In writing instruction, there are three approaches used in teaching writing, which are product approach, process approach and process-genre approach. The most common ones are the product approach and process approach. The product approach, as its name suggests, has declined in its influence due to the more emphasis on the end product. Teachers nowadays has shifted to the process approach in teaching writing because it is proven to be very effective in improving students’ writing as students know what they are writing (Jordan, 1997) (cited in Sultan Al Mekhlafy, 2009). In process writing, the common steps include prewriting, rough draft, revision and editing. Students are not expected to follow these steps rigidly because this process is recursive – they can move forward and backward while writing the essay. During the revision stage, the drafts are always reviewed by the teacher and comments are given based on the teacher’s evaluation. Other than the teacher, peers can also be the reviewer for their peers’ essays. Peer review in writing can be effective as it can provide useful feedback to the writer as well as the reviewer (Rollinson, 1998) (cited in Mei Ting & Yuan Qian, 2010).
This study focused on students’ perceptions of peer reviewing and how it can help them improve their writing skills. It is important to identify how they perceive peer review in their writing class and whether peer review affects their improvement in writing. If students have positive perceptions towards peer review, teachers can incorporate this strategy in class more often and make the students to be more aware and conscious to what they are writing. The audience now is not only the teacher, but also for their peers. Therefore, through this case study, the findings will reflect the effectiveness of peer review towards students’ writing skills.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The emphasis on the process of writing is very vital to the students to ensure that students gain an optimal opportunity in language learning, especially in the drafting and reviewing stages. During these stages, students will require more feedback and comments from the teacher on how to improve their writing. Unfortunately, due to overpopulation in the classrooms, it is quite impossible for teachers to cater and give immediate feedback to all students’ writings. Sometimes, teachers’ feedback does not really helpful to the students and demotivates them to write. One of the solutions to this problem is by using peer review to respond to their peers’ essays. Peer review can help students to be reflective and conscious of their peer’s writing, which in turn can help them to do so in their own writing.
Students are also used to be stressed on the end product of writing, which means they will be very dependent on their teacher. Students in Nelson & Carson’s (1998) study reported that they acknowledged their teachers’ feedback more often than their peers’ in classrooms (Mei Ting & Yuan Qian, 2010). This dependency can be avoided by incorporating peer review in writing classroom. The exchange of feedback among the peers will enhance students’ understanding of the mistakes done and will eventually leads to autonomy in writing, giving them a sense of responsibility in their work. It is hoped that students will internalize this process and can proceed on their own independently.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to identify students’ perception towards peer review in their writing class. It also aimed to find out the influence of peer review either to the writers themselves as well as the reviewers.
The study is conducted to fulfil the following objectives:
1. To identify American Degree Foundation Programme students’ perception towards peer review in their writing class.
2. To identify the effects of peer review to students’ writing skills.
3. To identify the effects of peer review towards essay contents.
1.4 Research Questions
The study attempts to answer the following questions:
1. How does students perceive peer review in the writing class?
2. How does peer review affect students’ writing skills?
3. How does peer review affect students’ essay contents?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Identifying students’ perceptions towards peer review is very important as it will influence teachers’ teaching techniques in writing instruction. If students feel that peer review does not help much in terms of improvement of their writing skills, then teachers know to what extent peer review should be implemented in the class. Teachers can help students to utilize the effectiveness of peer review in their writing.
In addition, this study will provide teachers with some suggestions for instructions in the English language subject, and for giving adequate and appropriate support in understanding, assessing, and developing students’ thinking in the process of writing. When teachers know how peer review can help in students’ writing, they can provide other educators to use peer review in their writing class as well.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
The study has several limitations which will be likely to occur while the research was conducted. The study only focused peer review in English writing instruction and not in other subjects. There is a possibility that students might perform well in other language writing class without the use of peer review.
This study is limited to only one group of Preparatory Course in International Education Centre (INTEC) in Shah Alam. One class of American Degree Foundation Programme, which consists of thirty-seven students, was the subject for this study. Therefore, findings may be different if it is conducted in other institutions or districts.
1.7 Definition of Terms
There is one definition of terms in this study. The term is:
i) Peer Review
Peer review, as defined by Gueldenzoph and May (2002) (cited in Todd & Hudson, 2007) as “a means of assessment that allows students to participate in the assessment process by evaluating a classmate’s written work, but the final grade for students’ work is determined by the course instructor”. Participate means they provide feedback for each other’s writing and foster a sense of collaboration by suggesting comments which can improve their writing. Incorporating peer review in writing instruction will allow students to be autonomous in their language learning and “encourage learners to be active learners than passive ones” (Topping, 1998) (cited in Todd & Hudson, 2007).
ii) American Degree Foundation Programme
American Degree Foundation Programme refers to one of the International Education Centre’s programmes offered to students before they pursue their degree in the United States.
This chapter has provided an outline of the study which includes statement of the problems, objectives and research questions. Significance of the study is also presented to show its relevance to the teaching discipline. Definition of terms and limitations of the study are explained to highlight the focus of the study. It is hoped that the data obtained will lead towards the understanding of students’ learning needs and changes for classroom instructions.
This chapter will review the relevant literature on peer review in writing classes. The first part of the review will briefly describe and discuss about some background of peer review. Second, three areas of investigation in this study which are students’ perceptions towards peer editing, the influence of peer editing on students’ writing skills, and the influence of peer editing on students’ essay contents will be thoroughly described to see the importance of the three areas for students’ improvement in the process of writing.
2.2 Background of Peer Review
Peer editing in writing classes is deemed to be an important factor in improving students’ writing. Students get to experience correcting other peoples’ work and thus learn more from it. According to Liu & Carless (2006) (cited in Chong, 2010), peer editing is believed to improve students’ learning abilities due to the shorter period of time given by their peers compared to their teachers’ feedback. It is also proven that students can enrich their pool of information for self-assessment used in enhancing individual language development (Liu & Carless, 2006) (cited in Ka Yu Chong, 2010). Not only that, Todd and Hudson (2007), mentioned that peer editing promotes critical thinking and improve the students’ ability to synthesize information. There are many advantages and reasons why teachers like to incorporate peer editing in their writing classes and it is no wonder that teachers nowadays are more likely to use this approach in their writing classes. But, what is the students’ response to peer editing? Does it help to improve their writing skills and influence in their writing skills? Thus, this chapter explores students’ perception towards peer editing, the influence of peer editing on writing and the influence of peer editing on essay comments.
2.3 Students’ Perceptions towards Peer Editing
One of the perceptions that student have towards peer editing is a positive one. Reese-Durham (2005) (cited in Todd and Hudson, 2007), stated that when students are allowed to edit their peers’ first draft of the essay, it helps to lower students intimidation and loss of self-esteem when their lecturer marks their essay. This proves that students rely on their peers to check their work before submitting it to their lecturers so that they are more confident that their work is error free and to avoid from submitting a full-of-error mistakes paper. Hong (2006), citing a research done by Mendonca and Johnson in 1994, found that students enjoyed peer response as it is deemed to be helpful with regard to idea development. This means that peers not only help edit the students’ work but they also help in the development of content.
However, there are others who have negative perception towards literature. This is due to the fact that they are unsure of peer editing and do not even see its purpose (McMurry, 2005). They themselves are not an expert in the language and so to correct their peer’s work with limited knowledge of the language they feel would negate its credibility. It is reported that students have a negative perception towards peer editing as they have doubts in the quality of their peers comments and some felt disappointed and worried that their work is full of useless criticism (Hong, 2006). She also stated that the students only completed the task of peer editing in order to satisfy the teacher. McMurry (2005) also agrees that students are unsure of the validity of their peers’ comments and distrust their peers’ opinions. These negative perceptions that students have towards peer-editing relates to the lack of experience they have and the trust issues they have towards their peers.
In sum, students’ perceptions towards peer editing can be positive or negative as it depends on the students’ and also the teachers’ experience in guiding the students in implementing peer-editing in language writing classroom. It also depends on the culture as Hong (2006) mentioned students from the western countries have positive perception on peer response but students from Asia, specifically in China view it in a negative way.
2.4 The Influence of Peer Editing on Students’ Writing Skills
One of the influences of peer editing on students’ writing skills is the grammatical structure in writing. As Siew (n.d) pointed out, when students practice peer editing, it does in fact triggers the students’ awareness towards the grammatical errors, mechanics, and punctuation. This can infer that when a student is being exposed to peer editing, it made the student to be more aware of grammatical errors, misspelled words and punctuations of their peers’ writing. From identifying each other’s mistakes in their piece of writing, it will enforce their editing skills and make them conscious of the standard criteria next time they write (Balushy, 2009).
Moreover, peer editing has the influence on the students’ writing skills through sentence structure in writing. This is due to the fact that the students not only edit their peers’ work in the aspects of grammatical errors but also in terms of sentence structures. The students are expected to identify the strengths and the weaknesses in sentence structures and meaning from their peers’ work (McMurry, 2005). By doing this, the students are more able to focus on their writing with meaningful sentence structures in their writing. They are also able to be focus consistently on their point of view when writing their paragraphs. Not only that, Balushy (2009) added, editing peers’ work allows them to share ideas of the different structures in writing so they can incorporate it in their essays later. In this case the students are able to exchange ideas on how to improve their work.
2.5 The Influence of Peer Editing on Students’ Essay Contents
One of the influences of peer editing on students’ essay contents is the organization of content. McMurry (2005) mentioned that through practices of peer reviewing, students are more skilled and aware of the issue in the organization of content in the essay. On the contrary, research conducted by Tsui & Ng (2000) found that students did not agree that peer-editing helps them in improving the organizational structure in their essay; but only the teachers can guide them in this aspect. Here we can deduce that not all students agree peer-editing helps them improve in content organizing. Some may agree in the aspects of development of ideas and thesis statement and some may agree on the focus of the contents.
On the other hand, peer editing might also influence the contents of the students’ essays pertaining to their style of writing. Nelson (2000) pointed out from the study done by Herrington and Cadman, in peer-editing, students tend to focus on the style of writing used by their peers. This also helps them to figure out their own way of presenting themselves through written piece of work. She also added that when students do peer reviewing in class, it exposes them to a variety of different ideas and styles that can be used in their own writing. Thus, it can be said that in exposing the students to peer reviewing in class, it will influence the content of their writing in terms of style because of their observation of their peer’s style of writing.
In conclusion, peer review does have an impact on students’ perception as well as influence on their writing and also content. The students’ perception can be negative or positive depending on how useful they see peer reviewing in improving their work. Secondly, the influence of peer editing on the students’ writing in the aspects of grammatical structure and sentence structure is that it made the students more aware of their own grammatical mistakes and sentence structure. They tend to incorporate what they are able to observe from peer editing in their writing; thus, when they write in the future they would be more careful. Peer editing also looks into the influence of essay contents. This gives vast exposure to the organization and style of writing. When students are exposed to many different types of writing, they are capable of using whichever style that suits them. Thus, this is how peer review affects the students in their writing.
The aim of this study is to identify students’ perception towards peer review in their writing class. It also aimed to find out the influence of peer review either to the writers themselves as well as the reviewers. In this chapter, there are five aspects will be discussed; which are research design, population and sample, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis procedures.
3.2 Research Design
The descriptive quantitative research is the basic research design for this study. Survey research was conducted to identify students’ perceptions towards peer review as well as the effects of peer review towards their writing skills and essay content.
3.3 Population and Sample
The population for this study is all American Degree Foundation Programme students in International Education Centre (INTEC) in Section 17 Shah Alam Campus. For this study, the sampling technique that is used is purposive sampling technique, which is one of the non-probability sampling techniques.
In this technique, it involves selecting a sample the researcher believes to be representative of a given population. The population of American Degree Foundation Programme students is 200. Only one class of thirty-seven students was chosen to be the sample of this study since this is only a case study.
In this study, the questionnaire was adopted and adapted from a study done by Najlaa’ Nasuha (2009), which also aimed to investigate the students’ perceptions and effects of peer review towards their writing skills and essay contents.
There were four sections included in this questionnaire; which were Section 1, 2, 3 and 4. Section 1 required demographic information of the respondents. Section 2 consisted of ten items regarding students’ perceptions towards peer reviewing, while ten items tested in Section 3 to investigate the effects of peer editing on students’ writing skills. The last section, Section 4 required the respondents to rate their responses towards the influence of peer review on their essay contents.
Students’ writing marks were obtained from the English lecturer who teaches them. Marks before peer review was carried out and after the peer review was done were collected to see any improvements in their marks.
3.5 Data Collection
There are two methods used to gather data in this study.
3.5.1 Survey Method
The method that is used to measure perceptions and effects of peer review is using questionnaire. The Likert Scale is used to rate students’ perceptions towards peer review. The Likert Scale format is usually used to measure the strength of an attitude or an opinion. Each response is associated with a point value, and an individual’s score is determined by summing the point values of each statement. This Likert Scale ranges from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The use of Likert Scale can give a great chance to the respondents to give their response with their own deep knowledge view and experience of the items given.
To measure students’ improvement in their writing, document analysis was carried out to analyse students’ marks for their essays. The marks were gathered before and after conducting peer review. The full mark for the essay was 20.
For this survey method, thirty-seven American Degree Foundation Programme students answered this questionnaire with zero influence by any other side or authorities. The questionnaire is designed to identify their perceptions and effects of peer review in writing class.
The research instrument for this survey is only one set of questionnaire. It is to assess students’ perceptions towards peer review and how they perceive peer review in influencing their writing skills and essay contents. The questionnaire consists of 33 items which were adopted and adapted by Najlaa’ Nasuha (2009). It is hoped that the questionnaire is suitable for answering the specific research questions.
The questionnaire consisted of thirty-three items, each on each one on a 5-point ordinal scale ranging from “strongly agree” (1), “agree” (2), “neutral” (3), “disagree” (4) and “strongly disagree” (5).
In this study, the demographic profiles of the students were obtained from Section 1 of the questionnaire. Students were instructed to identify their gender, class, and age. Section 2 of the questionnaire was constructed to identify students’ general perception towards peer review. Section 3 consists of ten statements that investigated the effects of peer review on students’ writing skills. Section 4 of the questionnaire listed ten items for students to rate the degree of peer review influence towards their essay contents.
Another instrument used is document analysis. Marks were obtained from students’ essay before and after peer review was incorporated in the lessons. The full mark for the essay is 20.
For this survey method, the questionnaire were distributed and administered by the researcher personally. Subjects of the study were then briefed by the researcher and given the appropriate explanation on how to answer the questionnaire. Students were also reminded that there are no right or wrong answer and that they were to answer according to their own English language classroom experience. This was especially useful to avoid misinterpretation of the statements in the questionnaire. Students were also informed that all responses and information given would be treated as confidential and only used for the purpose of the study.
Students were allowed to take the questionnaire home since most of them were unsure of their answer without first evaluating their feelings during normal circumstances of the English classes after reading some of the items from the questionnaire. Additionally, the students were reminded that they should not get any help in answering the questionnaire or to ask someone else to complete the questionnaire for them. For the next meeting, the respondents were told to bring the questionnaire to be submitted to the researcher in class.
Students’ improvement in writing is assessed through their marks obtained from the essay. The marks were gathered from the English lecturer after he marked all the essays before and after the peer review.
3.6 Data Analysis
Descriptive statistics were used for analyzing the data collected from the questionnaire. The descriptive statistics first analysed, an overall percentage of responses for each item to have an overall overview of responses selecting the six alternatives given in the questionnaire. This was followed by calculating the mean and standard deviation (SD) for every section based on every item tested. The data were presented in the form of tables and graphs to aid the explanation given.
In chapter 3, the research design and methodology used has been clearly explained in the way of how to collect the data, the target population, and how to analyze the data. The selected research design and methodology is suitable with the researcher’s study. The results are discussed in the next chapter.
FINDINGS AND DICSCUSSIONS
In this chapter, the findings of the data collected will be analysed. All the data collected will be presented in this chapter are from the 37 sets of questionnaires distributed to and answered by the INTEC students. The questionnaire functioned as the main focus of the analysis for this study in order to find out the students’ perception towards peer editing in enhancing their writing skills. Based on the presentation and reports of the findings, the researcher will attempt to answer the following research questions:
1. How does students perceive peer review in the writing class?
2. How does peer editing influence students’ writing skills?
3. How does peer editing influence students’ essay content?
In section A, students were asked to put a mark (v) in one of the boxes provided to indicate their response in answering the questions. Meanwhile, in section B, C and D, the respondent were required to respond to the Likert – scale questions to enable the researcher to relate the findings to the research questions. Each question has five numerical values which range from 1 to 5. The respondents have to indicate their answer by putting a mark (v) on the appropriate boxes. The scale range for section B, C and D are as follows:
5. Strongly Disagree
4.2 Findings Of The Study
4.2.1 Section A : Demographic Factors
Question 1: Gender
Figure 4.2.1 (a): Respondents’ Gender
A description of the respondent is presented in the pie chart above. A total number of 37 INTEC students were involved in this research, in which 15 of them (40%) are males while another 22 (60%) are female. This shows that female students outnumbered the male students in this research.
Question 2 – Sponsors
Figure 4.2.1 (b): Respondents’ Sponsorship
The second question asked in the questionnaire was the sponsor that they get during their study. It is found out that 15 (40%) are under MARA sponsorship, 18 (49%) are under JPA sponsorship, 1 (3%) is under BNM and the rest which is 3 (8%) are others.
Question 3 – Age
Figure 4.2.1 (c): Respondents’ Age
The third question was regarding the age of the respondent. According to the pie chart presented above, the total numbers of respondents (100%) are at the age between 18 – 20 years old.
4.3 Data Analysis
4.3.1 Students’ Perceptions Towards Peer Editing
Students’ Perception towards Peer Editing
Question Mean Std. Deviation I feel demotivated if I find out that my writings are full of mistakes and comments which need to be improved 3.32 1.313 Some comments given by my friends are irrelevant and confuses me about my writing 3.22 .947 Some of my friends not competent enough to edit and give comments on my writings 3.00 1.106 I am confident in helping my friends edit their writing 2.97 1.067 Various comments received by my peers help me to become more confident in making my own judgment towards my writing in the future 2.35 1.060 I am interested to use peer editing method in my other writing subjects in the future 2.30 .968 My friends’ comments give me positive feelings to improve my writing skills 2.22 .976 Peer editing is good to help me to enhance my writing skills 2.16 1.214 I love to receive feedback from my peers regarding my writing skills 2.14 1.251 I am ready to accept criticisms on my writings
Overall students perception towards peer editing 2.05
.63493 Valid N (listwise)
Table 1 indicated the students’ perception towards peer editing. Throughout this question, it was found out that majority of the students rated the statements given on their perception towards peer editing positively. Out of ten (10) statements given, seven of them are positive statements while the other three (3) are negative statements. Out of seven (7) positive statements, five (5) of them are agreed by the students while one (2) brought neutral feeling towards them. On the other hand for the negative statements, all of them received neutral feelings from the students. Approximately, students have positive perceptions towards peer editing activity in writing class.
This explains that peer editing is perceived as a good activity to be conducted in writing classes. The findings show that students agreed on the statement that various comments received by my peers help them to become more confident in making their own judgment towards their writing in the future (Mean = 2.35, SD = 1.060). The students also agreed that they are interested to use peer editing method in their other writing subjects in the future (Mean = 2.30, SD = .968). The findings also revealed students agreed their friends’ comments give them positive feelings to improve their writing skill (Mean = 2.22, SD = .976) Overall, it can be concluded that peer editing is perceived as a good activity to be conducted in writing classes (Mean = 2.27, SD = .63).
4.3.2 Influence of Peer Editing On Writing Skills
Influence of Peer Editing On Writing Skills
Question Mean Std. Deviation My friends always help me to correct any misuse of parts of speech in my writing 2.65 .919 Peer editing helps me to become more aware in the sentence structure of my writing 2.59 1.878 I become aware with the correct use of subject-verb-agreement in my writing 2.51 1.017 Peer editing helps me to delete unnecessary articles, determiners and quantifiers in my writing 2.49 .932 My friends help me to combine short sentences into a complete and meaningful sentence 2.46 .960 Peer editing help me to focus on the consistent use of point-of-view in my paragraph 2.43 1.015 I can identify specific errors regarding capitalization in my friends’ writings and correct them 2.38 .982 I become more concern with the correct use of punctuation marks and capital letters in my writing 2.22 1.228 My friends will point out any misspelled word(s) that appear in my writing 2.16 .986 Peer editing can help me to sharpen my editing skills
Overall of influence of peer editing on writing skills 2.00
.77595 Valid N (listwise)
Throughout this question, it is found out that majority of the students rated the statements given on the influence of peer editing on their writing skills positively. Out of ten (10) statements given, eight (7) of them are agreed by the students while the other three (3) give neutral feelings towards them. Approximately, students have positive perceptions towards peer editing in influencing their writing skills.
This explains that peer editing is perceived as a good activity in enhancing the students’ writing skills. The result shown is Table 2 indicates that most of the students agreed that peer editing helps them to delete unnecessary articles, determiners and quantifiers in their writing (Mean = 2.49, SD = .932). The students also agreed that peer editing help them to focus on the consistent use of point-of-view in their paragraph (Mean = 2.46, SD = .960). Overall, students agreed that peer editing influence their writing skills in a positive way (Mean = 2.39, SD = .78)
4.3.3 Influence of Peer Editing On Essay Contents
Influence of Peer Editing on Essay Contents
Questions Mean Std. Deviation When editing my friends’ writing, I will first look at their thesis statements, whether it is coherent or not with their topic 2.57 1.068 Peer editing helps me to develop ideas for my content 2.49 1.096 Peer editing is a good medium for me to become more aware of my audience and purpose in writing classes 2.38 1.037 My essay contents and organization become more structured after I participate in peer editing task 2.35 .949 Peer editing helps me to delete unnecessary statements and stay focus on the content of my writing 2.35 1.136 Reading my friends’ paper help me to learn different style of writing and organization 2.32 1.056 I can gather a lot of viewpoints from different friends about my content, thus enhancing my essay content 2.32 1.270 Peer editing helps me to write a better thesis statement 2.32 1.132 Peer editing helps me to clarify my ideas with facts or examples 2.24 .983 Reading my friends’ writings help me to gain different views on developing my content
Overall of influence of peer editing on essay contents 2.08
.94385 Valid N (listwise)
Throughout this question, it is found out that majority of the students rated the statements given on the influence of peer editing on their writing content positively. Out of ten (10) statements given, nine (9) of them are agreed by the students while another one statement gives neutral feelings towards them. Approximately, students have positive perceptions towards peer editing in influencing their writing content.
This explains that peer editing is perceived as a good activity in helping the students to enhance their writing content. The result shows that the students agreed that peer editing helps them to develop ideas for their content (Mean = 2.49, SD = 1.096). The students also agreed with statement “reading my friends’ writings help me to gain different views on developing my content” (Mean = 2.08, SD = 1.211). Overall, students agreed that peer editing is a good activity in helping them to enhance their writing content (Mean = 2.34, SD = .94385).
4.4 Students’ Progress Marks in Writing
Figure 4.4: Students’ Progress Marks in Writing
A description of the students’ progress marks in writing essay is presented in the bar graph above. The average marks for the 37 students were calculated. In the first essay (before the peer editing technique used) the average marks was 16.68 over 20. In the second essay (after the peer editing technique used) the average marks increase to 17.46 over 20.
In conclusion, the data obtained through the distributed questionnaire have revealed certain facts and it answered to the research questions. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that students have positive perception towards peer editing activity in their writing classroom. They agreed that peer editing can help to enhance their writing skills and essay contents. In the next chapter, the findings are presented and elaborated according to the research questions and objectives before fulfilling this research purposes.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
This chapter looks at the summary of the findings, discussion, the limitations of the study, the implications of the research and lastly, the recommendations for further research.
5.2 Summary and Discussion of Findings
The findings indicated the benefit of peer editing on the respondents’ writing skills which cover the perception of them in peer editing, the influence towards writing skills and their essay content.
In terms of the students’ perception towards peer editing, the researcher found that the response given by the respondents are mostly positive. This is justified by Hong (2006) notion where students from the western countries have positive perception on peer response but students from asia, specifically in China view it in a negative way. Eventhough the claim is likely to be cotradicting with the findings but perhaps due to the fact that they are American bound students made them to share the same perception as the westerns. This is why the researcher found that the respondents felt that peer editing activity had been a great assist for them in becoming more confident in evaluating their writing. When evaluation is the central focus, it is often related to the ability to reflect upon our own performance; in this case writing. Reflecting on our own writing involves a lot of skills such as being critical towards the issue or our focus. However there is a lot of debate going on in conducting peer edit in a writing class as some argue that only competent or good writers could edit on or evaluate writing. However reflecting on the claim itself, peer edit can be conducted under certain consideration. In the case of this study, the respondents were purposive sample where all of them were from American Degree Foundation Program; high achievers. Therefore the researcher found that, this had contributed on their positive attitude towards Peer Edit in writing. This is because the respondent felt that the comments given by their peers were very helpful and they also felt that they will definitely practice peer edit in other subjects. This is further justified by the claim by Hong (2006), citing a research done by Mendonca and Johnson in 1994, where it was found that students enjoyed peer response as it is deemed to be helpful with regard to idea development. When we look and reflect upon on the practice of peer edit in Malaysian ESL classroom, it is perhaps under-utilized. This is generally because peer edit is considered time consuming and tedious for most of the teachers. This had contributed to a learning culture that primarily based on teacher-centred approach. Teacher-centred is somehow view in our culture of learning as the ideal way of teaching ESL. However learning must not just be one way process between the teacher and the students but also involves their peers. At times students are under rated on their capability where most teachers assume that no input will be gained from the students and their input is not reliable. This assumption is totally erroneous as because when the students discuss among them, they are less anxious making learning more fun and meaningful.
Secondly, the researcher found that peer edit in writing has been found beneficial for the respondents in improving their writing specifically in terms of their writing skills. Writing skills here refers to the skill of paraphrasing, synthesizing and summarizing. Therefore the researcher found that the respondents felt that peer edit activity in writing help them in refining their essay such as in omitting certain unnecessary information and in terms of grammar; determiners and quantifiers in their writing. This is supported by Liu & Carless, (2006) cited in Chong, (2010) where peer editing is believed to improve students’ learning abilities. The researcher also found that peer edit had helped the respondents to be consistent in focusing on the thesis statement. Peer edit here also plays the role as proof reading as it allows the respondents to get a second opinion on their essay or even to check their grammars. However it is not view that way in Malaysia as teachers can never trust the students to edit their friends essay or writing in general. These findings prove to be justifying that peer editing activity does benefit the respondents in writing in general.
Finally, the researcher found that the peer editing activity in writing improves the respondents essay in terms of their content. This is supported by McMurry (2005), mentioned that through practices of peer reviewing, students are more skilled and aware of the issue in the organization of content in the essay. Peer editing was found to be helpful for the respondents in developing and generating ideas in their writing. This is because in a class usually it consists of multiple varieties of students. The ability here refers to the proficiency level. Therefore peer editing will definitely be a helping hand in improving their writing. Reflecting at other countries such as United States of America, the teachers really trust and peer editing maybe due to the fact that they are all first language speaker of English, However there is nothing wrong of trying an error so that writing class could be very interesting and meaningful. Moreover, from the document analysis, which was the students’ essay marks before peer editing and after peer editing; the results further justified that peer editing is beneficial to the students writing. The document analysis also validate the positive perception of the students based the mean of their essay score. This cross validation had further support the students’ perception on peer editing. All in all peer editing activity does influence the respondents writing in a positive way.
5.3 Limitations of the Study
In this study, the researcher identified several limitations. The first limitation of this study was the number of respondents involved. The number of respondents involved in this study was 37 which consisted of 15 males and 22 females. This is because the study was only meant for part American Foundation Degree Program students who were only in their first year of the preparatory program.
Secondly, the study focused only on American bound students who will be experiencing American education system in International Education College Specifically. Therefore the findings cannot be generalized to any other students of the same program at other preparatory centres. This is because the students might have experience other type of exposure.
Finally, the study only applied one method in gathering data which was a close ended questionnaire. Therefore, the findings were not varied in terms of the responses because it did not include open ended question.
5.4 Implications of the Study
There are two implications that is generated through this research which include the usefulness of Hidden Curriculum in enhancing Malaysian Education System and How to utilize it as a tool in moulding students behaviour and thinking.
Firstly, most of us had failed or even overlooked into the usefulness of Peer Editing in writing. For an instance when students are given the chance to evaluate their friends writing, indirectly we are training their thinking ability from lower order thinking skills to higher order thinking skills. Higher order thinking skills should be developed so that the students are more critical when they view on certain issues and in a long run they are prepared for tertiary education that requires more of this. As compared to other countries, Malaysia gives emphasis more on exams and overlooked other aspects of a person developmental growth. Utilizing peer edit activity as one of the channel to instil all this positive values, students will definitely be a better thinker and person as a whole.
Finally, the problem of uninteresting writing class can be overcome by utilizing peer editing in writing class of every English lesson or even any writing class. This is giving proper training to the teachers on how to implement peer editing in class but some schools do practice peer editing. It is very effective as the students learn in a fun and positive environment and as a result they will not realize that they are learning and at the same time they will improve their writing and enjoy the lesson. For an instance peer editing might be helpful in classes where the students are all from English based education or background. This will help the students to still focus on the lesson at the same time help share their knowledge with their classmates. Therefore these are the implications of the influence of peer editing activity in writing specifically.
5.5 Recommendations for Further Research
In the study, the researcher had proposed several recommendations for further research. First the number of respondents can increased in further research. This will produce more valid and reliable findings and more variety in response.
Secondly, further study can also include foundation centres that practice peer editing. The research would be more extensive by having respondents from other American bound students and the researcher could compare the findings from various preparatory centres. This will produce more valid results as to the education system and the findings can be generalized further.
Finally, it will also be useful if further research can apply other methodologies to gather data. Fraenkel and Wallen (2006) in How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education noted that educational research should be a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methodologies where they help the researcher to get more valid results (Jack and Norman, 2006). Therefore, instead of depending solely on the questionnaires, the researcher feels that further study would be better supported by a qualitative method such as random interview of the respondents. Thus, produce more variety in response and more informative results.
Generally this research could contribute in enhancing our education system in terms of writing specifically and generally English lessons through the peer editing activity. However it can be improved in terms of the methodology to produce better findings in the future.
B.M. Tsui, A., & Ng, M. (2000). Do secondary L2 writers Benefit from Peer Comments? Journal of Second Language Writing , 147-170.
Balushy, Z. A. (2009). Peer Editing,a Good idea? Retrieved April 11, 2011, from Developing teachers.com: http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/peeredpf_zainab.htm
Hong, F. (2006). Students perceptions of peer response activity in english writing instructions. CELEA Journal , 48-52.
Ka Yu Chong, K. (2010). Investigating the Perception of Student teachers in Hong Kong towards Peer-editing . English Langauge Teaching , 53-59.
McMurry, A. I. (2005). Preparing Students for peer review. Birmingham: Birmingham Young University.
Mei Ting and Yuan Qian. (2010). A Case Study of Peer Feedback in a Chinese EFL Writing Classroom. [Online Journal] Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistic (Bimonthly), Vol. 33(4), pp. 87-98. Retrieved April 1, 2011, from the World Wide Web: http://www.celea.org.cn/teic/92/10120606.pdf
Murau, A. M. (n.d.). Shared Writing: Students’ perceptions and attitudes of peer review. [Online Journal] Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, Vol. 9 (2), pp. 72-79. Retrieved April 1, 2011, from the World Wide Web: http://www.wpel.net/v9/v9n2_Murau.pdf
Najlaa’ Nasuha Mohd Radin. (2009). Students’ Perception towards Peer Editing in Enhancing their Writing Skills. Unpublished Academic Exercise
Nelson, S. (2000). Teaching Collaborative writing and peer review techniques to Engineeering and Technology undergraduates. ASee/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, (pp. 2-5). Kansas.
Siew, K. T. (n.d.). How Does Peer Editing Improve Students’ Quality of Writing. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from Conference nie edu: http://conference.nie.edu.sg/paper/Converted%20Pdf/ab00279.pdf
Sultan Al Mekhlafy. (2009). The product vs the process approach to teaching of writing. [Online Article]. Retrieved April 3rd, 2011, from the World Wide Web: http://www.yementimes.com/DefaultDET.aspx?i=1260&p=education&a=5
Todd, V. and Hudson, J. C. (2007). Using Graded Peer Evaluation To Improve Students’ Writing Skills, Critical Thinking Ability, and Comprehension Of Material In A Principles Of Public Relations Course. [Online Journal] Journal of College Teaching and Learning, Vol. 4 (10), pp. 39-46. Retrieved April 1, 2011, from the World Wide Web: http://www.cluteinstitute-onlinejournals.com/PDFs/520.pdf
Please tick one of the following boxes:
Section 1 – Demographic Factors:
1. Gender: Male ? Female ?
2. Class : 020PIA ? 010P1D ?
3. Age : 18 – 20 ? 20 – 23 ?
Please tick one (v) on the following boxes by choosing the most appropriate answers related to you.
(1) Strongly agree
(5) Strongly disagree
Section 2 – Students’ Perceptions towards Peer Editing
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) 1. I love to receive feedback from my peers regarding my writing skills. 2. My friends’ comments give me positive feelings to improve my writing skills 3. I am confident in helping my friends edit their writings. 4. Peer editing is good to help me to enhance my writing skills. 5. I feel demotivated if I find out that my writings are full of mistakes and comments which need to be improved. 6. Some comments given by my friends are irrelevant and confuses me about my writing 7. Various comments received by my peers help me to become more confident in making my own judgement towards my writing in the future. 8. I am ready to accept criticisms on my writings. 9. Some of my friends not competent enough to edit and give comments on my writings 10. I am interested to use peer editing method in my other writing subjects in the future.
Section 3 – Influence of Peer Editing on Writing Skills
Statements (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) 1. Peer editing can help me to sharpen my editing skills. 2. I become more concern with the correct use of punctuation marks and capital letters in my writing. 3. I can identify specific errors regarding capitalization in my friends’ writings and correct them. 4. My friends will point out any misspelled word(s) that appear in my writing 5. My friends help me to combine short sentences into a complete and meaningful sentence. 6. Peer editing helps me to become more aware in the sentence structure of my writing. 7. Peer editing help me to focus on the consistent use of point-of-view in my paragraph 8. I become aware with the correct use of subject-verb-agreement in my writing. 9. My friends always help me to correct any misuse of parts of speech in my writing 10. Peer editing helps me to delete unnecessary articles, determiners and quantifiers in my writing.
Section 4 -Influence of Peer Editing on Essay Contents
Statements (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) 1. Peer editing helps me to write a better thesis statement. 2. Peer editing helps me to develop ideas for my content 3. Peer editing helps me to clarify my ideas with facts or examples. 4. When editing my friends’ writing, I will first look at their thesis statements, whether it is coherent or not with their topic. 5. Peer editing is a good medium for me to become more aware of my audience and purpose in writing classes. 6. Peer editing helps me to delete unnecessary statements and stay focus on the content of my writing. 7. Reading my friends’ writings help me to gain different views on developing my content 8. My essay contents and organization become more structured after I participate in peer editing task. 9. Reading my friends’ paper help me to learn different style of writing and organization. 10. I can gather a lot of viewpoints from different friends about my content, thus enhancing my essay content.
NAME Essay 1(20) Essay 2(20) STUDENT 1 16 17 STUDENT 2 17 17.5 STUDENT 3 17.5 18.5 STUDENT 4 16 16.8 STUDENT 5 15 16 STUDENT 6 15.8 17 STUDENT 7 16 17 STUDENT 8 16 16.6 STUDENT 9 16 16.8 STUDENT 10 18.6 18.4 STUDENT 11 17 17.2 STUDENT 12 18 18 STUDENT 13 16.4 16.6 STUDENT 14 17.5 18.3 STUDENT 15 17.6 18.3 STUDENT 16 17 18 STUDENT 17 15.2 16 STUDENT 18 16.2 16.8 STUDENT 19 18 17.8 STUDENT 20 16.4 17 STUDENT 21 17 18 STUDENT 22 17.6 18.6 STUDENT 23 17.5 18.4 STUDENT 24 16 17.5 STUDENT 26 15.8 16.5 STUDENT 26 17 18 STUDENT 27 16 17.2 STUDENT 28 16 17.5 STUDENT 29 18 18.4 STUDENT 30 17 17 STUDENT 31 17.5 18.2 STUDENT 32 16.2 17 STUDENT 33 16 16.5 STUDENT 34 17 18.2 STUDENT 35 16 18 STUDENT 36 17 18 STUDENT 37 16.5 17.5