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Volume 3 Number 4, Winter 2006, Pages 1-225   

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Improving Korean University Student EFL Academic Writing with Contrastive Rhetoric: Teacher Conferencing and Peer Response Can Help

    Deron Walker, Ph.D.

The field of Contrastive Rhetoric has existed as a discipline within ESL/EFL composition studies for the past forty years. Nevertheless, this article is one of the first to report the findings of a research study testing the effectiveness of specific pedagogical techniques (teacher conferencing and peer response) for delivering contrastive rhetoric-oriented instruction in an English composition classroom. The results of this study hold important implications for EFL university writing (especially in East-Asia), contrastive rhetoric-oriented instruction, and composition studies in terms of further delineating the effectiveness of teacher conferencing and peer response in English composition classrooms.
This study was conducted at Handong Global University in Pohang, South Korea in Spring 2004. In this study, the teaching treatment of reinforcing contrastive rhetoric-oriented writing instruction conducted in classroom lecture with contrastive rhetoric-oriented writing instruction rendered in teacher conferences and peer response groups helped lower-level Korean university writers make significantly better improvement in their essay writing (as measured by pretest/posttest results) when compared to their control group peers, who only received contrastive rhetoric-oriented writing instruction through classroom lectures, discussions, and written feedback on essays. The current article expands on the original findings in an attempt to explain more precisely the effectiveness of teacher conferencing and peer response in this study.