Vol 2 No 2 (2016)

Published: 2016-11-19

Editorial Section

Editor's Introduction

Dana R Ferris

This article introduces the second issue of the second volume of Journal of Response to Writing. 

Featured Articles

The impact of peer review on writing development in French as a foreign language

Magda Tigchelaar

This study investigates learners’ participation in self and peer review in the context of a foreign language classroom to determine which feedback type contributes to greater gains in writing development and which aspects are targeted by peer and self reviewers. Three intact intermediate-level French classes (N=44) were assigned to one of three conditions: peer review, self review and a no review comparison group. Results indicate that none of the groups improved their score significantly than another over time. Analysis of the drafts and final texts revealed that the peer review group began to improve their texts sooner than the self review group. Both groups provided feedback resulting in substantial revisions that had a positive effect; the peer group, however, gave more feedback that was ignored or not useful, while self reviewers gave more comments that resulted in positive changes. Both groups primarily targeted content and development in their feedback. The peer group provided more organization-focused comments and compliments, while the self group focused more on structure and cohesion. 

EFL College Students’ Experiences and Attitudes Towards Teacher-Student Writing Conferences

Chun-Chun Yeh

A substantial body of research has demonstrated the important role of providing feedback in students’ writing development. Among the various feedback methods, the teacher-student writing conference has often been rated by learners as the most beneficial to writing development, but research on EFL students’ perceptions of writing conferences is scant. Aiming to investigate students’ experiences and attitudes towards writing conferences, this study collected data through questionnaires and individual interviews with 34 EFL students from two college English writing classes. Findings suggested that the students held high expectations and gave high ratings on the helpfulness and success of the conferences that they experienced. Affectively, they generally reacted positively towards writing conferences although meeting individually with the teacher appeared to induce anxiety in some students. While the students’ preferences seemed to differ for the investigated conferencing options including paired/group conferencing and setting of the agenda, this study identified instructor’s tutoring approach as a potential influencing factor in students’ conferencing experiences and attitudes. Several implications are suggested, including rotating between several possibilities to cater for students’ different learning styles and learning needs.

Teaching Articles

Providing Sustained Support for Teachers and Students in the L2 Writing Classroom Using Writing Fellow Tutors

Katherine Daily O'Meara

This study presents a piloted Second Language (L2) Writing Tutor internship program as a way to provide supplemental, sustained support to L2 writers and classroom teachers within the span of one semester. The presence and needs of second language (L2) writing students in the writing classroom have been clearly articulated in relevant research, but what is less known is how to devise successful methods of support that are both helpful and cost-effective. The author provides evidence that students in L2WT-mediated classes earned higher grades and that the L2WT internship program was perceived as valuable for all parties involved: L2 writers, L2 writing teachers, and the tutors themselves. Implications for future offerings of the internship, as well as suggestions for how to implement this program in additional contexts, are provided.

Compassionate Writing Response: Using Dialogic Feedback to Encourage Student Voice in the First-Year Composition Classroom

Tialitha Macklin

In addition to other unfortunate circumstances, teacher response that comes in the form of negative, generic, and unintelligible commentary causes students to become alienated from writing. This problematic response often results from the lack of supportive student-centered response pedagogies within the first-year composition classroom. In an attempt to prevent additional writerly estrangement and, hopefully, to undo students’ isolation from the writing process, this article explores Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolent communication theory as a potential framework for a dialogic, compassionate writing response pedagogy.

Book Reviews