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Previous research has established the importance of giving and receiving feedback in students’ writing development. The present paper investigates a less widely studied approach to providing feedback—the small group writing conference, which is attended by a number of students (usually four) and led by the teacher to discuss student drafts. Adapting a framework outlined in a previous study (Ching, 2014), this paper analyzed the interactions or relationships at work in two group conferences in an EFL context. Findings revealed that the instructor was involved in four fifths of all interactions, suggesting a prominent role played by the instructor in the two conferences. On the other hand, only limited interactions among student participants were found, while the reader-writer interactions tended to be unidirectional and mediated by the instructor. Results also indicated that when learners took the initiative in peer response, the instructor was more likely to participate in a collaborative way and as an equal. Pedagogical implications are discussed.
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