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Scaffolding teens' way from reluctant to effective peer reviewers tesol 2010


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This presentation describes an ethnographic study involving a group of intermediate-level teenagers learning EFL writing in a skills-integrated program, with a focus on peer revision. Students’ …

This presentation describes an ethnographic study involving a group of intermediate-level teenagers learning EFL writing in a skills-integrated program, with a focus on peer revision. Students’ reactions to and productions in all stages of the writing process will be shared and practical tips on scaffolding peer revision will be provided.

Published in: Education, Technology

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    • 1. Scaffolding Teens’ Way from Reluctant to Confident Peer Reviewers Isabela Villas Boas Casa Thomas Jefferson, Brasília
    • 2. Approaches to teaching writing
      • Product approach
        • Focus on the final product, in which the writer shows knowledge of grammatical, lexical and rhetorical rules
        • School-based essays and themes are static representations of students’ learning and content knowledge.
      • Process approach
        • Focus on the writer’s cognitive process; emphasis on writing stages, such as planning, revising and rewriting.
      • Post-process paradigm
        • Social-constructivist view of writing writing, as a form of literacy, is an inherently social and transactional process that involves mediation between the writer and his/her reader .
    • 3. Peer revision: Why do it?
      • Congruent with our view of language, learning, and language learning
        • Stimulates interaction
        • Stimulates awareness of audience
        • Makes writing more authentic, for the reader is not only the teacher
        • Promotes learner autonomy
      • Reasons not to do peer revision:
        • “ I don´t have time to do it.”
        • “ I´ve tried it once and it didn’t work.”
        • “ Students don’t like doing it.”
        • “ Students are not used to doing this kind of activity in their schools.”
    • 4. The research
      • Context:
        • Binational Center
          • Students go to their English classes after school; English taught at schools is mostly grammar-oriented or focused on reading strategies (Instrumental English)
        • Intermediate level
        • Fifteen students aged 13 – 18
        • Skills-integrated program
        • Educational ethnography carried out during two semesters in the ELT Institute
        • Focus of writing in students’ Portuguese (L1) classes in their regular schools is on the product; most students had never done peer revision before. It’s not part of their “frames”.
    • 5. Research Questions
        • After being trained to do peer revision for one year, will students become better peer reviewers?
        • Will students´ attitude towards peer revision change as this type of activity becomes more natural in the classroom?
        • What are the most effective peer review activities and strategies ?
    • 6. Characteristics of the intermediate-level writing tasks
      • Process writing
        • Focus on different text types and genres
        • Topics related to the topics of the textbook unit
        • Prompts usually call for the use of certain types of language structure, vocabulary and/or discourse devices
        • Planning: analysis of a model; work on generating and organizing ideas
        • Drafting
        • Revising: self-revision, peer revision, teacher revision
        • Assessment by way of specific rubrics
    • 7.  
    • 8. Options of peer revision
      • Focus on content and organization of ideas = discourse features
      • Focus on form
      • Focus on both
      • The research conducted: focus primarily on content, cohesion and coherence
    • 9. Basic principles for designing peer review activities
      • Provide scaffolding
      • Start with simple activities and make them a little more complex each time
      • Allow enough time for students to engage in the text analysis
      • Provide a peer review form; students should not write on their peers’ texts
      • Peer revision does not replace teacher revision; it complements it
    • 10. The peer review activities
      • Writing 1: “How people my age spend their free time.”
        • Step 1: Scaffolding for the peer revision
          • Model text + Checklist: whole-class work, guided by the teacher
        • Step 2: Individual work on peers’ compositions
        • Step 3: Teacher collects compositions and adds her feedback
      • Very controlled; lots of scaffolding
      • Little controlled and open-ended; less or no scaffolding
    • 11.  
    • 12. People my age like to do many things, but most people my age don’t like to study. We like to go out every Saturday with our friends and we don’t like calmer activities so much. All people in my age love to go to the movies with our friends, because it is fun. We prefer action movies and we usually go to the movies. Other thing that people my age do, is play video game and most of them are boys. We play video game every day with our friends or alone. We play video game in our home and we like this because we relax. All people my age like to use the computer because it´s cool. We use the computer every day. Of course, there are many others things that people my age like to do, but these are the ones that we most like to do.
    • 13. You made a good composition because it is easy to understand. You could put more details about the activities and you could write a better introduce, because there are a wrong in the 3th sentence. (T)
    • 14. Write more detais and write more activities not only about hanging out. Look at the adverbs of frequency but it is great congratulations. (H) I like your composition because I identify me in the second paragraph because I sleep all the time that I can. You could make a better job in the introduce. (C) The composition is easy to understand, but he should put more informations about the activities. (ML e JL) Effective Almost effective Partially effective Not effective 5 3 3 2
    • 15. Her composition is good because she wrote a lot of details, but there are some incorrect words and the sentences are too longer. (LG) The good things in this composition are the vocabulary and the grammar. It has some mistakes about rules and contents. (JS) The vocabulary is very good and there is a lot of details.(JO) You made a good composition because it is easy to understand. You could put more details about the activities and you could write a better introduce, because there are a wrong in the 3th sentence. (T)
    • 16.
      • Writing 2: “A Rush of Adrenaline”
        • Step 1: Scaffolding for peer revision: Model text + Peer review form (checklist + questions) done in pairs and then checked by the teacher.
        • Step 2: Individual work on peers’ compositions
        • Step 3: Teacher collects compositions and adds her feedback
    • 17.  
    • 18. Questions: Checklist: Effective review Almost effective Partially effective / Not effective 8 2 0 Relevant Questions Only one question, but relevant Couldn’t think of anything to ask 6 3 1
    • 19.  
    • 20.  
    • 21. Student added the additional information requested
    • 22.
      • Writing 3: “My favorite children’s book”
        • Open-ended peer review form
        • Students more distracted than the other times
        • More students didn’t bring their texts to class on the peer review day
      Effective review Incomplete or ineffective 7 4
    • 23.  
    • 24. Assessment of the work done in the first semester
      • The questionnaire distributed at the end of the semester showed that:
        • 12 of the 13 respondents demonstrated awareness of the benefits of peer revision;
        • 8 out of the 13 students had a positive attitude towards reading their peers’ writing;
        • 4 students had strong feelings against having their texts read by peers; 3 had mixed feelings; 2 enjoyed it; 4 said they didn’t care;
        • 9 of the 13 students considered peer revision a valid activity;
    • 25.
      • What did you learn from the peer review activities?
      • Nothing (two students).
      • I learned how to revise my own text.
      • I improved regarding vocabulary, because when I didn’t know a word, I asked the author of the text.
      • I learned new methods and vocabulary.
      • I learned that it is human to make mistakes.
      • That everyone can make mistakes.
      • I don’t know, maybe to correct my own mistakes.
      • I learned how to do peer review.
      • I learned how important other people’s help is to improve my text.
      • Words and improvements in the text.
      • I learned how to work in group and share ideas and opinions with my peers.
      • To notice our mistakes.
    • 26. Drawbacks
      • Some students felt the need for face-to-face interaction about the texts;
      • Students were still not comfortable about reading their peers’ texts and having their own texts read;
      • Conclusion: We needed to create a more authentic context for peer revision to take place.
    • 27.
      • Writing 4: “My favorite TV series”
        • Step 1: Teacher created a class blog and asked students to comment about their favorite series; teacher and researcher responded;
        • Step 2: Students received instructions on how to write their texts and post them on the blog; researcher posted her text on the blog, making some rhetorical mistakes on purpose;
        • Step 3: Teacher explained the activity and modeled the feedback with the researcher;
        • Step 4: Students worked in pairs.
    • 28.  
    • 29.
      • 8 students said the blog made them more motivated to write;
      • 2 students really liked reading their peers’ texts on the blog and 10 said it was okay;
      • 9 students liked giving oral feedback to their peers, even though 7 still prefer the written review form;
      • 9 students said their classmates had been able to provide good suggestions to improve their writing;
      • 11 students felt they had been able to provide good suggestions to their peers;
      • 8 students responded that their ability to do peer revision had improved, while 5 said it had improved partially.
      Effective revision Partially effective revision Ineffective revision 6 3 2
    • 30.
      • Writing 5: “My dream vacation spot”
        • Less scaffolding: teacher elicited the items that they should focus on as reviewers and wrote an outline on the board:
          • Did he use 4 paragraphs?
          • Did he use “would”?
          • Did he use the information in the guide for each paragraph?
          • Conclusion?
          • Linking words?
        • Students gave feedback to colleagues in another branch and received feedback from them.
        • Students were given the choice to work individually or in pairs (5 individuals and 5 pairs)
        • Students faced the feedback-giving process very naturally.
    • 31. Content + suggestions for improvement Content and suggestions but vague Comments on the positive points but no suggestions Comments only on content 6 1 2 1 Yes No No suggestions Received valid suggestions? 7 5 2 Able to provide valid feedback? 11 3
    • 32.
          • I love practicing radical sports too, I go skateboarding very often in Brasília and I like everything that is radical. Because of that, I would love to go to New zeland. And after you said all those good things about there, I'm starting to think better about going there. I liked so much your composition. However, I thing you could give more details about what would you do and you could use more linking words.
          • Mariane, your composition made me curious about go to Australia... I think it is a unusual place that I really want to go. My sugestions for your compositions are: in the first paragraph, you could say why do you want to go there and when you started to want to go to Australia. Then, in the third paragraph, maybe you can say the first thing you would do when you got there. That's onlythis! :D
    • 33.
          • Hello , Luana We think that your composition is really good , but you should use more linking words on it... That's all... I loved your text... Yours M and E.
          • I'm impressed with your progress... In the beggining of the year , your composition was wrost than now...But i'll tell you again , brow , overdo the linking words...Think about yours forethougts and you will improve the compositon a lot... Congratulations... Yours , M
    • 34.
      • However, when asked about how important each step of the process followed with composition 5 had been, students still demonstrated preference for the more directive and teacher-student stages of the process, rather than the student-student interactive ones.
    • 35. Steps Important A little important It didn’t matter
      • You saw photos of the place where the teacher would like to spend his vacation and wrote a comment in the blog, guessing what place it was. (Purpose: to motivate students for the topic.)
      2 7 5 b) You read a model text. 9 3 2 c) You followed an outline and talked to a peer about the place you chose for your vacation. 6 6 2 d) You had the chance to ask your teacher about vocabulary you didn’t know. 8 5 1 e) You followed an outline to write your text. 11 2 1 f) You published your text in the blog. 4 5 5 g) You helped the class create a peer review checklist to rate the texts written by students in another class. 4 7 3 h) You revised the text of a student from another class, using the checklist developed collaboratively in class. 2 10 2 i) Your text was revised by a peer from another class; 2 7 5 j) Your text was revised by your teacher. 12 1 1 k) You rewrote your text. 12 2 l)You received your text back, together with the rating rubrics specifically designed for the assignment, showing how you had done in each trait (ex: content, organization of ideas, language use, etc.) 11 3
    • 36.
      • Writing 6: “Teen tribes”
        • Step 1: Scaffolding for peer review: model text; students worked in groups of 3 to find the positive aspects and the aspects that needed improvement; teacher checked group work with the whole class.
    • 37.  
    • 38. Positive aspects Aspects that need improvement Good number of details More linking words Right number of paragraphs More colorful vocabulary Lots of examples Making fun of specific styles Enough information Introduction Good development Good explanation of styles
    • 39.
        • Step 2: oral feedback on writing; students wrote down the positive features mentioned by their peers and the suggestions for improvement
      Effective review Partially effective or ineffective review 10 4
    • 40. Pair Relevant contributions Dominated the interaction 1. JL JD yes yes √ 2. GU JO yes yes 3. H E yes yes √ 4. ML J Partially No 5. MR G Yes Yes 6. T LG Yes Yes √ 7. ME M Partially Partially √ (a negative domination)
    • 41. SUMMING UP Format of Peer review Effective Mostly effective Partially effective Ineffective # 1 – Checklist + an open-ended question regarding what the reader had liked best about the text. 5 3 3 2 # 2 – Checklist + questions to lead the author to improve the content. 8 2 0 0 # 3 – Open-ended questions 7 0 3 2 # 4 – Open-ended questions 6 0 3 2 # 5 – Peer review guidelines designed in loco, elicited by the teacher. 6 1 1 1 # 6 – Open-ended conversation; students were oriented to talk about strong points and points that needed improvement 10 0 3 1
    • 42. Conclusion
        • After being trained to do peer revision for one year, will students become better peer reviewers?
          • Yes, as the chart just shown depicts, but as the complexity of the activity progresses, there will be ups and downs. Students don’t progress linearly from one activity to the other.
    • 43. Conclusion
        • Will students´ attitude towards peer revision change as this type of activity becomes more natural in the classroom?
          • Yes. Students performed the last peer review activity as they performed any other activity that was already part of the classroom routine.
          • Only four students remained more resistant:
            • M – Believes learning to write is synonymous with learning
            • grammar.
            • ME – Has a negative attitude regarding other types of classroom
            • activities as well. Doesn’t like receiving suggestions on her
            • writing. Enjoys writing for herself, not for others.
            • MR - Believes that it is the teacher’s job to give feedback to students
            • on their writings.
            • E - Has low self-esteem when it comes to writing and doesn’t feel
            • capable of giving feedback to peers.
          • The blog created a more authentic context for peer review
    • 44. Conclusion
        • What are the most effective peer review activities and strategies ?
          • Variety is essential; change the format of the activity each time around.
            • A mixed form, with objective items and a few open-ended ones is the most effective type
          • Scaffolding of the activity is essential.
            • How?
              • Providing a model text and walking students through the process of text analysis and filling out of the peer review form.
              • For more open-ended review formats, provide a discourse model, e.g. personalization + praise + suggestions for improvement.
          • Students prefer written feedback, and a peer review sheet is preferable, for students don´t like it when their peers write directly on their assignment sheet.
    • 45.
          • Working with peer review in an educational context in which students are not used to this type of activity is a messy, non-linear process during which students develop their analytical and reflective skills little by little, at their own pace, based on their own individual characteristics and educational experiences.
    • 46. Recommended reading on the topic
      • BOSCOLO, P. Writing in primary school. . In BAZERMAN, C (org.). Handbook of research on writing – history, society, school, individual, text . New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 293-309, 2008.
      • CALKINS, L. M. The Art of Teaching Writing – New Edition. Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH. 1994.
      • CAMPBELL, C. Teaching second-language writing: Interaction with text . Canada: Heinle & Heinle, 1998.
      • CANAGARAJAH, A.S. Critical academic writing and multilingual students . Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2002.
      • CASANAVE, C. P. Controversies in second language writing: dilemmas and decisions in research and instruction . Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 2004.
      • GARCEZ, L. A escrita e o outro . Brasília: Editora UnB, 1998.
      • GRABE, W. & KAPLAN, R. B. Theory and practice of writing. London: Longman, 1996.
      • KROLL, B. Teaching writing in the ESL context . In CELCE-MURCIA, M. (org). Teaching English as a second or foreign language. New York: Newbury House, 245-263, 1991.
      • LIU, J. e HANSEN, J. G. Peer response in second language writing classrooms . Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 2002.
      • RAIMES, A. Teaching writing. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 18 , 142-167, 1998.
      • ______. Ten steps in planning a writing course and training teachers of writing. In Richards, J. e Renaya, W. A. (orgs). Methodology in language teaching: an anthology of current practice . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 306-314, 2002.
      • REID, J. Writing. In CARTER, R. e NUNAN, D. (orgs .). The Cambridge guide to teaching English to speakers of other languages . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 28-33, 2001.
      • SEOW, A. The writing process and process writing. In Richards, J. e Renaya, W. A. (orgs). Methodology in language teaching: an anthology of current practice . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 315-320, 2002.
      • SOKOLIK, M. Writing. In NUNAN, D. Practical English language teaching. New York: McGraw Hill Contemporary, 2003, p. 87-108.
      • VYGOTSKY, L.S. Aprendizagem e desenvolvimento intelectual na idade escolar. Em VYGOTSKY, L.S., LURIA, A. R., LEONTIEV. Linguagem, desenvolvimento e aprendizagem . São Paulo: Ícone, 2001, p. 103-117.
      • WHITE, E.; ARNDT, V. Process writing . New York: Longman, 1991.
    • 47. THANK YOU!!! [email_address]