q u i e t s t u d e n t s p a r t i c i p a t e d v e r y l i t t l e . The l a c k o f commitment on the p a r t o f s t u d e n t s posed y e t a n o t h e r problem. Some of the s t u d e n t s a r r i v e d u n p r e p a r e d t o c o n t r i b u t e t o group s e s s i o n s o r were absent w i t h o u t good r e a s o n on t h e day o f t h e pe e r response s e s s i o n . The l a c k o f commitment t o t h e o t h e r members of the pe e r response group r e n d e r e d t h e group i n e f f e c t i v e o r a t l e a s t l i m i t e d what c o u l d be a c h i e v e d . I n s p i t e o f t h e s e problems which a r e a l s o documented i n the r e s e a r c h ( B e l l , 1991; M i t t a n , 1989), p e e r r e s p o n s e groups s t i l l a p p e a l e d t o me. F i r s t , i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e on communicative language t e a c h i n g (Savignon, 1994; Coelho, 1992), t h e use o f groups i s encouraged. The i n t e r a c t i o n w h i c h t a k e s p l a c e has been found t o a i d i n language a c q u i s i t i o n . C o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g t h e o r y a l s o a d v o c a t e s t h e use o f groups f o r improved s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , academic achievement, i n c r e a s e d m o t i v a t i o n , among o t h e r b e n e f i t s . (Kagan, 1989/1990; McGroarty, 1989; M c D o n e l l , 1992.) L a s t 59 semester, t h e r e f o r e , when one of my c o l l e a g u e s r e p o r t e d t h e s u c c e s s she had had w i t h p e e r response groups based on a v i d e o a v a i l a b l e i n our u n i v e r s i t y - c o l l e g e l i b r a r y , I was i n t e r e s t e d . T h i s v i d e o a l s o has been used by t h e u n i v e r s i t y i n s t r u c t o r s from whom she l e a r n e d o f i t , and she t r i e d t h e a pproach t o p e e r response s e s s i o n s d emonstrated on t h e v i d e o w i t h h e r L e v e l 3 w r i t i n g s t u d e n t s . She was amazed a t comments she heard. F o r i n s t a n c e , s t u d e n t s i n h e r c l a s s n o t e d t h e r e p e t i t i o n o f p a r t i c u l a r words i n t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s ' w r i t i n g as t h e y l i s t e n e d t o t h e e s s a y s b e i n g r e a d a l o u d . Encouraged, I d e t e r m i n e d t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e v i d e o , d e s c r i b e d i n f u l l below, and a f t e r d o i n g so, d e c i d e d t o use t h i s model of p e e r response s e s s i o n s w i t h my w r i t i n g s t u d e n t s d u r i n g the F a l l 1996 semester. The p r o c e d u r e seemed t o work r e a s o n a b l y w e l l , but due t o p r e s s u r e o f t i m e , I managed o n l y one s e s s i o n . I t was i n t e r e s t i n g f o r me t o n o t e , though, t h a t a t t h e end o f t h e semester, i n a d i s c u s s i o n o f a c t i v i t i e s the s t u d e n t s f e l t had been u s e f u l , s e v e r a l s t a t e d t h a t t h e y had wanted t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e p e e r r e v i e w s e s s i o n s more f r e q u e n t l y . C o n s e q u e n t l y , f o r t h e w i n t e r semester w i t h CESL 048-03, I p r e p a r e d t o have p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s based on the v i d e o p r e s e n t a t i o n . 6 0 The Peer Response Model In t h e w i n t e r semester of 1997, f o r t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e work, I used as a model the v i d e o e n t i t l e d Student W r i t i n g Groups: D e m o n s t r a t i n g t h e - P r o c e s s (1988). The p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n on t h e v i d e o i s based on "the t e a c h e r l e s s w r i t i n g c l a s s " d e s c r i b e d i n W r i t i n g Without Teachers (Elbow, 1973). Elbow d e s c r i b e s the t e a c h e r l e s s w r i t i n g c l a s s as f o l l o w s : I t t r i e s t o t a k e you out of da r k n e s s and s i l e n c e . I t i s a c l a s s o f seven t o t w e l v e p e o p l e . I t meets a t . l e a s t once a week. Everyone t r i e s t o g i v e each w r i t e r a sense o f how h i s words were e x p e r i e n c e d . The g o a l i s f o r t h e w r i t e r t o come as c l o s e as p o s s i b l e t o b e i n g a b l e t o see and e x p e r i e n c e h i s own words t h r o u g h seven o r e i g h t p e o p l e . That's a l l (p. 77). The p e e r response group i n t h e v i d e o c o n s i s t s o f f o u r members. The group demonstrates t h e p r o c e s s to' a group o f s t u d e n t s and t o us, t h e v i d e o a u d i e n c e . F i r s t , t h e group member rea d s h e r e s s a y t h r o u g h from b e g i n n i n g t o end w h i l e the o t h e r s a t t e n t i v e l y l i s t e n . D u r i n g t h e f i r s t r e a d i n g , no one i n t h e group t a k e s n o t e s . Once t h e f i r s t r e a d i n g i s complete, t h o s e who have been l i s t e n i n g t a k e t h e time t o w r i t e one o r two se n t e n c e s which s t a t e t h e i r g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n of t h e e s s a y as t h e y have u n d e r s t o o d i t . A t t h i s p o i n t , i f t h e r e a d e r / a u t h o r has n o t i c e d a n y t h i n g i n h i s / h e r 61 t e x t t h a t might need t o be changed l a t e r , he/she s h o u l d j o t i t down. Then, the same es s a y i s r e a d a second t i m e . D u r i n g t h i s r e a d i n g , t h e o t h e r t h r e e group members " w r i t e c o n s t a n t l y n o t i n g s p e c i f i c r e s p o n s e s " (Elbow, p.9) I t i s h e l p f u l i f s t u d e n t s note key words under t h r e e columns as shown: f e a t u r e s t h e y l i k e , t h i n g s t h a t do not "work" f o r them.and a r e a s o f c o n f u s i o n ( F i g u r e 3.1). + - ? F i g u r e 3.1. Sample of n o t e s t a k e n d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n . A f t e r t h e second r e a d i n g , the group members comment o r a l l y on t h e n o t e s t h e y have t a k e n . The a u t h o r / r e a d e r l i s t e n s t o and w r i t e s down a l l comments, p o s i t i v e as w e l l as t h o s e t h a t suggest p o s s i b l e r e v i s i o n s . L a t e r , when t h e a u t h o r s i t s down t o r e v i s e the t e x t , d e c i s i o n s can be made r e g a r d i n g w h i c h comments t o a c t upon and wh i c h comments t o 62 s e t a s i d e . I n t h i s model i t i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t d u r i n g t h e o r a l f eedback p a r t o f the p r o c e s s , the a u t h o r not c o n v e r s e w i t h t h e o t h e r group members. I t i s v e r y t e m p t i n g t o e x p l a i n o r de f e n d t h e w r i t i n g but the a u t h o r ' s t a s k i s t o l i s t e n and t a k e n o t e s f o r r e v i s i o n (Elbow, 1973). Once a l l t h r e e l i s t e n e r s have r e p o r t e d o r a l l y t o the a u t h o r , i t i s th e n t h e nex t s t u d e n t ' s t u r n t o p r e s e n t h i s / h e r w r i t i n g f o r re s p o n s e . Reasons f o r Choosing the Model. As I p r e p a r e d t o implement p e e r response s e s s i o n s as an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f my c l a s s r o o m p r a c t i c e i n the w i n t e r semester, my e x p e r i e n c e as a w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t o r and my r e a d i n g o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e combined t o r e i n f o r c e t he d e c i s i o n t o use t h e o r a l model o f pe e r response groups i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h e v i d e o . As a w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t o r , I have o f t e n asked s t u d e n t s t o r e a d a l o u d t h e i r d r a f t s d u r i n g t h e s t u d e n t - t e a c h e r c o n f e r e n c e s about t h e i r w r i t i n g . When t h e y d i d so, i t was as i f t h e y saw t h e i r w r i t i n g i n a new l i g h t , a t a d i s t a n c e from t h e m s e l v e s - o b j e c t i f i e d (Zamel, 1983). When t h e y stumbled o v e r a word o r l o o k e d p u z z l e d a t t h e end o f a se n t e n c e , t h e y were i n d i c a t i n g an awareness of a problem - u n c o n s c i o u s p e r h a p s - 63 t o w h i c h I , as the t e a c h e r , drew t h e i r a t t e n t i o n . O f t e n w r i t e r s e f f e c t e d t h e i r own r e p a i r s a t t h i s p o i n t . My e x p e r i e n c e was echoed i n Freedman's s t u d y o f p e e r r e s p o n s e groups i n an L I s e t t i n g . The t e a c h e r s t r u c t u r e d t h e s e s s i o n s so t h a t s t u d e n t s r e a d t h e i r work a l o u d , e x p l a i n i n g , " I want k i d s t o HEAR t h e i r own w r i t i n g " ( D iPardo and Freedman, 1988 p.135). The a u t h o r s l i n k e d t h e v a l u e o f r e a d i n g a l o u d t o V y g o t s k y ' s v i e w s o f speech, a " s e l f - m o n i t o r i n g , o r t h i n k i n g a l o u d which i s i n t e r m e d i a t e between p u b l i c u t t e r a n c e s and i n n e r speech" (Vygotsky 1986, p.94). I n a d d i t i o n t o the b e n e f i t s o f s t u d e n t s h e a r i n g t h e i r work, o r a l / a u r a l i n t e r a c t i o n d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s i s a l s o an e f f i c i e n t means of p r o v i d i n g feedback, much more e f f i c i e n t i n terms o f time t h a n s t u d e n t - t e a c h e r c o n f e r e n c e s o r w r i t t e n feedback from t h e i n s t r u c t o r s . I a l s o chose t h i s model because the groups do not use w r i t t e n prompts t o g u i d e t h e r e v i s i o n p r o c e s s even though some i n s t r u c t o r s f i n d t h a t response s h e e t s a r e h e l p f u l i n s t r u c t u r i n g p e e r response (Freedman, 1992; M i t t a n , 1989) . W i t h group work i n t h e p a s t , however, I have found t h a t i f s t u d e n t s were g i v e n a sheet t o f i l l o u t , t h e sheet became 64 t h e f o c u s o f t h e group's a c t i v i t y . F o r s t u d e n t s who were used t o w o r k i n g i n d i v i d u a l l y , the t e m p t a t i o n t o i s o l a t e t h e m s e l v e s w i t h t h e i r sheet t o f i l l i n was v e r y i n v i t i n g . I n a d d i t i o n , i f s t u d e n t s had c o p i e s o f each o t h e r ' s e s s a y s , t h e t y p e s o f r e v i s i o n s d i s c u s s e d and c o n s e q u e n t l y t h e t y p e s o f r e v i s i o n s t h e y made, were more l i k e l y t o f o c u s on form r a t h e r t h a n on c o n t e n t (Hedgcock and L e f k o w i t z , 1992, p.260). I n my c l a s s r o o m response s e s s i o n s , I wanted s t u d e n t s ' a t t e n t i o n d i r e c t e d t o more g l o b a l m a t t e r s o f c o n t e n t and o r g a n i z a t i o n w i t h a t t e n t i o n t o form d e l a y e d u n t i l t h e e d i t i n g o f the f i n a l d r a f t . My c o n c e r n f o r the f o c u s on o r a l p e e r feedback r a t h e r t h a n on w r i t t e n feedback u s i n g a r e v i s i o n sheet stems a l s o from my ' i n t u i t i o n ' t h a t language a c q u i s i t i o n r e q u i r e s t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f s p e a k i n g , l i s t e n i n g , r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g ( M a n g l e s d o r f , 1989). My r e a d i n g i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f p e e r response groups c o n f i r m s t h a t i n t u i t i o n . I n I n Other Words f o r example, B i a l y s t o k and Hakuta (1994), emphasize the r o l e of s o c i e t y i n i n t e g r a t i n g speech and t h o u g h t : A l t h o u g h language, thought and a c t i o n a r e d i s t i n c t p s y c h o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n s t h a t (as f a r as we can read. 65 V y g o t s k y ' s t h e o r y ) might as w e l l be i n n a t e , t h e r o l e o f s o c i e t y was t o b r i n g about t h e i r i n t e g r a t i o n and t h u s make p o s s i b l e the c r e a t i o n o f new l e v e l s o f t h i n k i n g , (p.183) The p e e r response group as s t r u c t u r e d i n t h e model I adopted was a " s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n b r i n g i n g t o g e t h e r " (p.183) language (peer t a l k ) , thought ( w r i t i n g made p u b l i c ) and a c t i o n ( r e v i s i n g ) t o make i t p o s s i b l e f o r the group members t o c r e a t e new l e v e l s o f t h i n k i n g . Moreover, o r a l feedback i n the w r i t i n g c l a s s i s i m p o r t a n t f o r y e t a n o t h e r r e a s o n . Peer response groups i n wh i c h t h e f o c u s i s on s p e a k i n g about w r i t i n g g i v e s t u d e n t s f u r t h e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r p r a c t i c e i n t h e t a r g e t language f o r n e g o t i a t i o n of meaning (Manglesdorf, 1989). "The v o i c e s t h a t speak i n t h e c l a s s r o o m can empower t h e v o i c e s s t r u g g l i n g t o be h e a r d i n t h e pape r s " (p.134). The s p e a k i n g v o i c e s p r o v i d e a c r u c i a l d i m e n s i o n i n i n t e g r a t i n g t h e v o i c e o f t h e thought w i t h the v o i c e o f the w r i t i n g . A n o t h e r r e a s o n f o r c h o o s i n g t o use an o r a l / a u r a l model of p e e r response s e s s i o n s was t o c r e a t e a c o n t e x t where groups c o u l d f u n c t i o n i n a semi-autonomous way. A l t h o u g h s t u d e n t s a r e under the a u t h o r i t y o f t h e t e a c h e r and need a p a s s i n g grade t o p r o g r e s s t o the next l e v e l , t e a c h e r s need 66 t o r e m a i n aware t h a t s t u d e n t s need encouragement and a sense of c o n t r o l as much as p o s s i b l e (Gere, 1987; Myers, 1990). A s k i n g s t u d e n t s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s w i t h o u t d i r e c t i n g t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s w i t h a r e v i s i o n s h e e t , I hoped, would h e l p s t u d e n t s t o f e e l i n c o n t r o l o f t h e a c t i v i t y . Conduct of t h e Study When the f i r s t e s s a y was a s s i g n e d i n t h e w i n t e r semester, s t u d e n t s were made aware t h a t p e e r response s e s s i o n s would be a f e a t u r e of the c l a s s . They were a l e r t e d t o t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y were o b l i g e d t o come w i t h a d r a f t o f t h e i r f i r s t e s s a y t o r e a d a l o u d i n p e e r response groups. The f i r s t e s s a y t h a t s t u d e n t s were a s s i g n e d i n CESL 048 was based on one o f t h e f o l l o w i n g prompts. 1. The w e l l known a n t h r o p o l o g i s t M argaret Mead s t a t e d t h a t the c u l t u r e o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s does not v a l u e h i g h l y p e o p l e who a r e aged s i x t y - f i v e and o l d e r . Yet a c c o r d i n g t o Mead, many e l d e r l y p e o p l e have t h e wisdom, energy, and i n t e r e s t i n l i f e t o make s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e i r f a m i l i e s , n e i ghborhoods, and l a r g e r communities. Compose an e s s a y o f about 500 words i n w h i c h you s u p p o r t Mead's view. Use as y o u r i l l u s t r a t i o n an a c t u a l o l d e r p e r s o n whom you p e r s o n a l l y know. P r o v i d e some i n t r o d u c t o r y p h y s i c a l d e t a i l s t o b r i n g t h i s p e r s o n t o l i f e f o r y o u r r e a d e r . 67 P r e s e n t some of h i s o r h e r most a d m i r a b l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and/or a c t i o n s . Compose a s u i t a b l e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t r e s t a t e s y o u r i d e a on t h e t o p i c i n a d i f f e r e n t way from y o u r i n t r o d u c t i o n . 2. At c e r t a i n t i m e s i n our l i v e s we come under t h e i n f l u e n c e o f a p e r s o n who a f f e c t s us i n i m p o r t a n t and b e n e f i c i a l ways. W r i t e an e s s a y o f 400-500 words i n which you i d e n t i f y such a p e r s o n i n y o u r own l i f e . E x p l a i n how t h a t p e r s o n came t o i n f l u e n c e y o u r l i f e . G i v e a c l e a r and d e t a i l e d i l l u s t r a t i o n o f a s p e c i f i c change o r s p e c i f i c c h a n g e ( s ) ' t h a t r e s u l t e d because of t h a t p e r s o n ' s i n f l u e n c e on you (Gregg, 1993. pp. 26-27). These t o p i c s a r e p o p u l a r w i t h the s t u d e n t s and a r e g e n e r a l l y w e l l p r e s e n t e d . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h i s was a good e s s a y w i t h w h i c h t o b e g i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s . Language T r a i n i n g . I n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h e f i r s t p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n , s t u d e n t s d i s c u s s e d s u i t a b l e language t o use i n t h e i r comments about f e a t u r e s t h a t were p u z z l i n g o r p r o b l e m a t i c i n group members' c o m p o s i t i o n s . From th e v i d e o , s t u d e n t s t r a n s c r i b e d the a p p r o p r i a t e f a c i l i t a t i v e p h r a s e s ( F i g u r e 3.2) and c r e a t e d o t h e r s t h e y f e l t would be h e l p f u l . 68 " I was wondering..." "That doesn't work f o r me..." "I t h i n k . . . " " I am c o n f u s e d about..." " I don't u n d e r s t a n d what you mean when...." " I was w o r r i e d about..." F i g u r e 3.2. F a c i l i t a t i v e p h r a s e s i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s . As t h e l i s t o f i n t r o d u c t o r y p h r a s e s i l l u s t r a t e s , s t u d e n t s were encouraged t o use " I " s t a t e m e n t s i n t h e i r f eedback t o w r i t e r s and t o a v o i d the modal a u x i l i a r i e s " s h o u l d " , "must", "need t o " and "have t o " s i n c e t h e s e modals i n d i c a t e o b l i g a t i o n and c o m p u l s i o n , and g i v e a u t h o r i t y t o the s p e a k e r . S t u d e n t s a l s o were c a u t i o n e d a g a i n s t u s i n g t h e modals w h i c h e x p r e s s p r o h i b i t i o n : "can n o t " , may n o t " , "are not a l l o w e d t o " , " s h o u l d n o t " , "had b e t t e r n o t " (Leech and S v a r t v i k , 1975 p. 143-145). C o n s e q u e n t l y , s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h would not be deemed a p p r o p r i a t e i n the c o n t e x t o f peer response s e s s i o n s i n c l u d e , among o t h e r s , t h o s e l i s t e d below ( F i g . 3.3). These i n t r o d u c t o r y p h r a s e s a l l b e g i n w i t h 'you', u n l i k e t h o s e i n 69 F i g . 3.2 w h i c h b e g i n w i t h ' I ' , and t h e y i n c l u d e modals t h a t c a r r y o b l i g a t i o n t h e r e b y g i v i n g t h e s p e a k e r t h e command i n t h e i n t e r a c t i o n . "You s h o u l d have more..." "You have t o change..." "You cannot use t h a t . . . " F i g u r e 3.3. I n h i b i t i n g p h r a s e s i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s . A d i s c u s s i o n of s u i t a b l e language i s e s s e n t i a l b e f o r e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s b e g i n ; my p a s t e x p e r i e n c e and t h e r e s e a r c h have r e v e a l e d t h e r e l u c t a n c e of b o t h f i r s t and second language s t u d e n t s t o o f f e r n e g a t i v e e v a l u a t i o n s t o t h e i r , c l a s s m a t e s (Freedman, 1992). However, i f s t u d e n t s have ways of b e i n g " g r a c i o u s , c o u r t e o u s and g e n t l e " w i t h each o t h e r (Zander, 1983, p. 7 i n Carson and N e l s o n , 1994, p. 2 3 ) , t h e y w i l l f e e l l e s s u n c o m f o r t a b l e and v e n t u r e t o comment on n e g a t i v e f e a t u r e s of the t e x t s b e i n g s h a r e d . The Teacher's R o l e . I n t h e peer response s e s s i o n s , I d e s i r e d t h a t t h e groups be as autonomous as p o s s i b l e . I n 70 k e e p i n g w i t h my g o a l o f s t u d e n t autonomy, I encouraged s t u d e n t s t o form t h e i r own groups. Because s t u d e n t s , however, seemed r e l u c t a n t t o do so, I p l a c e d s t u d e n t s i n groups t a k i n g i n t o account i s s u e s of gender and language background. S i n c e I knew l i t t l e about s t u d e n t s ' w r i t i n g a b i l i t i e s when I met them a t the b e g i n n i n g o f t h e semester, t h e i r w r i t i n g s k i l l was not a f a c t o r i n t h e c r e a t i o n o f t h e i n i t i a l g roups. P a r t i c u l a r l y a t t h e b e g i n n i n g of the semester, I m o n i t o r e d group work d u r i n g the pe e r response s e s s i o n s , m a i n l y t o a s s i s t s t u d e n t s i n f o l l o w i n g t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e t a s k . O f t e n a t f i r s t , s t u d e n t s f o r g o t t o t a k e a moment o r two a f t e r t h e f i r s t r e a d i n g t o j o t down a b r i e f g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n o f the e s s a y which had been r e a d . At t i m e s t h e r e a d e r f o r g o t t h a t he/she was not t o de f e n d t h e e s s a y but s i m p l y t o note how t h e w r i t i n g a f f e c t e d t h o s e who l i s t e n e d . F i n a l l y , I m o n i t o r e d the language s t u d e n t s used when g i v i n g t h e i r group members feedback on w r i t i n g . M o n i t o r i n g t h e language was p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e semester when pe e r response was new, and s t u d e n t s were u n f a m i l i a r w i t h p o l i t e ways t o make what might have seemed 71 t o them rude, n e g a t i v e remarks about the work t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s had done. Most i m p o r t a n t , though, my r o l e was t o encourage s t u d e n t s ' commitment t o t h e i r r esponse groups. T h i s I s t r o v e t o a c h i e v e by a t t e m p t i n g t o convey my b e l i e f i n t h e s t u d e n t s ' a b i l i t y t o g e n e r a t e knowledge t h r o u g h i n t e r a c t i o n i n t h e group. I f e l t t h a t i f I c o u l d convey t o them t h a t knowledge i s "a s o c i a l a r t i f a c t e s t a b l i s h e d and m a i n t a i n e d t h r o u g h normal d i s c o u r s e " ( B r u f f e e , 1986, p. 648), t h e n t h e s t u d e n t s would a l s o r e a l i z e t h a t the t e a c h e r ' s a u t h o r i t y l a y not i n " g o d l i n e s s , n e a rness t o t h e mind of God", as i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l v i e w ( B r u f f e e , 1986 p. 649) but i n h i s o r h e r membership i n an e s t a b l i s h e d community of p r o f i c i e n t w r i t e r s o f E n g l i s h . The F i r s t Peer Response S e s s i o n . S t u d e n t s a r r i v e d w i t h c o m pleted d r a f t s and were p l a c e d i n p e e r response groups. The c l a s s r o o m we were i n was l a r g e w i t h movable d e s k / t a b l e s , and t h e groups were a b l e t o s p r e a d out i n t o d i f f e r e n t p a r t s of t h e room. Many of t h e s t u d e n t s were v e r y a n x i o u s , and l a u g h e d and c h a t t e d n e r v o u s l y w h i l e s e a t i n g arrangements 72 were b e i n g made. B e f o r e s t u d e n t s a c t u a l l y began t o r e a d , we q u i c k l y r e v i e w e d the s t r u c t u r e o f the t a s k and t h e s u g g e s t i o n s f o r language use, and I made n o t e s on t h e b l a c k b o a r d o f a p p r o p r i a t e f a c i l i t a t i v e p h r a s e s ( F i g u r e 3.2). Then i t was time t o . r e a d . Groups d e t e r m i n e d who would go f i r s t . I n some cases a group member was eager t o r e a d t o "get i t o v e r w i t h " . I n o t h e r groups, s t u d e n t s p l a y e d t h e c h i l d r e n ' s game "paper, s c i s s o r s , s t o n e " o r t o s s e d a c o i n t o de t e r m i n e t h e l e a d p a r t i c i p a n t . Then t h e r e a d i n g began. My t a s k a t t h a t p o i n t , as I saw i t , was t o m o n i t o r p r o c e d u r e and language and t o encourage s t u d e n t s where n e c e s s a r y . Because t h i s t a s k was so s t r u c t u r e d , and i t was amply c l e a r how and when each s t u d e n t was t o p a r t i c i p a t e , t h e r e was l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y w i t h d o m i n a t i o n by one s t u d e n t of t h e group. S i m i l a r l y , t h e shy s t u d e n t s who were o f t e n p a s s e d o v e r i n whole c l a s s a c t i v i t i e s were r e q u i r e d t o make some c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the response s e s s i o n s . I d i d need t o m o n i t o r language use, however. One p a r t i c u l a r l y v o c a l s t u d e n t i n the e n t h u s i a s m o f t h e moment had many s u g g e s t i o n s t o make, a l l o f whi c h were p h r a s e d as 73 s t a t e m e n t s o f o b l i g a t i o n and c o m p u l s i o n , "You have t o . . . " , f o r example. I remained w i t h t h i s group f o r a few minutes and reminded t h e s t u d e n t t o use t h e p h r a s e s on t h e board, c o a c h i n g him when n e c e s s a r y . The exchange was good humored, and t h i s i n d i v i d u a l was q u i c k l y s e l f - c o r r e c t i n g . L a t e r , whenever he s l i p p e d i n t o the o l d p a t t e r n , he was reminded by the o t h e r group members t o r e - p h r a s e h i s comments a p p r o p r i a t e l y . I t was a l s o n e c e s s a r y w i t h one group t o remind t h e members t h a t t h e y were t o g i v e g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n s a f t e r t h e f i r s t r e a d i n g , and t h e n t h e a u t h o r was t o r e a d h i s / h e r e s s a y a second t i m e . F i n a l l y , I remained a v a i l a b l e t o answer q u e s t i o n s and t o encourage s t u d e n t s as t h e y completed t h e t a s k . One s t u d e n t , f o r example, was q u i t e p u z z l e d when she r e a l i z e d h e r e s s a y was d i f f e r e n t from t h e e s s a y s o f t h e o t h e r s i n h e r group. She was c o n v i n c e d she had not done t h e assignment p r o p e r l y . B e f o r e she c o u l d c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e t a s k a t hand, she needed r e a s s u r a n c e t h a t no two e s s a y s , even on t h e same t o p i c , would e v e r be d e v e l o p e d i n e x a c t l y t h e same way and t h a t h e r e s s a y a l t h o u g h d i f f e r e n t from h e r 74 c l a s s m a t e s ' was an a c c e p t a b l e approach t o the t o p i c . F o r p a r t o f t h e c l a s s I s i m p l y o b s e r v e d ; i n a d d i t i o n , I t o o k some time t o w r i t e i n my j o u r n a l s i n c e I wanted t o document as much as p o s s i b l e about how t h e s e groups f u n c t i o n e d . T h i s f i r s t s e s s i o n went q u i t e smoothly a l t h o u g h i t t o o k the e n t i r e two hours of c l a s s t i m e , somewhat l o n g e r t h a n I had e x p e c t e d . At the end o f c l a s s , s t u d e n t s were a s k e d t o r e v i s e t h e i r d r a f t s and p r e p a r e f i n a l c o p i e s f o r m a r k i n g . I n a d d i t i o n , I r e q u e s t e d a j o u r n a l e n t r y i n w h i c h t h e s t u d e n t s were t o d e s c r i b e t h e i r t h o u g h t s on t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t a k i n g p a r t i n t h i s f i r s t p e e r response s e s s i o n . The j o u r n a l e n t r y a f t e r t h i s f i r s t s e s s i o n was an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t h e s t u d e n t s t o c o n s i d e r what t h e y had l e a r n e d and t o a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r v i e w s about th e c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t y i n w h i c h t h e y had p a r t i c i p a t e d . Hence, the j o u r n a l e n t r y became the i n s t r u m e n t o f e v a l u a t i o n f o r t h e s e s s i o n . E v a l u a t i o n o f the p r o c e s s , I c o n s i d e r e d e s s e n t i a l t o t h e s t u d y . Gere (1987) s t a t e s , t h a t " i t i s e v a l u a t i o n t h a t t r a n s f o r m s t h e work of w r i t i n g groups i n t o t h e k i n d o f l e a r n i n g t h a t e n a b l e s p a r t i c i p a n t s t o ' n e g o t i a t e ' t h e i r way, as Kenneth B r u f f e e d e s c r i b e s i t i n t o the normal d i s c o u r s e o f 75 knowledgeable p e e r s " (p. 111). Making t h e i r v i e w s c o n c r e t e i n t h e j o u r n a l e n a b l e d s t u d e n t s t o move towards new i n s i g h t s . The e v a l u a t i o n o f pe e r response s e s s i o n s i n a j o u r n a l e n t r y s t i m u l a t e d the k i n d o f r e f l e c t i o n d e s c r i b e d as " m e t a c o g n i t i v e e x p e r i e n c e " ( F l a v e l l 1979, p. 908), f o r i n o r d e r t o w r i t e a j o u r n a l e s s a y i n response t o t h e p e e r group s e s s i o n , s t u d e n t s needed t o q u e s t i o n t h e m s e l v e s , t o wonder about, t o p u z z l e o v e r the v a r i o u s e v e n t s w h i c h t o o k p l a c e , o r t o a r t i c u l a t e the f e e l i n g s t h e y e x p e r i e n c e d d u r i n g t h e t a s k . As a r e s u l t , some s t u d e n t s d e t e r m i n e d t o behave d i f f e r e n t l y d u r i n g t h e next response s e s s i o n o r t o spend more time d e v e l o p i n g a f o c u s f o r the next assignment, o r t o s t u d y new v o c a b u l a r y e n c o u n t e r e d d u r i n g t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n . M e t a c o g n i t i v e e x p e r i e n c e s a c c o r d i n g t o F l a v e l l can l e a d an i n d i v i d u a l t o e s t a b l i s h new g o a l s , can a f f e c t a p e r s o n ' s m e t a c o g n i t i v e knowledge base and can a c t i v a t e c o g n i t i v e s t r a t e g i e s (pp. 908-909). T h i s r e a c h i n m e t a c o g n i t i o n was i n p a r t what I e n v i s i o n e d t h e j o u r n a l e n t r i e s a c c o m p l i s h i n g . 76 Subsequent Peer Response S e s s i o n s . For t h e r e m a i n d e r of t h e semester, p e e r response groups met t o g e t h e r t o r e v i e w t h e f i r s t d r a f t o f each e s s a y a s s i g n e d . The s t r u c t u r e o f t h e t a s k remained the same, and my p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e t a s k c o n t i n u e d t o be one o f " n u r t u r i n g s t u d e n t s ' n a t u r a l a b i l i t i e s , t r u s t i n g t h e m . . . t r y i n g t o g i v e them a u t h o r i t y o v e r t h e i r own l e a r n i n g " (Tebo-Messina, 1989, p . 9 ) . Group membership was f i x e d u n t i l mid-term a t w h i c h t i m e groups were r e o r g a n i z e d , t h i s time a c c o r d i n g t o t h e r e s u l t s of t h e mid-term mark. T h i s mark was based on a l l t h e e s s a y s , j o u r n a l , and q u i z z e s done by t h e s t u d e n t s t o t h a t p o i n t i n t h e semester, p l u s the r e s u l t s o f an i n - c l a s s e s s a y . F o r t h e r e g r o u p i n g , i n o r d e r t o c r e a t e " m a x i m a l l y heterogeneous teams", I f o l l o w e d s t e p s o u t l i n e d by O l s e n and Kagan (19 92, p.11). I ranked t h e marks i n o r d e r from t h e h i g h e s t t o the l o w e s t and a s s i g n e d the b e s t s t u d e n t , t h e weakest s t u d e n t and the two m i d d l e s t u d e n t s t o t h e f i r s t group. The second group was formed by t h e s t u d e n t w i t h second h i g h e s t mark, the s t u d e n t w i t h t h e second l o w e s t mark and t h e two s t u d e n t s w i t h marks i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e r a n k i n g s . The f o u r r e m a i n i n g s t u d e n t s were grouped t o g e t h e r . F o r the r e s t o f t h e semester, t h e s e new p e e r 77 res p o n s e groups had the t a s k o f e v a l u a t i n g each o t h e r ' s w r i t i n g . Changing t h e c o m p o s i t i o n o f the groups appeared t o have v e r y l i t t l e e f f e c t on the e x e c u t i o n o f t h e t a s k . Indeed, many s t u d e n t s commented, as d i s c u s s e d i n t h e f i n d i n g s , how " c o m f o r t a b l e " t h e new groups f e l t and how t h e "atmosphere" i n t h e c l a s s had not changed. S i n c e the c l a s s was a c o h e s i v e u n i t , perhaps t h e s t u d e n t s knew each o t h e r w e l l enough t h a t w o r k i n g w i t h new group members was more i n t e r e s t i n g t h a n i t was t h r e a t e n i n g . Data C o l l e c t i o n To c o l l e c t d a t a f o r t h i s s t u d y , I employed a number o f s t r a t e g i e s . F i r s t , I kept a j o u r n a l i n wh i c h I wrote my p e r s o n a l o b s e r v a t i o n s o f c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t i e s and s t u d e n t s ' b e h a v i o u r . My j o u r n a l c o n t a i n s q u e s t i o n s I had about p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s , a r e c o r d o f c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h s t u d e n t s , r e f l e c t i o n s upon my p r a c t i c e , p l a n s f o r upcoming c l a s s e s and my e m o t i o n a l j o u r n e y t h r o u g h t h e s t u d y . I n a d d i t i o n , I t r i e d t o r e l a t e my r e a d i n g t o the s t u d y and t o the s i t u a t i o n as i t was r e v e a l i n g i t s e l f i n t h e c l a s s r o o m . 78 Time t o w r i t e i n my j o u r n a l was not always easy t o f i n d , and I was not always f a i t h f u l . B r i e f i n t e r l u d e s d u r i n g c l a s s , a t t i m e s gave me t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o make n o t e s . Most e n t r i e s were w r i t t e n , however, a t the end o f t h e day. I n w r i t i n g t h e j o u r n a l I t r i e d t o keep i n mind t h a t t h e j o u r n a l s h o u l d " h e l p one t o r e c o n s t r u c t what i t was l i k e a t t h e t i m e " ( E l l i o t t , 1991, p.77). The s t u d e n t s i n t h e c l a s s a l s o kept j o u r n a l s i n w h i c h t o r e f l e c t upon c l a s s r o o m l e a r n i n g o r e v e n t s of s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h e i r l i v e s . A f t e r the f i r s t p e e r r e v i e w s e s s i o n , I r e q u e s t e d t h a t the s t u d e n t s r e c o u n t i n t h e i r j o u r n a l s t h e i r i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n s t o the p r o c e s s as t h e y had e x p e r i e n c e d i t i n t h e i r group. T h i s j o u r n a l e n t r y was c o l l e c t e d and p h o t o c o p i e d as were s i m i l a r e n t r i e s a f t e r e s s a y t h r e e and e s s a y f o u r . Because of the t i m i n g o f t h e s e major w r i t i n g a s s i g n m e n t s , th e f i r s t j o u r n a l was w r i t t e n near th e b e g i n n i n g of the c l a s s , the second a t a p p r o x i m a t e l y mid-term and t h e f i n a l e n t r y c l o s e t o the end o f t h e semester. A d d i t i o n a l documents r e l e v a n t t o the s t u d y were c o l l e c t e d and p h o t o c o p i e d f o r a n a l y s i s . These documents i n c l u d e d d r a f t s and f i n a l v e r s i o n s o f t h e f o u r t h e s s a y th e 79 s t u d e n t s wrote d u r i n g the term of the s t u d y . T h i s e s s a y was s e l e c t e d f o r a n a l y s i s because by t h i s t i m e , s t u d e n t s were f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e pe e r response p r o c e s s and no l o n g e r nervous and embarrassed about s h a r i n g t h e i r work. T h i s e s s a y was not t h e l a s t one r e q u i r e d o f t h e s t u d e n t s and c o n s e q u e n t l y , I f e l t t h e assignment, u n l i k e a f i n a l a s s ignment, would s t i l l command t h e s t u d e n t s ' f u l l a t t e n t i o n . I t has been my e x p e r i e n c e t h a t , g i v e n t h e p r e s s u r e s o f imminent e x a m i n a t i o n s and the f a c t t h a t many t e a c h e r s a s s i g n s u b s t a n t i a l e n d - o f - t e r m a s s i g n m e n t s , a t t e n t i o n t o ESL w r i t i n g assignments i s sometimes p e r f u n c t o r y by t h e l a s t week o r so o f c l a s s . As w e l l as t h e e s s a y s , n o t e s t a k e n d u r i n g the f o u r t h p e e r response s e s s i o n were c o l l e c t e d and c o p i e d . F i n a l l y t h e f o u r t h p e e r response s e s s i o n was a u d i o t a p e d by p l a c i n g a tape r e c o r d e r w i t h each group. These t a p e s were t r a n s c r i b e d and t h e t r a n s c r i p t s checked f o r a c c u r a c y . The e n t i r e p e e r response s e s s i o n was t a p e d a l t h o u g h I i n s t r u c t e d s t u d e n t s t o tape o n l y t h e f i r s t r e a d i n g o f t h e e s s a y under d i s c u s s i o n a l o n g w i t h the r e s u l t i n g f e edback s e s s i o n . The second r e a d i n g o f each e s s a y i s o m i t t e d from the t a p e . 80 T o g e t h e r the v a r i o u s d a t a , I hoped, would g i v e me an a c c u r a t e p i c t u r e of the p e e r response s e s s i o n as i t o p e r a t e d i n my c o n t e x t w i t h my s t u d e n t s . A n a l y s i s o f t h e Data As n o t e d the d a t a c o l l e c t e d f o r a n a l y s i s c o n s i s t e d o f d r a f t e s s a y s and f i n a l v e r s i o n s from the f o u r t h p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s and of t a p e s c r i p t s o f t h o s e s e s s i o n s , as w e l l as j o u r n a l e n t r i e s w r i t t e n by the s t u d e n t s o v e r t h e . semester. Throughout the semester, I t o o kept a j o u r n a l . P e r c e p t i o n s o f Peer Response S e s s i o n s . To d e t e r m i n e t h e - s t u d e n t s ' a t t i t u d e s towards the p e e r response s e s s i o n s , I t u r n e d t o t h e j o u r n a l e n t r i e s . F i r s t I r e a d and r e - r e a d each j o u r n a l e n t r y and h o l i s t i c a l l y r a t e d t h e e n t r y as p o s i t i v e , mixed o r n e g a t i v e as d e s c r i b e d i n M a n g l e s d o r f (1992). A s t u d e n t whose j o u r n a l i s c a t e g o r i z e d as p o s i t i v e makes o n l y p o s i t i v e comments. So, f o r example, Jaesun's f i r s t j o u r n a l i s c a t e g o r i z e d as- p o s i t i v e . ( A l l j o u r n a l e n t r i e s i t a l i c i z e d and a r e p r e s e n t e d as t h e y were w r i t t e n . No c o r r e c t i o n s have been made.) 81 I think the feedback a c t i v i t y in l a s t class was useful. F i r s t , i t was helpful to understand the structure of an essay. Second, we had a chance to discuss appropriate choice about vocabulary and expressions. F i n a l l y , I could r e a l i z e what I hadn't recognize in my essay and vice versa (1-#16). N o t h i n g i n Jaesun's j o u r n a l h i n t s a t a p r oblem o r c o n c e r n , and c o n s e q u e n t l y h e r j o u r n a l i s c o n s i d e r e d p o s i t i v e . A j o u r n a l e n t r y l a b e l l e d "mixed" would c o n t a i n b o t h p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e comments about the p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n . B i l l ' s f i r s t j o u r n a l i s an example. I think that i s fun to l i s t e n to other's w r i t i n g but i t ' s kind of hard for me to read in front of the group. Maybe because I'm a shy person so i t wasn't easy to me to read i t out loud. I l i k e the feedback from my group member since they are a l l gentle. Personally I l i k e teacher teaches thing d i r e c t l y instead lead the student puzzle and find t h e i r own way. But t h i s i s only my personal f e e l i n g on that i s what I use to learn from other courses (l-#4). C l e a r l y B i l l has some r e s e r v a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g t h e p e e r r e v i s i o n a c t i v i t y , and he i s concerned about th e t e a c h e r ' s use o f t h i s s t r a t e g y i n t h e c l a s s r o o m . He does, though, i n d i c a t e he i s e n j o y i n g h e a r i n g the work of o t h e r s and i s n ' t t h r e a t e n e d o r i n t i m i d a t e d by h i s c l a s s m a t e s . T h i s j o u r n a l i s c a t e g o r i z e d as mixed. 82 To be c a t e g o r i z e d as a ' n e g a t i v e ' j o u r n a l e n t r y , a l l t h e s t u d e n t ' s comments had t o r e f l e c t a n e g a t i v e v i e w o f p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . Y u k i k o ' s e n t r y w h i c h f o l l o w s i s a good example. I r e a l l y didn't l i k e my essay so I didn't want to read i t . After two people read t h e i r essays, i t was my turn. When the time people give me a feedback. One of my groupemate just couldn't say anything about the f i r s t impressions of my essay. I was shocked not by him but by myself who couldn't write good essay. Giving feedback for each of them i s not so easy. What makes i t hard i s that the person who read the essay can't t a l k or explain. Also, time i s l i t t l e bit short for me to have enough t a l k (l-#2). T h i s e n t r y i n d i c a t e d the d i f f i c u l t i e s t h i s s t u d e n t had w i t h t h e f i r s t p e e r response s e s s i o n and t h e j o u r n a l was deemed n e g a t i v e . Once.the j o u r n a l e n t r i e s were r a t e d o v e r a l l as p o s i t i v e , mixed o r n e g a t i v e , the t o t a l s i n each c a t e g o r y f o r each j o u r n a l were c a l c u l a t e d and t h e n e x p r e s s e d as p e r c e n t a g e s . A n a l y s i s o f Student Comments. A f t e r c a t e g o r i z i n g t h e j o u r n a l e n t r i e s h o l i s t i c a l l y as d e s c r i b e d , I r e t u r n e d t o t h e j o u r n a l s t o examine the comments made by t h e s t u d e n t s . I n an i t e r a t i v e f a s h i o n the e n t r i e s were r e a d and r e - r e a d t o d e t e r m i n e what s t u d e n t s d i s c e r n e d as b e n e f i t s o f t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s and what i s s u e s concerned them. F i r s t , t h e r e were comments r e g a r d i n g the way i n w h i c h the p e e r response s e s s i o n s were s t r u c t u r e d . F o r example, one of t h e f e a t u r e s o f t h i s a c t i v i t y as i t was s e t up i n my c l a s s r o o m was t h a t s t u d e n t s r e a d t h e i r e s s a y s a l o u d . Student comments about t h i s a s p e c t of t h e p r o c e s s might be p o s i t i v e as was J a e s u n ' s , "Our group process i s b e n e f i c i a l to my l i s t e n i n g s k i l l s " (3-#16). Student comments might a l s o d e a l w i t h c o ncerns r e g a r d i n g t h i s a s p e c t o f t h e t a s k . F o r example, Kyoko s t a t e d , "T sometimes don't understand what they say because of t h e i r pronunciation" (3-#12). A second f o c u s o f s t u d e n t comments was feedback r e c e i v e d d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s ; s t u d e n t s ' o p i n i o n s about i t s u s e f u l n e s s and i t s d e f i c i e n c i e s were numerous. Y u k i k o , f o r example, s t a t e s a b e n e f i t f o r h e r i n terms of t h e feedback she r e c e i v e s . "My group members point out what i s not clear and what i s a weakness of my essay so I can revise my essay in better ways" (3-#2). On t h e o t h e r 84 hand, i n R i y o k o ' s f i r s t j o u r n a l e n t r y , she e x p r e s s e s h e r c o n c e r n t h a t she w i l l "give them useless feedback" ( l - # 3 ) . A t h i r d f o c u s o f comment i n the j o u r n a l s , became e v i d e n t t h r o u g h a n a l y s i s . S t u d e n t s had n o t e d an i n c r e a s e d awareness o f t h e i r w r i t i n g and i t s e f f e c t on o t h e r s . They b e l i e v e d t h e y had l e a r n e d ways i n which t o improve t h e i r w r i t i n g . To i l l u s t r a t e t h e s e p e r c e i v e d g a i n s , S a t a k o made a comment i n one o f h e r j o u r n a l s about h e r p e e r s ' e s s a y s as co m p r e h e n s i b l e - and comprehended i n p u t (Gass and S e l i n k e r , 1994) . In l a s t semester I didn't have chance to read my classmates' writing. I can see a l o t of a r t i c l e of magazine or newspaper but these are too d i f f i c u l t to use for my writing. I found some good sentences in my classmates' w r i t i n g and I can use i t next time ( l - # 8 ) . F i n a l l y , t h r o u g h a n a l y s i s o f t h e c o n t e n t o f t h e j o u r n a l s , i t was c l e a r , s t u d e n t s had concerns r e g a r d i n g p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . A t l e a s t one s t u d e n t f e l t l i t t l e had been g a i n e d o r even n o t h i n g as a r e s u l t o f p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the s e s s i o n s . 85 A n a l y s i s o f Changes i n S t u d e n t s ' P e r c e p t i o n s . To de t e r m i n e whether s t u d e n t p r e f e r e n c e s changed o v e r t h e semester as s t u d e n t s became more f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s , I c o m p i l e d the t h r e e j o u r n a l e n t r i e s f o r each o f f o u r s t u d e n t s : Kyoko, Naomi, Y u k i k o and Terumi. These s t u d e n t s were s e l e c t e d because I f e l t t h e i r v i e w s r e g a r d i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s were r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h o s e h e l d by t h e c l a s s as a whole. Y u k i k o a t t h e end o f the semester had made i t c l e a r t o me t h a t she had p o s i t i v e v i e w s o f p e e r response s e s s i o n s w h i l e Naomi h e l d somewhat n e g a t i v e v i e w s . Kyoko and Terumi, I i n t u i t i v e l y f e l t , were mixed i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e s towards the s e s s i o n s . Each s t u d e n t ' s j o u r n a l s were c o m p i l e d and comments were examined f o r any changes i n a t t i t u d e t h a t might be d i s c e r n i b l e . Peer Response I n t e r a c t i o n . To d i s c o v e r what s t u d e n t s a c t u a l l y do d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s , I t r a n s c r i b e d t h e t a p e s made o f t h e pe e r response s e s s i o n s i n w h i c h s t u d e n t s p r e s e n t e d t h e i r f o u r t h e s s a y s , which were based on t h e theme of Economics. The t a p e s c r i p t s were examined " r e p e a t e d l y and i n d e t a i l " ( S i l v e r m a n , 1993, p.117) i n t h e l i g h t o f r e s e a r c h c o n d u c t e d by V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o (1996) . 86 Because I was i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n and t h e i n t e r a c t i o n engaged i n by t h e s t u d e n t s , t h e whole t a p e s c r i p t o f a group's s e s s i o n c o n s t i t u t e d t h e u n i t o f a n a l y s i s . I c a r e f u l l y r e v i e w e d t h e t a p e s c r i p t s f o r each o f the t h r e e response groups f o r a c t i v i t i e s , s t r a t e g i e s and a s p e c t s o f s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r p r e s e n t e d by V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o and d e f i n e d as f o l l o w s : S o c i a l - C o g n i t i v e A c t i v i t i e s : a c t i v i t i e s d i s p l a y e d d u r i n g p e e r i n t e r a c t i o n w h i c h were thought t o be t h e b a s i s f o r c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s e s r e l a t e d t o r e v i s i o n . M e d i a t i n g S t r a t e g i e s : s e m i o t i c a l l y encoded a c t i o n s w h i c h f a c i l i t a t e d t h e achievement o f t a s k g o a l s , t h a t i s , r e v i s i n g t e x t . S i g n i f i c a n t A s p e c t s o f S o c i a l B e h a v i o u r : s a l i e n t b e h a v i o u r a l i s s u e s t h a t i n d i c a t e d how p e e r s h a n d l e d t h e i r mutual i n t e r a c t i o n r e g a r d i n g the t e x t (p.56). I n my s t u d y I d e t e r m i n e d which of the a c t i v i t i e s , s t r a t e g i e s , and a s p e c t s of s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r were e v i d e n t i n the t r a n s c r i p t s of p e e r response s e s s i o n s c o nducted i n my c l a s s r o o m . Because o f t h e s t r u c t u r e o f the t a s k I s e t my s t u d e n t s , I e x p e c t e d t h a t c a t e g o r i e s o c c u r r i n g i n t h e r e s e a r c h c o n d u c t e d by V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o (1996) would, f o r t h e most p a r t , be a p p l i c a b l e t o my s t u d y . 87 E f f e c t s o f Peer Response on R e v i s i o n . U s i n g t h e d r a f t s o f t h e e s s a y s p r e s e n t e d t o the pe e r response groups, t h e t a p e s c r i p t s o f t h e groups' i n t e r a c t i o n and t h e r e v i s e d e s s a y s , I d e t e r m i n e d what s u g g e s t i o n s were used by t h e w r i t e r s t o r e v i s e t h e i r d r a f t s . Comparing t h e d r a f t s and the f i n a l c o p i e s i l l u m i n e d how the s u g g e s t i o n s had been employed. Examining the t a p e s c r i p t s a l o n g w i t h t h e f i n a l v e r s i o n s o f t h e e s s a y s i n d i c a t e d which s u g g e s t i o n s were i g n o r e d . F i n a l l y , I n o t e d t h o s e r e v i s i o n s made w h i c h had not been s u g g e s t e d by t h e response groups. T h i s a n a l y s i s gave me a comprehensive l o o k a t t h e a c t i v i t i e s t h a t t o o k p l a c e d u r i n g the pe e r response s e s s i o n s , t h e impact t h o s e a c t i v i t i e s had on t h e r e v i s i o n s s t u d e n t s made t o t h e i r w r i t i n g , and t h e p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e s t u d e n t s w i t h r e g a r d t o the pe e r response s e s s i o n s . CHAPTER FOUR R e s u l t s o f t h e Study T h i s c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s o b s e r v a t i o n s t h a t were c o l l e c t e d upon a t h o r o u g h a n a l y s i s o f t h e d a t a . Because t h i s s t u d y i a s m a l l s c a l e e x p l o r a t o r y s t u d y o f c l a s s r o o m p r a c t i c e , t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e s t u d y are more a p p r o p r i a t e l y r e f e r r e d t o as o b s e r v a t i o n s r a t h e r t h a n as f i n d i n g s . Observation 1; Students' perceptions of peer response sessions varied from student to student. S t u d e n t s ' j o u r n a l e n t r i e s were r e a d and r e r e a d and r a t e d o v e r a l l as p o s i t i v e , mixed o r n e g a t i v e . The number o j o u r n a l e n t r i e s i n each c a t e g o r y was t o t a l e d and t h e n e x p r e s s e d as a p e r c e n t a g e . R e s u l t s a r e shown i n T a b l e 4.1. 89 T a b l e 4.1 H o l i s t i c R a t i n g s o f J o u r n a l E n t r i e s J o u r n a l P o s i t i v e Mixed N e g a t i v e 1. (n=12) 6 (50%) 4 (33 3%) 2 (16.6%) 2 . ( n = l l ) 3 (27.2%) 7 (63 6%) 1 (9%) 3 . (n=9) 4 (44.4%) 5 (55 5%) 0 (0%) I n t h e f i r s t j o u r n a l e n t r y , t h e l a r g e s t p e r c e n t a g e o f s t u d e n t s e x p r e s s e d p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s towards t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . The next l a r g e s t group c o n s i s t e d o f s t u d e n t s who a p p r e c i a t e d the b e n e f i t s o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the p e e r response groups but who a l s o found t h e y e x p e r i e n c e d some c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g t h e use o f pe e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . Two s t u d e n t s (16.6%) d i d not f e e l t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e groups were b e n e f i c i a l t o them. F o r t h e second j o u r n a l , r e s u l t s were q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . T h i s t i m e , by f a r t h e m a j o r i t y of j o u r n a l e n t r i e s was r a t e d as mixed - 63.6%. Having had more e x p e r i e n c e w i t h s h a r i n g w r i t i n g w i t h p e e r s , s t u d e n t s were a p p a r e n t l y more c o g n i z a n t of some o f t h e problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e s e p e e r r e s p o n s e 90 s e s s i o n s as t h e y were used i n t h i s c o n t e x t . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, however, t h i s t i m e , o n l y one s t u d e n t j o u r n a l e n t r y was deemed n e g a t i v e . Presumably, w i t h f a m i l i a r i t y , one o f the s t u d e n t s whose j o u r n a l was f o r m e r l y c a t e g o r i z e d as n e g a t i v e had d e t e r m i n e d t h e r e were some b e n e f i t s t o the p r o c e s s . By t h e end o f the semester, th e p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e s t u d e n t s had a p p a r e n t l y changed a g a i n . They became more b a l a n c e d between p o s i t i v e and mixed a t t i t u d e s w i t h t h e l a r g e r percentage, o f s t u d e n t j o u r n a l s i n t h e mixed c a t e g o r y . No one wrote a t h i r d j o u r n a l o f e n t i r e l y n e g a t i v e comments. I t appears t h a t the s t u d e n t who had w r i t t e n the n e g a t i v e j o u r n a l i n t h e m i d d l e o f the semester began t o see some b e n e f i t s t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s . Observation 2: Students' perceptions of peer response sessions changed over the course of the semester. I n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t ' s j o u r n a l s i n d i c a t e d changes i n p e r c e p t i o n s towards p e e r response s e s s i o n s o v e r t h e l e n g t h o f t h e semester. These changes i n p e r c e p t i o n a r e b e s t i l l u s t r a t e d by exam i n i n g the j o u r n a l e n t r i e s . 91 Terumi's e n t r i e s t y p i f i e d t he way p e r c e p t i o n s changed. Her t h r e e j o u r n a l s documented t h e m o d i f i c a t i o n s i n h e r a t t i t u d e towards p e e r response s e s s i o n s . I n i t i a l l y , h e r comments were mixed. She noted, "working as a group was very helpful to me because the other students told me my bad points or good points in my essay" . I n t h i s f i r s t j o u r n a l , however, she a l s o p o i n t e d out the d i f f i c u l t y she had when she had " t o t e l l t h e o t h e r s t u d e n t s my comments". Terumi's second j o u r n a l was r a t e d as p o s i t i v e . T h i s second j o u r n a l r e p o r t e d the p r o c e s s o f t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s and r e i t e r a t e d the comment made i n j o u r n a l one: This way i s e f f e c t i v e for us to progress my w r i t i n g s k i l l because the l i s t e n e r s give us t h e i r opinions that I didn't notice at a l l and also I can add the good opinions to my essay (2-#15). The f o c u s i n t h i s second j o u r n a l was on p o s i t i v e a s p e c t s o f the p e e r response s e s s i o n s . I n h e r t h i r d j o u r n a l e n t r y , Terumi had b o t h p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e comments; c o n s e q u e n t l y , h e r j o u r n a l was once a g a i n deemed mixed. A l t h o u g h Terumi i n t h i s f i n a l j o u r n a l a g a i n mentioned t h a t h e r c l a s s m a t e s "give me my good points, 92 so I can recognize how I can write essay in a good way", she went on t o make the comment t h a t the l i s t e n i n g was d i f f i c u l t s i n c e she had t o u n d e r s t a n d l o n g passages o f t e x t and i n o r d e r t o do so had t o c o n c e n t r a t e . I n s p i t e o f h e r d i f f i c u l t y l i s t e n i n g , she thought t h e p e e r response p r o c e s s " h e l p s [her] in a l i s t e n i n g way too". W h i l e t h e changes i n p e r c e p t i o n on Terumi's p a r t were not g r e a t i n magnitude, t h e t h i r d j o u r n a l i n d i c a t e d a more t h o u g h t f u l assessment of the p e e r response s e s s i o n s , and h e r a t t i t u d e toward t h e t h i r d s e s s i o n was mixed. More d r a m a t i c changes were e v i d e n t i n Y u k i k o ' s v i e w s o f p e e r response s e s s i o n s t h a n i n tho s e o f o t h e r s t u d e n t s . I n he r f i r s t j o u r n a l e n t r y , a l l the comments she made were n e g a t i v e , and c o n s e q u e n t l y h e r j o u r n a l was h o l i s t i c a l l y r a t e d as n e g a t i v e . She r e v e a l e d h e r l a c k o f c o n f i d e n c e i n he r a b i l i t y t o w r i t e a good e s s a y and h e r embarrassment a t h a v i n g t o r e a d h e r work t o her c l a s s m a t e s . A d d i t i o n a l c o n c e r n s i n h e r f i r s t j o u r n a l had t o do w i t h how d i f f i c u l t i t was t o g i v e feedback t o h e r c l a s s m a t e s about t h e i r w r i t i n g . 93 I n h e r second j o u r n a l , r a t e d mixed, Y u k i k o was s t i l l n e rvous about r e a d i n g i n f r o n t o f h e r c l a s s , but she f o c u s e d more on the h e l p f u l a s p e c t s o f t h e p r o c e s s . She s t a t e d : The reason why I think i t ' s helpful are easy to find your weakness in my essay, good practice for speak out, and can develop my hearing s k i l l s (2-#2). By t h e t h i r d j o u r n a l e n t r y , which was r a t e d p o s i t i v e , Y u k i k o ' s e n t h u s i a s m f o r t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s was c l e a r l y e v i d e n t . She n o t e d t h a t she f i x e d h e r e s s a y u s i n g h e r group members' a d v i c e and b e l i e v e d h e r "speaking and l i s t e n i n g s k i l l s have improved since we started doing t h i s work". Her f i n a l comment r e f l e c t e d h e r changed a t t i t u d e . People in my group including me don't hesitate to say both p o s i t i v e and negative parts so we a l l can be encouraged and know what i s wrong with our essays. I think I am, or we are a l l helping with our essays (3- #2) . Over t h i s semester, Y u k i k o became i n c r e a s i n g l y more c o n f i d e n t about p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s and more p o s i t i v e about t h e b e n e f i t s o f such s e s s i o n s . Most s t u d e n t s d i d not undergo as d r a m a t i c nor as e v i d e n t a change i n p e r c e p t i o n as Y u k i k o . A number o f 94 s t u d e n t s wrote i n i t i a l j o u r n a l s and f i n a l j o u r n a l s r a t e d as mixed but had second j o u r n a l e n t r i e s e v a l u a t e d as e i t h e r p o s i t i v e as i s Terumi's second j o u r n a l , o r n e g a t i v e as i s t h e case w i t h Naomi's second j o u r n a l e n t r y . Other s t u d e n t s wrote p o s i t i v e . i n i t i a l e v a l u a t i o n s of the p e e r r e s p o n s e p r o c e s s and t h e n wrote f u r t h e r j o u r n a l e n t r i e s r a t e d o v e r a l l as mixed. These s t u d e n t s became aware, a p p a r e n t l y , o f c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s once t h e y had some e x p e r i e n c e w i t h t h e s e s s i o n s and made t h o s e c l e a r i n t h e i r second and t h i r d j o u r n a l e n t r i e s . Observation 3; Students saw the benefits of Elbow's (1973) model of peer response sessions but had concerns about c e r t a i n aspects as well. The model of p e e r response s e s s i o n s used f o r t h i s s t u d y i s based on Elbow's (1973) w r i t i n g groups. I n t h i s model, s t u d e n t s r e a d t h e i r e s s a y s a l o u d w h i l e t h e i r p e e r s l i s t e n e d and t o o k n o t e s i n o r d e r t o respond t o t h e a u t h o r s ' t e x t s . Feedback, t h e n , was o r a l ; a u t h o r s were not a l l o w e d t o argue o v e r t h e i r w r i t i n g nor d e fend t h e i r work. They s i m p l y l i s t e n e d and t o o k n o t e s of t h e i r p e e r s ' comments on 95 s t r e n g t h s , s u g g e s t i o n s f o r improvement and q u e r i e s r e g a r d i n g meaning. A s p e c t s of the peer response s e s s i o n s w h i c h were b e n e f i c i a l y e t posed c o n c e r n s f o r s t u d e n t s were t h e o r a l / a u r a l n a t u r e o f t h e t a s k , and the s h a r i n g o f e s s a y s . The O r a l / A u r a l Nature o f the Task. A number of s t u d e n t s commented on t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y f e l t t h e i r l i s t e n i n g s k i l l s improved as a consequence o f t h e way i n w h i c h t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s were s t r u c t u r e d . S t u d e n t s needed t o c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e t e x t b e i n g r e a d i n o r d e r t o " c a t c h the thesis" and " i n order to give good feedback". S p e a k i n g s k i l l s improved i n the o p i n i o n o f a t l e a s t one s t u d e n t because of t h e n e c e s s i t y t o g i v e feedback t o c l a s s m a t e s o r a l l y . The main b e n e f i t s p e r c e i v e d by t h e s t u d e n t s , however, d e r i v e d from the r e a d i n g a l o u d . Numerous comments by s t u d e n t s e x p r e s s e d the i d e a t h a t r e a d i n g t h e i r e s s a y s a l o u d h e l p e d them t o f i n d m i s t a k e s on t h e i r own, and h e l p e d t h e i r p e e r s r e c o g n i z e "something unnatural". Concerns r e g a r d i n g the o r a l / a u r a l a s p e c t o f t h e p r o c e s s ranged from c o m p l a i n t s about f i n d i n g i t d i f f i c u l t t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e p r o n u n c i a t i o n of o t h e r s i n t h e group t o 96 f i n d i n g i t d i f f i c u l t t o f u l l y comprehend the meaning o f a l o n g p i e c e o f t e x t w i t h o u t a w r i t t e n copy. One s t u d e n t c o m p l a i n e d , i n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, t h a t because t h e r e were t h r e e Japanese s t u d e n t s i n h e r group i t was t o o easy f o r them t o u n d e r s t a n d one a n o t h e r , and t h e y a l l made "the same mistakes and couldn't find i t " . A n o t h e r s t u d e n t i n h e r j o u r n a l was adamant t h a t h e r l i s t e n i n g and s p e a k i n g s k i l l s had not improved as a r e s u l t o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . S h a r i n g E s s a y s . Almost a l l of the s t u d e n t s e n j o y e d l i s t e n i n g t o the es s a y s w r i t t e n by t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s . They a p p r e c i a t e d the o p p o r t u n i t y t o "find out how others are using d i f f e r e n t words", and t o d i s c u s s t h o s e words and e x p r e s s i o n s . They found i t "helps to hear others' ideas" and " t o compare d i f f e r e n t approaches to the same topic". Some s t u d e n t s s t a t e d t h a t t h e y p a i d a t t e n t i o n t o s t r u c t u r e and n o t e d "good sentences". One p a r t i c u l a r l y i n s i g h t f u l comment s u g g e s t e d t h a t s t u d e n t s found t h e i r p e e r s ' w r i t i n g u s e f u l models f o r t h e i r own work. In l a s t semester I didn't have chance to read my classmate's writing. I can see a l o t of a r t i c l e of magazine or newspaper but these are too d i f f i c u l t for 97 my writing. I found some good sentences in my classmates' w r i t i n g and I can use i t next time ( l - # 8 ) . Concerns r e g a r d i n g t h e p r a c t i c e of s h a r i n g e s s a y s were e v i n c e d i n two comments b o t h made by R i y o k o . These c o n c e r n s need t o be c o n s i d e r e d when a s s e s s i n g the e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f s h a r i n g w r i t i n g i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s . R i y o k o i n h e r f i r s t j o u r n a l w r o t e : To t e l l the truth, I was getting confused as we discussed about our essay. Because our s t y l e of essay was d i f f e r e n t . One of our group wrote about a kind of story that she had experienced with him whom she described. But mine i s t o t a l l y just a description with some example (1-#3). F i n a l l y , R i y o k o ' s d i s t r e s s w i t h the s h a r i n g o f e s s a y s i n p e e r response s e s s i o n s was e v i d e n t i n a comment from h e r t h i r d j o u r n a l , "Mostly, I'm disappointed at mine [my essay] when I l i s t e n others". F o r h e r , t h e s e s e s s i o n s were a mixed e x p e r i e n c e a t b e s t . Working Together. W h i l e each of the two p r e v i o u s a s p e c t s o f t h e t a s k r e s u l t e d i n b o t h g a i n s and c o n c e r n s f o r s t u d e n t s , t h e r e were no concerns a r t i c u l a t e d w i t h r e g a r d t o w o r k i n g w i t h c l a s s m a t e s t o a c c o m p l i s h the t a s k s e t f o r t h e 98 group. S e v e r a l comments were made, however, r e g a r d i n g g a i n s s t u d e n t s r e c o g n i z e d as a r e s u l t o f group work. A number o f s t u d e n t s r e f l e c t e d on t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y f e l t c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h t h e members of t h e i r p e e r groups, even a f t e r t h e c o m p o s i t i o n of t h e groups changed f o l l o w i n g mid-term e x a m i n a t i o n s . I n a d d i t i o n , S u k j i v a n wrote t h a t she "learned how to say someone p o l i t e l y that she/he need some changes in t h e i r essay or t h i s i s right and t h i s i s wrong". Her comments were echoed by o t h e r s . S t u d e n t s were a l s o aware t h a t t h e y had t o "respect group member's writing". There were no n e g a t i v e comments from s t u d e n t s d i r e c t e d a t t h e i r f e l l o w c l a s s m a t e s . No one was deemed a p a t h e t i c o r l a z y . Indeed, i n d i r e c t c o r r o b o r a t i o n of t h e commitment of t h e s t u d e n t s t o t h e p e e r response p r o c e s s was r e v e a l e d i n my j o u r n a l e n t r y o f A p r i l 1, 1997. I wrote t h e f o l l o w i n g : My sense i s that these students are working harder than others have and the work i s sustained. Nobody seems to be slacking off. Attendance i s good. No one has come without his/her essay done and students comment on how "comfortable" they are in groups - even the new groups (01-04-TJ). 99 Observation 4; Students had problems with the concept of peer feedback. 'Feedback' i s d e f i n e d as " r e f e r r i n g t o the p r o c e s s whereby t h e sender o f a message o b t a i n s a r e a c t i o n from t h e r e c e i v e r w h i c h e n a b l e s a check t o be made on the e f f i c i e n c y of t h e communication" ( C r y s t a l , 1991, p.134). Comments made by group members d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s e n a b l e w r i t e r s t o a s s e s s how e f f e c t i v e l y t h e e s s a y s c a r r y t h e i r message. W h i l e s t u d e n t s d i d make some a p p r e c i a t i v e s t a t e m e n t s about the feedback from t h e i r p e e r s , t h e y s t i l l had problems w i t h s e v e r a l a s p e c t s o f p e e r feedback. The f i r s t b e n e f i t mentioned by s e v e r a l s t u d e n t s was t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o e x p l o r e what p e e r group members " c o u l d u n d e r s t a n d , and how t h e y f e l t " i n r e g a r d t o th e e s s a y s p r e s e n t e d . A number o f s t u d e n t s mentioned making use o f p e e r s ' comments t o " r e v i s e essays in better ways" w h i l e a t the same time r e s e r v i n g the r i g h t t o r e j e c t s u g g e s t i o n s t h e y do not agree w i t h . I t was e v i d e n t , however, from the j o u r n a l e n t r i e s t h a t some s t u d e n t s had d i f f i c u l t y a c c e p t i n g t h e i d e a o f a c t u a l l y g i v i n g feedback t o t h e i r p e e r s . S e v e r a l t i m e s i n t h e 10 j o u r n a l s , s t u d e n t s e x p r e s s e d f e e l i n g i n a d e q u a t e t o do so. R i y o k o was w o r r i e d about "giving them useless feedback" w h i l e Naomi f e l t she d i d n ' t "know how to advice properly about t h e i r essays [since] t h e i r essays sound perfect". W o r r i e s about c r i t i c i z i n g c l a s s m a t e s and t h e i r work per v a d e d some of the r e f e r e n c e s t o g i v i n g and r e c e i v i n g f eedback. I t ' s very d i f f i c u l t to give right suggestions about something negative. Also sometimes i t i s very hard to t e l l the person who wrote the essay negative things frankly because I don't want to hurt his or her f e e l i n g s (2-#16). The quote above summarizes th e most common s e n t i m e n t s e x p r e s s e d by t h e s t u d e n t s on t h e i s s u e o f g i v i n g n e g a t i v e feedback. One s t u d e n t , however, was c l e a r l y w o r r i e d about th e l a c k o f n e g a t i v e feedback i n h e r group. I do not think that to t e l l good point i s not helpful but do think to t e l l bad points i s very helpful to my writing. Just to say ' J l i k e your essay, ' or ^Your essay i s good,' i s easy and make our r e l a t i o n s h i p better, but what we need now i s point out or discuss bad points more to improve our essay (3 -#8) . 101 The i s s u e o f pe e r v e r s u s t e a c h e r feedback was d i r e c t l y - a d d r e s s e d by two s t u d e n t s . They r e f l e c t e d on t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e s f o r t e a c h e r feedback. One s t u d e n t s t a t e d : Personally, I l i k e teacher teaches thing d i r e c t l y instead lead the student puzzle around and find t h e i r own way (l-#4) . C l e a r l y t h i s s t u d e n t was a n x i o u s f o r the t e a c h e r i n p a r t i c u l a r t o comment on h i s work. As p r e v i o u s l y n o t e d , p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s s t a t e d t h a t sometimes t h e y used t h e feedback g i v e n but made t h e c h o i c e o f what t o ac c e p t and what t o r e j e c t t h e m s e l v e s . One s t u d e n t d e s c r i b e d f e e l i n g i r r i t a t e d when "some opinions are wide of the mark, that i s someone i s misunderstand what I want to say in my essay". The s t u d e n t s e x p r e s s e d t h e i r a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r pe e r feedback but had co n c e r n s about t h e u s e f u l n e s s o f feedback from p e e r s . 102 Observation 5; Students engaged i n f i v e sociocognitive a c t i v i t i e s : 1. Reading 2. Evaluating 3 . Pointing to troublesources 4. Writing comments 5. Discussing task procedures S o c i o c o g n i t i v e a c t i v i t i e s a re t h e a c t i v i t i e s w h i c h e n a b l e s t u d e n t s t o become aware of d e f i c i e n c i e s i n t h e i r t e x t and, i n t u r n , t o make r e v i s i o n s ( V i l l a m i l & De G u e r r e r o , 1996). S o c i o c o g n i t i v e A c t i v i t i e s R e a ding. The p e e r response s e s s i o n s i n t h i s s t u d y were s t r u c t u r e d so t h a t group members each r e a d t h e i r e s s a y s a l o u d t o t h e o t h e r s . T h i s a c t i v i t y was t h e i n i t i a l s t e p i n the p e e r response s e s s i o n . A f t e r t h e f i r s t r e a d i n g , t h e l i s t e n e r s i n t h e group t o o k s e v e r a l minutes t o w r i t e a s e n t e n c e o r two summarizing t h e i r g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n o f t h e 103 e s s a y and r e l a t i n g t h e i m p r e s s i o n t o the w r i t e r . Then, a second r e a d i n g f o l l o w e d w h i l e s t u d e n t s made n o t e s t o remind them o f more d e t a i l e d comments t h e y wanted t o make t o t h e w r i t e r . I n l i s t e n i n g t o w r i t e r s r e a d t h e i r t e x t s a l o u d on t h e t a p e s , I i d e n t i f i e d s e v e r a l i n s t a n c e s o f what V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o (1996) c a l l " s e l f r esponse r e v i s i o n s . . . comments o r a s i d e s made by t h e w r i t e r as he/she r e a d t h e t e x t a l o u d " (p.57). F i r s t , S u k j i v a n i n t h e mi d s t of h e r r e a d i n g s t u m b l e d "a p o w e r f u l , a power, [a s i d e ] oh no, t h i s i s not r i g h t , something's wrong." B i l l , t o o , as he was r e a d i n g the t e x t he had w r i t t e n , s t o p p e d and i n t e r j e c t e d i n d i c a t i n g he was aware o f a problem, s t a t i n g " t h e r e , t h e y may not u s i n g c a s h [ a s i d e ] what?" and he c o n t i n u e s , " s i n c e t h e r e may not u s i n g c a s h a f t e r t h e y e a r 2,000 [as i d e ] 'oh', 'ah'". F i n a l l y , Grace, as she was r e a d i n g , i n t e r j e c t e d t h e comment " I t ' s b o r i n g r i g h t ? " as an a s i d e . I t was p o s s i b l e t h a t Grace was r e s p o n d i n g t o n o n - v e r b a l r e s p o n s e s on t h e p a r t o f t h e l i s t e n e r s , but the comment c o u l d e q u a l l y have 104 been prompted by h e r own awareness o f the u n i n s p i r i n g n a t u r e of t h e es s a y . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , t h e r e were a number o f comments i n t h e j o u r n a l s about t h e b e n e f i t s of r e a d i n g a l o u d , about d i s t a n c i n g t hemselves from the w r i t i n g . Satoko commented, "While I read my essay c a r e f u l l y so that the l i s t e n e r can understand e a s i l y , I find some grammar mistakes or wrong sentences" (2 - #8) . Sun echoed t h i s remark, " A f t e r f i n i s h i n g reading my essay, I could find l o t s of mistakes from i t which I didn't r e a l i z e before" (1 - #1) . The r e a d i n g c l e a r l y e n a b l e d s t u d e n t s t o become aware o f d e f i c i e n c i e s i n t h e i r work. E v a l u a t i n g . I n the pe e r response s e s s i o n s , s t u d e n t s made g e n e r a l s t a t e m e n t s e v a l u a t i n g t h e w r i t i n g , g e n e r a l l y a f t e r t h e y had l i s t e n e d t o t h e f i r s t r e a d i n g "Your e s s a y was v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g " was a t y p i c a l comment. More d e t a i l e d e v a l u a t i o n s f o l l o w e d t h e second r e a d i n g , such as " I l i k e y o u r i n t r o d u c t i o n v e r y much. I t h i n k the i n t r o d u c t i o n g r a b t h e a u d i e n c e " . Statements o f e v a l u a t i o n d i d not i m p l y t h a t 105 r e v i s i o n would t a k e p l a c e , i n p a r t because e v a l u a t i v e s t a t e m e n t s d i r e c t e d toward p e e r s i n t h i s s t u d y were most o f t e n o f a p o s i t i v e n a t u r e . P o i n t i n g t o T r o u b l e s o u r c e s . Problems r e c o g n i z e d by s t u d e n t s were c a l l e d " t r o u b l e s o u r c e s " ( V i l l a m i l & De G u e r r e r o , 1996). These t r o u b l e s o u r c e s were a r e a s o f c o n f u s i o n t h e s t u d e n t s i d e n t i f i e d w h i l e t h e y were l i s t e n i n g t o t h e e s s a y s b e i n g r e a d . T r o u b l e s o u r c e s might i n c l u d e words w h i c h s t u d e n t s d i d not u n d e r s t a n d , grammar problems ( r e a l o r p e r c e i v e d ) o r i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s i n t h e t e x t . F o r example, C h i e s a i d t o R i y o k o "I'm not sure l a s t p a r a g r a p h d i d you say, something about n e g a t i v e t h i n g about c r e d i t c a r d ? " . T h i s was a t r o u b l e s o u r c e f o r C h i e because R i y o k o ' s e s s a y was about the advantages o f c r e d i t c a r d s and c o n s e q u e n t l y t h e n e g a t i v e comment c o n f u s e d C h i e . W r i t i n g comments. As p r e v i o u s l y d e s c r i b e d , s t u d e n t s i n the p e e r response groups made not e s as t h e y l i s t e n e d t o e s s a y s o f t h r e e f e a t u r e s : p o i n t s t h e y f e l t were good; i d e a s , p h r a s e s t h a t " d i d n ' t work"; and, c o n f u s i n g p a s s a g e s . These n o t e s were i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e sentence o r two s t a t i n g t h e l i s t e n e r s ' f i r s t i m p r e s s i o n s o f the t e x t b e i n g p r e s e n t e d . 106 A u t h o r s t o o , were r e q u i r e d t o t a k e n o t e s o f t h e comments made by t h e o t h e r s i n t h e i r group, comments w h i c h a p p l i e d t o t h e i r e s s a y s . These comments c o u l d t h e n be r e v i e w e d when r e v i s i o n t o the essay-was b e i n g c o n s i d e r e d and d e f i c i e n c i e s i n t h e t e x t c o u l d be remedied. D i s c u s s i n g t a s k p r o c e d u r e s . There were few i n s t a n c e s of t h e s t u d e n t s d i s c u s s i n g t a s k p r o c e d u r e s on t h e t a p e s c r i p t . Examples of t h i s t y p e o f p e e r t a l k i n c l u d e d b r i e f s t a t e m e n t s , " f i n i s h e d " , " t h a t ' s enough" and "so... g e n e r a l e x p r e s s i o n ? " . There was one r e f e r e n c e t o t h e t a p e r e c o r d e r when Jae s u n s a i d " I t b o t h e r s me a c t u a l l y ; I c a n ' t speak". I t was p o s s i b l e t h a t more of t h i s s o r t o f d i s c u s s i o n t o o k p l a c e b e f o r e t h e tape r e c o r d e r was t u r n e d on. However, the group t a s k had a b a s i c s t r u c t u r e , and t h e s t u d e n t s were by t h i s time i n the semester q u i t e f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e i r r o l e s i n t h e p r o c e s s . The p r o c e d u r a l comments e v i d e n t i n the t a p e s h e l p e d keep s t u d e n t s o n - t a s k and r e v e a l e d t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f and commitment t o t h e p r o c e s s . 107 Observation 6; Students provided s c a f f o l d i n g i n peer response sessions. The term s c a f f o l d i n g i s a metaphor f o r t h e a s s i s t a n c e p r o v i d e d by a t e a c h e r / a d u l t o r a more c a p a b l e p e e r t o t h e c h i l d , o r l e s s c a p a b l e peer so t h a t t h e two t o g e t h e r a r e a b l e t o a c c o m p l i s h t h e t a s k t h e y have been s e t (Cazden 1988) . S c a f f o l d i n g S u b s t r a t e g i e s Ten s u b s t r a t e g i e s ( V i l l a m i l & De G u e r r e r o , 1996) f o r p r o v i d i n g s c a f f o l d i n g were e v i d e n t i n t h i s s t u d y . 1. I n s t r u c t i n g 6 . R e q u e s t i n g c l a r i f i c a t i o n 2 . Announcing 7. C l a r i f y i n g 3 . J u s t i f y i n g 8'. E l i c i t i n g 4 . R e s t a t i n g 9 . Responding t o e l i c i t a t i o n 5 . G i v i n g d i r e c t i v e s 10 . R e a c t i n g I n s t r u c t i n g . The s c a f f o l d i n g s t r a t e g y , i n s t r u c t i n g , was i l l u s t r a t e d when Jaesun responded t o Y u k i k o ' s s t a t e m e n t , " j u s t I don't know t h e word meaning o f ' r e p u t a t i o n ' " . J a e s u n responded w i t h more t h a n a s i m p l e d e f i n i t i o n . She 108 used examples t o make the meaning o f t h e word a v a i l a b l e t o Y u k i k o . R e p u t a t i o n means the s t o r e i s v e r y good. P r i c e i s v e r y low and t h e y don't cheat customers. I t ' s good r e p u t a t i o n s . They o v e r c h a r g e d p e o p l e , t h e y don't - we ca n ' t get a r e f u n d . That's bad r e p u t a t i o n (116-118: 1) . Because o f h e r p r o f i c i e n c y i n E n g l i s h , J a e s u n became t h e i n s t r u c t o r o r t e a c h e r t o the l e s s p r o f i c i e n t p e e r s . Announcing. Announcing was i n f r e q u e n t i n t h e s e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . One s t u d e n t , S u k j i v a n , announced, "My t o p i c i s t h e use of money i n Canada and I n d i a " . T h i s was an o r g a n i z e r w h i c h r e f o c u s e d a t t e n t i o n so t h a t t h e t a s k c o u l d c o n t i n u e . I t i s used t w i c e , b o t h t i m e s i n t h e same p e e r r e s p o n s e group. J u s t i f y i n g . G i v i n g r e a s o n s f o r the use o f a p a r t i c u l a r p h r a s e , s t r u c t u r e , o r example i n the essay, a s c a f f o l d i n g s t r a t e g y c a l l e d j u s t i f y i n g , o c c u r r e d o n l y once i n t h i s s t u d y . C h i e : I [here] l i k e y o u r comparison, f a r m e r ' s market and Korean market. J a e s u n : I j u s t t o o k . . i f I say j u s t t r a d i t i o n a l market t h e n you don't know what i t ' s l i k e (12 6-129; 1) . 109 R e s t a t i n g . Used i n one o f t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s t o i n d i c a t e u n d e r s t a n d i n g was the s t r a t e g y o f r e s t a t i n g . Terumi: I wonder how many good p o i n t s you put i n one p a r a g r a p h B i l l : Ah... Terumi: L i k e . . . B i l l : I use two p o i n t i n one p a r a g r a p h Terumi: Two p o i n t s f o r one p a r a g r a p h . I use two p o i n t s f o r one p a r a g r a p h (409-419; 2 ) . Terumi r e i t e r a t e d h e r message about B i l l ' s p a r a g r a p h s t r u c t u r e . T h i s comment d i d cause B i l l t o make r e v i s i o n t o t h i s p a r t o f h i s essay. G i v i n g d i r e c t i v e s . T h i s s t r a t e g y o c c u r r e d i n o n l y one p e e r response s e s s i o n . S u k j i v a n d i r e c t e d George t o c o r r e c t a s p e l l i n g m i s t a k e and a grammar e r r o r i n h i s e s s a y . The s t r u c t u r e of t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s l i m i t e d t h e use o f t h i s s u b s t r a t e g y s i n c e s t u d e n t s d i d not have c o p i e s o f t h e i r p e e r s ' e s s a y s t o r e f e r t o . S u k j i v a n c o n s u l t e d George's e s s a y when she c o u l d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d i f he meant ' a i r m i l e s ' o r v a i r m a i l ' . 110 R e q u e s t i n g c l a r i f i c a t i o n . T h i s s u b s t r a t e g y was e v i d e n t i n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n among Grace, B i l l and t h e a u t h o r , Terumi. Grace and B i l l d i d not u n d e r s t a n d t h e pr o b l e m f a c e d by Terumi when she t r i e d t o r e s e r v e a h o t e l room w i t h o u t h a v i n g a c r e d i t c a r d . They asked q u e s t i o n s t o s o l i c i t Terumi's i n t e n d e d meaning. C l a r i f y i n g . I n the p o r t i o n o f the t r a n s c r i p t , w h i c h r e c o r d s Grace and B i l l t a l k i n g t o Terumi, was an example o f the s c a f f o l d i n g s u b s t r a t e g y , c l a r i f y i n g . Terumi c l a r i f i e d h e r meaning by r e m i n d i n g B i l l and Grace t h a t she was not d i s c u s s i n g r e q u e s t i n g a h o t e l room i n p e r s o n w i t h o u t a c r e d i t c a r d , but r e s e r v i n g one i n advance w i t h o u t a c r e d i t c a r d t o use as a gua r a n t e e o f payment. E l i c i t i n g . T h i s s u b s t r a t e g y , an attempt t o draw out a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n , was i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n r e g a r d i n g R i y o k o ' s essay. Jaesun q u e r i e d , "You s a i d c r e d i t c a r d i s t h e most i m p o r t a n t c a r d . Why?" (70-71; 1 ) . Responding t o e l i c i t a t i o n . I n answer t o Jaesun's query, R i y o k o s t a t e d , You don't t h i n k so? J u s t because t h e y a r e used i n s t e a d o f money so t h e y can us... C r e d i t c a r d s i n s t e a d o f money so money i s not most i m p o r t a n t but i m p o r t a n t we need I l l money but I thought I might change t h i s p a r a g r a p h (73- 75; 1) . By t h e end o f t h i s s t atement, R i y o k o was ac k n o w l e d g i n g a prob l e m w i t h t h i s p a r a g r a p h and a t l e a s t c o n s i d e r i n g change. R e a c t i n g . An i m p o r t a n t p a r t of the t a s k o f p e e r r e s p o n s e was r e a c t i n g i n b o t h g e n e r a l and s p e c i f i c ways t o the e s s a y under c o n s i d e r a t i o n . G e n e r a l comments such as t h e f o l l o w i n g a r e t o be found throughout the t a p e s c r i p t s . I l i k e y o u r i n t r o d u c t i o n and I l i k e y o u r e s s a y s t y l e as a comparison between d i f f e r e n c e o f Canadian and I n d i a n . I t makes more c l e a r and easy t o u n d e r s t a n d . I l i k e y o u r e s s a y (590-592-3). Observation 7; Students displayed both c o l l a b o r a t i v e and non-co l laborat ive behaviour. Two a s p e c t s o f s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r e v i d e n t i n t h e d a t a i n t h i s s t u d y were c o l l a b o r a t i o n and n o n c o l l a b o r a t i o n . C o l l a b o r a t i o n . C o l l a b o r a t i o n o c c u r s when p e r s o n s work t o g e t h e r i n a s u p p o r t i v e manner t o a c h i e v e a mutual g o a l . I n t h i s r e s ponse s e s s i o n , i n d i v i d u a l s were w o r k i n g t o g e t h e r t o h e l p members o f the p e e r group see t h e i r w r i t i n g t h r o u g h the eyes o f o t h e r s . 112 An i n s t a n c e o f c o l l a b o r a t i o n was r e v e a l e d i n Jaesun's comments. Ja e s u n : as I s a i d b e f o r e , yeah, y o u r e s s a y i s v e r y f o c u s e d so t h r e e o f body p a r a g r a p h i s v e r y c l e a r . And I wondered y o u r t o p i c , no t h e s i s statement i n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n p a r a g r a p h "There i s l o t o f d i f f e r e n t media of s t r a t e g i e s t o s e l l a p r o d u c t t o "consumers" so i t ' s ummm... emphasized th e a d v e r t i s e m e n t o f the company. I mean company wanna s e l l as many p r o d u c t s as p o s s i b l e . I t i s f o c u s e d t h a t way but you wanna say. C h i e : Yeah consumers Jaes u n : Yeah, w i s e consumers s h o u l d use t h e k i n d o f new i n f o r m a t i o n , yeah, a c t i v e l y , yeah so I t h i n k y e s . . . (277-288-1). T h i s c o l l a b o r a t i v e work on C h i e ' s e s s a y l a t e r m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n a r e v i s e d t h e s i s s t atement. N o n - c o l l a b o r a t i o n . N o n - c o l l a b o r a t i o n o c c u r s when s t u d e n t s r e s i s t w o r k i n g t o g e t h e r e i t h e r by b e h a v i n g i n d i f f e r e n t l y , by d o i n g t h e minimum r e q u i r e d i n t h e group o r by s p e a k i n g i n a way t h a t may seem t o be a g g r e s s i v e . The f o l l o w i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n i l l u s t r a t e s t h e l a t t e r . The s t u d e n t , Grace, t h r o u g h word c h o i c e and t h e a b r u p t n e s s o f h e r speech l i k e l y conveyed a n o n - c o l l a b o r a t i v e a t t i t u d e t o h e r p e e r s , and i n p a r t i c u l a r t o B i l l . 113 Grace: I l i k e you own example i n i n t r o d u c t i o n and i n f o u r t h p a r a g r a p h . I have no i d e a about l a s t s e ntence o f c o n c l u s i o n . B i l l : Yeah, i t ' s . . . . G race: I t ' s k i n d o f w e i r d . Yeah. I don't l i k e [ i n a u d i b l e ] you say d i d ah i f you l i k e c a r r y l o t s o f money ah i f you d i d you may c a r r y . I don't know. B i l l : t o o heavy w a l l e t ? Grace: Yeah, Yeah. I t h i n k I don't know. I j u s t don't l i k e i t . That's i t . (393-406-2). I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t B i l l d i d not make changes t o h i s e s s a y as a r e s u l t o f the p e e r response s e s s i o n . Observation 8: Students displayed a f f e c t i n t h e i r behaviour when working i n peer response groups. T h i s a s p e c t was i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h e s t u d e n t s ' c o n c e r n about not h u r t i n g t h e i r p e e r s ' f e e l i n g s , as w e l l as i n t h e p o s i t i v e comments made about the w r i t i n g . There was empathy i n comments such as the f o l l o w i n g : C h i e : My e s s a y ' s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t Y u k i k o : T h i s i s good t h i n g , v e r y unique t o p i c so v e r y f r e s h t o me (254-257-1). 114 Y u k i k o : T h i s i s good t h i n g , v e r y unique t o p i c so v e r y f r e s h t o me (254-257-1). and l a t e r , C h i e : but I'm not s u r e am I good o r y o u r e s s a y s a r e good. J a e s u n : I t ' s j u s t d i f f e r e n t . You j u s t f o c u s e d how t o use... [ Y u k i k o , Jaesun, R i y o k o t o g e t h e r ] a d v e r t i s i n g (266-269-1). A f f e c t was a l s o e v i d e n t i n what Freedman (1992) c a l l e d s o l i d a r i t y r i t u a l s (p.98). These o c c u r r e d a t t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e s t u d e n t ' s r e a d i n g i n one o f the groups i n p a r t i c u l a r . These " r i t u a l i s t i c , n e g a t i v e " comments g i v e n i n a s e l f - d e p r e c a t o r y way s u p p o r t group u n i t y . I n t h i s s t u d y , t h e y were s t a t e m e n t s such as t h e f o l l o w i n g : , " I t y p e d i t but i t ' s not q u i t e r i g h t way I t y p e d " ; " I have no time t o . . . o k a y , but I wrote about th e c r e d i t c a r d " . A f f e c t was a l s o r e v e a l e d i n t h e " p o l i t e n e s s s t r a t e g i e s " I found i n t h e a n a l y s i s o f t h e t a p e s c r i p t s o f t h e s e s s i o n s . I n one group, s t u d e n t s always made a p o i n t o f s a y i n g "thank you" when p e e r s were f i n i s h e d r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e i r w r i t i n g . 115 Observation 9: Some students used feedback from peer response sessions i n r e v i s i n g t h e i r essays. An a n a l y s i s o f t h e t a p e s c r i p t s o f t h e f o u r t h p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n r e v e a l e d t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f what have been r e f e r r e d t o as t r o u b l e s o u r c e s i n s t u d e n t e s s a y s . T r o u b l e s o u r c e s , p o i n t e d out by p e e r group members, f r e q u e n t l y i n f l u e n c e d t h e r e v i s i o n o f e s s a y s . I n t h e s t u d y , t h r e e of the t w e l v e p a r t i c i p a n t s r e c e i v e d no s u g g e s t i o n s from t h e i r p e e r s , nor were t h e y d i r e c t e d t o t r o u b l e s o u r c e s i n t h e i r w r i t i n g . T h e i r r e v i s e d e s s a y s , c o n s e q u e n t l y , owed n o t h i n g , a t l e a s t d i r e c t l y , t o t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . Two o t h e r s t u d e n t s r e c e i v e d f e e d b a c k w h i c h t h e y d i d not t a k e i n t o account when r e v i s i n g t h e i r e s s a y s . However the r e m a i n i n g s t u d e n t s , 7 o f t h e 12, t o v a r y i n g d e g r e e s , made use of t h e comments from o t h e r group members i n t h e s e s s i o n s t o make changes i n t h e i r e s s a y s . George, Naomi and B i l l a l l r e c e i v e d feedback on two a s p e c t s o f t h e i r w r i t i n g . Each chose t o i g n o r e one comment and use t h e o t h e r i n t h e r e v i s e d e s s a y . Whether t h i s c h o i c e was d e l i b e r a t e o r not i s not e v i d e n t . I n George's case he c o r r e c t e d a grammar e r r o r w h i c h h i s c l a s s m a t e s had p o i n t e d 116 out t o him, but he d i d not a l t e r t h e c o n c l u s i o n o f h i s e s s a y as Sun had sugge s t e d . She made i t c l e a r t h a t she thought h i s c o n c l u s i o n was " l i t t l e b i t s h o r t . . . so I b e l i e v e you can w r i t e more...". George d i d n o t , however, use t h i s s u g g e s t i o n i n h i s r e v i s i n g . I t i s c e r t a i n l y p o s s i b l e he c o n s i d e r e d Sun's comment. He may not have known what o r how t o add t o h i s c o n c l u s i o n ; he may, on t h e o t h e r hand, have p r e f e r r e d t o l e a v e t h e c o n c l u s i o n as he had f i r s t w r i t t e n i t . Y u k i k o and C h i e b o t h made a number o f r e v i s i o n s t o t h e i r d r a f t s . Some were t h e r e s u l t o f t h e pe e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s ; o t h e r s were n o t . Y u k i k o , f o r example, added a sen t e n c e i m m e d i a t e l y a f t e r an e x p r e s s i o n w h i c h had p u z z l e d R i y o k o , presumably t o t r y t o i n t e g r a t e t h e i d i o m more n a t u r a l l y i n t o h e r essay. C h i e ' s r e v i s i o n s a l s o t o o k i n t o account t h e i n t e r a c t i o n o f t h e p e e r response group. I n t h e s e s s i o n , C h i e ' s a t t e n t i o n had been drawn by Jae s u n t o the f a c t t h a t h e r t h e s i s s t atement d i d not r e a l l y f i t t h e c o n t e n t o f t h e es s a y . A comparison o f t h e o r i g i n a l and t h e r e v i s e d 117 v e r s i o n s i n d i c a t e d h e r attempt t o respond t o Jaesun's feedback. O R I G I N A L : By u s i n g t h e a d v e r t i s e m e n t t h e consumers can spend money c a r e f u l l y . There a r e l o t s o f d i f f e r e n t m e d i a l o f s t r a t e g i e s t o s e l l a p r o d u c t t o consumers. R E V I S E D : O c c a s i o n a l l y , an enormous i n f o r m a t i o n i s c o n f u s e d and b l i n d e d consumer's r i g h t d e c i s i o n . - However, a w i s e consumer has s e v e r a l methods t o p i c k up a c o r r e c t i n f o r m a t i o n by u s i n g a media. There a r e main media a w i s e consumer does. W h i l e t h e r e v i s e d v e r s i o n may not have been n e c e s s a r i l y an improvement on t h e o r i g i n a l , i t was e v i d e n c e o f an attempt t o r e s p o n d t o t h e needs o f a w i d e r a u d i e n c e as r e p r e s e n t e d by p e e r s . C h i e made a d d i t i o n s , d e l e t i o n s and s u b s t i t u t i o n s , most of w h i c h were not t h e r e s u l t o f feedback i n t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n . One no t e w o r t h y a d d i t i o n w h i c h was t h e r e s u l t o f C h i e ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e pe e r response s e s s i o n was h e r a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f t h e word " r e p u t a t i o n " , a word used and e x p l a i n e d by Jaesun. Terumi and S u k j i v a n a l s o used t h e feedback t h e y r e c e i v e d i n t h e i r r e v i s i o n s . B o t h a l s o had changes not 118 a t t r i b u t a b l e t o the peer response s e s s i o n . S u k j i v a n ' s r e v i s i o n s were the most e x t e n s i v e i n t h e s t u d y . She r e v i s e d a l l p r o b l e m a t i c a r e a s o f h e r w r i t i n g and added i d i o m s because th e group had a p p r e c i a t e d h e r n a t u r a l use o f t h e s e e x p r e s s i o n s . She a l s o changed her c o n c l u s i o n . W h i l e she s t a t e d t h i s was the r e s u l t of p e e r feedback, i n a c t u a l f a c t , she, h e r s e l f , had commented on h e r c o n c l u s i o n d u r i n g t h e f i r s t r e a d i n g o f h e r e s s a y . Observation #10: Both less p r o f i c i e n t and more p r o f i c i e n t students benefited from peer response sessions. I n t h i s s t u d y , t h e d a t a r e v e a l e d b e n e f i t s f o r b o t h l e s s p r o f i c i e n t and more p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p e e r response groups. F i r s t , t h e l e s s p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s were a b l e t o p a r t i c i p a t e e q u a l l y i n the a s s i g n e d t a s k w i t h o t h e r more p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s . C h i e , f o r example, th e s t u d e n t who was r e p e a t i n g t h e c o u r s e , was a b l e t o make g e n e r a l comments about t h e e s s a y s she h e a r d r e a d by h e r c l a s s m a t e s . A l s o , she p o i n t e d t o a t r o u b l e s o u r c e i n R i y o k o ' s e s s a y s t a t i n g " I 119 j u s t wondered t h e meaning o f [bonus]." When she h e a r d Jaesun's e s s a y r e a d f o r t h e second t i m e , h e r s p e c i f i c comment i n d i c a t e d h e r a p p r e c i a t i o n o f t h e comparison between the f a r m e r ' s market i n Kamloops and t h e Korean market. I n summary, she e v a l u a t e d t h e e s s a y s , p o i n t e d t o t r o u b l e s o u r c e s and as d i d more p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s , p a r t i c i p a t e d as an e q u a l member o f t h e pe e r response group. More p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s as w e l l as l e s s p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s a p p r e c i a t e d the o p p o r t u n i t y t o "share ideas with other people" and "compare d i f f e r e n t approaches to one topic". These were comments made by Jaesun, t h e b e s t s t u d e n t i n t h e c l a s s . Kyoko a n o t h e r more p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t , a l s o e x p r e s s e d t h e s e n t i m e n t t h a t " i t ' s good to know the member's idea and how they write an essay". E c h o i n g J a e s u n and Kyoko was George, one o f t h e l e s s p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s , who s t a t e d i n h i s j o u r n a l , " J can get some good ideas from the classmates". One o f t h e most i m p o r t a n t g a i n s r e f e r r e d t o by b o t h groups of s t u d e n t s was improved l i s t e n i n g s k i l l . George thought reading "the essay in class can improve my speaking, l i s t e n i n g " . Y u k i k o , a n o t h e r s t u d e n t l e s s p r o f i c i e n t t h a n 120 J a e s u n and Kyoko n o t e d i n h e r j o u r n a l t h a t "my hearing level go up. (I think so...) I want to give good suggestion for my peers so I need to l i s t e n c a r e f u l l y . I concentrate on my peers' essays". Even though Jaesun i s a more p r o f i c i e n t w r i t i n g s t u d e n t , she c o n c l u d e d h e r f i n a l j o u r n a l i n a s i m i l a r v e i n . Most of a l l our group process i s b e n e f i c i a l to my l i s t e n i n g s k i l l s . It makes me pay careful attention to catching the thesis statement and topic sentences of the essay so that I can understand the content of the essay and comment on the essay appropriately (3-#16). Kyoko and Jaesun, two o f the more p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s i n t h e c l a s s , b e n e f i t e d from the o p p o r t u n i t y t o work w i t h t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s i n a group s e t t i n g f o r t h e good o f a l l . Kyoko n o t e d i n h e r j o u r n a l t h a t she l e a r n e d "proper expressions... yI think...', "In my opinion' and so on. We can't say, xYou should' or yYou are wrong'. We have to respect group member's writing" (3-#12). Jaesun's awareness of h e r c l a s s m a t e ' s f e e l i n g s was e v i d e n t i n the t a p e s c r i p t . Because o f h e r a b i l i t y and her commitment t o t h e t a s k , i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h e quote above, Jaesun p o i n t e d t o t r o u b l e s s o u r c e s i n the e s s a y s o f h e r p e e r group members. I n 121 each i n s t a n c e she began h e r comment w i t h an e x p r e s s i o n such as " I am wondering", " I wondered". When i t was h e r t u r n t o r e c e i v e feedback, she thanked each o f h e r c l a s s m a t e s f o r t h e i r comments. Her j o u r n a l made i t c l e a r she was aware o f b o t h h e r o b l i g a t i o n not .to h u r t h e r c l a s s m a t e s ' f e e l i n g s and he r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o h e l p them i d e n t i f y p r o b l e m a t i c a s p e c t s of t h e i r w r i t i n g . L ess p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s were a l s o c o n c e r n e d not t o h u r t t h e f e e l i n g s of o t h e r s . F o r t h e most p a r t , though, t h e s e s t u d e n t s a v o i d e d g i v i n g n e g a t i v e feedback. They d i d , however, ask q u e s t i o n s about word c h o i c e and the meaning of passages t h e y d i d not u n d e r s t a n d . Reading t h e i r e s s a y s a l o u d b e n e f i t e d b o t h l e s s p r o f i c i e n t s t u d e n t s and th o s e who were more p r o f i c i e n t . Y u k i k o commented: Whenever I write an essay, I have hard time to edit i t . I know there are l o t s of things need to be changed but I don't know where or how. When I read aloud, I can hear and also my peers can hear something that sounds unnatural (3-#2). Kyoko c o n c u r r e d n o t i n g t h a t "when I was reading my essay aloud, I found many mistakes in i t . I t ' s good opportunity to find mistakes by myself". 122 A f i n a l b e n e f i t e x p e r i e n c e d by most s t u d e n t s whatever t h e i r p r o f i c i e n c y l e v e l appears t o be an i n c r e a s e d s e l f c o n f i d e n c e and sense of comfort when p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s w i t h c l a s s m a t e s . S u k j i v a n n o t e s t h a t even though t h e c o m p o s i t i o n of the groups changed a t mid-term, the c o m f o r t a b l e atmosphere d i d not change. When -Yukiko began t h e p e e r response s e s s i o n s , she was embarrassed and nervous about r e a d i n g h er e s s a y a l o u d but by t h e end o f t h e semester, she was e n t h u s i a s t i c about t h e p r o c e s s , and i n h e r f i n a l j o u r n a l e n t r y made no mention of any r e l u c t a n c e t o sha r e h e r work w i t h o t h e r s . C h i e , t o o , was a p p a r e n t l y much more c o n f i d e n t and c o m f o r t a b l e i n the "group a c t i v i t y in my w r i t i n g class which i s my f a v o r i t e a c t i v i t y " by t h e end o f the semester. 123 CHAPTER FIVE D i s c u s s i o n and I m p l i c a t i o n s T h i s c h a p t e r d i s c u s s e s t h e o b s e r v a t i o n s s e t f o r t h i n C h a p t e r Four. I t a l s o p r e s e n t s t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h o s e o b s e r v a t i o n s f o r t h e ESL c l a s s r o o m and s u g g e s t s a r e a s o f f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . S t u d e n t s ' P e r c e p t i o n s o f Peer Response The o b s e r v a t i o n s i n t h i s s t u d y c o n c e r n i n g s t u d e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s o f p e e r response s e s s i o n s were i n t e r e s t i n g because t h e y v a r i e d from t h o s e of o t h e r s t u d i e s . O b s e r v a t i o n s seemed t o i n d i c a t e t h a t my s t u d e n t s were more p o s i t i v e i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e s towards p e e r response t h a n t h o s e i n M a n g l e s d o r f ' s (1992) s t u d y . When the p e r c e p t i o n s of the A s i a n p a r t i c i p a n t s i n M a n g l e s d o r f ' s s t u d y a r e e x p r e s s e d i n p e r c e n t a g e s and compared t o t h e p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e s t u d e n t s i n my s t u d y as e x p r e s s e d i n t h e f i r s t j o u r n a l e n t r i e s , t h e r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e a more p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e toward p e e r response work i n my s t u d y , as shown i n T a b l e 5.1. 124 T a b l e 5.1 Comparison o f H o l i s t i c R a t i n g s A s i a n P a r t i c i p a n t s P o s i t i v e M ixed N e g a t i v e Manglesdorf (1992) 8 (57.1%) 1 (7.1%) 5 (35.7%) (n = 14) My study (1997) 6 (50%) 4 (33.3%) 2 (16.6%) (n = 12) I n my s t u d y , the f i r s t j o u r n a l s were t h e most n e g a t i v e o v e r a l l and y e t my r e s u l t s were s t i l l more p o s i t i v e t h a n M a n g l e s d o r f ' s . An e x p l a n a t i o n of t h e s e r e s u l t s may be found i n t h e f a c t t h a t i n t h i s s t u d y I was t h e t e a c h e r / r e s e a r c h e r . The r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t d e v e l o p e d between the s t u d e n t s and t h e t e a c h e r / r e s e a r c h e r may have r e s u l t e d i n more p o s i t i v e assessments o f pe e r response s e s s i o n s . M a n g l e s d o r f was an e x t e r n a l r e s e a r c h e r who asked s t u d e n t s t o "take about twenty minutes o f c l a s s t ime towards t h e end of t h e semester t o answer f o u r q u e s t i o n s about p e e r response i n w r i t i n g " (p. 275) . A n o t h e r p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h e more p o s i t i v e p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e s t u d e n t s i n my s t u d y may be t h e f a c t t h a t a l l o f t h e s t u d e n t s i n t h e c l a s s r o o m were o f A s i a n o r i g i n . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e y may have f e l t more c o m f o r t a b l e w o r k i n g i n pe e r response groups t h a n the A s i a n s t u d e n t s i n M a n g l e s d o r f ' s (1992) s t u d y where the 40 p a r t i c i p a n t s were an " e x t r e m e l y heterogeneous group" (p. 2 75) s p e a k i n g 18 languages. R e s u l t s t h e n seemed e n c o u r a g i n g . The s t u d e n t s i n my s t u d y , a l l of whom were A s i a n , a p p a r e n t l y were no d i f f e r e n t i n t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s of p e e r response t h a n the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n i n M a n g l e s d o r f ' s (1992) s t u d y (See T a b l e 5.2). 126 T a b l e 5.2 Comparison o f H o l i s t i c R a t i n g s A l l Participants P o s i t i v e Mixed N e g a t i v e Manglesdorf' s study 22 (55%) 12 (30%) 6 (15%) (n = 40) My study 6 (50%) 4 (33.3%) 2 (16.6%) (n = 12) Changes i n P e r c e p t i o n s o v e r t h e Semester S t u d e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s of p e e r response s e s s i o n s i n my s t u d y changed o v e r t h e c o u r s e of the semester. T a b l e 4.1 (p. 89) i l l u s t r a t e d t h e changes t h a t t o o k p l a c e as t h e semester p r o g r e s s e d and as s t u d e n t s a r t i c u l a t e d i n t h e i r j o u r n a l e n t r i e s t h e b e n e f i t s and concerns t h e y p e r c e i v e d i n p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s . F i r s t , as p r e v i o u s l y r e p o r t e d , r e s u l t s o f t h e r a t i n g o f the i n i t i a l j o u r n a l e n t r i e s were v e r y s i m i l a r t o t h o s e t a b u l a t e d by M a n g l e s d o r f (1992). (See T a b l e 5.2). F o r t h e 127 second j o u r n a l t h e r e were fewer e n t r i e s r a t e d as n e g a t i v e , but t h e r e were a l s o c o n s i d e r a b l y fewer e n t r i e s r a t e d p o s i t i v e . The m a j o r i t y , 63.6%, were r a t e d as mixed. F o r the t h i r d j o u r n a l the numbers changed a g a i n , and t h i s t i m e t h e r e were no s t u d e n t s whose j o u r n a l s were t o t a l l y n e g a t i v e . J o u r n a l s r a t e d as p o s i t i v e were 44.4% o f t h e t o t a l w h i l e j o u r n a l s r a t e d mixed c o n s t i t u t e d 55.5%. The r e s u l t s shown by t h e s e s t a t i s t i c s , i n my o p i n i o n , conformed t o t h e t y p i c a l p a t t e r n e v i d e n t i n s t u d e n t a t t i t u d e s g e n e r a l l y o v e r t h e c o u r s e of a semester. I n t h e b e g i n n i n g , s t u d e n t s a r e f o r t h e most p a r t e n t h u s i a s t i c , c o n f i d e n t . By the m i d d l e of t h e semester t h e y a r e c o n f r o n t i n g c h a l l e n g e s , f i n d i n g t h e work perhaps somewhat d i f f i c u l t and a t t i m e s f e e l i n g c o n f u s e d and d i s c o u r a g e d . F i n a l l y , by t h e end o f the semester, most s t u d e n t s have r e s o l v e d whatever problems t h e y have had, and u s u a l l y complete t h e term w i t h some l e v e l o f s a t i s f a c t i o n o r a t l e a s t w i t h a mood of a c c e p t a n c e . 128 B e n e f i t s and Concerns The b e n e f i t s s t u d e n t s p e r c e i v e d r e g a r d i n g t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s c o n f i r m e d t h o s e d e s c r i b e d i n p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s : i n c r e a s e d a u d i e n c e awareness ( M i t t a n , 1989; U r z u a , 1987), o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o p r a c t i c e l i s t e n i n g t o and s p e a k i n g t h e t a r g e t language (Gass & S e l i n k e r , 1994; Hedgcock and L e f k o w i t z , 1992; Long & P o r t e r , 1985), s e e i n g t e x t i n a new way by r e a d i n g i t a l o u d (Hedgcock & L e f k o w i t z , 1992; Zamel, 1983), and l e a r n i n g from o t h e r s ' w r i t i n g ( V i l l a m i l & De G u e r r e r o , 1996). S t u d e n t s mentioned h a v i n g d i f f i c u l t y u n d e r s t a n d i n g c l a s s m a t e s ' p r o n u n c i a t i o n and remembering the e s s a y s w h i c h were s h a r e d d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s . One s t u d e n t became c o n f u s e d upon h e a r i n g how h e r p e e r s had shaped t h e i r e s s a y s , and h e r c o n f i d e n c e s u f f e r e d s i n c e she f e l t h e r e s s a y s were not as w e l l w r i t t e n as t h o s e o f t h e o t h e r s i n the' group. These c o n c e r n s , w h i l e t h e y cannot be d i s m i s s e d , d i d not o u t w e i g h the c o g n i t i v e , s o c i a l and l i n g u i s t i c b e n e f i t s f o r s t u d e n t s o f p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e groups. 129 One a r e a o f c o n c e r n mentioned i n o t h e r s t u d i e s was not e v i d e n c e d i n t h i s s t u d y . The r e s e a r c h documents s t u d e n t c o m p l a i n t s about group members who a r e sometimes l a z y , p o o r l y p r e p a r e d o r i n d i f f e r e n t t o the group t a s k o f p e e r re s p o n s e (Obah, 1993; V i l l a m i l & De G u e r r e r o , 1996). I n my s t u d y t h e r e were no comments r e l a t i n g c o n c e r n s o f t h i s n a t u r e . Perhaps t h i s was t h e r e s u l t o f the homogeneous n a t u r e o f t h e group, o r perhaps t h i s was s i m p l y an e x c e p t i o n a l c l a s s . Peer I n t e r a c t i o n I n a n a l y z i n g what s t u d e n t s d i d i n t h e p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s , my o b s e r v a t i o n s r e p l i c a t e d t h e f i n d i n g s o f V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o (1996). The p e e r response s e s s i o n s were r e v e a l e d t o be s u r p r i s i n g l y r i c h and complex i n b o t h s t u d i e s , g i v e n t h e d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e ways i n w h i c h t h e s t u d i e s were conducted. W h i l e V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o ' s (1996) p a r t i c i p a n t s were v e r y c a r e f u l l y s e l e c t e d f o r i n c l u s i o n i n t h e s t u d y , my s u b j e c t s were tho s e who had s i m p l y e n r o l l e d i n t h e c l a s s . T h e i r w r i t i n g a b i l i t i e s v a r i e d , as d i d t h e i r s t a t e d g o a l s , 130 t h e l e n g t h of time t h e y had been i n Canada and t h e i r c o u n t r y of o r i g i n . F o r pe e r response s e s s i o n s , my s t u d e n t s were i n groups o f f o u r ; f o r V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o ' s (1996) r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t , s t u d e n t s worked i n dyads. I n s p i t e o f t h e d i f f e r i n g d e s i g n s o f t h e s t u d i e s , s t u d e n t s i n b o t h s t u d i e s engaged i n s o c i o - c o g n i t i v e a c t i v i t i e s , made use o f m e d i a t i n g s t r a t e g i e s and e x h i b i t e d a s p e c t s o f s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f re s p o n s e groups ( V i l l a m i l & De G u e r r e r o , 1996). The p e e r i n t e r a c t i o n i n my s t u d y , however, was more l i m i t e d t h a n i n V i l l a m i l and De G u e r r e r o ' s (1996) . F o r example, my s t u d e n t s engaged i n f i v e not seven s o c i o - c o g n i t i v e a c t i v i t i e s (p. 57). Because the response groups worked o r a l l y , t h e y d i d not compose new s e n t e n c e s f o r each o t h e r , n o r d i d t h e y a c t u a l l y " d e a l w i t h t r o u b l e s o u r c e s " . My s t u d e n t s p o i n t e d t o t r o u b l e s o u r c e s , t h e a u t h o r n o t e d them, and a t home, when r e v i s i n g the essay, d e t e r m i n e d whether t o make changes o r n o t . W i t h r e s p e c t t o m e d i a t i n g s t r a t e g i e s t h e r e was e v i d e n c e o n l y o f t h e use o f s c a f f o l d i n g s u b s t r a t e g i e s i n my s t u d y . S t u d e n t s h e l p e d each o t h e r u n d e r s t a n d r e s p o n s e s t o e s s a y s by 131 e m p l o y i n g t e n s u b s t r a t e g i e s such as ' i n s t r u c t i n g ' , ' r e q u e s t i n g c l a r i f i c a t i o n ' . F i n a l l y c o l l a b o r a t i o n , non- c o l l a b o r a t i o n and a f f e c t were e v i d e n t i n t h e b e h a v i o u r o f the s t u d e n t s i n my s t u d y . I t i s e n c o u r a g i n g t o note t h a t i n the c l a s s r o o m s i t u a t i o n , s t u d e n t s reap many of the same b e n e f i t s o f p e e r i n t e r a c t i o n as s t u d e n t s i n a more c o n t r o l l e d , homogeneous environment. R e v i s i o n I n t h i s s t u d y , 7 o f 12 s t u d e n t s (58%) made r e v i s i o n s based on t h e pe e r response s e s s i o n s . Most o f t h e s t u d e n t s made minor changes. George, f o r example, c o r r e c t e d a grammar e r r o r ; B i l l c r e a t e d two para g r a p h s o f one; Naomi added i n f o r m a t i o n h e r c l a s s m a t e s o f f e r e d t o h e r es s a y . O n l y two s t u d e n t s r e v i s e d s u b s t a n t i a l l y u s i n g p e e r feedback. These r e s u l t s were d i s a p p o i n t i n g . Mendonca and Johnson's (1994) s t u d y f o c u s e d on p e e r n e g o t i a t i o n and r e v i s i o n . R e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t " i n 53% o f the i n s t a n c e s o f r e v i s i o n s , s t u d e n t s i n c o r p o r a t e d t h e i r p e e r s ' comments" (p. 758). However, t h e r e v i s i o n s t h a t were 132 made seemed t o be more s u b s t a n t i v e t h a n what was e v i d e n t i n my s t u d y . I t was p o s s i b l e t h i s was a consequence o f t h e f a c t t h a t t h e s t u d e n t s i n Mendonca and Johnson's s t u d y were g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s w i t h TOEFL s c o r e s . e q u a l t o o r h i g h e r t h a n 550. My s t u d e n t s were un d e r g r a d u a t e s w i t h TOEFL s c o r e s o f below 550. I t may be t o o t h a t w o r k i n g i n p a i r s w i t h a r e v i s i o n s h eet made a d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e t y p e s o f r e v i s i o n s w h i c h Mendonca and Johnson's s t u d e n t s made. Feedback I s s u e s One o f t h e p r o b l e m a t i c a r e a s of p e e r response was t h e s t u d e n t s ' f e e l i n g s o f inadequacy when t h e y were asked t o c r i t i q u e t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s ' w r i t i n g . C o r o l l a r i e s t o t h i s were t h e d i s t r u s t two o f my s t u d e n t s had o f p e e r feedback and t h e consequent d e s i r e f o r t e a c h e r feedback. I n t h e s e two i n s t a n c e s s t u d e n t s ' v i e w s were s i m i l a r t o t h e v i e w s o f p a r t i c i p a n t s i n Zhang's (1995) s t u d y , where i t was c l e a r t h a t most s t u d e n t s p r e f e r r e d t e a c h e r feedback t o p e e r feedback when g i v e n a c l e a r c h o i c e . Such r e s u l t s were not s u r p r i s i n g s i n c e t h e t e a c h e r i s , a f t e r a l l , t h e f i n a l a u t h o r i t y i n the c l a s s r o o m , and o f t e n 133 one o f t h e few n a t i v e s p e a k e r s w i t h whom many s t u d e n t s come i n t o c o n t a c t . I t makes eminent sense f o r s t u d e n t s t o p r e f e r t o have th e t e a c h e r p r o v i d e feedback on t h e i r e s s a y s r a t h e r t h a n t h e i r p e e r s . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o l i s t e n t o s t u d e n t s and t h e i r c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g p e e r feedback. F o r example, B i l l , t h e s t u d e n t i n t h e s t u d y who was t h e most adamant t h a t t h e t e a c h e r s h o u l d p r o v i d e feedback, had good i d e a s and spoke f l u e n t l y as a r e s u l t of a t t e n d i n g h i g h s c h o o l i n Canada. H i s d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h w r i t i n g c e n t e r e d around grammar. G i v e n t h e t a s k s t r u c t u r e , B i l l knew he was not r e c e i v i n g t h e k i n d o f feedback from h i s p e e r s t h a t he needed t o improve h i s w r i t i n g . B i l l would l i k e l y have f a r e d b e t t e r had he worked i n a dyad w i t h a w r i t t e n copy of h i s p a r t n e r ' s e s s a y t o examine and comment on. I n a d d i t i o n t o p e e r feedback, s t u d e n t s need fe e d b a c k from t h e i r t e a c h e r s . D u r i n g t h i s s t u d y , t e a c h e r feedback was not d e n i e d t o B i l l n o r t o any o f the s t u d e n t s ; i t r a t h e r was i n a d d i t i o n t o p e e r feedback not i n p l a c e o f i t . Teacher feedback was not s t u d i e d but i t seemed t o be most 134 u s e f u l i f i t was f o c u s e d on grammar a t t h e f i n a l s t a g e , e d i t i n g (Hedgcock and L e f k o w i t z , 1992). One f i n a l comment needs t o be made. S t u d e n t s may r e s i s t p e e r feedback and i n s i s t on t e a c h e r feedback because t h e y " f a i l t o r e c o g n i z e t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r m o n i t o r i n g t h e i r own w r i t i n g " (Devine, 1993, p. 188). Peer r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s ar e an attempt t o h e l p s t u d e n t s r e a l i z e t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Perhaps t e a c h e r s need t o be more e x p l i c i t about t h i s g o a l . I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r T e a c h i n g F i r s t , t e a c h e r s need t o be encouraged t o use p e e r r e s p o n s e groups i n t h e i r w r i t i n g c l a s s r o o m s . The b e n e f i t s a r e c o n s i d e r a b l e f o r ESL s t u d e n t s . A l t h o u g h c o n d u c t i n g p e e r r e s p o n s e i s not w i t h o u t i t s problems, t h e time and e f f o r t r e q u i r e d t o d e t e r m i n e how t o m i t i g a t e d i f f i c u l t i e s a r e w o r t h e x p e n d i n g . Because t h i s was an a c t i o n r e s e a r c h s t u d y whose purpose i t was t o improve my t e a c h i n g p r a c t i c e and t o improve l e a r n i n g c o n d i t i o n s f o r my s t u d e n t s , t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s t h a t f o l l o w a r e made w i t h s p e c i f i c r e f e r e n c e t o my s i t u a t i o n . 135 I n f u t u r e w r i t i n g c l a s s e s , p r o v i d i n g more e x t e n s i v e t r a i n i n g f o r p e e r response s e s s i o n s w i l l h e l p s t u d e n t s t o p a r t i c i p a t e more f u l l y i n the p r o c e s s . F i r s t , language t r a i n i n g needs p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n s i n c e t h e use o f p o l i t e n e s s s t r a t e g i e s and f a c i l i t a t i v e language seemed t o promote a more c o o p e r a t i v e atmosphere i n t h e s e s s i o n s , and c o n s e q u e n t l y r e s u l t e d i n g r e a t e r s o c i a l and academic b e n e f i t s (Manglesdorf and Schlumberger, 1992; N e l s o n & Murphy, 1993). Coaching s t u d e n t s i n t h e use o f s c a f f o l d i n g s u b s t r a t e g i e s would " o f f e r [peers] more s p e c i f i c g u i d e l i n e s f o r r e v i s i o n " ( S t a n l e y , 1992, p. 229). Some p r e l i m i n a r y p r a c t i c e w i t h such s t r a t e g i e s perhaps i n a whole c l a s s a c t i v i t y w i t h a model e s s a y would h e l p s t u d e n t s u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r t a s k and g i v e them a d d i t i o n a l language r e s o u r c e s f o r a c c o m p l i s h i n g t h a t t a s k . Next, s t u d e n t s need t o be made aware o f t h e advantages i n h e r e n t i n pe e r response s e s s i o n s . They a p p a r e n t l y see t h e a c t i v i t y s o l e l y as a v e h i c l e f o r h a v i n g t h e i r e s s a y s ' f i x e d ' b e f o r e t h o s e e s s a y s must be handed i n . The o t h e r b e n e f i t s t h a t a c c r u e need t o be e x p l i c i t l y p r e s e n t e d . To a c c o m p l i s h t h i s i n w r i t i n g c l a s s e s next semester, I would l i k e t o m o n i t o r p r o g r e s s w i t h each group by exa m i n i n g tape 136 r e c o r d i n g s o f t h e s e s s i o n s and use p o r t i o n s o f t h e t a p e s c r i p t s w i t h s t u d e n t s t o h e l p them become more c o g n i z a n t of t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o the t a s k , and t h e b e n e f i t s t h e y are r e c e i v i n g . F i n a l l y , a t l e a s t once a semester I would l i k e t o conduct p e e r response s e s s i o n s u s i n g dyads and t o g i v e s t u d e n t s w r i t t e n c o p i e s o f the e s s a y s . I n p a r t i c u l a r , I would l i k e t o compare the p e e r i n t e r a c t i o n o f dyads w i t h t h a t w h i c h t a k e s p l a c e i n groups. I n a d d i t i o n , I would l i k e t o e x p l o r e t h e s t u d e n t s ' a t t i t u d e s t o w o r k i n g i n dyads and more c l o s e l y i n v e s t i g a t e p a t t e r n s of r e v i s i o n . To s u p p o r t p e e r response groups,' t e a c h e r s need t o m o n i t o r s t u d e n t p r o g r e s s , and g i v e a s s i s t a n c e where n e c e s s a r y . I n my c l a s s next semester, t e a c h e r feedback w i l l be g i v e n d u r i n g t h e e d i t i n g s t a g e . I f s t u d e n t s a r e q u i t e c l e a r t h a t p e e r feedback and t e a c h e r feedback a r e b o t h a v a i l a b l e a l t h o u g h a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s and f o r d i f f e r e n t p u r p o s e s , s t u d e n t s may be more r e c e p t i v e t o p e e r feedback d u r i n g p e e r response s e s s i o n s . 137 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r R e s e a r c h R e s e a r c h i n t o the peer response p r o c e s s needs t o c o n t i n u e . I s s u e s o f i n t e r e s t j u s t b e g i n n i n g t o be e x p l o r e d a r e t h o s e t h a t have t o do w i t h c u l t u r e (Carson & N e l s o n , 1994). " I n group/out group r e l a t i o n s h i p s [as they] p l a y out i n w r i t i n g groups" (p. 27) need t o be i n v e s t i g a t e d i f p e e r r e s p o n s e groups a r e t o c o n t i n u e t o be e f f e c t i v e i n ESL c l a s s r o o m s . R e s e a r c h i n t o p e e r r e v i s i o n perhaps t h r o u g h t h i n k a l o u d p r o t o c o l s would p r o v i d e us w i t h more i n f o r m a t i o n about why s t u d e n t s have v a r y i n g a t t i t u d e s t o u s i n g p e e r s u g g e s t i o n s . G o l d s t e i n and Conrad (1990) p o i n t out t h a t "each s t u d e n t who p a r t i c i p a t e s i n a c o n f e r e n c e b r i n g s t o t h a t c o n f e r e n c e a unique p e r s o n a l i t y t h a t may a f f e c t t h e ways i n w h i c h t h a t s t u d e n t behaves" (p. 455). T h i s i s s u r e l y t r u e o f p e e r r e s p o n s e s t u d i e s . Perhaps i t i s p e r s o n a l i t y w h i c h a c c o u n t s f o r S u k j i v a n ' s e n t h u s i a s t i c r e v i s i o n b e h a v i o u r . Such q u e s t i o n s need a t t e n t i o n . I t i s a l s o i m p o r t a n t t o i n v e s t i g a t e whether r e v i s i o n s w h i c h do t a k e p l a c e a c t u a l l y improve t h e q u a l i t y o f s t u d e n t s ' w r i t i n g . 138 A n o t h e r i s s u e r e q u i r i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n v o l v e s whether o r not s t u d e n t s , as a r e s u l t o f p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s , become more c a p a b l e o f independently- r e v i s i n g t h e i r work. F i n a l l y , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between c l a s s r o o m i n s t r u c t i o n and what f e a t u r e s of c o m p o s i t i o n are a t t e n d e d t o i n t h e p e e r group needs t o be e x p l o r e d . There i s scope f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i n t o p e e r r e s p o n s e i n t h e second language c l a s s r o o m and such r e s e a r c h w i l l f u r t h e r our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the p r o c e s s and improve l e a r n i n g c o n d i t i o n s f o r s t u d e n t s . Summary T h i s s t u d y was an a c t i o n r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t d e s i g n e d t o e x p l o r e whether s t u d e n t s b e n e f i t e d from p e e r r e s p o n s e groups and i f so t o what e x t e n t . The i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f p e e r r e s p o n s e groups was c a r e f u l l y p l a n n e d and u s i n g d i a r i e s , j o u r n a l s , and a u d i o t a p e s , groups were ob s e r v e d . R e f l e c t i o n on t h e s i t u a t i o n was r e p o r t e d i n t h i s t h e s i s . F i n a l l y , an amended p l a n f o r a c t i o n was put i n p l a c e f o r t h e coming semester. T h i s s t u d y e x e m p l i f i e d t h e " s p i r a l o f p l a n n i n g , 139 a c t i n g , o b s e r v i n g and r e f l e c t i n g . . . c e n t r a l t o t h e a c t i o n r e s e a r c h approach" (Kemmis, 1992, p. 178). A c t i o n r e s e a r c h i s c o l l a b o r a t i v e "whenever p o s s i b l e i n v o l v i n g c o p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e i r own e n l i g h t e n m e n t i n r e l a t i o n t o s o c i a l on a p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n i n t h e i r own s i t u a t i o n s " (p. 185). I n a s m a l l way, t h i s p r o j e c t has been c o l l a b o r a t i v e , i n v o l v i n g s t u d e n t s and i n v o l v i n g a c o l l e a g u e who i s , as a r e s u l t o f t h i s s t u d y , committed t o u s i n g p e e r response groups i n h e r c l a s s r o o m o f n a t i v e s p e a k e r s . I n i n v e s t i g a t i n g p e e r response i n my c l a s s r o o m , I have become c o n v i n c e d t h a t t h e problems of p e e r r e s p o n s e s e s s i o n s a r e not i n s u r m o u n t a b l e and t h a t t h e b e n e f i t s a r e t o o numerous t o be f o r f e i t e d by not u s i n g p e e r r e s p o n s e groups. T h i s a c t i o n r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t w i l l c o n t i n u e . E l l i o t t (1991) s u g g e s t s t h a t " i t [ i s ] n e c e s s a r y t o complete a t l e a s t t h r e e o r f o u r c y c l e s b e f o r e one ought t o be s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e improvement e f f e c t e d " (p. 85). T h i s s t u d y i s o n l y a b e g i n n i n g , the end o f the f i r s t c y c l e . The f i n a l s t e p i n t h i s s t u d y i s t h e s h a r i n g o f t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e s t u d y i n the t h e s i s and w i t h c o l l e a g u e s b o t h 140 i n f o r m a l l y and perhaps f o r m a l l y t h r o u g h workshops. C o n d u c t i n g t h i s s t u d y w i l l c e r t a i n l y l e a d t o improvements i n my t e a c h i n g p r a c t i c e and t o improvements i n c o n d i t i o n s f o r s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g . I t i s my hope t h a t i t w i l l a l s o b e n e f i t o t h e r t e a c h e r s and t h e i r s t u d e n t s . 141 R e f e r e n c e s B e j a r n o , Y. (1994). An i n t e g r a t e d groupwork model f o r t h e second-language c l a s s r o o m . I n S. Sharan (Ed.), Handbook of c o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g methods (pp. 193-211). B e l l , J . (1991). U s i n g peer response groups i n ESL w r i t i n g c l a s s e s . TESL Canada J o u r n a l . 8 ( 2 ) , 65-71. B i a l y s t o k , E., & Hakuta, K. (1994). I n o t h e r words: The s c i e n c e and p s y c h o l o g y of second-language a c q u i s i t i o n . New York: B a s i c Books. B r o o k f i e l d , S. (1995). Becoming a c r i t i c a l l y r e f l e c t i v e t e a c h e r . 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