As far as it is concerned, writing skill is used as a fundamental exchange means in all day times interaction all over the world now. In Rao's (2019) view, in the instructing process, writing plays a crucial function by which the trainees can be measured. Effective writing skill includes many procedures such as planning and concept mapping, the process of reasoning systematically in support of an idea, action, or theory, arrangement, linguistic style or the way of using language, and the construction and application of various language properties (Ferris, Eckstein, & DeHond, 2017; Flower & Hayes, 1981; Hyland, 2003; Zamel, 1982).
Upon Memari Hanjani's (2016) ideas, peer assistance has been more and more common in second language writing educational contexts over the last few decades. Hyland and Hyland (2006) stated that English as foreign language writing projects over the world has more completed the classical trainer- director instruction by recurring forms of education such as pair and small-group peer assistance. Process essay teaching gives an extremely good occasion for pair assistance in writing courses by enhancing various drafts and receiving feedback during the essay writing process (Ferris, 2003; Hanjani & Li, 2014b; Hansen & Liu, 2005; Hu, 2005; Kamimura, 2006; Memari Tsui & Ng, 2000). It was also verified by many conceptual viewpoints involving Vygotsky’s learning theory (Hansen & Liu, 2005; Memari Hanjani & Li, 2014a; Min, 2005; Yong, 2010; Zhu, 2001). Upon this, writing and learning are social processes (Yong, 2010) and peers can cooperatively assist each other to develop their writing activities (Shehadeh, 2011; Storch, 2002, 2005; Yong, 2010). Peer feedback is an educational exercise where the focus on pair dynamics in terms of being taught is in particular to the point. Peer feedback requires to be particular, suitable, excellent, appropriate, perfect, useful, outcome-focused, and supportive, affirmative, comprehensible, and emphasized on what is done accurately and what requires to enhance (Gielen & De Waver, 2015). Most peer feedbacks focus on products rather than the processes of writing and many students in L2 contexts focus on sentence-level errors rather than the content and ideas (Storch, 2005).
In the language instructing and learning process, interaction is an action-reaction or a mutual communication between learner-learner, instructor-learner, or between a person and several people. Rashidi and Rafieerad (2010) claimed that the patterns of interaction between the people who take part in the learning process transform by constructing a variety of discourse act, including an Initiation-Response-Follow-up (IRF) patterns in learner-instructor talk.
Patterns of pair interaction in peer feedback dynamics have been introduced as an essential feedback transfer system in the process-oriented second language writing contexts. More notably, various researches have confirmed the useful influences of peer feedback with regards to the enhancement of English as a foreign language writing setting. (Austria, 2017; Brusa & Harutyunyan, 2019; Graham, 2010; Khalil, 2018; Kunwongse, 2013; Lam, 2010; Min, 2016; Rollinson, 2005).
2. Literature Review
Studies on the source of feedback take place mostly around the student’s attitude in terms of peer editing as a complement or substitute for teacher feedback. Some investigated trainees’ fruitful ideas as consider peers as an additional source for global comments and proofreading (Chang, 2016; Ruegg, 2017).
Lundstrom and Baker's (2009) study suggested that reevaluating peers’ written tasks, in reality, supported L2 students to make more enhancements in their writing. In their meta-analysis, Biber, Nekrasova, & Horn (2011) concluded that “the most considerable achieves for L2-English learners are performed in reaction to other feedback as well as feedback from other learners” (p. 50). Also (Cox, Peeters, Stanford, & Seifert, 2013) reviewed the ideal preceptor qualities in peer assessment, one of which is to encourage critical thinking and problem-solving.
Differences among trainee believe and trainer actions have been pointed out in the literature. For example, some instructors limited their feedback to language errors whereas learners hoped to get more global comments to guide them in tackling structural and content problems (Rafiei & Salehi, 2016). Other instructors focused just on linguistic problems for debate or discussion while ignoring L2 learners’ particular requirements for ongoing assist on language improvement (Ferris, Brown, Liu, & Stine, 2011). The ESL teachers in Amrhein and Nassaji’s (2010) investigation figured out it is essential to concentrate "as much on the understandability of the content as on form-focused correction” (p.115).
A newly conducted study by Chang (2017) reported a more focused and detailed modeling method. She, while demonstrating a model essay to her students, focused on commenting on global (meaning) issues such as content and organization as compared to local (surface) issues such as grammar and vocabulary. The student reviewers were instructed to read the essay written by the peers without implementing any corrections and their main responsibility was to help the peer improve the writing content and coherence.
As revealed, the peer assistance process can generate intense negotiations among learners over who made what errors and how they could be corrected, which is likely to result in improved writing in both rhetorical organization and language use (Ruegg, 2017). Likewise, as learners become increasingly aware of their weaknesses as well as those of their peers, they increase metalinguistic awareness and logical capacity to reform not only issues available, but also to improve the comprehensive tenor of their writing (Chong, 2017).
Several examinations by numerous professors have shown that peer feedback has a positive influence on enhancing learners’ written work in the second language classroom (Hu & Lam, 2010; Min, 2016; Khalil; 2018). For instance, peer feedback provides learners multifarious origins of productive and useful feedback; the recurrent procedure of peer feedback expands their consciousness, makes their self-steam, encourages them in dynamic involvement, increases their interpretative reasoning power, and verifies the community-based aspect via functioning interactively (Hirose, 2008). Moreover, Allharbi (2019) pointed out that peer feedback increases students’ consciousness of the function of scientific implementations in the instructing and understanding approach via the functions of college trainees and trainers. Additionally, this process was introduced as a complicated task, which fortifies emotional, mental, intellectual, social, and cultural matters, and rhetorical views to trainees (Liu & Hansen, 2002). Brusa and Harutyunyan (2019) added that peer feedback is an educational instrument in terms of social and cultural viewpoint. This approach permits learners to access the upper ranks of independence and analytical reasoning based on.
In an inquiry of meaning negotiation and improvement feedback, Oliver (2002) claimed that peer functioning and communication between second language learners could result in language learning enhancement. Pinter (2005, 2007) also investigated 10-year-old Hungarian EFL learners who profited from mutual function or communication and enhanced their community-based and autonomous abilities. It should be concluded that mutual communication develops community-based connections and social behavior as well as linguistic knowledge.
Liu and Wu (2019) stated that feedback can ‘focus’ on global rhetorical issues or local errors in language use and mechanics. More developed learners attend to be more independent in learning from their errors than less developed learners, and as all groups progressed. As revealed in empirical research by Ruegg (2017), the peer response process can make extreme debate among learners over who made what errors and how they could be corrected, which is probable to result in improved writing in both rhetorical organization and language use. Students commonly preferred to get feedback on both general and partial issues in their writing. This differentiates them from L2 learners in other studies who preferred either form-focused feedback (Saito, 1994) or content-oriented feedback (Enginarlar, 1993; Junqueira & Payant, 2015).
Dignen (2014) claimed that feedback or reaction is the most significant connection expertise, both out and within the educational setting since it is all over the place constantly; it is an occasion to activate and encouragement and necessary to enhance production and a procedure to maintain learning. In reality, feedback should be an indivisible section of any estimation and plan analysis and judgment. It can be done formally and informally.
Gandimathi and Zarei (2018) researched the critical thinking effect on English language learning. They used a qualitative method and gathered the data via a semi-structured interview carry out with thirty progressed learners in Selangor, Malaysia to obtain a public perception of critical thinking advancement in language trainees. The discovering showed that learners can practice a contemplative and autonomous reasoning pattern in the course of in-progress critical thinking.
Teachers’ role as an instructor to give information or express ideas and speaking time must be decreased in educational context interactions as opposed to students who should increase their talking time to negotiation and discussion to give information or express ideas since their instructors require to take other functions. The purpose is to change from a teacher-centered classroom into a learner-centered classroom where the learners offer and help each other. From the perspective of teaching objectives, the main problems are how to improve students’ writing quality, and it is necessary to employ more useful strategies to promote students’ ability of peer feedback. It is significant to study the content of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction in English writing. The present study delved into investigating the content of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction among Iranian EFL learners while communicating ideas through written discourse. In line with this purpose, the following research questions are proposed:
1. What are the contents of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction for writing among Iranian EFL learners?
2. Can the contents of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction improve English writing quality among Iranian EFL learners?
3.1. Design and Context of the Study
A qualitative case study was conducted in this study. Qualitative research is one of the main research methods with the characteristic that focuses on words rather than numbers as data for analysis, especially in social science research. Qualitative research is fundamentally case-oriented (Bazeley, 2013). The data are contributed by cases rather than variables in a qualitative study. The study was conducted in the course called Paragraph Development among EFL courses offered for applied linguistic at PoldokhtarUniversity. The course was open to the students in the Department of EFL and the researcher was in charge of the class for the course. The course aimed to develop language skills in terms of paragraph writing within a curriculum under the department. Students took two hours per week for one academic year, which consisted of two semesters, each semester consisting of 16 weeks including mid-term and final examination periods. The qualitative research design was applied for this study.
Three weeks before the commencement of the research, details of the project, and what was required of students were explained to the whole class. Then the participants’ viewpoints were canvassed on the research before the study conduction and encouraged them to inform individuals if they did not wish to participate. Of the 21 students in the Class, 18 agreed to participate in the study. It should be noted that it was possible that a power relationship between the students and the researchers might exist and that this could make them feel reluctant to reject the proposal of participating in the research, as he was both the lecturer and the researcher. To minimize the power relationship, it was repeatedly explained that there were not any disadvantages for students who rejected participation. It was expected to gather fruitful data from the range of participants. As active learners, not silent ones, the participants were expected to provide as much input as possible to generate a better understanding of patterns of pair interaction in peer feedback dynamics in lessons while communicating ideas through written discourse. Therefore, based on observation for three weeks before starting data collection, six pairs were chosen who had actively participated in lessons and pair work, because as a lecturer he was uniquely positioned to judge students’ learning attitudes in his lessons. In this conducted study, the twelve students had a similar level of English proficiency and English study background. These twelve case participants agreed to attend this study and fulfill the requirements of the consent form. Their ages ranged from 18 to 22 with the male gender. The case participants were allowed to work in the same self-selected pairs throughout the whole semester. Although it was expected that such numbers would generate sufficient data to examine the issue at hand, it involved some decision-making. While it was known that selecting a large number of participants from several classes would generate extensive data, this would prevent him from carrying out detailed investigations into the individual processes involved in the pair interactions. Thus, six pairs could be selected in one class with the aim of more exact concentration in details. It is necessary to mention that these three sessions were apart from the main sessions of the course. The data were collected in an advanced writing course over a sixteen-week period, a session per week, during the first semester of 2019-2020 at Poldokhtar University.
3.3. Research Data
In this study, two data collection methods were involved including an in-depth interview and document collection.
3.3.1. In-depth Interview Data
In this study, these in-depth interviews were conducted one-to-one with each of the case participants to collect their contents of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction. Before any interview section, the case participants were informed to reflect their ideas in-depth.
This interview method followed Creswell (2007), who recommended six steps as guidelines for actual interview procedures: (a) identify interviewee based on purposeful sampling; (b) choose the type of interview considered practical for the study; (c) use an interview protocol; (d) refine interview questions through a pilot test; (e) identify a conducive place for the interview; (f) obtain consent for interview.
The topics that the interviewer wants to study during the interviews have been planned well in the interview protocols. The interview protocol could help running an interview without constraining them to a particular format or order. The interview protocol demonstrates the important notes for the interview which can remind the interviewer to be well prepared for the interview and reduce invalidity of the data.
The main questions were designed based on the research questions. The interview questions were all open-ended questions. They were helpful to explore the case participants’ ideas of the study.
The three-time interviews were based on three interview protocols for each time and the interview questions were modified with the development of this research and the further findings after the prior interview. However, the interview questions were modified and developed with the development of interview topics. The strategy of the interview can lead the case participant to probe into their deep understandings and perceptions of the study. Furthermore, the interview questions in interview protocols were confirmed by the third party and the lecture for reliability and validity.
For the interview, the case participants were allowed to use the language of both English and Persian, which was based on the interviewees’ choice. After any interview section, the audio records of the interviews were transcribed. The transcripts were confirmed by the interviewees to ensure accuracy and completeness. The Persian language interviews were translated into English for data presentation. The translations of transcripts were confirmed by the case participants. The transcripts were confidential and only used for this study to protect the case participants.
3.3.2. Document Data
The outcome of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction were collected based on each writing assignment while communicating ideas through written discourse, which were given by the case participant. There are two kinds of document data in this study: writing assignments and artifacts of peer feedback dynamic using patterns of pair interaction.
3.3.3. Data of Writing Assignments
There are six writing assignments for each case participant. The re-writing after reviewing peers’ critical peer feedback dynamics was also collected to study the effectiveness of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction. The document collection started based on the period of this study from week 3 to week 16.
3.3.4. Data of Peer Feedback Dynamics Using Patterns of Pair Interaction
After the submission of English writing assignments, the twelve case participants offered their critical peer feedback using patterns of pair interaction. The data were collected through two methods: (a) collecting data from each English writing assignment (b) collecting data from each case participant.
First, the data from each English writing assignment were collected in a document file. The data were used to compare the whole outcomes of critical peer feedback dynamics in a writing among peers and judge their quality of critical peer feedback dynamics, compare critical peer feedback dynamics in the same writing assignment among the twelve case participants, and study the effectiveness of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction to improve the quality of English writing.
Second, the data from each case participants were collected wholly on other peers’ document files during this study. The data were used to study one peer’s content of peer feedback dynamics and development of his critical peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction.
For the possible anonymity of the case participants, the twelve case participants were coded as CP1 (Case participant 1), CP2 (Case participant 2), CP3 (Case participant 3), CP4 (Case participant 4), CP5 (Case participant 5), CP6 (Case participant 6), CP7 (Case participant 7), CP8 (Case participant 8), CP9 (Case participant 9), CP10 (Case participant 10), CP11 (Case participant 11), and CP12 (Case participant 12). The case participants may use their code name for anonymous peer feedback dynamics which is based on the case participants’ option. There is no requirement for them to be anonymous in this research.
3.4. Data Collection Procedure
The data were collected over sixteen weeks in the first semester after pre-observing for three weeks to select participants and running a pilot study for a week. The students were asked to complete each activity in pairs. They were told that if they felt that their L1 would be helpful to them in completing the activities, they should feel free to use it. The dialogue of the pairs was audio-recorded as they worked on the activitiesand the audio-recorded data were transcribed. Additionally, observation notes were made while the students completed the assigned activities in pair work. The transcription of the pair talk attempted to reflect the nature of peer interaction and to represent the interaction as it occurred. The transcripts of the pair dialogues formed the main source of data used to describe the pair interactions. Student interviews were another important source of data in this study to gain an understanding of pair interaction from learners’ perspectives. During the study of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction, the data collection by interviews and document analysis were simultaneously conducted. In-depth interviews were conducted three times with each participant, which needed to be transcribed before the data analysis. The three-time interviews aimed for the reliable and continuous data, and the comparative data of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction in different sections of the study, which were conducted based on the three different interview protocols. The 12 participants were interviewed individually after each lesson. The thirty-six interviews were transcribed and the completeness and accuracy of the transcripts were confirmed by the data examiners. The quoted interview data for description in the findings were translated from Persian to English.
3.5. Date Analysis Procedure
In this study, the qualitative data analysis was based on the three kinds of data including in-depth interviews, English Writing assignment artifacts, and peer feedback dynamics artifacts using patterns of pair interaction. The data analysis was conducted with the interview transcribing and document collection. During the data analysis process, the computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software QSR NVivo 8.0 was used to code and categorize the data sources. The use of QSR NVivo has the five principal features for data analysis such as data management, ideas management, query data, and modeling from data and reporting from the data (Bazeley, 2007).
By the use of QSR NVivo 8.0, a new project titled ‘Peer Feedback Dynamics using Patterns of Pair Interaction to Improve English Writing’, shortened as ‘PFD’ to improve ‘EW’ was set up. The sources are mainly internal sources including three folders such as ‘EW Artifacts’ ‘PF’ Artifacts’ and ‘Interviews’.
After the import of the internal sources in each folder and document, the data was read through many times for certain words, phrases, patterns of behavior, participants’ way of thinking, and events that were repeated or enhanced (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003). In the proceeding of free coding, the sources were reading detailed, slowly, reflectively by line-to-line coding to identify concepts and thinking about all of their possible meanings in both free codes and memos (Bazeley, 2007). Three turns of the data sources coding were conducted. At the first turn, the raw data sources were coded as ‘Free Nodes’ which were widely coded based on the research conceptual framework and the new exploring findings during coding. At the second turn of coding, the ‘Free Nodes’ were organized as ‘Tree Nodes’. During the ‘Tree Node’ analysis, the source data were re-coded to supplement the ‘Tree Nodes’. At the last turn of coding, the ‘Free Nodes’ were connected into ‘Tree Nodes’
In summary, by QSR NVivo 8.0 data analysis, the source data were clear and categorized. The findings emerged from the nodes. The last step was to conclude the findings. Data analysis is a crucial step for the next step of findings and conclusion. The data analysis specifically follows the two research questions and the scientific process of QSR NVivo 8.0.
Based on the data analysis of interview transcriptions and artifacts of peer feedback dynamics by QSR Nvivo 8, the content of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction for writing among Iranian EFL learners while communicating ideas through written discourse that was presented at their interviews and illustrated as their artifacts were coded into tree nodes including the following six parts: mechanics, syntax, error correction, pragmatic functions, word choice, and style. The six parts are presented clearly in the tree nodes.
Figure 1.The tree nodes of peer feedback dynamics in QSR NVivo 8
And the stated aspects of the six parts of the content in peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction are arranged in the following table.
Six Contents of the Academic English Writing Using Patterns of Pair Interaction
Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling
Cohesion, Coherence, Logic
Discourse, Markers, Social awareness, Expressiveness
Although, the sample learners who participated in the study cannot come to an end all the content of each section in the exercise of their critical peer feedback, which are only parts of the English language. The content of critical peer feedback takes into considerations both the error correction of the English language and each particular part or feature of English writing, as well the notice of successful communication or exchanging of the information by speaking and writing.
5.1. Error Correction
The case participants point out that their first action in peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction is to correct errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Error correction cannot be neglected in critical peer feedback on English writing. Although they believe that their academic English writing is a vantage or higher-level English writing and errors should not appear. In this study of data, the fact is that there are still many errors in their English writings. The case participants can find many errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Error correction is still a major part of critical peer feedback in English writing.
‘Peer feedback is new, and it motivated me to the peer-involved activity. It was good for me to work together through heterogeneous group feedback, and importantly I got the correct answers from the peers, which in turn, I was reluctant to provide feedback on the grammatical mistakes on the peers’ tasks. Peer feedback helps me to correct errors and mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation’.
In the artifact of case participants, the case participants provide their critical peer feedback using patterns of pair interaction on writing. However, there are many errors in the feedback language such as grammar error of preposition and subject-verb agreement, spelling error of ‘organise’ instead of ‘organize’, ‘som’ instead of ‘some’, ‘imformation’ instead of ‘information’, and punctuation errors like comma, ‘single quotation’ instead of “double quotation”. These errors and mistakes in writing and critical peer feedback artifacts shall be concerned by the teachers in their practice of critical peer feedback. It is necessary to enhance the supervision in proofreading and editing to eliminate these errors in academic English writing.
5.2. Pragmatic Functions
Academic English writing is vocational English writing with objectives. The writing objectives are purposeful with clear purposes, application fields, targeted audience, and special language. To fulfill these purposes, the pragmatic functions need to be highlighted such as “clearness, conciseness and courtesy” and “accuracy, clarity and simplicity” (Chen, 2005). ‘Based on the QSR Nvivo 8 data analysis of interview transcripts and feedback artifacts, the case participants recognized the importance of understanding pragmatic functions in academic English writing I will have a comprehensive study of the writing about grammar errors, the completeness of the writing tasks, cohesion, coherence, and some points which can attract me for further reading. Most of our writings are similar, so I’d like to read the special one, the difference with others’. (Cited from Interview Transcript/ CP5)
‘I have a look at whether their writing is completed in sentence structure, and writing tasks. I’d like to check the awareness. Can social awareness develop learners’ critical thinking? Is there something new and creative? I think the language should be simple, clear, and concise. This can give us a feeling of reality and authenticity’ (Cited from Interview Transcript/ CP7).
They mentioned pragmatic functions in the data sources in four parts: discourse markers, social awareness, and expressiveness. Discourse refers to the ‘text’ or the ‘sequence of sentences’, Discourse markers as the binding elements of a text in creating a meaningful discourse have been viewed from different dimensions in language studies. Brown and Yule (1983) defined discourse as “the analysis of language in use“. Social awareness is related to critical thinking expansion since debates about such subjects attend to extract more attachment and involvement among learners. Expressiveness refers to the smoothness and readability of the writing.
In these two examples of interview transcripts, CP5 and CP7 mention the pragmatic functions of completeness, awareness, and expressiveness in academic English writing. They have recognized these pragmatic functions to use as rubrics to assess writing.
The syntax is the study of how sentences are organized and constructed with the principles and processes (Chomsky, 2002, pp. 11). In the study of academic English writing, sentence writing is a difficult point because of the particular sentence patterns and native language transfer. English sentence structure is different from Persian sentence structure. The Persian sentence structure impacts the cognition of English sentence structure not only in a positive way but also in a negative aspect.
Therefore, there are always many uncompleted sentences or disordered sentences in English writing by the negative transfer of the Persian language. The case participants have realized this phenomenon in their writing activities. During their critical peer feedback, they will assess the completeness of sentences, and then offer their critical peer feedback on syntax.
‘The most basic is to check his sentences, to find out what the problems exit in his sentences. Then, I will go to the writing task and logic, to study the problems on whether he has finished the writing tasks and whether the writing is logical’. (Cited from Interview Transcript/CP2)
‘The body is simple but you express the general idea. I think it is good, but I wonder if the subject can be expressed in this way’. CP2
‘Simple and clear expression, it is good. But I think it’s better to use Imperative Sentence in the end’. (Cited from PF-Artifacts-CP4)
In the first example, CP2 emphasizes that he will assess the sentence structure firstly. The correctness of sentence structure and syntax is basic for English writing. In the second example, CP5 and CP2 offer their critical peer feedback on the sentences and try to give some suggestions to improve the sentence writing.
However, they are many sentence modules in English writing. In other words, these fixed sentence modules and expressions are widely used in English writing. It is necessary to assess the corrective usages of these sentence modules which is helpful for the efficiency and formality of English writing.
5.4. Mechanics of Writing
Error-free writing requires more than just using good grammar. You must also use the correct mechanics of writing in your documents. The mechanics of writing specify the established conventions for words that you use in your documentation. Grammar reﬂects the forms of words and their relationships within a sentence. For instance, if you put an apostrophe in a plural word ‘Create two ﬁle’s’, you have made a mistake in the mechanics of writing, not grammar.
5.5. Word Choice
Word choice refers to the effectiveness, and breadth, of word choice. As an author, choosing the right words while writing a manuscript is crucial for success. Academic writing, like most other forms of writing, is a series of choices. When it’s time to write, you have to carefully choose words that can clearly express the idea and then decide how you will rearrange those words into phrases, sentences, and even paragraphs.
‘Yes, it causes writing skill acquisition and I finally could write a coherence and cohesion paragraph. It helps me to write a paragraph in a standard format and improve vocabulary knowledge and word order and use of simple words and phrases in a paragraph. As they work together, they develop skills for real-world collaborative and cooperative learning.’ (Interview Transcript/ CP 8)
Therefore, you know that when you choose words to express your ideas, you not only have to think about what makes sense and sounds the best to you but also what will make sense and sound the best to your audience. Thinking about the reader and their expectations also help you make better decisions.
Style refers to the purposeful crafting of sentences and paragraphs to enhance the communication of ideas. According to the syllabus of English Writing, they are many kinds of English writing styles such as business letter, e-mail, memo, notice, business report, product description writing, and academic writing, etc. Each kind of writing has a special style that is different from others. The corrective style is a basic requirement in academic writing, which is not only concerned with successful writing but also the impression and professionalization of communication.
The case participants indicated the importance of styles in English writing. The correction of style is the main part of critical peer feedback, which is a meta-cognition of academic English writing.
‘The style is also very important. If your style is not right, your writing may be not good. That’s to say that you don’t grasp the basic knowledge of writing. Although there are few style errors, it still could be found more or less’. (Cited from Interview Transcript/CP8)
‘First, you should pay attention to your style. It is messed up totally. You need to make them align on the left. I think you shall put your e-mail and phone number at the end of the writing. Finally, you need to make your resume more attractive, to attract their eyes on your capability’. (Cited from CPF-Artifacts-CP11)
In the above-mentioned example, CP8 implied the importance of style for academic English writing which represented writing experiences. In the second example, CP11 made his critical peer feedback on the style of resume writing in English writing.
The six parts of contents in peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction came to an end by data gathering of academic English writing and their critical peer feedback dynamics, which are determined by the curriculum of English writing and the writing assignments in the course. In this inquiry, the contents all cannot come to an end in the working of their critical peer feedback dynamics, which are only sections of it. The content of critical peer feedback contains both error correction of the English language and every particular part or feature of academic English writing. Additionally, take into account successful imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, and writing. It expanded their feedback of error correction from language to writing mechanism.
In the process of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction, the case participants perceived the significance of cohesiveness or interrelatedness, comprehensibility, and the quality of being justifiable because of sentences in English writing. The case participants take notice of the error correction, the sentence logic, consistency in meaning, and structure. Their feedback is also regarded as understanding, comprehension, and correctness of written text in English writing. Patterns of pair interaction in peer feedback dynamics can expand critical thinking; develop trainee independence and self-government, and community-based connections among learners.
Regarding the first research question, the finding showed that before this study, the contents of peer feedback is only error corrections on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. However, the literature shows that error correction is ineffective, even harmful to students’ fluency and their overall writing quality (Chandler, 2003; Hyland & Hyland, 2006; Truscott, 2004 & 2007). In this study of peer feedback dynamics, the finding showed that the main contents of critical peer feedback for English writing contain six parts such as syntax, style, pragmatic functions, word choice, and mechanics of writing (see Table 1).
The six parts of the contents are affected by the syllabus of English Writing and writing assignments in class. In this study, the contents of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction can not be all categorized in the practice of English Writing. The contents of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction include not only error correction, but also every aspect of English writing, in addition to the consideration of pragmatics for successful English communication. Error correction is a general term that mainly focuses on errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation (Chandler, 2003; Hyland & Hyland, 2006; Truscott, 2004 & 2007). Therefore, peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction extend the contents of peer feedback from error correction to writing mechanism and English communication. On the content of peer feedback in L2 writing, some studies focus on error correction, and some focus on the pragmatic functions such as clarity, completeness, and expressiveness of writing, and some focus on the linguistic features (Lundstrom & Baker, 2009). This finding implied that the concrete contents of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction in language and writing mechanisms are more helpful and specific to students’ writing and editing. This study also showed that students with higher ability of peer feedback dynamics have a variety of lexical choices, syntactic constructions, and cohesive devices and that their critical peer feedback receives higher acceptance.
Regarding the second research question about critical peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction offer a higher-order strategy for peer feedback in higher-level English writing. Critical peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction provide a systematic mechanism for peer feedback with process and contents. The finding also demonstrates that critical peer feedback improves English writing with accurate language, proper syntax and style, and pragmatic functions, etc. Additionionaly, the creating of English writing is highlighted in critical peer feedback as a key point for successful English communication. Students’ proper perception of critical peer feedback dynamics and relevant concepts also improves the practice of critical peer feedback dynamics. Critical peer feedback dynamics is a higher-order and efficient strategy for higher-level feedback. The finding also proved that critical peer feedback, critical thinking, and English writing can be mutually improved by the practice of critical peer feedback dynamics (Cox et al., 2013; Forster, 2007; Ruggiero, 2012). Peers’ Perceptions of feedback influence the effectiveness and quality of peer feedback (Min, 2016). It is believed that English writing is a higher level of vocational writing with a clear audience, writing objectives, and register (Yang, 2014; Zhang, 2007). It needs higher-order peer feedback in the aspects of process and contents. Iranian EFL learners believe that they are advanced writers in English writing and they need a higher-level strategy of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction to improve English writing. Critical peer feedback is regarded as a higher-order strategy for peer feedback with critical thinking skills. It is agreed that critical peer feedback improved the quality of English writing.
6. Conclusion and Implications
Before this study, the case participants insisted their content at peer feedback would be to find errors and correct errors. Their only activity in peer feedback is error correction on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. With the study of peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction, they have realized that there are other aspects to be assessed except errors. They believe that academic and scientific English writing is higher-level writing with particular features on syntax, style, pragmatic functions, word choice, and mechanics of writing. These particular features in English writing need to be improved during peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction.
Furthermore, it was shown that the higher and lower competency learners could be prepared with more occasions for acquiring language knowledge together and working interactively and cooperatively. Furthermore, the results confirmed those of Allharbi’s (2019) inquiry. She concluded that peer feedback would help the learners to develop their language learning involving writing and word order through the role of peers as both a feedback giver and receiver. This indicated that they undertake much of their duties in the peer feedback in preparing productive and helpful feedback.
By peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction, the contents of peer feedback are extended out of error correction. In critical peer feedback for English writing, six aspects of contents are coded including syntax, style, pragmatic functions, word choice, and mechanics of writing critical peer feedback. The six contents concern the main aspects of English writing, which point out ‘what to do in critical peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction’.
Therefore, it is concluded that critical peer feedback dynamics using patterns of pair interaction improve the quality of peer feedback for English writing among Iranian EFL learners by the systematic mechanism of the process, and contents of critical peer feedback dynamics.
With regards to the implications, a crucial issue of this study is related to the EFL students with a common language and culture; therefore, the research emphasized the intensive peer feedback training. However, although there was still some hardship in conducting the research, providing feedback by peers had fruitful benefits in both the pedagogic and theoretical results, which could be used in the relevant fields of language teaching such as writing and speaking skills. For instance, the process writing theory offers theoretical support for conducting peer feedback dynamics whereas pedagogic implementations of using patterns of pair interaction in peer feedback dynamics in a writing classroom can be applied. Additionally, the collaborative learning theory could be incorporated into a framework to investigate the issues of peer feedback such as peer interaction, collaborative learning, student motives, and stances with clear pedagogy. Consequently, peer feedback using patterns of pair interaction should be implemented in the L2 writing classroom.
Interview protocol for the participants (Original was in Persian)
1. What do you think about participation in the activities?
2. Did pair work help your learning in terms of English writing by using patterns of pair interaction in peer feedback dynamics?
3. What strategies did you use in patterns of paired interaction in peer feedback dynamics?
4. What are your focuses (or preferences) in offering patterns of pair interaction in peer feedback dynamics in English Writing skill?
5. What functions did you use and how was your discourse affected?
6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of peer feedback dynamics by using patterns of pair interaction?
7. How do peer feedback dynamics improve your quality of feedback in English Writing skill?
8. What is your process of patterns of interaction in peer feedback dynamics?
9. What kinds or types of patterns of interaction in peer feedback dynamics are more helpful to your English writing skill?
10. What are your contents of patterns of pair interaction in peer feedback dynamics in English writing skill?
11. What are the factors affecting peer feedback in English writing skill by using patterns of pair interaction?
12. Will you revise or rewrite your writing based on your peer’s feedback by using patterns of pair interaction?