Self and Peer Evaluation of Writing in the Interactive ESL Classroom: An Exploratory Study


  • Dennie Rothschild
  • Felicia Klingenberg



The evaluation of writing in the ESL classroom has traditionally been the teacher's prerogative and as such it has remained outside the interactive model of student learning. Our goal is to bring evaluation into the classroom in order to increase learners' awareness of criteria for good writing, promote greater improvement of writing by giving learners an instructional and diagnostic tool which they could use, reinforce in-process feedback with end-of-process evaluation, and foster more positive attitudes towards writing. The students in our pilot investigation are high intermediate level adults from diverse backgrounds studying part-time during a four-month term. Our investigation is in two parts. Part one involves adapting an appropriate evaluation scale, training students in its use, and having them use the scale throughout the term to evaluate their own and their peers' writing. In part two we study various end-of-term effects the use of the scale had on students: we test the hypothesis that students trained in the use of the scale will have a concept of good writing more congruent with that of instructors than will a control group; we compare the criteria most often cited by both groups as they judge the quality of a set of compositions; we examine the responses of both groups to a survey on their attitudes towards writing. Our results show a slight trend in the predicted direction between the experimental group and one of the judges. We also find indications that the experimental group is using a different set of criteria in judging compositions. As well, the experimental group responds more positively to all ten statements on a writing attitude survey.




How to Cite

Rothschild, D. . . . . . . . . . ., & Klingenberg, F. . . . . . . . . . . (1990). Self and Peer Evaluation of Writing in the Interactive ESL Classroom: An Exploratory Study. TESL Canada Journal, 8(1), 52–65.