Effects of peer feedback on Taiwanese adolescents’ English speaking practices and development
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This thesis explores the impact of peer feedback on two secondary level classrooms studying English as a foreign language in Taiwan. The effectiveness of teacher-led feedback has consistently been the focus of the relevant literature but relatively fewer studies have experimentally investigated the impact of peer-led feedback on learning. This research is based on the belief that the investigation of the process of peer-led feedback, as well as the effectiveness of peer-led correction, will enhance our understanding of learners’ communicative interactions. These data will allow us the opportunity to provide suggestions for successful second/foreign language learning. This study was conducted following a mixed-methods quasi-experimental design involving a variety of data collection and analysis techniques. Observations of peer-peer dialogues taken from a Year 7 and a Year 8 class were analysed using content analysis, in order to classify the types of peer feedback provided by the Year 7 and Year 8 learners. Pre-and post-measures, including English speaking tests, questionnaires, and checklists, were examined with non-parametric statistical tests used to explore any changes in relation to the learners’ speaking development after the quasi-experiment. Key findings included frequency and distribution of seven types of peer feedback, as used by the Year 7 and Year 8 learners, and the statistical results that revealed the differences between the pre-and post-measures. Among the seven types of peer feedback (translation, confirmation, completion, explicit indication, explicit correction, explanation and recasts), explicit correction and translation were the two techniques used most frequently by the learners. Post-test results indicated an improvement in the learners’ speaking performance. The results of pre- and post-questionnaires and pre- and post-checklists showed different levels of change in the learners’ self-evaluation of their own ability to speak English, as well as their attitudes towards corrective feedback. These results allow us to gain insight into the nature of peer interaction in communicative speaking activities as well as learners’ motives behind their feedback behaviours. Additionally, the results shed light on learners’ opinions towards corrective feedback that they received or provided in peer interaction. Further, the results yield a deepened understanding of impacts of peer feedback on L2 development by examining changes in learners’ speaking performance, self-confidence in speaking English and self-evaluation of their own ability to speak English after a peer-led correction treatment. In conclusion, the study suggests that adolescent learners are willing and able to provide each other with feedback in peer interaction. The feedback that they delivered successfully helps their peers to attend to form and has positive impacts on their peers’ English- speaking performance. Moreover, the study provides explanations for learners’ preference for certain types of feedback techniques, which hopefully helps to tackle the mismatch between teachers’ intentions and learners’ expectations of corrective feedback in the L2 classrooms.