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Enhancing The Effectiveness Of Peer Oral Feedback Sessions In Presentations Among Sophomores At Hanoi Do Thi Xuan Hoa 05 E1
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    Enhancing The Effectiveness Of Peer Oral Feedback Sessions In Presentations Among Sophomores At Hanoi Do Thi Xuan Hoa 05 E1 Enhancing The Effectiveness Of Peer Oral Feedback Sessions In Presentations Among Sophomores At Hanoi Do Thi Xuan Hoa 05 E1 Document Transcript

    • Hanoi, May 2009 ACCEPTANCE I hereby state that I: Do Thi Xuan Hoa, from 051E1, being a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept the requirements of the College relating to the retention and use of Bachelor’s Graduation Paper deposited in the library. In terms of these conditions, I agree that the origin of my paper deposited in the library should be accessible for the purposes of study and research, in accordance with the normal conditions established by the librarian for the care, loan or reproduction of the paper. Signature Date……………
    • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am deeply indebted to a number of people for their contribution to the completion of this graduation paper. First and foremost, my most sincere gratitude goes to my supervisor, Ms. Dong Thi Thu Trang, for her generous support and critical guide and correction, without which this paper would never be possible. Next, my special thanks are dedicated to the enthusiastic and kind teachers in CLC Division and English Department who granted me with valuable additional help. My appreciation would also extend to teachers and second year students who played a decisive role in the data collection process. Lastly, I am especially appreciative of my friends, peers and family for their constant spiritual support during the process of conducting this study.
    • ABSTRACT Communicative language teaching method and learner-centered approach have brought significant changes to students’ role in class, among which their participation in peer-to-peer oral feedback session in presentation activity can be regarded as one of the most prominent ones. This session is proved to help increase students’ educational and social growth and highlight their active involvement in the learning process. However, limited theoretical framework and guideline for this specific part has caused the session not to reach the expected effectiveness. This study, ignited from the researcher’s serious concern about the matter, primarily aimed at investigating the difficulties students face when giving and receiving comment and their solutions to surmount them to reach the ultimate objective of enhancing the quality of the whole session. With a flexible combination of qualitative and quantitative method, the researcher was able to find out that students weighed the effectiveness of peer oral feedback session at a medium level. Additionally, they thought most highly of peer feedback for its help in allowing them to improve their presenting performance practice their critical thinking. The most problematic issues they met were lack of ideas due to their limited critical thinking skills and their difficulties in expressing them. For feedback recipients, drawing lesson from peer feedback remained most aching owing to confusion over its validity and reliability. Solutions accordingly were to give and receive feedback on well- set criteria built by both teacher and students and the goal of the course as well taking record of feedback for further interpretation. Additionally, teacher’ role in facilitating the session as well as
    • educating students about feedback itself and skills to give and receive feedback was of vital significance.
    • TABLE OF CONTENT ACCEPTANCE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABSTRACT LIST OF TABLES, CHARTS AND ABBREVIATIONS CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION I.1. Statement of the problem and rationale for the study……… 1 I.2. Aims and objectives………………………………………... 3 I.3. Significance of the study…………………………………… 4 I.4. Scope of the study…………………………………………. 5 I.5. Organisation………………………………………………... 6 CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW II.1. Definitions of key terms………………………………….. 7 II.1.1. Presentation…………………………………………... 7 II.1.2. Peer oral feedback……………………………………. 8 II.1.2.1. The Johari Window……………………………… 9 II.1.2.2. Definition of feedback…………………………... 10 II.1.2.3. Types of peer oral feedback……………………... 13 II.1.3. Peer oral feedback session……………………………. 15 II.1.4. Second year students at HULIS, VNU……………….. 15 II.2. Related studies…………………………………………….. 16 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY III.1. Selection of subjects……………………………………… 19 III.1.1. Participants for questionnaires 19 III.1.2. Participants for interviews 21 III.2. Research instruments……………………………………... 21 III.2.1. Questionnaires……………………………………….. 21 III.2.2. Interviews……………………………………………. 23 III.3. Procedures of data collection…………………………….. 25 III.4. Procedures for data analysis………………………………. 28 CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION IV.1. Findings …………………………………………………. 29 IV.1.1. The effectiveness of peer oral feedback session …….. 29 IV.1.1.1. The benefits of peer oral feedback session……... 29
    • Tables and charts/graphs Page Table 1 Different feedback types 15 Table 2 Feedback givers’ focus and style 35 Table 3 Difficulties met when giving feedback 40 Table 4 Difficulties met when receiving feedback 41 Table 5 Solution for each group 42 Table 6 Other solutions 46 Chart 1 Benefits of peer oral feedback session as perceived by 30 feedback givers Chart 2 Benefits of peer oral feedback session as perceived by 31 feedback recipients Chart 3 Content of feedback 33 Chart 4 Feedback recipients’ expectations from feedback 34 Chart 5 Preferred feedback form 36 Chart 6 Responses to feedback 38 Chart 7 The effectiveness of peer oral feedback session 39 List of abbreviations LIST OF CHARTS, TABLES AND ABBREVIATIONS ED, HULIS, VNU English Department, Hanoi University of Languages and International Studies CLT Communicative Language Teaching EFL English as Foreign Language
    • CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION In the coming parts, a brief introduction to the study including reason for the study, significance of its once done, scope and organization will be presented. I. 1. Statement of the problem and rationale for the study The shift to learner-centered based teaching method accompanied with communicative approach in learning and teaching English as a foreign language has led to significant changes in student’s activities and roles in class. In the past, students took a relatively passive role of merely listening to teacher’s lectures to take in knowledge, resulting in their blunt skills of studying autonomously, and at the same time, leaving them no room for developing as an individual who has voice in class activities and assessment. Thanks to the wide application of communicative language teaching (CLT), changes have been witnessed. As their ultimate goal is “producing students who are communicatively competent” (To, Nguyen& Nguyen, 2008, p.29), CLT applied classes aim at providing students with new communicating educational setting in which they both acquire the language and learn to communicate in it. In this flow, students’ role is expanded from a learner to a communicator, a sharer and recently even an assessor. Traditionally, assessing or giving marks has always been the priority given to teachers only; now that students are allowed to take the stage thanks to the benefits of peer assessment in terms of improving the learning process, sharpening critical abilities, and increasing student autonomy. Peer feedback quot;provides constructive criticism and suggestions to improve weak areas and amplify strengths.quot; (Boyd 1989 cited in Reese-Durham and Nancy 2005) and “is effective for both feedback receivers and senders as well.” (Eikenberry, 2007, ). For those receiving feedback, students are at an
    • advantage of viewing their own work from other objective points and at great immediacy so that they can better their performance next time. Feedback givers seem to benefit much more. Not only do they have chance to practice their critical thinking to come up with effective feedback, they are also exposed to mistakes to avoid and strengths to learn from for their own work. Briefly, speaking competence, communicating skills and critical thinking skills are among the skills students can sharpen when joining feedback session. More interestingly, for teacher trainees at universities, giving peer feedback is their initial step toward commenting on students’ performance in their future job. However, when it comes to feedback in general and peer feedback in particular, more, if not to say almost all, emphasis has been put on written feedback especially in writing classes. Therefore, well laid fundamentals by renowned scholars and experts can be easily found for the field. On the contrary, oral response, though of no less importance than the former, seems to attract less attention. Few researches are available in the researcher’s effort to widen knowledge on the topic. Taking into consideration the benefits of peer assessment in general and limited theoretical fundamentals on peer oral feedback in particular, the researcher is urged to conduct a study on “Enhancing the effectiveness of peer oral feedback sessions in presentations among sophomores at English Vietnam National University.” The original idea for this study ignited from the researcher’ experiences and observation among students when dealing with the issue. This study is, thus, nurtured with great seriousness in attempt to make peer feedback section in presentation an effective and relaxing period of time, turning it a useful method for students to academically improve themselves.
    • I. 2. Aims and objectives First of all, the research identified the level of effectiveness of peer oral feedback session among the studied subjects by looking at the current situation when students giving and receiving feedback and their perception of the sessions’ benefits to them. Once done, a closer look at difficulties students meet with during the session was provided. Finally, solutions and some techniques to overcome those obstacles were verified to make giving and receiving peer oral feedback a more effective tool for second year students. In short, the objectives of this paper could be summarized in the following questions: 1. What is the overall effectiveness of peer oral feedback session in presentation as perceived by second year students English Department, Hanoi University of Languages and International studies, Vietnam National University? 2. According to the studied students, what are the difficulties when students give and receive peer to peer oral feedback? 3. Judging from these students’ perception what can be done to tackle these difficulties? Note: The need for the first seemingly “theoretical” question is because not many reliable studies have been done on the topic so the researcher does not have much information to refer to. Additionally, answers to this question will provide a more in-depth look at the real case of the sample. I.3. Significance of the study This study once completed would be among the initial studies on the topic of peer oral feedback on speaking presentation for second year students.
    • In this sense, the study should be helpful to not only students as a matter of course but also teachers and other researchers as well. Specifically, sophomores as the main object of this study would find the theory and findings given in this research most useful. Not only will they be exposed to tips and techniques to make the most of the feedback giving section they will also accumulate knowledge and experiences for the coming semesters as well as their future job as teachers. Pedagogically, the study would help teachers see difficulties students meet to adjust their teaching method or class management or facilitation skills to help ease them. With regard to other researchers who have the same interest and concern, this study could offer some reliable and useful information for their future study. Also, as this paper still cannot cover all the points related in the theme, others may be inspired to continue working on them in the future. I.4. Scope of the study As specified in the title, the study puts emphasis on peer oral feedback in presentation among sophomores particularly, not any other types of feedback in other classes. Informants of the study were limited to sophomores in the department only due to the fact that in the second academic year, these students have chances to make formal and academic presentations. The scope may appear limited to some extent, yet it is not the amount of information or data collected or number of conclusion drawn out that matters but the depth and the accuracy obtained. I.5. Organization of the study Excluding the present chapter, the whole study consists of the following main parts:
    • Chapter II: LITERATURE REVIEW Chapter III: METHODOLOGY Chapter IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Chapter V: CONCLUSION Specifically, chapter II deals with definitions of key terms as well as theoretical foundation on which the study is based. Besides, in this chapter, related studies are reviewed to find out gaps to fill or any consensus. Chapter III brings a look at the method utilized to help the researcher conduct the study. Some theories about each measure are to be provided to prove the researcher’s choice of them. Chapter IV is made up from data collected from the research instruments. Findings are presented systematically to answer the research questions before some implications and recommendations are made. Chapter V presents a concise summary of major findings. In addition, limitations of the paper are named, from which some sincere suggestion for further studies and other researchers are made. Summary: In this very first chapter, the researcher has stated underlying reasons for the study as well as the significance, scope and organization of the whole paper with a view to making it easier to access and follow. The increasing participation of peer in the assessing process and its benefits to students as well as the lack of studies on the topic are the underlying reasons for this study.
    • CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW In this chapter, definitions of key terms and some theoretical frameworks are to be provided to pave the way for better understanding of the whole paper. Moreover, with a view to seeking for consensus and finding out gaps to fill, related studies and research on similar or same topics are compared and contrasted with the current paper. II.1. Definition of key terms II.1.1. Presentation Oral presentation is undoubtedly a popular activity in many universities especially those majoring in languages. As familiar as it may be, a detailed look at the term is still helpful. As defined by the Wikipedia, a presentation “is the process of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience”. This succinct definition seems to grasp the nature of the term with focuses on the two main activities: delivering and clarifying knowledge. Another definition proposed by T. Khadeejah Al-Harbi (n. d.) puts it: “A presentation is a formal talk to one or more people that quot;presentsquot; ideas or information in a clear, structured way.” (¶1) This description highlights more characteristics of a presentation. Specifically, it makes clear a presentation in the strictest sense should be of ceremonial quality and delivered logically. Within the scope of this paper, presentation defined in the second way is put in educational setting, more exactly English –majored classes. That is to say, presentation serves more than the core function of presenting information but it is commonly understood as a type of activity to practice students’ English skills, especially public speaking ones.
    • In mastering the skills, students have to undergo different types of practice to draw experiences. However, doing the task only cannot help students improve but it is being assessed and commented on by others that help them get better. Therefore, after each presentation, assessing or simply giving feedback to presentation is required. As familiar as feedback may sound to students, not much about feedback itself has been systematically presented in English courses. Hence, an overview of feedback is undeniably helpful. II. 1. 2. Peer oral feedback II.1.2.1. The Johari Window In order to have a grasp of feedback, the need to overview the foundation theory for feedback itself, The Johari window, arises. Developed since the 1950s by two American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, the Johari model named after its two inventors is now still widely used in many fields. THE JOHARI WINDOW
    • (Adapted from Small group instructor training course- Student reference for Johari Window) As can be clearly seen from the window, the “you don’t know” column and “others know” row intersect at the “blind area” pane at which feedback appears. The “blind area” refers to things obvious to others but invisible to self like self’ manners, others’ feelings and/or mistakes that are unconsciously made as suggested by Bloom (n.d.) For example, a person might not be aware that he/she always looks at ceiling when he/she is nervous. In most cases, it is the subjectivity that prevents people from wholly judging themselves or seeing even the most obvious things. Therefore, in order to bridge this gap and make the blind area less invisible, feedback is prerequisite. It is elaborated by Robert (2004) that when people are receiving feedback from “others”, the feedback givers, they are synonymously made more aware of themselves, then, the blind area would shrink. In this sense, the origin of feedback can be traced and its value can be partially seen. II.1.2.2. Definition of feedback Originally, the term quot;feedbackquot; was borrowed from rocket engineering by Kurt Lewin, a founder of laboratory education. A rocket sent into space contains a mechanism that sends signals back to earth. On earth, a steering apparatus receives these signals, makes adjustments if the rocket is off target, and corrects its course. With this nature being kept intact, feedback has since then been coined differently and applied in many aspects of life. One of the most popular literary definitions of feedback proposed Dr. Ken Blanchard is that “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” It is implied by
    • the expert that one essential factor that makes a winner is the first important lessons withdrawn from feedback. Another literary definition compared feedback with a mirror by which people see their behaviors reflected back to them. (TATS, 1998 p.7) This expression of the term actually distorted its nature. If reflected by the mirror, things would stay the same as they are while feedback seen from others’ perspective provides different interpretations or responses to the behaviours. In the light of the Johari Window theory, TATS (1998) viewed feedback as a way of making a person/group personally aware of a behavior others see and how that behavior affects others or affects task accomplishment. (p.1) Different in words but similar in nature, Wikipedia has it stated that “Feedback is a process of sharing observations, concerns and suggestions with the other person with an intention of improving his/her performance as an individual.” The explanation given by TATS (1998) clarified the two activities closely related to feedback namely giving feedback and soliciting feedback. Accordingly, giving feedback is a verbal or nonverbal process through which people communicate their perceptions and feelings about the behavior of others. When soliciting feedback, people ask others for their perceptions of their behavior. Actually, this clarification excluded the third activity directly linked with feedback which is receiving feedback. In this stage, people respond to the feedback given in a proactive way to make full use of the new information delivered. In daily communication, the act of giving and receiving feedback is so ubiquitous that at times people are doing so without being fully aware of it. That is to say, exchanging information in the form of feedback is an
    • indispensable part in peoples’ lives, from casual communication to academic activities. In education specifically, Ferris. D (1999) cited in F. Hyland and K. Hyland (2006) equaled feedback with any response a teacher may give for his or her students needs while Kepner (1991) cited in Grami (2005) referred to feedback session as any procedures used to inform a learner whether an instructional response is right or wrong. Another educational conception coined by Terése Hulterström in his study titled “Oral feedback- Students’ Reactions and Opinions (2005) focused on the function of feedback saying that “Feedback in school is supposed to be a tool for teachers to immediately help students correct errors in order to avoid fossilization…and to and to achieve better results” ( p.9) It can be seen from the pedagogic views that feedback in most cases refers to the teacher-student relation and interaction. This is quite understandable as in traditional EFL environment teacher took the sole responsibility of giving feedback and comments on students’ performance and practice. This idea is shared by many educational experts as well. Leki (1991), Saito (1994) and Zhang(1995) as cited in F. Hyland and K. Hyland (2006) who confirmed the credit students gave teachers’ feedback, stating that teachers’ comment were greatly valued and consistently more highly evaluated than other alternative from such as peer feedback. (p.3) However, in modern EFL classrooms, where communicative language teaching-learning approach is applied, teacher-student communication is accompanied by student-student interaction as well. In this way, students not only learn from their teacher only but gain knowledge form their peers as well to make full advantages of class time. This interaction includes the act of giving –receiving feedback among peers.
    • Circularly, peer feedback is feedback from peers. Word by word of the term can be easily understood but a more academic definition is still needed to shed light on the nature of its. Also referred to as peer assessment, peer response or peer review, peer feedback is defined as “a way to get additional insight about your practice and validate your point of view from your friends or colleagues” (College of Register Nurses of British Columbia, 2007, ¶1). In education, peer feedback is often put on a scale with teachers’ feedback and self evaluation. Peer feedback outweighs teachers’ comments to some extent. As suggested by Boud, Rout and Sampson (2001), peer feedback’s advantage lied in “peer”. As people in similar positions, face the same challenges, peer to peer talks were in a same language and students then can ask what may appear, in some situations, to be silly questions. (p.1) This first and foremost advantage of peer feedback has some things to do with the cultural context and the relationship between those participating in the feedback session. Specifically, the closer the feedback giver and the feedback recipient are, the easier it is for them to express and accept the ideas. Talking from the feedback recipients’ side, peer feedback is often less formal and threatening than teacher’s comments. This is particularly true in such countries as Vietnam where high position culture rules, leading to the seemingly insurmountable barrier between teacher and students in class time. Moreover, as being peers, the feedback recipients would feel less obliged to accept the comment and, more importantly, they feel more comfortable for additional discussions and negations of the feedback. In this sense, peer to peer feedback is more cherished than comments from teacher. Compared with self assessment, peer feedback undoubtedly promises a more objective and holistic review. No matter how critical learners are, they
    • cannot evaluate themselves in as many-sided manner as when being judged by others as matter of fact. It is like the saying “The eyes can see everything but themselves.” II.1.2.3. Types of peer oral feedback On the basis of purposes, peer oral feedback can be divided into two sub groups of “corrective” and “reinforcing” (Poley, Mitchell, 1996). Sharing this idea, Elnicki, Layne, Ogden and Morris (1998) though did not explicitly categorize feedback in two groups like the formers, stated clearly “feedback consists of information provided to learners for the purpose of reinforcing appropriate and correcting inappropriate efforts.” (pp.155-158). It can be easily noticed in both views that strengthening good points and amending weaknesses are the main purposes leading to such categorization. Also utilizing the ground of purposes to back up his division, Carl (2007) added the frequency of use to categorize feedback in five main types. He even put them in a particular descending order of frequency of use Table 1: Different feedback types Types Description Example Making judgment and evaluating Your presenting manner is Evaluative worth or goodness professional. Testing your understanding of what So you mean peer oral Interpretive has been said by interpreting and feedback session in your paraphrasing back to the other class is a waste of time- is it person what you think has been said right? Supporting the other person in some You are making progress in Supportive way. your pronunciation. Finding more information by asking Could you please talk more Probing deeper questions that seek specific about difficulties when giving information peer oral feedback?
    • Seeking to understand not just what It seems you have first hand Understanding was said, but the whole person experiences in tackling the underneath listening to the inner difficulties. Could you share person. them with us? (Adapted from Carl’s five types of feedback, n.d). From the researcher’s observation, some of the types seem to overlap each other. For example, Evaluative can be mistaken for Supportive if the evaluation embraces the flattering and encouraging sense. Similarly, Understanding feedback should include some evaluation in order to regard bring about the grasp of “the whole person underneath” II.1.3. Peer oral feedback session As the session coming right after each presentation, this part is designed and integrated firstly to help presenters have their performances commented by peer to see points they have achieved and points not yet. Then, this session is a chance for the non-presenters to take in knowledge both on the presented topic and other skills. This session is organized with the act of giving feedback then variably a discussion between feedback giver and feedback recipient may happen (or not) to elaborate on commented points. The amount of time allocated for this session may vary but generally it often lasts from 10 to 15 minutes. These last minutes is regarded as quot;the last little bit that the superstar looks forquot; (Blanchard, n.d. cited in TSAT, 1998) because it represents information needed to reach the goal. II.1.4. Second year students at HULIS, VNU As informants of this study, second year students at ED, HULIS, VNU should be described in detail. At present, there are 22 classes of second year students in ED, among which are 19 mainstream classes for English trainees
    • and three others for Translator-Interpreter trainees. The number of students in total is about 440, among whom 114 random students, about 26%, were chosen as respondents for this paper. These 114 sophomores are from six classes including 07E1, 07E2, 07E3, 07E10, 07E15 and 07E16. Intentionally, one fast track class, 07E1, was chosen together with five other mainstream classes in order to ensure the generalization. More descriptions of the informants are to be presented in the methodology part. II.2. Related studies As confessed in the rationale, a modest number of research on the same topic has been conducted to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, or at least, are accessible to the researcher. Rather, more studies on peer editing in writing are available. In an effort to seek reliable foundation, the researcher came across an interesting paper on a similar area titled “Study of Verbal Peer Feedback on the Improvement of the Quality of Writing and the Transfer of Knowledge in Francophone Students in Grade 4 Living in a Minority Situation in Canada” by Blain (2001). This experimental study involved four fourth grade students to produce in total 48 pieces of writing within six months. Half of the pieces were completed with the peer assistance in six peer response meetings where students read their writings out loud and listened to oral comments from peer before finalizing the final drafts. Analyzing students’ writings, the researcher came to conclude that “the children were receiving verbal peer feedback, the quality of the writing improved slightly more than when they wrote alone…however these increases were minimal and not very consistent.” (Blain, 2001, p.161). This case study proved the positive impact that verbal feedback had on improved quality of student’s written products, though the level of effectiveness was relatively low. Dealing with the effectiveness of peer oral feedback in mother tongue for mother tongue
    • skills developments, then results this study rendered were valid and reliable within the scope of first language studies only. Another study titled “Self and peer assessment- Vehicles to improve learning” by Ho (2003) had something in common with this present research. In his case study, Ho implemented peer assessment together with self and tutor assessments for 30 foreign doctorate graduates in a speaking course in semester two academic year 2001/ 02 and semester one academic year 2002/03. Each student had to give a five minute presentation which was videotaped and later given to peer to be assessed and graded. Observation from these students and their final scores suggested that self and peer feedback significantly contributed to students’ motivation to improve. The findings revealed that doctorate students got better at feeling honoured to be given some responsibility for the grading system appeared more sensitive to peers. Students in this study also came to realize that integration of other assessing methods could produce more accurate and reliable final evaluation than single teachers’ assessment. Benefits of peer feedback session can be obviously recognized from this study. However, there are still some points to re-consider. Firstly, it is the fact that these students came from different countries which meant their cultural traits were not unanimous, that led their attitude toward peer assessment as well as self and tutor assessment to be differently affected. Secondly, as the informants were doctorates already, findings rendered from them allowed a limited range of generalization only. “Peer reviews in the ESL composition classrooms: what do the students think” by Mangelsdorf (1992) is another study sharing some similarities with this paper. The noteworthy conclusion drawn from this study was that peer reviews were always rated negatively by Asian students. The researcher of this
    • study even raised question of the effect of teacher-centered cultures on the way students regarded peer comments. It is easy to point out that this study was conducted such a long time ago when CLT was not as widely applied as today then the results were not reliable enough. However, the conclusions were still valid and worth considering given the fact that objects of the study was Asian students who are culturally known for being for less open to criticism and fairly obstinate. Briefly, a look at three related studies brings to light the fact that peer feedback has always been traditionally more associated with writing skills than oral ones. In CLT approach, communicative competence is stressed then more of peer oral feedback for speaking skills should be paid due attention to. Moreover, as giving and receiving oral feedback is of great importance not only on academic field but in social communication as well, a study on the topic would bring about practical results and applications. Summary In this chapter, key terms including presentation, peer oral feedback, peer oral feedback session and second year students at ED, HULIS, VNU have been defined. After that a review of some two studies related to the current paper is presented. Findings from these studies suggested that peer feedback was generally regarded as being beneficial to students’ educational growth. However, different subjects and different scopes prevented these results from being applied in the cases of Vietnamese students. CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Theoretical framework was presented in the preceding part, in this practical chapter, selection of participants, research instruments, data collecting and
    • analyzing procedures are systematically discussed to substantiate the validity and reliability of the coming rendered results. III.1. Selection of subjects III.1.1 Participants for questionnaires Second year students in ED, HULIS, VNU is the main and single subject and respondent of this present paper. Compared with freshmen, who are totally new to varsity environment, and tertiary or senior students, who are turning more attention to the teaching major, sophomores appear to enjoy a more focused English developing oriented syllabus. More description of their speaking syllabus with the activity of individual news report can be referred to at the Appendices. Up to this level, second year students have, to some extent, familiarized themselves with academic presentation. The subject of General Geography requires students to deliver presentations on the topic of America and England. What is important is that the feedback session for this activity is clearly stated in the guideline. Accordingly, students are not only expected to give informative, critical and academic presentation but they should be able to give comments and grade their peers’ performances and actually peers’ grade is counted in the final grade given by the teacher. This condition, hence, demands those giving feedback to come up with fair, constructive and critical comments focusing on all aspects that need commenting to both assess their peers and to draw lessons for themselves. Similarly, those receiving feedback need to prepare themselves to listen to and accept feedback from peers then have proper way of responding. Once defining the sample, the researcher started strategies to pick them up. At first, to better the validity and reliability of the study, random sampling combined with stratified sampling was adopted. Accordingly, classes 07E1,
    • 07E3, 07E5, 07E7, 07E9 would be chosen. However, it turned out to the researcher’s surprise that the schedules of these classes, which had been publicly announced on the information board, were adjusted to fit in with the lecturers and students’ convenience. Consequently, the researcher missed so many classes. Under time pressure, choosing sample at the researcher’s convenience was opted to. Specifically, second year students from classes 07E1, 07E2, 07E3, 07E10, 07E15 and 07E16 joined as the informants for the questionnaires and interviews. Class Number of students Ratio Fast track class 07E1 22 19.3% 07E2 18 80.7% 07E3 16 Main stream classes 07E10 16 07E15 23 07E16 19 Total 114 Fast track students were included in the subject as well but they constituted just less than one-fifth of the overall number of survey students. This ratio was meticulously considered as they decided the level of accuracy for the generalization from findings for the sample to the whole population. III.1.2. Participants in interviews With regard to informants to join the interviews, a selecting process was carried out. Initially, counting the questionnaires answered and the options chosen helped the researcher have a sketchy picture the results. Then, scrutinizing looks at every questionnaire to find out the ones sharing the general trend was done. Accordingly, 10 students, approximately 10% of the total number of respondents were picked up. These 10 students were encoded
    • from S1, S2 continuously to S10. It should be noted at most 2 students from the same class participated in the interviews, which helped avoid any one- sided conclusions. III.2. Research instruments III.2.1. Questionnaires With its nature is to enhance the quality of peer oral feedback session, the research first needed to figure out the difficulties and solutions students meet in the process. In order to do this task, the researcher had to employ suitable measures and instruments. Quantitative method came to play at this state as it helped render specific numbers and statistic to make out the most prominent issues. In this paper, questionnaires were used to collect these pieces of data. Theoretically, questionnaires are both time saving and labor saving for the researcher. That is to say, with a certain relatively short period of time, the researcher can deliver the survey to a larger number of respondents than any other methods. Mackey & Gass (2005) also asserted that this kind of method can be used to collect data “from a large group of participants” (p. 92) “in a short period of time” (p.94). Also, with a wide coverage of representative sample, the researcher would have fewer difficulties in generalizing the data to the whole targeted population. Specifically, 120 14-item questionnaires prepared in English were delivered to second year students in the department. Except for the first question in form of Likert scale, which asked students to evaluate the effectiveness of peer oral feedback session in their class, the rest were in form of multiple choice questions. It is the researcher’s awareness that the questionnaires were somehow long, no open-ended question was included to help avoid fatigue effect in the respondents. Rather, such types of data could
    • be made out in the follow up interviews. Briefly, the questionnaires sought answers for the following points: • Students’ evaluation of the overall effectiveness of peer oral feedback session in presentations. • Students’ perception of the benefits they get from peer feedback session. • Students’ evaluation of the overall effectiveness of peer oral session in presentation. • Students’ styles when giving and receiving oral feedback • Students’ difficulties in giving and receiving feedback. • Techniques or tips students use to overcome the difficulties. A sample of questionnaire is available in the Appendices. Though embracing some benefits, questionnaires still hold some disadvantages. One of the most serious problems brought about by questionnaires is that they just collect relatively simple and superficial information. Therefore, to guarantee the reliability and validity of the paper, another qualitative instrument was utilized. III.2.2. Interviews The flaws mentioned above were made up for by other qualitative methods. In this current paper, interview was a suitable choice. Glossner (1990) believed that “[the] richness and complexity of students’ attitudes toward learning might be better understood through qualitative research techniques than quantitative research techniques” (p. 16). He further stated that qualitative research can yield dynamic personal attitudes.
    • Similarly, Gay (1996) confirmed that qualitative methods go beyond just mere descriptions of events and provide in-depth understanding of the situation being studied. In his words: “Qualitative researchers are not just concerned with describing the way things are, but also with gaining insights into how things got to be the way they are, how people feel about the way things are, what they believe, what meanings they attach to various activities, and so forth. (p. 13) Interviews were chosen to help the researcher do the task. As being a conversation with a purpose (Lincoln and Guba, 1985, p. 268), interviews were designed to collect information from human sources. Maxwell (1996) confirmed the value of interviews as they allow the interviewer and the interviewees to work back and forth, reconstruct the past, analyze the present, and predict the future. Additionally, interviewing can be one of the best ways to know about the participant’s feelings and thoughts, as put by Patton (1990). It was his opinion that feeling, thoughts and intention could not be observed but had to be directly asked. The purpose of interviewing then is to allow people to enter into the other person’s perspective. (p. 195) Within the interviews only, the researcher integrated two types of interviews namely the unstructured and semi-structured interviews. The two interviewing styles well supported each other in that unstructured way “gives the interviewee a degree of power and control over the course of the interview”( Nguyen, Pham &Luong, 2007, p.52) while the interviewers can still get the information wanted in a flexible and respondent-friendly way. So as to make the interviewees feel most at ease, during the first periods of the interviews, unstructured interview style was adopted. Consequently, the direction of the interviews often went freely and unpredictable. Fully aware
    • that this style can lead to off-track interviews, the researchers had to prepare some general points to ask in order to lead the interview to where it should come. To be more specific, interview schedule included questions seeking for extra and insightful information and data that could not be obtained in the questionnaire as follows: • Specific elaboration and explanations on preferred answers o Reasons underlying certain difficulties o Clarification for solutions to the problems o Evaluation of certain solutions • More of student’s feelings and attitude toward the whole feedback session The interview schedule can be referred to in the Appendices. III.3. Procedures of data collection Phase Duration Activity 1 3 weeks 2 weeks: prepare questionnaires 1 week: prepare follow up interview schedule 2 1 week Issue questionnaires to participants and get the answered questionnaires back 3 2 weeks Conduct interviews with chosen participants 4 1/2 week Transcribe interview recordings
    • Phase 1 As indicated in the table, it took the researcher three weeks in total to prepare for data collection instruments including designing questionnaire items, making interview schedule and piloting these two instruments. Questions in the survey were designed in the most doer- friendly way. Instructions were clearly stated to avoid misleading the participating students. In both questionnaires and interview schedules, the confidentiality was emphasized from the beginning so that the participants could feel more comfortable and secured to answer the questions. Also, contact info of the researcher was informed so that the respondents would be able to get in touch when needed. As the interviews were to seek more insightful information, it could be carried out only when basic data from the questionnaire was analyzed. Therefore, the researcher had to complete this task as quickly as possible to come up with a suitable follow up interview schedule. Having done with the design, the researcher came to the step of piloting both the questionnaire and the interview. Wording as well as content of the questions and options were carefully checked and adjusted thanks the help of voluntary second year students in the pilot. Just like with the questionnaires, a piloting interview was also conducted with one subject. Not only did this step help figure out any problems with the interview schedule but it familiarized the interviewer with how to ask questions, give response and lead the interview properly and professionally. Phase 2
    • Delivering and getting back the questionnaires did not call for much effort but was still handled with good carefulness. As indicated above, the researcher came to small language classes to deliver the handouts. Second year students from classes 07E1, 07E2, 07E3, 07E10, 07E15 and 07E16 were asked to be the respondents of the survey. To gain the participants’ trust, the researcher was firstly introduced by the lecturers. After that, a brief introduction to the researcher and the study was given. Additionally, value of the student’s serious participation was emphasized both in written form and oral form. At this stage, the researcher also confirmed the confidentiality to boost the participants’ belief. Besides the written instructions on the handout, oral Vietnamese instructions and explanations were presented to help respondents avoid any misunderstanding and ambiguity. With the researcher at present when respondents giving answers, the number of handout returned could be guaranteed and any questions related to how to do the survey were properly answered. Phase 3 Follow up interviews in with representative of the respondents were conducted soon after basic results from the questionnaires had been obtained and a piloting interview had been conducted. Needless to say, the official as well as the piloting one was both in Vietnamese to avoid any misunderstanding. Before starting the interviews, the researcher spent some time getting to know more about the interviewees as well as to create relaxing and friendly atmosphere for the interviews. During the interviews, the researcher managed to apply appropriate interview techniques to orientate the interviewees to give
    • the necessary information and reduce the amount of irrelevant details. By the end of the interview, the interviewers could collect quite a rich amount of information and also ask for a post-interview contact when necessary. Besides, to make it easier for the data analysis afterwards and to “free to concentrate on one task-production” (Sanger, 1996, p.67), the researcher used a recorder to record the content of the interviews. Note-taking was also exploited to note down any facial expressions or body gestures of the interviewees so that a more detailed and precise interpretation would be ensured in the data analysis procedure. As tape-recorder and notes might cause the interviewees to feel less comfortable, confidentiality were re-emphasized to reassures them. Phase 4 After finishing the interviews, the researcher spent half a week transcribe the script of the interview to make it convenient for the analysis and quoting later. Noticeably, not every single speaking turns was written but the important points that helped give clues to the questions were reported. III.4. Procedures for data analysis Quantitative and qualitative methods were the key measured employed both to get information and to analyze data. Firstly, mechanical counting had to be performed to render specific statistics. These numbers were then put in charts and graphs for better illustration and explanations. This step also made the study more concise and scientific. After that, with questions generating comparisons and contrasts between feedback giver and feedback recipient, the information were put into two
    • groups of on the same charts and graphs. Column charts served well in illustrating answers for almost all of the questions. Qualitative methods became helpful when the researcher analyze data from the interviews. Facial expressions were read and languages used were taken into consideration too. As it is almost impossible to put these types of information into charts or graphs, the researcher often quoted the interviewees’ ideas to support the points. Summary By far, research methodology with all elements related has been justified in this chapter. Questionnaires and interviewed were flexibly combined to elicit data from 114 second year students, who have chances to deliver academic presentations with formal feedback session included. Charts and graphs were fully exploited to demonstrate trends and proportion and comparison and contrast if necessary while tables were used to present number. Quotations of students’ ideas in interviews also contributed to the data analysis procedure. CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The previous chapter shed light on the measures the researcher employed to render insights at the issue. Next, it is in this third chapter that data collected from the questionnaires and the interviews are to be presented. It should be made clear that information from questionnaires and interviews is analyzed at the same time to support each other in answering the research questions. Additionally, after each finding is covered, a discussion of some implications and recommendation is to be provided.
    • IV.1. Presentation of data IV.1.1. The effectiveness of peer oral feedback session Before figuring out the overall effectiveness of peer oral feedback session in presentation among sophomores, a detailed look at the benefits as well as the current situation of the session would make the final evaluation more convincingly backed up. IV.1.1.1. The benefits of peer oral feedback session The benefit of the session is perceived differently when the students switch from the position of feedback giver to feedback recipient. As the positions are different, the benefits students perceive will be different accordingly. Firstly, it is apparent that students, when giving feedback, found the session most beneficial in giving them chances to learn from others’ strengths and weaknesses. Chart 1: Benefits of peer oral feedback session as perceived by feedback givers Logically enough to see a large number of students, 65 out of 114, agreed that their critical thinking skills were enhanced as well. At this point, it is
    • inferable that students not only thought critically to come up with valuable comments but they had to practice the skills to draw lessons from their peers ‘performance, which was, to some extent, even a harder job. These two units explained why critical thinking was the second-to-most advantageous aspect of feedback session from the commentators’ view. Consistently, other skills closely related to mental activities like “self- assessment skills” would be expected to take the third place. However, it came as a surprise to know that “speaking skills” and “helping peers” ranked third and fourth with 42 and 43 students respectively shared the point. Self assessment skills and communication skills, on the other hand, were equally appreciated by approximately one fourth of the students while a very humble number of students, 5, seemed to think of giving feedback as a chance to have their voice in the class. In addition, 15.7% of the commentators agreed that in order to come up with quality comments, they had to stay attentive enough during the presentation. In this sense, not only could they produce worth-listening comments for their peers but their attitude toward learning and the knowledge on the presented topics were enhanced as well. The list of benefits perceived by feedback recipients appeared to be much fewer than that by feedback givers. Chart 2: Benefits of peer oral feedback session as perceived by feedback recipients
    • Almost two thirds of the surveyed students valued feedback for their improved performance the following time and found it most beneficial to them. Secondly, as the nature of feedback is given by other people, there was little wonder over why a fairly good number of students, 46.5%, agreed they could see their practice through different eyes which were more objective and holistic. The other two benefits, being judged and evaluated by more than the teacher and being open to criticism, though were not as highly evaluated as the former ones, were appreciated by 40% and 38.5% respectively. The results from two charts reflected some notable correlations. Firstly, learning from others and improving own performances were both regarded most beneficial by the same number of feedback giver and feedback recipient. As students switch from feedback giver and feedback recipient from time to time then learning from others would help them better their own performances. Therefore, the two benefits were viewed differently with their nature of “enhancing students’ educational” (Rowtree, 1987, p10. cited in Nancy, F., 2005) being kept intact.
    • These pieces of findings were also shared by Magin, Douglas, Helmore and Phillip (2001) saying that where there was a single teacher’s rating, peer- assessment should be included to act as a benchmark in order to obtain a more accurate overall rating. Ho (2003) concluded that “It ( peer assessment) encourages critical thinking and critical assessment that is more objective as opposed to subjective assessment made by a single assessor.”(¶3) Two implications can be inferred from this conclusion. Firstly, giving feedback sharpens students’ skills of thinking and assessing critically. Secondly, peer to peer critical assessment means more objective and holistic judgment were available, leading to a fairer evaluation and grading. Moreover, findings in this study also coincided with what Ho (2003) figured out: students took more responsibility for their learning and stayed more attentive during presentations. Briefly, data from questionnaires and interviews unveiled that peer-to-peer oral feedback was most cherished for enabling students to draw experiences to better their performance and simultaneously to have their performances judged more fairly as well as to practice their critical thinking skills. Interestingly, other non-educational growth like communication skills was also recognized in the feedback session. IV. 1. 1. 2. Current situation of feedback session Theoretically, students already perceived how beneficial feedback session to them. At this stage, a general practical view at the actual state of the feedback session with information about differences in priorities and expectation from feedback and the way students give and receive feedback is to be provided. Findings in this part not only help verify the overall effectiveness of the session but find out any potential basic disparities that may lead to the difficulties afterwards.
    • The very first point to care about is what the feedback was about. Chart 3: Content of feedback 120 96 100 89 80 71 63 60 F eedbac k giver 40 30 29 32 F eedbac k rec ipient 28 24 20 15 0 P res entation Teamwork s kills P res entation's P res entation's G rammar s kills c ontent illus tration Presentation skills and presentation’s content were the first priorities students tended to take when they gave feedback. Similarly, feedback recipient appeared to expect feedback to focus more on these two aspects. These figures reflected students’ awareness of the purpose of presentation activity as well as the long term objective of the syllabus. Grammar, on the other hand, were not placed much emphasis on. The important thing to realize is that there were not many differences in feedback giver’s priorities on and feedback recipient’s expectation from feedback. Explicably, the criteria for commenting might be given in advance so students themselves were clearly guided. In addition to content, style when giving feedback or order of ideas delivered by commentators and expectation from feedback recipients should be taken into consideration Chart 4: Feedback recipients’ expectations from feedback
    • The pie chart shows that three-fourths of the survey students would like to be commented on both good points and not-yet- good ones. It is interesting to know that slightly more than one-fifth of the students preferred critical comments on weaknesses only. Accepting to listen to feedback all about mistakes and flaws, these students reportedly had to psychologically prepare themselves and were truly open to criticism. Table 2: Feedback givers’ focus and style Focus Style Number Strengths only 4 Be tactful and tentative 14 Weaknesses only Be straightforward 7 Strengths first then weaknesses 91 Both strengths and Weaknesses first then strengths 4 weaknesses Strength to end the feedback 4 Correspondently, the majority of the students, almost 87%, reported they gave comments on both sides whereas only 18% paid all attention to weaknesses.
    • This pattern was similar to the one in feedback recipients’ expectation, thus, helped limit the differences that may result in obstacles in the session. It is noteworthy to realize how commentators gave their feedback. For those giving response to both weaknesses and strengths, 92% started the feedback with complimentary on good points before pointing out the mistakes. As explained in the interviews, the reason behind this style was to create a presenter-friendly environment and to prepare them for later less positive feedback. Only 4 out of 99 students gave comments on weaknesses right at the beginning. To them, mistakes must be pinpointed at good immediacy and in a clear manner so that their peer could avoid them the following time. Another 4 students preferred ending the session with positive feedback “to encourage the presenters” as elaborated by the interviewee S2. This style, though may not be terminologically known to the student users as “feedback sandwich”, is actually widely preferred in both educational and non- educational setting for their being feedback recipient friendly. Feedback sandwich refers to “start and end with positive feedback, sandwiching suggestions for improvement between these reinforcing comments.”( Eckstein, Bergin& Sharp. 2002, ¶5) With regard to those favoring commenting on flaws only, 75% of them would use proper language to avoid hurting too sensitive peers or those with high- self esteem. Another 25% straightly expressed their original ideas without caring too much about languages as what they would like to convey was the pure messages to help peers. The above part dealt with content of the feedback, in this following part comes how the feedback is expressed, which also contributes to the overall effectiveness of the session. Chart 5: Preferred feedback form
    • 80 70 70 61 58 60 50 42 40 F eedbac k giver 30 25 F eedbac k rec ipient 19 20 10 0 P ieces of advic e Ques tions S traightforward s tatements As can be seen from the chart, most feedback givers and recipients, 58 and 70 respectively, preferred to give and receive feedback in form of pieces of advice. As tentative and still informative as advice is, this kind of expression could both point out mistakes to the presenters and avoid “hurting peers”. As elaborated by the interviewees, “advice helps limit the feeling of being criticized” (S1) it is undoubtedly safe for those giving feedback and a friendly to those receiving response. Straightforward statement which directly pointed out the mistake like “I think you are wrong” was valued by a slightly fewer number of students with feedback giver tended to used it more than feedback recipient. It was revealed in the interviews that the fact that straightforward statement was “simple to make, easy to understand and more practically took little time to produce” made this kind of expression more preferable to the commentators. On the other hand, feedback in form of confrontational questions received least attention from the two participating parts in the session. Owing to the sense of challenging from Why- question, those receiving feedback might feel more pressure being placed on them, which caused them to feel less comfortable. Feedback givers as well tended to avoid such kind of questions as it might create an unnecessarily aggressive and defensive atmosphere in class. Evans (2008), standing on the same ground, reckoned that instead of
    • asking Why- question, What -How-When- Where should be used to avoid defensiveness. Finally, the way in which students responded to the feedback they received would contribute to the overall effectiveness of the session. 76% of the students took in the feedback in a properly proactive manner. They waited until the last comment was given before explaining their original ideas or the underlying reasons for certain parts. By exchanging ideas in this follow up discussion, students had more chances to justify themselves as well as to weigh their ideas against others’. Compared with interrupting the feedback givers to give immediate explanation, which was favoured by only 14% of the students, this manner appeared to be more polite and appropriate, given the fact that in some cases such discussion often got hot until being settled down by the teachers. Chart 7: Responses to feedback The remaining 10% part was made up with students just listening to feedback only and showing no response at all. This style was not chosen by many
    • students as it limited the interaction and exchange of information between the participating parts in the session. Feedback recipients, specifically, had no chances to verify their ideas which also meant no more critical or deeper comments could be made. By this point, a relatively complete picture of the peer oral feedback session from students’ perception of the activity’s benefits to their specific description of how the session went on was given. It is at this level that the research question about how effective the session is can be answered. I.1.1.3. The effectiveness of peer oral feedback session In order to weigh the effectiveness of the session, a Likert scale question was employed. At first sight, the peaks of the two lines belong to the left half of the axis, indicating that students’ evaluation was a little bit more to the very effective end. However, a closer look revealed that these peaks were also in the last part of the half, even closed to the middle of the continuum. This keen look reflected that students’ estimation of the effectiveness of the session was neither high nor low but more neutral. Chart 8: The effectiveness of peer oral feedback session Number of respondents 40 30 Feedback giver 20 Feedback recipient 10 0 Very Not Feedback giver 15 24 32 27 9 6 Feedback 16 25 28 22 19 4 recipient Very effective Not effective at all
    • Specifically, “very effective” level was attached to the session by 13% and 14% of the feedback givers and feedback recipients respectively which were just as half of those thought averagely of the session. Another comment about the pattern of the two lines should be made. Feedback givers had a tendency to think more highly of the section than feedback recipients. Outstandingly, up to 19 students, 16.7%, poorly evaluated the session when they were to receive feedback in comparison with just 7.8% of feedback givers had the same evaluation. Safely put, though feedback session was theoretically acknowledged for being advantageous for students, it was not really highly appreciated in practice. This arouses the needs to find out underlying reasons for this unparallel perception and evaluation. Synonymously, it leads to the next part of difficulties to find out the obstacles students met that may cause them to averagely value the feedback session. IV.1.2. Difficulties In the two preceding parts, a general overview of the current situation of the feedback session was given to pave the ways for investigating the difficulties that students met and how they overcame them. Table 3: Difficulties met when giving feedback Difficulties Number Having no comment at all 33 Repeating others’ ideas 44 Summarizing rather than commenting on peers’ performance 15 Arranging comments in a logical order 42 Exceeding time limit 12 Hurting peers 12 Being biased 20 Limited speaking competence 26 Peers’ better competence 9
    • From the table, the most difficult part when giving feedback was repetition. 44 students complained that they often repeated what others had commented previously. This difficulty had some things to do with the problem of having no comment at all which worried up to 33 students. It was the fact that the first students to give comments tended to talk too much and gave response on almost all aspects that left no room for others. Additionally, students in the interviews blamed their poor critical thinking skills for this lack of ideas saying “after listening for the first commentators with so many feedbacks, we hardly come up with anything worth commenting.” These two factors combined resulted in around two –thirds of the students having problems with producing comments. The second to most problematic issue to the surveyed students was how to arrange their feedback in a logical order. The interviewees attributed this difficulty to the limit amount of time they were given before being asked for feedback. “the time given is too short while there are so many things in a presentation to comment on, so it is difficult for us to give prompt response.” (S2) Giving feedback became even harder for those with limited speaking competence as reported by about 20% of students. Understandably, lack of confidence caused students to feel shy which kept them from actively raising voice though having ideas to contribute. Speaking anxiety just like anxiety in other skills has always been a hindrance for students in their learning process. Related to “Vietnamese cultural trait of staying neutral and avoiding criticizing peers” as the interviewee S4 said, 17.5% and 10.5 % of feedback givers respectively confessed being biased and fear of hurting peers were among their difficulties. The problem of summarizing peers’ performances rather than evaluating, which means students reported what their peers had
    • done rather properly evaluated them, worried 13% of the total number of students. This difficulty was a possible aftermath of limited critical thinking skills among Vietnamese students too. Lastly, exceeding time limit was the problem for 10% of the students. It was the fact that most presentations lasted longer than expected then the time allocated for the feedback session had to be sacrificed. Another explanation given by the interviewees were that at times one student gave too lengthy feedback or too much feedback at a time that no more time left for others then the whole session had to be cut short. This explanation worked for the most problematic part of repeating ideas and having no comment at all too. Table 4: Difficulties met when receiving feedback Difficulties Number Being afraid of losing face 4 Evaluating the feedback 33 Elaborating and explaining original ideas to peers 46 Drawing lessons from feedback 49 It is clear from the table that drawing lessons from feedback was most aching to students with 43% reported so. This obstacle was closely linked with students’ difficulty in evaluating peer feedback. The fact that feedback, especially negative ones, were from peer, who were at the same level, caused students to be doubtful about the reliability of them then feel confused over what was implied in the response. Interviewed students added “feedback is actually still personal ideas. So I do not know for sure whether the ideas are valid or not.”(S1) Logically, not knowing how to evaluate feedback would lead to students’ bewildering in learning from this source of objective information. Another problem that ranked second in troubling students was negotiation with the commentators about the commented points. When there were
    • arguable partw or even disagreement, students all confessed having troubles sharing their viewpoint with peer commentators. The reason they gave was that “two sides often keep their own stand points…I would pretend to agree with the other side regardless of I am a feedback giver or a feedback recipient or else the discussion would go on until the teacher intervened” (S1) Such explanation, though not really satisfactory, revealed that either the feedback was not valid and convincing enough or students were too self-opinionated. IV.1.3. Solutions IV.1.3.1 Specific solutions to each problem In this part, particular solutions to problems students met were put into two groups of feedback givers and feedback recipients. Then more solutions relating to other factors would be given. Table 5: Solution for each group Positions Solutions Number Noting down comments as going along 57 the presentation Raising voice to comment first 18 Using proper language 23 Feedback giver Checking feedback recipient’s 18 understanding of the feedback given Giving feedback based on specific 53 goals that should be achieved Being open to criticism 47 Paraphrasing and/or asking for 33 Feedback recipient precision Improving language competence 46 Taking notes of feedback 49 As discussed in the previous part, shortage of ideas and idea arrangement were the biggest worries to feedback givers. Their most frequently used solutions to
    • these problems were to note down ideas as listening to the presentation and give feedback based on given criteria. The former solution was to help students keep track of their own response in case of forgetting and at the same time save them some time putting ideas in a logical order while the latter guided them on what to comment. It appears a little bit inconsistent when a large number of students admitted that not being the first to comment resulted in their lack of ideas, yet only a humble part of them would raise voice to give comment before others. On being asked to justify this part, most interviewees blamed being shy to pioneer, which according to them “the characteristics of Vietnamese people” (S1), for preventing them from giving ideas first not only in feedback session but other activities as well. In addition, the fear of being biased and hurting peers also urged feedback givers to be selective with the language. Indicated in the interview that using proper language in feedback session also help them be more sensitive in communicating in general. On the side of feedback recipients, taking notes of all feedback was the best way for them to evaluate the response as well as to draw lessons and experiences. Oral feedback is cherished for its good immediacy but its main drawback is virtually not recordable. Feedback recipients should, thus, jot down all the comments for further study at home. The general belief that feedback is more negative, though still constructive, hinders many students in the feedback session. To help overcome this difficulty, being open to criticism was selected by 47 students. Another solution proposed by the feedback giver was to improve their own command of English. It was said by the interviewees that once their English was good, then no more “negative” comments would be made which meant no more
    • worrying difficulty (S4). Actually, this solution can be applied in all skills as mastering English is the ultimate goal of the students. IV.1.3.2.Other solutions Solutions mentioned in this part mostly called for help and support from the third parties other than the feedback givers or feedback recipients. Table 6: Other solutions Solutions Number Peer oral feedback session be preceded by self assessments session. 20 Teacher’s involvement in assigning parts and groups to comment 50 Well- set criteria for commenting built by students and teachers 45 Making giving effective oral feedback part of the grade. 41 Adequate training for students on giving and receiving feedback skills 39 (orientation course) Models of effective peer oral feedback session 20 The most effective solution according to students could be provided by the teacher. Most students agreed that assignment given by the teachers about “who comment on what” (S1) would serve well in helping facilitate the session. Specifically, overlapping or repetitive comments could be avoided and students’ feedback could be more to the point when closer observation at certain parts was assigned. This solution would be closely followed by the second most appreciated key to the problem that was a set of well- set criteria for commenting built by students and teachers. Traditionally, the basis for giving feedback was built up by the teacher only then was simply given to students in advance. However, this practice would possibly lead to “students themselves do not consider what is important in grading a piece of work; they tend to use the criteria less thoughtfully” (Bostock, 2000 cited in Lim& Lisa
    • 2003). Therefore, as most students suggested, the criteria should be worked out with their opinions as well. Joining this stage, their critical thinking skills would be greater enhanced. This act also highlights students’ involvement in the assessment progress in learner- centered class. In the interview, it was suggested that if students could not contribute much to the criteria then the teachers should come up with a set of criteria and gave them to students to get their comments or feedback to make any changes or adjustment. In this way, students with average level of critical thinking skills could still partially contribute to the basis for commenting. It seems surprisingly practical when a fairly good number of students, 41, reckoned that they would participate more efficiently in the oral feedback session if their contribution was counted in the final score. However, when elaborating on their choice for this solution, students also clarified that grading students’ participation in feedback session could also lead to the mark- orientation rather “pure willingness to help peer and benefit themselves.”(S1) Superficially conflicting as it may be, the clarification simply implied that a certain limited proportion of mark should be distributed on the part of feedback participation. The idea of providing orientation course for students to build up and develop their giving-receiving feedback skills was at many students’ preference. This preparatory course should firstly raise students’ awareness about roles and importance of feedback and then provide them with techniques and tips to make peer giving-receiving feedback an effective activity.
    • More explicitly with the practice part of the course, Hanrahan & Isaacs (2001) cited in Lim& Lisa (2003) put it “Giving students feedback on their feedback helps keep them on track and increases their confidence in the process.” In helping students, teacher can also act as a performer to illustrate how to give and receive feedback, thereby, students can have a model to refer to and adjust flexibly in certain circumstances. Another solution to enhance the quality of peer feedback session was to integrate it with other types of assessment which was self- assessment in this case. Students agreed that being allowed to self- evaluate before being commented on made them “feel more respected.” What is more, assessing their own performances also “psychologically prepares feedback recipients to accept negative comments or criticism.” (S3) Shortly, in the long list of solutions to overcome the difficulties students met and to make the whole session serve better, some main solutions should be taken to heart. Firstly, taking notes of the comments should be utilized more to keep feedback givers on track and make the feedback more recordable to feedback recipients. Secondly, bearing in mind criteria for giving feedback should result in more focused and helpful comments. Students should also learn to accept feedback in all kinds, especially negative ones, by being more open to criticism. Raising their own awareness and see the real value of feedback can help in this case. Finally, with the help of teachers in facilitating the session and providing students with adequate training on giving –receiving
    • feedback skills, the difficulties could be significantly surmounted, helping enhance the effectiveness of the session. IV.2. Implications and recommendations Points mentioned as solutions to the difficulties, to some extent, overlap the implications and recommendations proposed in this part. IV.2. 1. Implications and recommendations for students. With the solutions discussed in the previous part, students actually found ways out for their problems already. First and foremost, it is their own responsibility to raise their awareness about the importance of feedback in their language acquisition in order to do it with good seriousness. Lim& Lisa, (2003) shared the point, saying that “Ultimately, students must become actively engaged in the thinking processes to reap the benefits in assessing each other, so that they will be empowered to carry it out more seriously.”(p.2) There should be unanimity among both feedback givers and feedback recipients that effective feedback, can be positive or more often negative, serves no other better causes than help enhancing learning, increasing motivation, enhancing self- esteem and finally deepening relationships. Such consistency in class members’ view can be achieved either in class meetings at the beginning of each course especially speaking class or set a class rule for the all members to follow.
    • More interestingly, learning to give and accept feedback in academic environment will help students be more sensitive in social daily communication and vice versa. Thus, by practicing assessing things critically and constructively regularly with a learned manner, students will gradually master the skills. Such habit can be built up if students keep a critical mind when judging things around them Additionally, to make full use of feedback given, students have to learn to reflect on the feedback itself. That is to say, they should be able learn from the new information given by others by weighing its validity and reliability or at least be able to understand what is meant by the comments. To have more chances to reflect and understand feedback, student feedback recipients can practice their skills of understanding and evaluating feedback from the simplest level of recognizing feedback types to more complicated one like paraphrasing feedback. At this point, the help of teachers in providing practices and sources of materials is undoubtedly indispensable. However, if teachers’ support is not possible whenever they want, students can still self- practice by trying to reflect on all kinds of feedback they encounter in both school setting and social interaction. Above are some recommendations for students to sharpen their skills of giving and receiving feedback. Turing to this part, the researcher would like to put more emphasis on some major practical guideline to serve as a reliable reference for students: Feedback givers  Base your feedback on the goals or outcomes the learner wants to achieve
    •  Based on the SPECIFIC - not the general o Ask for specific information and examples  Based on BEHAVIORS - not personality o Focus on the information - not the person  Based on OBSERVATIONS - not interpretations o Respond with observations rather than assumptions  Give feedback in appropriate amounts o Ask for a limit of one to two points  Give feedback only about something that can be changed o Receive feedback only if change is possible  Check out interpretations of feedback o Clarify what you are taking away from the interaction  Use language that reflects openness- avoid extreme item  Don’t be too DEMANDING (Adapted from Joan, E. (2008), Managing the Difficult Conversation: Giving and Receiving Feedback, Dalhousie University) Feedback recipients  Start with self assessment
    • o Self evaluate your strengths and weaknesses  Bear in mind: feedback is intended to be HELFUL not HURTFUL  Be OPEN to feedback through body language, facial expression, verbal hints o Verbally and physically eager to receive feedback, negative or positive  Listen to understand first o Be a good listener  Ask for clarification when needed  Control defensiveness  Feedback is not always right o Feedback is actually personal ideas  Summarize and reflect on the feedback In short, feedback is supposed to help students better in their studies by providing them with constructive objective ideas. Feedback givers and recipients then should be constructively critical and open to feedback and criticism to make fullest use of it. As “practice makes perfect”, students can step by step sharpen their skills via the daily habit of judging things critically and practicing exercises designed for develop the skills. The guidelines given serve as reliable references for students in the process of acquiring the skills.
    • IV.2.2. Implications and recommendations for teachers and educators First of all, teachers’ role in providing basic knowledge about feedback should be stressed. Ideally, an orientation course would serve well in theoretically, psychologically and even practically preparing students for the real feedback session. Information delivered in this course should directly deal with both possible problems that can be anticipated and those emerging in the some feedback session simulations. By allowing students time to get used to and sharpen their giving-receiving feedback skills, their actual performance in class would be more effective. If the idea of orientation course cannot be implemented, a certain amount of class time should be devoted to this preparatory stage. With regard to criteria for commenting, it is the teachers’ job to take into consideration students’ contribution to the final set of criteria. An open discussion should be held in class so that every student can have their voice heard. In the case a public discussion is not preferred, teacher can still ask for students’ opinions via contribution sheet in which students can express their truest feelings and ideas without being afraid of publicly known. In terms of holding the session, teachers are expected to properly integrate self- assessment with peer assessment together with teacher judgment to guarantee a holistic and fair evaluation. More importantly, asking students to give oral comments together with a handwritten version of their feedback to peer would ensure the referable quality of oral feedback, making it more durable, therefore, more helpful. The content of the written one can be the same or partially added or omitted depending on what the feedback givers would like to send the recipients. Personal comments or private messages can be added on the sheet so that only the recipients can read them while the basic
    • purpose of making the main content re-readable and referable should always be kept in tact. Finally, teachers’ continuous role as a facilitator during feedback session should always be maintained. Not only will teachers act as a third party to settle down any on-going discussion but their part in giving feedback on students’ feedback itself plays a decisive role maximizing the quality of the session. Summary In this chapter, two main parts namely presentation of data and implications- recommendations have been covered. The most important points to remember are that the effectiveness of peer oral feedback session was averagely evaluated by the students though benefits of the session were fully recognized. Shortage of comments, feedback evaluation to draw lessons and negotiating about the commented points between feedback giver- recipient were the main obstacles to students when participating the session. Solutions proposed by them was to give comment on criteria well- built by both teachers and students and to take close note of the feedback as well as to improve their language competence. Besides some guidelines for students on how to give effective feedback and take advantages of them, other pedagogical suggestions have been made to the teachers including running an orientation course or integrating self assessment with peer feedback and combining oral feedback with written one.
    • CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION In the previous chapter, current situation with difficulties, solutions and even some implications was depicted. This final chapter then will bring a concise summary of all the important findings. Besides, unavoidable limitations of the paper are to be confessed. Finally, suggestions for further studies related to the topic will be made. V.1. Summary of findings V.1.1. The effectiveness of peer oral feedback session V.1.1.1. Benefits of the session The session was fully acknowledged for bringing about both educational and social benefits to the students. The most outstanding advantages were reportedly both helping students better their presentation skills in particular and language acquisition in general with improvement in self-assessing and
    • staying attentive and bringing more fairness to the assessment. Socially, critical thinking skills and communication skills of students were sharpened as well. Students also learned to accept negative feedback and criticism as part of the process to master the foreign language. V.1.1.2. Current situation of peer oral feedback session First of all, priorities when students gave feedback generally coincided with expectation from peers. Critical comments on both strengths and weaknesses were given mostly on presentation content and presentation skills. The majority of feedback givers appeared peer- friendly and encouraging by either starting the session with positive comments before negative ones or giving feedback sandwich in form of pieces of advice using tentative and proper languages to convey the overall positive effect. Most of feedback recipients also responded to comments from peer in an appropriate way. They waited until their peer had finished commenting then butted in to express their original ideas. V.1.1.3 Overall effectiveness of the session Though the perception and recognition students granted for feedback session were positive, their evaluation of its overall effectiveness was at an average level only. A modest part of students thought highly of the effectiveness of the session compared to the majority staying neutral. Explanation for this unexpected result can be traced back in the aching difficulties emerging in the session to both feedback givers and feedback recipients. V.1.2. Difficulties – Solutions Particularly, shortage of ideas and arranging ideas logically within a limited amount of time, doubts over peer comments and discussion about the commented points were the biggest challenges for feedback givers- recipients.
    • Once having identified the problems, keys to tackle them were suggested as well. Taking note of feedback was mostly employed by both participating parts in the session. For feedback givers, this act helped them keep track of their own comments to avoid forgetting and arrange them more easily while to feedback recipients, note taking guaranteed that they could refer to the comments later for more studies and interpretation. Students also recognized that improving their command of English was another best solution. With a good language competence, students would both commit few mistakes and at the same time feel more confident to give comments on peers’ performance. Besides solutions working directly with students, teacher’s involvement in the session would surely help. Students believed that if their teacher clearly assigned “who comment on what” then the effectiveness of the session would be enhanced. Moreover, it was their agreement that criteria for commenting should be set up with their voice as well. Teacher ideas only could be one sided so with the help of students, the basis for commenting would be more holistic. More importantly, knowing what they assumed important are marked, students would perform more carefully and responsibly. Practically, students were in favour of marking their participation in the feedback saying that once they were marked, they would be pushed to work. However, they too implied this grading should make up a certain limited percent of the overall score. Another more effective solution and also another recommendation was that a preparatory course instructing students how to give and receive feedback would serve as basic guideline for students when they join the feedback session. Teacher in such course can both convey knowledge and even model some tips and techniques for their students. Getting students involved in role play to familiarize them with the task of giving-receiving feedback is a choice as well.
    • V.2. Limitations Though conducted with great seriousness and carefulness, there are still flaws in this paper due to the restriction of the researcher’s experiences and time limit. First of all, as the topic is new then few related studies on the same field were reviewed, leading to a less thoroughly backed up foundation than expected. Secondly, the validity the findings and the reliability of any implications and recommendations would be maximized if the researcher could employ more research instrument like classroom observation. Lastly, had the size of the sample been greater, the generalization would have been more accurate These serious self evaluations of what this current paper has not yet achieved urge the researcher to make some sincere suggestions for those sharing the same interest. V.3. Suggestions for further studies While this study was being conducted, some more ideas that worth researching came up to the researcher. For example, a study on techniques teachers apply when giving oral corrective feedback to students promises helpful and practical results and implications. Next, another study on similar topic as this one but conducted on freshmen would render basic information about the students and the situation, from which teachers can project future training for their students to prepare them for further academic presentations in the second, third and fourth years. More socially, investigating psychological and cultural factors affecting giving and receiving feedback in general and criticism in particular among Vietnamese students is an interesting topic as well.
    • REFERENCES Blain, S. (2001) Study of Verbal Peer Feedback on the Improvement of the Quality of Writing and the Transfer of Knowledge in Francophone Students in Grade 4 Living in a Minority Situation in Canada, Language cultural and curriculum Vol. 14, No. 1, 2001 Bloom, G. (n.d.) Understanding giving and receiving information- Explanation of The Johari Window, 12 Manage The Executive Fasttrack, Retrieved April 1st 2009 from http://www.12manage.com/methods_luft_ingham_johari_window.html Boud. D, Cohen, R. & Sampson,J (2001) . Peer Learning in Higher Education: Learning from & with Each Other Published by Routledge, 2001 Eckstein, J., Bergin, J. & Sharp, H. (2002) Feedback Pattern, EuroPLoP 2002 Retrieved April 2nd 2009 from hl=en&lr=&q=cache:yyfjN0wgKLcJ:hillside.net/europlop/HillsideEurope/Papers/Eur oPLoP2002/2002_EcksteinEtAl_FeedbackPatterns.pdf+Feedback+Sandwich
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    • Leki, I. (1993). Reciprocal Themes in ESL reading and writing. In J.G. Carson & I. Leki (Eds.), Reading in the composition classroom: Second language perspectives (pp.9-32). Heinle and Heinle Publishers. Leki, I. (2001). Hearing Voices: L2 students’ experiences in L2 writing courses. In T. Silva & P. K. Matsuda (Eds.), On second language writing (pp. 17-28). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Lim. Y.L & Lisa, A. (2003) Implementing Effective Peer Assessment (CDTL Brief Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 9-10). Singapore: National University of Singapore. Retrieved February 14th 2009 from http://www.cdtl.nus.edu.sg/brief/v6n3/sec5.htm Lincoln, Y & Guba, E. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Mackey, Alison and Gass, Susan M. (2005). Second Language Research: Methodology and Design. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Mackey, Alison and Gass, Susan M. (2005). Second Language Research: Methodology and Design. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Magin, D. & Helmore, P. (2001). ‘Peer and Teacher Assessments of Oral Presentation Skills: How Reliable are They’? Studies in Higher Education. Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 287–298 Retrieved 3rd April 2009 from http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/unsworks:35 Mangelsdorf, K. (1992) 'Peer reviews in the ESL composition classrooms: what do the students think by?' ELT Journal 46/3: 274-84. Maxwell, J. (1996). Qualitative research design: An alternative approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Nguyen, M., Pham, T.& Luong, T. (2007) Research Methodology- Course book for third year student, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, 2007 Patton, M. (1990). Qualitative evaluation methods (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Poley, F & Mitchell, F( 1996) The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback, Mastering the Art of Communication, Urbandale, IA: Provant Media. 1996 Presentation (n.d.) In Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia Retrieved November 20th 2008 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feedback#In_education Reese-Durham, Nancy (2005 December) Peer evaluation as an active learning technique. (educational psychology research), Journal of Instructional Psychology Retrieved 16th
    • December 2007 from http://journalseek.net/cgibin/journalseek/journalsearch.cgi? field=issn&query=0094-1956 Robert, A. (2004) Johari Window -Johari Window Overview Retrieved January 1st 2009 from www.masterfacilitator.com/Johari%20Window%20Overview.pdf Sanger, J. (1996) The compleat Observer- A field research guide to observation, Qualitative Research Series 2. Falmer Press 1996 TATS (1998 June) Small Group Instructor Training Course, Chapter 3, 5 Retrieved April 1st 2009 from http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/sgitc/reftoc.htm#toc Terese, A. H. (n.d.) English Speaking Practice Through Presentation [Power point slide], Retrieved 30th March 2009 from http://www.moe.edu.kw/schools-2/mobarak_alkabeer/secondaryschools/girls/Adan %20Web%20Site/English.htm To. H, Nguyen, M. & Nguyen, H (2008) English Language Teaching Methodology I , Vietnam National University, Hanoi, 2008 APPPENDIX 1 QUESTIONNAIRE Hello everyone, I am Đỗ Thị Xuân Hoa from 051E1, HULIS, VNU. For my graduation paper, I am conducting a research on “Enhancing the effectiveness of peer oral feedback session in presentation among sophomores at English Department, Hanoi University of Languages and International studies, Vietnam National University.” This survey is to help me have more in depth information, which guarantees the reliability of the research. Thus, I do appreciate your serious cooperation! You can be sure that all the information you give will be treated with complete confidentiality. Thank you very much for you help! Your name:…………………………………. Class:……………………………….. PART 1: ROLES OF PEER ORAL FEEDBACK SESSION In this question, you are to put a cross (X) on one of the seven dashes indicating your idea to the following question.
    • 1. How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the peer feedback session in presentation in your class? As feedback giver: Very effective___:___:___:___:___:___: Not effective at all As feedback recipient: Very effective___:___:___:___:___:___: Not effective at all In these questions, you are to choose the option(s) that you find most suitable by circling the letter(s). 2. What do you think you benefit most from peer oral feedback session in presentation? As feedback giver As feedback recipient a. Helping my peers, the feedback a. Viewing my performance from others’ recipients objective perspectives b. Improving critical thinking skill b. Having my performance evaluated by c. Improving self assessment skill people other than just the teacher. d. Improving speaking skill c. Improving my performance the e. Improving communication skill following times f. Learning from others’ strengths and d. Being open to accept criticism weaknesses e. Others (please specify) g. Having my voice heard in the …………………….. assessment …………………………………………… h. Staying focused during the presentation ……. i. Others (please specify) ……………………. ………………………………………… …….. PART II: DIFFICULTIES AND SOLUTIONS Feedback giver 2. What do you focus on when giving peer feedback? a. Grammar b. Presentation skills c. Teamwork skills ( if available) d. Presentation’s content e. Presentation’s illustration f. Others (please specify) ……………………………………………………………………………… 3. What is your style when giving peer feedback? a. Focus on strengths only b. Focus on weaknesses only but be tactful and tentative
    • c. Focus on weaknesses only and be straightforward d. Strengths first then weaknesses e. Weaknesses first then strengths f. Strengths to end the feedback g. Others (please specify) ……………………………………………………………………………….. 4. Your oral feedback for peers is in form of________? a. Pieces of advice ( If I were you, I would…/I think you should….and so on) b. Questions (What/How/Where/When) c. Straightforward statement (I think ….) d. Others (please specify) …………………………………………………………………………………. 5. What difficulties do you meet in the peer oral feedback session? a. Having no comment at all b. Repeating others’ ideas c. Summarizing rather than commenting on peers’ performance d. Arranging comments in a logical order e. Exceeding time limit f. Hurting peers g. Being biased h. Limited speaking competence i. Peers’ better competence j. Others (please specify) …………………………………………………………………………………. 6. What do you do to overcome such difficulties? a. Noting down comments as going along the presentation b. Raising voice to comment first c. Using proper language d. Checking feedback recipient’s understanding of the feedback given e. Giving feedback based on specific goals that should be achieved f. Others (please specify) ………………………………………………………………………………….. Feedback recipient 7. On what aspect do you expect your peer comment should focus? a. Grammar b. Presentation skills c. Teamwork skills ( if available)
    • d. Presentation’s content e. Presentation’s illustration f. Others (please specify) ………………………………………………………………………………….. 8. What do you expect from your peer feedback? a. Critical comments focusing on points that need improvement only b. Critical comments focusing on good points only. c. Critical comments on both weaknesses and strengths. d. Others (please specify) ………………………………………………………………………………….. 9. You prefer to receive peer oral feedback to be in the form of________? a. Pieces of advice ( If I were you, I would…/I think you should….and so on) b. Questions (What/How/Where/When/) c. Straightforward statements (I think ….) d. Others (please specify) …………………………………………………………………………………. 10. How do you respond to feedback from your peers? a. Listening to all comments without discussing at all b. Listening to all comments then giving explanation and elaboration. c. Interrupting the feedback giver at any point you need to explain and elaborate. d. Others (please specify) ………………………………………………………………………………….. 11. What difficulties do you meet when receiving peer oral feedback? a. Being afraid of losing face b. Evaluating the feedback c. Elaborating and explaining original intentions to peers d. Withdrawing lessons from comments to improve next times e. Others (please specify) …………………………………………………………………………………… 12. What do you do to overcome such difficulties a. Being open to criticism b. Paraphrasing and/or asking for precision c. Improving language competence d. Taking notes of all feedback e. Others (please specify) ………………………………………………………………………………………
    • Both feedback giver and feedback recipient 13. What are other things you think can help improve the situation? a. Peer oral feedback session be preceded by self assessments session. b. Teacher’s involvement in assigning parts and groups to comment c. Well- set criteria for commenting built by students and teachers d. Making giving effective oral feedback part of the grade. e. Adequate training for students on giving and receiving feedback skill ( orientation course) f. Models of effective peer oral feedback session g. Others (please specify)…………………………………………………… THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION For more information please mail to xuanhoa.do@gmail.com APPENDIX 2 INTERVIEW SCHEDULE Following is the schedule for interviewing with ten selected students. Firstly of all, the researcher introduced herself again and gave brief introduction to the research and how the interviewees were chosen. Besides, confidentiality is confirmed again. Hello! Thank you for joining this interview. ………………………………………………………………………………… Q1: First of all, according to the questionnaire, students agreed that they prefer to receive feedback in form of pieces of advice. Can you elaborate more on this part? …………………………………………………………………………………
    • Q2: Most students said shortage of ideas is the most difficult for feedback giver in the peer oral feedback session. Can you tell me more about this obstacle? What are the underlying reason for it? ………………………………………………………………………………… Q3: Arranging ideas in a logical order is also a challenge to students. What can you say of it? ………………………………………………………………………………… Q4: Taking notes of feedback is used by many students. What do you think of this solution? ………………………………………………………………………………... Q5: Another solution is to give feedback based on a clear set of criteria about what should be achieved. Is it effective in your opinion? ……………………………………………………………………………….. Q6: With regard to feedback recipients, most of them confessed drawing lesson from peer comments was the hardest part to them. Can you talk more about this? ………………………………………………………………………………… Q7: Besides, explaining original ideas for commented parts was challenging as well. Why was that so? ………………………………………………………………………………… Q8: To deal with these problems, students suggested teachers get involved in facilitating the session by assigning each individual/group parts to comment. How do you evaluate this suggestion? …………………………………………………………………………………. Q9: Students join the process of building the criteria for commenting is mentioned as well. What is your idea about this? ………………………………………………………………………………….. Q10: Running a preparatory course is a new idea too. Are you in favour of it? ……………………………………………………………………………….......
    • Q11: Finally, students suggested marking their participation as an incentive for them. Do you think this will work? ………………………………………………………………………………….. Thank you so much for helping me. If you would like to contact me, mail me at xuanhoa.do@gmail.com. Thanks again. APPENDIX 3 Following is the translation version of the interview with student S1. Nine other interviews with other students are available at request. INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION Hello! Thank you for joining this interview. Can you introduce yourself? ………………………………………………………………………………… Thank you. Well, in this interview, I am going to ask you some questions related to points you have answered in the questionnaire to have more in-depth information. The interview will last about 30 minutes. If there is anything unclear, feel free to ask. Also, I will use a recorder to record the whole content of this interview so hope you won’t feel being disturbed. Lastly, the most important thing is that you can be sure that your identity and all the information discussed in this interview will be kept confidential and used in this study only.
    • Q: First of all, according to the questionnaire, students agreed that they prefer to receive feedback in form of pieces of advice. Can you elaborate more on this part? A: Well I think people in general don’t like being criticized at all. The same piece of information expressed in form of advice and given to us by our friends and in friendly tone will make it easier for us to take in as it helps limit the feeling of being criticized. Q: Most students said they often repeated what others had commented. What are the underlying reasons for it? A: As many students are required to give feedback, the first one to comment often have more ideas to talk and tend to comment almost every part. Moreover, I think as our critical thinking skill is still poor then we can’t think of new points to give comment on. Q: Do you think those commenting first are not sensitive enough for leave turns for others? A: It may be true but I think it is understandable for feedback givers to talk all they have in mind once they have started commenting. Q: Arranging ideas in a logical order is also a challenge to students. What can you say of it? A: yes, that’s true. In a presentation, there are many parts to comment on from content to body language. So on being asked to give instant feedback, we often don’t know what to put first or second. It is also because our reaction to teachers’ request is not prompt enough too. Q: I find it interesting that 20 students said they were afraid of being biased or hurting peers. What is your opinion? A: well I think this is because of the characteristics of Vietnamese people. We tend to talk more of positive side than negative one. So when opted to give kinda of negative comments, we are fear of hurting peers or that they may misunderstand us. For example I really want to give constructive comments to help them better but I
    • am afraid that they might think I am criticizing them or pointing out their weaknesses. Q: do you think the fear of peer misunderstanding may have some things to do with limited speaking competence of students? A: yes, it is true but still I think our cultural traits have more to do with that. Q: okie, so now we’ll move to the solution part. In your opinion, what can be done to tackle these difficulties? A: I think if the teachers can assign who comment on what and set clear criteria for commenting, things may be easier. However, in order to do this, teachers need to have a very clear job division and well-set criteria. Q: about the criteria, what do you think of allowing students to contribute to building them? A: in my opinion, it is good but students then need to be very critical. So it is better if teachers come up with criteria already then give them to students to see their feedback to have suitable adjustment. Q: Taking notes of feedback is used by many students. What do you think of this solution? A: noting can help prevent students from forgetting feedback. Also by writing down comments like that, we also save some time arranging them later on. Q: So in this case it tackles both problems. A: but in order to note down like that, we have to be really focused so that we wont miss any points. Q: I see. And it is one of the advantages of the feedback session too. It requires students to be attentive to give good comments. A: yeah. Q: Now let’s talk about how you respond to the feedback. Most of you would listen to comments then give explanations. Do you find these explanations satisfactory or if you were the feedback recipient, did your explanations satisfy your friends?
    • A: in most cases when there are discussions about certain points, two sides often keep their own ideas so the discussions often get hot. Q: so what is your reaction in such cases? A: I would pretend to agree with the other side regardless of I am a feedback giver or a feedback recipient or else the discussion would go on until the teacher intervened Q: about difficulties when receiving feedback, students often wonder about the reliability of feedback and you are one of them too. Can you share this? A: yes, I think feedback is actually still personal ideas. So I do not know for sure whether the ideas are valid or not. Q: okie. I see your point. Now back to the solutions. What can be done to help student better at giving and receiving feedback? A: I think teachers’ help is vital. In an orientation course or at the beginning of the course, teachers should be able to raise students’ awareness about the real importance of feedback. In my speaking class, my teacher said at first that feedback is to help, we then feel open-minded and very excited too. Also, members in class should have meeting to share with each other about the good cause of giving feedback especially the negative ones. Q: what do you think about the idea of an orientation course? A: it is beneficial not only to students at school but their social habits when communicating as well. Q: Finally, students suggested marking their participation as an incentive for them. Do you think this will work? A: well I think this solution will work but there are some disadvantages to bear too. Firstly, once marking the participation, students would try to talk more to have more mark so the problem of repeating ideas and lack ideas still exist and ever get worse. Worse still, if feedback is negative, those receiving it will be more stressed I guess. Secondly, if participation in the session is marked, pure willingness to help peer and benefit themselves may somehow fade away.
    • Q: I get you. Now the last question. What do you think about integrating self assessment with peer feedback? That is before the peer oral feedback session, students are asked to self evaluate first? A: it is a very interesting idea! If students are allowed to self evaluate first, they will feel they are more respected. Moreover, it helps prepare them for accepting feedback from others. Q: Thank you so much for helping me. If you would like to contact me, mail me at xuanhoa.do@gmail.com. Thanks again. APPENDIX 4 4.2. COURSE DESCRIPTION FOR SPEAKING IV Based on the international criteria in students’ ability to speak English, first-year students’ speaking criteria and second-year program requirements, the objectives for teaching speaking to second-year students in the first and second semester will be equivalent to level 3 (independent users) of ALTE (Assessment in Language Teaching in Europe), and B2 level of CEF (Common European Framework), respectively. In terms of speaking contents, students are supposed to be able to • describe and express their ideas, opinions, and points of view systematically. • have good expressions, structures in their certain favorite topics; therefore, they can improve their ability to express and support their points of view as well as give suitable examples.
    • • pick out items of factual information as well as to distinguish between main and subsidiary points and between the general topic of a text and specific detail. • follow or give a talk on a familiar topic or keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics such as personal and professional experiences, events currently in the news; • take and pass on most messages that are likely to require attention in everyday situations; • give a clear presentation on a familiar topic, and answer predictable or factual questions. In terms of language, students are expected to have the ability to • handle the main structures of the language with confidence • demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary • use appropriate communicative strategies in a variety of social situations. • deal with the unexpected and rely less on fixed patterns of language and short utterances. • develop their awareness of register and the conventions of politeness and degrees of formality as expressed through language. • COURSE OBJECTIVESSPEAKING IV Based on the international criteria in students’ ability to speak English, first-year students’ speaking criteria and second-year program requirements, specifically the targeted level of the Course book New Cutting Edge – Upper Intermediate, the objectives for teaching speaking to second-year students in the second semester will be equivalent to B2 level of CEF (Common European Framework). In terms of speaking contents, students are supposed to describe and express their ideas, opinions, and points of view systematically. Also, students are expected to have good expressions, structures in their certain favorite topics; therefore, they can improve their ability to express and support their points of view as well as give suitable examples. What is more, students are able to pick out items of factual information as well as to distinguish between main and subsidiary points and between the general topic of a text and specific detail. Students can follow or give a talk on a familiar topic or keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics such as personal and professional experiences, events currently in the news; can take and pass on most messages that are likely to require attention in every day situations; give a clear presentation on a familiar topic, and answer predictable or factual questions. In terms of language, students have the ability to handle the main structures of the language with some confidence, demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary and use appropriate communicative strategies in a variety of social situations. Furthermore, students can deal with the unexpected and rely less on fixed patterns of language and short
    • utterances. Students can develop their awareness of register and the conventions of politeness and degrees of formality as expressed through language. In terms of methodology, students are expected to be active in self-studying, peer and group cooperating. They understand the tasks in class and participate enthusiastically and actively in all assigned group and pair work in order to produce an individual oral report as the desired product of group work. Thus, they can improve their presentation skills and speaking skills in front of many people. In short, group work discussion and individual oral report are the prioritized skills supposed to be mastered by students by the end of the semester.