Date of Award
Master of Arts
Volker H. Hegelheimer
The study attempted to look at college students' attitudes towards teacher and peer feedback on their English papers in culturally-mixed classes which were composed of half American students and half ESL (English as Second Language) students. Data were collected from sixty-nine students at a university in the U.S.. Students' survey and interview responses reflected and explained their perceptions of effective teacher feedback, self-evaluations of learner progress, grammar error corrections/corrective feedback (CF), and peer feedback. The helpfulness of native and nonnative English peer responders was compared. Results suggested a general belief held by native ad nonnative English students that content-based comments should be the most essential component of effective writing feedback, which goes in accord with a holistic grading system used by the participants' teachers. Though a majority of ESL learners still showed a strong desire for CF, a decreased interest in receiving and learning grammar feedback was found among them. Native English students were reported to have a greater enthusiasm about grammar feedback than ESL students. While students' self-evaluations of their potential for making progress on different aspects of writing skills showed that grammatical improvement tends to be more challenging to achieve than progress on content and organizational skills, explicit and heavy CF was favored by the participants as a whole. However, a good number of ESL learners expressed a dislike of too many grammar corrections. The cross-cultural learning environment was described as enjoyable and beneficial to both native and nonnative learners, but challenges were found in establishing effective peer-response relationships resulting from unequal linguistic competence levels compounded with cultural barriers among the class. It was observed that language backgrounds not only affect one's perspective of a peer responder's helpfulness, but also influence one's perceived helpfulness as a reviewer. A shared cultural background between an author and a reviewer was found to allow feedback to be more effectively used.
Qian, Manman, "When native and nonnative English learners are placed in one class: college students' preferences for writing feedback from teachers and peers in cross-cultural settings" (2012). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12442.