A Dual Case Study: Influences of Learners’ Perceptions on Strategy Use and Language Choice during Peer Review
This paper explores how students’ prior perceptions of peer review mediate the way they execute peer review. Whereas learners’ perceptions of peer review have always been a major area of study in the literature of ESL writing, many studies mainly explored learners’ perceptions as the outcome of the peer review activity by conducting post-interviews/survey to examine students’ perceptions of peer review at the end of the course. Instead of seeing learners’ perceptions as the end-product of the activity, this study investigates how learners’ prior perceptions of peer review affect how they strategically mediate the activity in terms of the use of mediating strategies and choice of language. Two in-depth case studies of paired students who implemented peer review in an English writing course were conducted. They were native Cantonese-speaking students studying S.1 (equivalent to Grade 7) in a band-one school in Hong Kong that adopts English as the medium of instruction. Multiple sources of data were collected, including recordings of dyadic peer review sessions, stimulated recalls, and interviews. Results show that students’ positive perceptions of effectiveness of peer review propelled their adoption of scaffolding strategies to intensify peer interactions. Moreover, their belief in improving English speaking skills through peer review also motivated them to interact with each other in English instead of their mother tongue. The research paves the way for further research on the role of students’ prior perceptions in influencing how students may evaluate the writing task and how they identify themselves as the reviewer/the writer during peer review.
Keywords - Peer Review; ESL Writing; Perceptions; Interaction; Mediating Strategies