Peer Response in ESL Writing

  • Gloria M. Tang


This article explores the value of peer response groups in English as a second language (ESL) writing classes. It reports on some of the findings of a study (Tithecott, 1997) conducted in a small university college in Western Canada with 12 international students from Asia to investigate: (a) what the perceptions of students were with regard to peer response and whether their perceptions changed over time; (b) what kind of activities students engaged in during peer response sessions; and (c) whether and how students changed their writing as a result of participating in response sessions. Research methodology included examining and analyzing student journal entries, audiotapes of peer response sessions, and the drafts and final versions of student writing. Results show that Asian ESL students tended to be positive about peer response and that they became somewhat more positive as the semester progressed. Although they appreciated the benefits of peer response, they had some concerns about peer feedback. Some students revised their writing using peer comments. During the peer response sessions students engaged in a variety of social, cognitive, and linguistic activities as they worked to accomplish the assigned task.
How to Cite
Tang, G. (1999). Peer Response in ESL Writing. TESL Canada Journal, 16(2), 20-38.