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An investigation into the effectiveness of peer written feedback on the development of ESL writing for the 11th specialized english grade in sontay high school

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES

******

CHU THỊ PHƢƠNG LINH

AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE EFFECTTIVENESS OF PEER-WRITTEN
FEEDBACK ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF ESL WRITING FOR THE 11th
SPECIALIZED ENGLISH GRADE IN SONTAY HIGH SCHOOL
(Khảo sát về tính hiệu quả của phƣơng pháp sử dụng ý kiến phản hồi của bạn
học tới việc phát triển kỹ năng viết Tiếng Anh đối với học sinh lớp 11 chuyên
Anh – Trƣờng THPT Sơn Tây)

M.A. MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS

Field: English Teaching Methodology
Code: 60140111

Hanoi – 2015



VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES

******

CHU THỊ PHƢƠNG LINH

AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE EFFECTTIVENESS OF PEER-WRITTEN
FEEDBACK ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF ESL WRITING FOR THE 11th
SPECIALIZED ENGLISH GRADE IN SONTAY HIGH SCHOOL
(Khảo sát về tính hiệu quả của phƣơng pháp sử dụng ý kiến phản hồi của bạn
học tới việc phát triển kỹ năng viết Tiếng Anh đối với học sinh lớp 11 chuyên
Anh – Trƣờng THPT Sơn Tây)

M.A. MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS

Field: English Teaching Methodology
Code: 60140111
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Do

Hanoi – 2015


DECLARATION
I confirm that the thesis “An Investigation into the Effectiveness of Peer-written
Feedback to the Development of ESL Writing for 11th Grade Majoring English in
Sontay High school” is a presentation of my original research work. It was carried
out under the consultant of Prof. Assoc. Dr. Nguyen Van Do.
I also declare that quotation for the information and references in the thesis has
obeyed academic rules.
I hereby want to confirm that this research had never been published anywhere
before the submission and this research is only carried out in the framework of a
master thesis.
Date: ……………………………………….
Signature: ………………………………….

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
With boundless love and great attitude, I would like to send my deepest sincere and
appreciation to the people who devote their valuable work and time for the
researchers during the time conducting the research. Without their help, this
research would have never been completed
First of all, I would like to express my special thankfulness to my supervisor, Prof.
Assoc. Nguyen Van Do for the guidance, support, consistence advice as well as
remarks and engagements through the process of this master thesis. All of his help
contributes to bring the success to the research.
I would also like to send my appreciation to all the participants of this thesis. They
are Mrs. Nguyen Thu Huyen- the former teacher of 11th English gifted class in
Sontay high school, Mrs. Le Phuong Lan- the teacher of English and 45 students in
this class, who willingly shared their precious time and efforts to help me complete
the questionnaire and conduct a long series of writing test during four months of
collecting data. Without their support, the thesis would never been fulfilled.
I hope to send my thanks to my colleague, teachers and English teaching staffs in
Sontay high school for their valuable critical feedbacks, comments and
encouragements.
Last but not least, I am very grateful to my family and friends, who always stand by
me and give me mental support as well as encouragement to complete the master
thesis

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ABSTRACT
The study is designed to investigate the effect of peer written feedback on the
development of ESL writing skill for the 11th grade. The study primarily aims to
explore the attitude of 11th grade students majoring English towards peer written
feedback activity. This study also explores students‟ writing aspects which had been
improved thanks to the feedback from their peers The results of the research may be
proved to suggest some implications for the teacher to exploit more roles of peer
written feedback within ESL writing lesson.
Firstly, the sample including 45 students in 11th grade majoring English in Sontay
high school was required to do the proficiency tests to measure the level of
improvement students had thanks to the help of their peer-feedback. After that, half
of them were asked to attend the survey to give the data for the attitude of students
towards peer written feedback in their ESL writing. The collected data were then
presented under the form of tables and charts. The result showed that students had
mixed attitude towards peer-written feedback. However, the number of students
having positive attitude were out-numbered than those who has negative viewpoint
about it.
The main instrument to collect research data were students‟ writing tests measured
during the four-month testing. The change in the assessment and the number of
mistakes which could be realized and corrected indicated that peer written feedback
had improved the quality of students‟ writing products in some aspects.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
DECLARATION ........................................................................................................ i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ......................................................................................ii
ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................. iii
LISTS OF TABLES AND FIGURES ..................................................................... vi
DEFINITION OF TERMS .....................................................................................vii
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ........................................................................... 1
1. Rationale of the study ......................................................................................... 1
2. Aims of the study ................................................................................................. 2
3. Research questions ............................................................................................. 2
4. Scope of the study ............................................................................................... 3
5. Previous research findings about the study ....................................................... 3
6. Organization of the research paper.................................................................... 5
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................ 6
1. An overview of writing ........................................................................................ 6
2. Approaches to writing teaching in ESL classes................................................. 7
2.1 The product approach ....................................................................................... 7
2.2 The process approach:...................................................................................... 8
3. An overview of peer written feedback on writing .............................................. 9
3.1 An overview of feedback ................................................................................... 9
3.2 Peer-feedback and its formats on language writing ....................................... 10
4. The purposes and drawbacks of peer-written feedback ................................ 11
4.1 The purposes of feedback on English Second Language writing development11
4.2 Drawbacks of peer written feedbacks ............................................................. 13
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ................................................. 16
1. Context of the study .......................................................................................... 16
1.1 The setting of the study ................................................................................... 16
1.2 The writing program applied in 11th grade majoring English in Sontay high
school .................................................................................................................... 17
2. Research design ................................................................................................ 17

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3. Participants ....................................................................................................... 19
4. Data collection instruments .............................................................................. 19
4.1 Writing tests .................................................................................................... 19
4.2 Questionnaire.................................................................................................. 20
5. Research procedure .......................................................................................... 21
6. Data analysis methods ...................................................................................... 23
6.1 Questionnaire.................................................................................................. 23
6.2 Proficiency tests .............................................................................................. 23
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS ............................................... 25
1. Students’ general information .......................................................................... 25
1.2 Research questions: ........................................................................................ 27
CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................ 37
1. Summary of the findings .................................................................................. 37
2. Recommendation to exploit students’ more role of peer- written feedback in
ESL writing lesson ................................................................................................ 39
2.1 Clear checklist or rubrics ............................................................................... 40
2.2 Timely and regularly ....................................................................................... 40
2.3 Feedback should illuminate both the strength and the areas for development40
2.4 Teacher’s control and instruction. ................................................................. 41
3. Limitation of the study ...................................................................................... 41
4. Suggestions for further research ...................................................................... 42
REFERENCES ........................................................................................................ 43
APPENDIXES ........................................................................................................... I

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LISTS OF TABLES AND FIGURES
I. List of Tables
1. Table 1: The number of population in the two groups of students
2. Table 2: Students‟ attitude towards peer written feedback on their writing skill
3. Table 3: Writing score scales of students‟ Pre-test
4. Table 4: Writing score scales of students‟ Post- test
5. Table 5: The disadvantages of peer written feedback on students‟ writing
II. List of Charts
1. Chart 1: Students' experience in English
2. Chart 2: Students‟ attitude towards English language learning
3. Chart 3: Number of students preferring students‟ comment or teacher‟s comment
4. Chart 4: The number of errors students make in the Pre- test and Post- test
5. Chart 5: Number of mistakes can be shown and corrected
III. List of Formula
1. Mean: ( X 

1 n
1
xi  ( x1  x2  ...  xn )

n i 1
n
n

2. Variance: S 2 

 (x  X )

2

1

i

n 1
n

3. Deviation Standard: S 

 (x  X )

2

1

i

n 1

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DEFINITION OF TERMS


Control group: The group that was taught and learn under the traditional

teaching approach


Experimental group: The group that was tested with innovative teaching

approach


Quantitative research: is used to quantify data by generating numerical

data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics. It uses measurable data to
formulate facts and uncover patterns.


Mean: an average score within a set of number



Min: the lowest number in a range



Max: The highest point or number in a range



Mode: The most frequently number in a set



Deviation Standard: a measure of the spread of the score within a set of

data


Variance: A measurement of the spread between numbers in a data set

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INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale of the study
Feedback in education is seen to take a crucial contribution to the improvement of
students‟ ESL learning. It takes benefits in improving “both encouraging and
consolidating learning” (Anderson, 1992; Brophy, 1981, Vygotsky, 1978 cited in
Ken Hyland and Fiona Hyland, 2006). In most of the traditional ESL class,
especially writing section, giving feedback and correctness to students is one of the
important tasks of the teachers, as feedback takes benefits in creating supporting
learning environment, as well as instructing students a model sample of writing.
With the help of teacher, students have fewer burdens with their work.
However, the help of teacher‟s feedback in the proficiency of students‟ ESL writing
skill just has benefits in some aspects. The researchers found out that focusing on
the help of teacher only would be problematic as they just understand the „outer layout‟ of the problems without understanding the core reason of the errors and how to
make the writing improved. As a consequence, students will have short-term
improvement on their revised lesson and they will be easy to make the mistakes
again. Thus, one of the duties of teachers is to discover an effective way to facilitate
students‟ learning without the help of teacher‟s feedback and help them avoid the
above-mentioned troubles.
To prepare for students a good writing skill, teachers should try to combine
different strategies with the aim of helping students learn better and enhancing
writing skill because “Second language writers often benefit most and make most
progress when teachers contribute to this goal through a variety of intervention
strategies available in classroom settings” Skroll (2003). Among many
interventions, using students‟ peer feedback in writing is one of the effective
strategies. In this method, students conduct their first writing product. In the next
stage, they exchange it with their peer to receive their friend‟s feedback.

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Despite the effectiveness of written feedback to students‟ ESL writing skill, most
experienced English teachers in the school still blame the drawbacks of peer-written
feedback. The reason is that students‟ ability is inadequate to give useful feedbacks.
They have difficulty in indicating the errors and providing suggestions. Many
teachers do not take advantages of peer written feedback in their ESL writing period
as they do not truly believe it can bring benefits to their students. They assume that
peer written feedback just has its roles to the college or university students. This
rumor is an obstacle that prevents the students from receiving modern learning and
teaching techniques, and peer written feedback in specific.
Besides, the previous studies show too much conflict. The results of the studies
depend largely on the attitudes of students toward this kind of feedback, which
contributes to the success and effectiveness of peer written feedback. From the
above mentioned reasons, the research “The effect of peer written feedback on the
development of ESL writing for the 11th major English grade at Sontay high school”
is carried out
2. Aims of the study
This research is conducted with the aim of:
(1) Exploring students‟ attitudes towards the written peer feedback activity.
(2) Investigating the level of improvement students gained after the periods of
testing with peer written feedback method.
(3) Suggesting some specific implications for teachers to exploit further
effectiveness of peer –written feedback in writing lesson.
3. Research questions
In order to fulfill the aims, the research attempts to answer the following
questions:
1. What are the attitudes of students to peer-written feedback on their
writing?

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2. To what extents of students‟ ESL writing can have improvement thanks to
peer-written feedback?
3. What are the drawbacks of applying peer-written feedback in students‟
ESL writing lessons?
4. Scope of the study
Feedback applied in writing is such a broad topic, which includes teacher
feedback and students‟ feedback. Students‟ feedback in particular contains many
forms; however, within the framework of the study, the researcher hopes to focus
on the students of 11th grade majoring English in Sontay high school to provide
written form of feedback to their peers applied in writing skill.
5. Previous findings about the study
The large numbers of researches and journal published articles have been carried
out to evaluate the relationship between peer-written feedback and the
improvement of students‟ writing proficiency. All of these may use different
research methodology and concentrate on their specific aspects; however, all of
them try to explore the roles of peer written feedback on ESL teaching and
learning writing. In this thesis, the author recommends to summarize some
previous findings related to the study.
The first research to be mentioned here is the journal “Effects of Teacher and
Peer Feedback on Students’ Writing at Secondary Level”, which was conducted
by Ghani, Manuna, Asgher and Tahira. The research‟s purpose is to investigate
the effectiveness of peer written feedback and teacher feedback on the written
record of students and then examine the attitudes of them toward feedback
activity. In order to give the result for the research, the author carried out an
investigation in the five government secondary schools in Bahawalpur with the
population of 100 students. In order to collect the data, the researcher used
survey questionnaires, students‟ pre-test and post test and students‟ written
remarks about the whole experimental feedback from the sample. The final

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results showed that students have positive attitude toward both teacher‟s
feedback and peer feedback. They are effective ways for students to practice ESL
writing skill and motivated learners to improve their written performances.
Despite that, students‟ peer feedback in some aspects are more effective than
teacher‟s feedback as teacher‟s feedback is one-way interaction, while students‟
peer feedback provide them “immediate feedback”, in which they can ask
questions and seek clarification through discussion.
In Vietnam, this topic has been explored by many scholars. Before this minor
thesis, an experimental study “Motivating Students to learn ESL Writing by
Using Peer Response” had been published. The subject of this research was fifty
second- year students from English department in Hanoi University of Industry.
The purpose of the research was to motivate students to learn as well as improve
their writing skill. The outcome of the research showed that this method had
some certain effectiveness to students‟ writing. Although the thesis had
investigated carefully, it could not show the aspects of students‟ writing can be
benefits from this method. Moreover, the thesis was carried out among university
students.
In sum, the previous research gives a sustainable background for the minor thesis
to be carried out in the environment of high school. It is hoped that the result of
the research will take certain contribution to the real ESL learning and teaching
system in Vietnam.
5. Scope of the study
Students‟ feedback in particular contains many forms; however, within the
framework of the study, the researcher hopes to focus on the students of 11th
grade majoring English in Sontay high school to provide written form of
feedback to their peers applied in writing skill.

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6. Organization of the research paper
This research paper consists of three parts: introduction, development and
conclusion. The first part of the research paper gives a brief rationale and aims of
the study, research questions, scope which the study focuses on as well as the
organization of the study.
The main part of the study is the development, which is divided into three
chapters. Chapter 1- Literature review: The aim of the followed chapter is
defining key terms related to feedback, feedback on writing as well as the written
form of feedback. Different viewpoints about the strong points and the
drawbacks of feedbacks of linguistic scholars are also analyzed. Chapter 2Research methodology introduces the methods which are used to collect data, the
learning context in which the study is carried out and the methods of data
analysis. Chapter 3: - Results of data analysis: In this chapter, the whole database
is collected and analyzed to answer the research questions.
The last part of the research paper is conclusion, which focuses on summarizing
the main findings of the research as well as giving some implications for teachers
to exploits students‟ more attention on giving feedback. It also acknowledges the
limitation of the research and provides implication for further study.

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CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW
1. An overview of writing
Writing appeared such a long period in human‟s history, and since then, there have
been various definition of it. The most simplistic view of writing assumed that
“written language is simply the graphic representation of spoken language, and
writing performance is much like oral performance” The only difference between
them is that writing is “graphic instead of auditory signal”. The definition may be
true in some aspects in which written language is seen as the characters symbolizing
the spoken one, which is created to encode and express thought and feelings of
people. Therefore, written language takes no difference from the spoken language in
their purpose of communicative function. However, this simplistic consideration of
writing just explains the minor function and origin of written product. In fact,
producing a written product takes much more time and efforts than a spoken
performance. Using language in writing and speaking also do not take the common
rules.
Nowadays, with the development of educating system when teaching and learning
foreign languages becomes a science, the core characteristics of writing enlarges
much more than ever before. Writing therefore, takes the role as “a system for
interpersonal communication” by using various language styles and expression. It
refers to the taught- and- productive skill that need learners‟ strong effort, because
“most people acquire the spoken language (at least their own mother tongue)
intuitively, whereas the written form is in most cases deliberately taught and
learned” (Ur, 1996, p.161). On another word, “written products are often the result
of thinking, drafting, and revising procedures that required specialized skills”,
which not all learners have naturally.
However, within the framework of the study, the researcher just concentrates on the
learning function of writing, in which “the primary function of this "expressive"
language is not to communicate, but to order and represent experience to our own

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understanding”. In this sense, writing is conduct in the environment of teaching and
learning. It permits learners to express ideas fluently and train grammar and
vocabulary skill.
2. Approaches to writing teaching in ESL classes
There is not a single approach to teach writing. However, the minor thesis strongly
supports that there are two most common ones which can be applied for training to
conduct an effective writing. They are product approach and process approach.
2.1 The product approach
The product writing approach is the dominant writing methodology in the 1980s in
Britain and North American nations. It refers to “prescriptive and productcentered” way of teaching writing, which mainly focuses on the final outcome of
the process. It assumes that learners could imitate the writing sample and transform
them to the writing by their own language. The strong point of writing product
process is that it engages students to study and imitate the model text; therefore, it
will be easier for students who are at lower level of learning. Moreover, through
studying the model sample, students will build up their linguistics knowledge.
Through analyzing given samples, students also have a chance to identify the
strength and weaknesses of the samples, which is not only better for their writing
skill but also improving students‟ critical thinking skills.
Writing through product- approach must obey four stages, which are called
familiarization, controlled writing, guided writing and free writing. At the beginning
of the writing period, teacher should introduce a writing or user guides provided by
the textbook as a sample for the students to study and mimic its highlighted
features. In the next stage, teacher may design a little controlling activity such as inclass discussion. This supports students to practice more useful linguistic
knowledge in the model. After having a clear analysis from the sample, students
have to write their own composition based on their supportive knowledge. Finally,
they are encouraged to write their own version before handing in to the teacher.

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Teacher will be the last commentator, and she pays more attention to their writing
form rather than content though the assessment of teacher-centered process.
2.2 The process approach:
Writing process approach is the approach that enhances the collaborative groups
and conferencing to create strong motivation and positive attitude toward writing.
Brown quoted Elbow (1973) said that “writing should be thought of an organic,
developmental process… not a way to transmit a message but a way to grow and
cook a message” (pp. 14-16). According Kroll (1990), process writing approach
“provides a way to think about writing in terms of what the writer does (planning,
revising and the like) instead of in terms of what the final products look like
(patterns or organizations, spellings, and grammar. Therefore, the conclusion might
support that writing process approach focuses more on the process rather than the
final product.
The typical sequence of process writing approach comprises of three stages. They
are prewriting, drafting and revising. At the initial stage before students conduct a
written product, they can discuss with their peers or their groups to brainstorm
useful details for their product. This step takes a certain important as it helps
students to control the logical ideas of the writing and foresee as many ideas for the
writing as possible. Moreover, teachers always support students to brainstorm
before they write because it ensures that students do not have to think about the
ideas once they really attend to writing procedure. In the next stage, students must
encode all possible ideas they can find into the note form. The purpose of this stage
is permitting students to judge the quality and usefulness of each detail. As a
consequence, inadequate details will be omitted and only persuasive ideas will be
generated. After that, the ideas are organized under the form of a mind- mapping,
spider gram or linear form. In this stage, the ideas are supported by their adequate
supporting details, explanation or examples. However, all the needed supportive
details are illustrated as brief as possible.

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The second step requires students to conduct their first writing version based on
their writing outline. In this step, students must use linking words, explanation and
illustration to make clear the topic. This first writing version is called the draft as
students will review their writing and have their final version.
The last steps in this writing procedure is called revising, which requires students to
exchange their draft with their friends and each of them become the readers of each
other work. Finally, the drafts will be returned to their owners to be improved based
on their peer feedback before the final writing version can be conducted. In this
final stage, the writing papers will be collected and submitted to their teacher for
assessment.
Within the context of the study, the writing proficiency tests are designed based on
the process approach because of the obvious connection between peer feedback and
process approach. In their studies, Berg (1999), Keh (1990) and Zhang (1995) state
that peer feedback is actually a part of the process approach to teaching writing, and
feedback in its various form is a fundamental element in this approach.
3. An overview of peer written feedback on writing
3.1 An overview of feedback
Within the context of teaching and learning language process, feedback takes many
formats. It can be considered as “information that is given to the learner about his
or her performance of a learning task, usually with the objective of improving this
performance” (Ur, p.242). Feedback has two distinctive components, which consists
of assessment and correction. Therefore, feedback can be given by teachers,
classmates or even readers.
However, the study agree with the definition that considers feedback as “the use of
learners as sources of information” that helps interacting with each other in such a
way that “learners assume roles and responsibilities normally taken on by teachers
in commenting and critiquing each other’s performances in both written and other
formats” (Hansen and Liu, 2005:1). It is clear from all the definition is that

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feedback is designed to provide understandable suggestions about one performance
so to bring improvement to the conductor. The suggestion contains both correction
mistakes and support good production. Feedback can be applied in every skill of
language learning process, such as listening, speaking, writing or even language
grammatical process. The problem lays in the fact that the study cannot cover all
fields of language skills. In the minor thesis, the researcher hopes to concentrate on
the roles of peer feedback on the single writing section.
3.2 Peer-feedback and its formats on language writing
To the field of language writing skill, feedback is seen as a strategy which can
“improve the quality of written assignments and foster discussion”. When giving
out the definition, the researcher intends to focus on the strong points of feedback
and the roles of feedback on the development of learners‟ language learning. On the
other words, students have to read their peer‟ written assignments, then comment
and give suggestion for them to revise before handing the final versions to the
teacher. Based on the comments and suggestion, students will know how to improve
their performance.
Feedback on writing section takes many formats, however, as far as Hyland
concerned, feedback in writing is expressed in the three most common ways. In the
first type, teacher may assign students to work in groups of two, three or four and
force them to exchange their first drafts and give comments on each other‟s draft
before making final versions. Another way for feedback in the class is taking
students read their own essays aloud, or getting a colleague to read it instead, while
the other students listen and provide feedbacks, either written or oral, on the work
they have just heard. The third way teacher may exploit students to give feedback
does not restrict the time for them. They can give feedback at any time and
condition as long as they feel comfortable to give feedback.
Although feedback is expressed by many forms, in the framework of the study, the
researcher just focuses on the first type of feedback, in which students work in pairs

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to give cross check to each other. Moreover, giving peer-check is carried out in
written form.
4. The purposes and drawbacks of peer-written feedback on English Second
Language teaching and learning
4.1 The purposes of feedback on English Second Language writing teaching and
learning
A number of research show that peer feedback takes much contribution to students‟
writing: (Jacobs, 1987, Tsui & Ng, 2000, Yang, Badger & Yu, 2006). The results
are given as followed:
4.1.1 Save time and efforts for the markers
Peer feedback brings a significant benefit to both the learners and the teachers. To
students, feedback helps them to correct the mistakes they have as well as have
some suggestion to make it better, which they cannot recognize on their own.
Besides, peer written feedback takes a certain role on the teacher, so the teacher
should exploit more important role of it to measure student‟s language learning
level and proficiency. Based on the writing portfolio which students conduct during
the certain period of time and the comments from their peers, teachers will have an
overview recognition about writing background of both the „feedback giver‟ and
„provider‟, their problems and some improvement they may get. Therefore, using
peer written feedback can be helpful and is an effective channel for teacher to apply
in diminishing the burden work of teachers. It saves time and efforts of teachers as
they do not have to control every aspect of the writing lesson.
4.1.2 Provide students advice about learning
To the learners, in specific, peer feedback is seen as an “ongoing assessment”,
which brings them more benefits than marks or grades. In fact, mark is just a means
to compare learning proficiency of a student with other ones and sometimes shows
the development they get during a certain periods. Meanwhile, peer feedback‟s role

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is highlighting the strength and weaknesses of the writers, analyzing their learning
progress and directs them how to use language and vocabulary proficiency.
Further investigation about the roles of peer-written feedback to the development of
students‟ writing proficiency suggests that teachers‟ feedback mainly generates
comments and suggestion at grammatical level. Meanwhile, students‟ comments
investigate deeper on the content, ideas, structure, vocabulary and coherence of the
written product. (Paulus, 1999; Lundstrom & Baker, 2009).
Many students prefer students‟ comments than the teacher‟s because they feel more
confident and comfortable when exchanging ideas with their classmates.
Sometimes, teacher‟s comments distract students from understanding the mistakes
and how to correct them. They do not have enough confidence to ask for the help of
teacher. On the other hand, peer feedback is more appropriate with learners‟ level of
development or interest. Therefore, it is more informative to learners than teacher‟s
feedback.
4.1.3 Improve students’ writing proficiency
The most important role of students‟ peer feedback on English Language writing
lesson is improving students‟ writing proficiency. For the first and foremost, peer
written feedback to support students with more meaningful language input. As the
matter of fact that most of the students lack vocabulary input. They can just be
familiar with common words and expression. As a result, they have difficulty in
expressing exactly their ideas. The comments from their peers broaden students‟
language input and use them more correctly. The practice of peer feedback as a
mean of receiving more individual comments allows “reviewers the opportunities
to practice and develop different language skills” (Lundstrom & Baker, 2009).
Hyland (2003) states another role of peer written feedback to students, both givers
and receivers. It provides “a means of both improving writer’s drafts and
developing reader’ understanding of a good writing”. When students read the
feedback given by their friends on their own writing or give critical comments on
their friends‟ writing, they will be supplied with a source of vocabulary and

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structure or strategy to create a meaningful writing product. All of these help
broaden their awareness of conducting a good writing.
4.1.4 Feedback is a form of motivation
Linguists have approved that giving feedback brings to students more motivation
than the giving mark can do. The scientists approve with the facts that the main duty
of giving marks or grades is just comparing learning proficiency or level of this
student with the others or the improvement they have during a certain period.
Therefore, students cannot recognize their strong points and weaknesses the need to
concern. Beside these duties, feedback strongly focuses on the writer‟s strong points
and their shortcomings. The feedback itself contains the suggestion for students to
improve their writing. Therefore, it leads students to a better attitude as well as
exploits the best knowledge of learners.
4.1.5 Peer feedback improves students’ autonomy
One of the long term purposes of giving feedback is improving students‟ autonomy.
On another word, giving feedback helps students to self-direct their learning process
with their own positive attitude. When students discuss with their peer about the
feedback, they establish the positive relationship among their friends, learn how to
listening to each other voice with the purpose of creating productive is learning
environment.
Moreover, having a chance to read the other students‟ writings and compare them
with their own, students have better recognition about their background. It takes a
certain role in motivating students to self-esteem their learning inside or outside the
classroom environment as well as to have more responsibility for their work.
4.2 Drawbacks of peer written feedbacks to teachers and learners in ESL writing
lesson
The researchers found out that despite having evident advantages, peer feedback has
some potential problems that need to be considered (Bostock, 2000 & White, 2009).
Some of their certain shortcomings are analyzed in this section:

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4.2.1 The unreliability and invalidity of students’ comments
First of all, the effectiveness of feedback given by the friends mainly depends on the
instruction and rubrics for assessment from the teacher. Before applying peer
feedback among students, teacher must ensure that all the students understand
thoroughly the assessment to their students writing and which skills should be
controlled. Otherwise, students will miss the control of teacher and provide each
other with false information.
The unreliability and invalidity of peer feedback can have origin from fellow
students. First, the writing background of students is not good. In fact, most of the
students do not have enough qualification to give an accurate evaluation and
valuable suggestion to their friend‟ writing. Moreover, students prefer teacher to
correct their writing rather than receiving from their friends. They are afraid of the
ability of their students can spoil their product. Therefore, they do not have
motivation to attending the process of giving feedback to their friends, or they just
attending that process as a force from their teacher. As a consequence, they may not
be serious in giving correction to their friends.
More seriously, students‟ giving feedback may be influenced by students‟
friendship and solidarity among themselves. In reality, students who have a closer
relationship may either give more positive comments or do not dare to show exactly
their friends‟ mistakes as the fear to spoil their relationship. On the other hand,
some students may misunderstand their ideas of the writing and therefore they even
produce positive or incorrect comments to their friends.
4.2.2 The burden of giving peer feedback to controllers
Rollinson suggested in his research the negative aspect of giving peer feedback,
which is called „time constrain‟. In ESL writing lesson in Vietnam, time allowed for
the class is just forty five minutes, whereas, teachers and students have to cover
abundant tasks. Therefore, they cannot spend enough time on analyzing their
writing seriously, evaluating the coherence and cohesion of the writing,
understanding their comprehension as well as giving effective suggestion to their

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friends‟. If they are forced to do in the class, students can just give a very brief, too
general or ineffective feedback. Most of these feedbacks are out of students‟
expectation and they hardly learn anything from such useless feedback. As a result,
the peer feedback is just waste of time and turns into useless activities.
To eliminate all the problems that can happen when applying peer feedback for
students in the ESL writing classes, teachers have to control everything for example
designing a clear structure for assess, pre-teaching strategies to give useful
feedbacks, noise controlling, exploiting students‟ attendance on giving feedbacks or
forecasting all the questions from learners, etc. They are the reasons of increasing
burden work on the teachers.

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CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The research is carried out to investigate students‟ attitude towards peer written
feedback of students applied in writing lesson and exploring the effectiveness of
this activity to the improvement of students‟ ESL writing skills in the high school
ESL class majoring English. Therefore, at the beginning of the chapter, the study
hopes to focus on the context of the study. It contains the setting of the study, the
writing program and the participants of the study. Besides, some information about
the procedure to collect data, the instrument used for collecting them and the data
analysis will be analyzed in purpose to help answering the research questions.
1. Context of the study
1.1 The setting of the study
The study is intended to carry out in 11th majoring English grade in Sontay high
school. It is one of four training high schools of Hanoi, which is situated in Sontay
town, about more than thirty kilometers to the west of Hanoi. Every year, the school
attracts more than six hundred of students. The total students in Sontay high school
in the school year of 2015-2016 are up to nearly two thousands, and they are
divided into majors containing Literature, Mathematics, English, Chemistry,
Physics, Information Technology and History. The teaching staff in the school
contains one hundred and fifty people. In specific, there are fifteen people who are
working in English Language teaching division. Most of them are well train, and
one third among them got an English Master degree. Besides, two teachers have still
been attending MA course.
The population selected to support the data for the research are students in 11th
grade majoring English in Sontay high school. There are thirty seven girls and eight
boys in the class. The English teacher in the class is Mrs. Le Phuong Lan, one of the
best English teachers in English division. The core reason for the research to collect
data in 11th grade majoring English comes from the fact that their English
background is good enough to ensure the reliability and validity of the research.

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