Synchronous Computer-Mediated Peer Feedback on IELTS Candidates’ Writing Development and their Interactions
(Development of IELTS Candidate Writing)
The increase in communication among people of different parts of the globe has required language learners to not only be able to speak in English, but also be proficient enough in written skills.
Online written media of communication like wikis, websites, emails, and instant message services have replaced face to face or other oral communications, which has led to the exigency of knowing how to write in English.
Hyland (2003) reminding the importance of writing in the twenty first century, states, “The ability to communicate ideas and information effectively through the global digital network is crucially dependent on good writing skills” (p.52).(Development of IELTS Candidate Writing)
However, writing in a second language is a demanding task. Hyland (2003) calls second language writing as one of the most challenging language skill which requires instruction.
Rosalina (2010) supporting Hyland, believes “Good academic writers are not born, but made through hard work” (p.124). She, then, mentions the complexity of writing and the need for instruction in the process of writing. In a similar vein, Richards and Renandya (2002) describe second language writing as “the most difficult skill for L2 learners to master” (p.22).
Students should have different skills like spelling, pronunciation and word choice as well as skills of planning and organizing, which are called low and high level skills, respectively.
The nature of the instruction in second language writing classes has undergone some changes in the last forty years. Before the early 1970s, when product-oriented approach to writing was favored, teachers gave feedback just on the version that students submitted (Nunan, 1999; Ferris, 2003).Things changed from the early 1970s, when a process-oriented approach to writing gained momentum.
In writing, students are required to write multiple drafts, revise what they have written, and teachers provide them with feedback in each stage of writing Feedback (Ferris, 2003) in the process-approach to writing is considered as a scaffolding tool to empower language learners to write efficiently.
This feedback is provided for the students in several ways such as teacher feedback and peer feedback.
Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has undergone a long journey since its genesis, the 1960s (Warschauer & Healey, 1998; Bangs & Cantos, 2004; Leslie, 2010) Here is a very brief account of CALL in language programs. From the very beginning of using computers in language learning programs, researchers found it very beneficial in terms of helping students practice recurrently and individually with their own desired pace (Underwoodm, 1984).(Development of IELTS Candidate Writing)
For years, utilizing the newest programs meant the use of the latest teaching and learning pedagogy in vogue (Bangs & Cantos, 2004).
As Bangs and Cantos add, the incorporation of computers in the language programs could have been likened to a ubiquitous fever; prominent universities did not want to lose the race of catching up with the latest language teaching-related technology.
The ways computers have been used in the process of learning can be ordered chronologically.
Jabbari, Mohammadi, and Fazilatfar (2017) investigated 60 junior students studying English language in an Iranian context.
The participants of this study were assigned to two groups of online peer feedback and conventional teacher feedback.
In this study, the researcher employed asynchronous condition to facilitate the process of peer feedback exchange in the experimental group.
The results of a pre-test, a post-test, and a survey revealed that students’ writing in the experimental group significantly improved, both semantically and syntactically, and they expressed more positive attitudes toward writing.
The findings also indicated that as a result of engaging in the asynchronous online discussions and exchanging feedback with peers, students exhibited more control over their work, involved more effectively with the learning tasks, collaborated more with their classmates, and employed self-assessment strategies to revise or rewrite their work independently.(Development of IELTS Candidate Writing)
Although previous studies (Abuseileek & Abualsha’r, 2012; Song & Usaha, 2009; Storch, 2017) have touched upon the issue, no comprehensive study has investigated the way synchronous and asynchronous peer feedback practices can improve the writing quality of IELTS learners.
Another gap in the literature that this study attempts to fill deals with the effect of synchronous and asynchronous peer feedback on students’ language function use.
The findings of this investigation can also give us a deep understanding of the way synchronous and asynchronous peer feedback can help second language learners scaffold each other’s writing ability. While significance of students’ engagement with the provided comments is well-established in the literature, to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, no systematic study has delved into this issue.
Previous research presents different results as to whether English language skill assessed by proficiency tests is a predictor of academic prosperity (Cotton & Conrow, 1998).
Some studies have found little or no relationship between test score and Grade Point Average (GPA). In one study, Craven (2012) recognized no obvious predictor of which learners will (or will not) make better their proficiency during their degree.
But in another study, Cotton and Conrow (1998) expressed that no positive relationship were identified between IELTS scores and academic findings.
Some studies have presented that those permitted entry to university in spite of scoring below the cut-off gain low academic scores (Ushioda & Harsch, 2011) but others have found that such learners did not manage worse over one semester than those who are over the minimum prerequisite (Dooey, 1999; Fiocco, 1992, as cited in Dooey 1999).(Development of IELTS Candidate Writing)
Many research present that there is a correlation between test scores and academic results as assessed by GPA.
Ushioda and Harsch (2011) found a significant relationship between coursework scores of postgraduates in different exercises and their Overall IELTS grades used for entry (n=95) and also that IELTS Overall grades and IELTS Writing scores best portended academic coursework scores, explaining over 33% of the variance in academic coursework grades.
But many other research have displayed weak predictive validity.
A study of 376 students in the USA applying TOEFL scores presented weak predictive validity for GPAs and found that initiating test scores were not a useful predictor, although there was higher relationship for humanities, arts or social science majors than for those studying science, maths or business (Light et al, 1987).
Cho and Bridgeman in their large-scale study of 2594 students in the US found the correlation between TOEFL iBT and GPA was not significant but found that even a small relationship might present a meaningful correlation.
In another study, Kerstjen and Nery (2000) and Feast (2002) found a significant positive but weak correlation between the English language proficiency of international students and their academic performance.
On the other hand, Woodrow (2006) recognized weak but significant relationship between IELTS and GPA in postgraduate Education learners, especially in Writing and Listening but Elder (1993) concluded that the strongest predictor of language proficiency and academic findings happened where learners were scoring band 4.5.(Development of IELTS Candidate Writing)
برای مشاهده مطالب بیشتر به سایت فرزدان مراجعه نماید.