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Volume 10 Number 3, Autumn 2013, Pages 1-131   

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Learners' Roles in a Peer Feedback Task: Do They View Themselves as Writers or Reviewers?

    Reina Wakabayashi

This study examines EFL learners' perceptions of peer feedback in writing instruction in the context of a Japanese university. Peer feedback is primarily a variety of input given from one learner to another. In a writing classroom, however, it refers to a dynamic process of reviewing peer texts and discussing one another's text. Peer feedback is defined here as a collaborative learning task in which learners learn to write through taking the role of both writer and reviewer. In a collaborative learning task, learners are expected to be aware of their roles for active and effective participation in the task. To investigate learners' perceptions of peer feedback in terms of their roles, a questionnaire survey and follow-up interviews were conducted with a total of 51 students enrolled in two writing classes taught by the author. The results indicates that the students perceived peer feedback to be useful, and that they did so more from the writer's stance than the reviewer's. Pedagogical implications include: (1) the roles of reviewer and writer should be explicitly taught and guided; (2) peer feedback task instruction should focus on meaning-level revision; and (3) the functions of peer feedback and teacher feedback should be clearly distinguished.

Keywords: EFL writing, peer feedback, learner stance, learner perception