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The Effectiveness of EFL students’ peer feedback practices in composition classes: a case study at a state university in Turkey

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2019
Demir, Sinem
Conducted in the preparatory school of a state university in central Turkey, this thesis study aimed to investigate the extent to which EFL students incorporate peer feedback into their essay revisions, to explore EFL students’ and EFL instructors’ views on the effectiveness of the peer feedback practices and also their suggestions for improving these practices. The study was carried out with 109 participants, including 100 EFL students and 9 EFL instructors in the second term in 2018-2019 academic year. The data were collected from EFL students through the analyses of students’ discussions in the peer feedback sessions, their drafts and peer feedback checklists, student surveys and stimulated recall sessions, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with EFL instructors. The findings of the study revealed that students selectively incorporated more than half of the peer feedback they received, and they mostly incorporated peer feedback on mechanics, grammatical accuracy and lexical accuracy. Regarding their views on the effectiveness of their peer feedback practices, it was observed that despite also reporting the problems and difficulties they had during their peer feedback practices, students mostly found peer feedback practices useful for their improvements as writers, their social skills and the improvements on their essays. Although they shared similar views with students on the contributions of their peer feedback practices to students’ improvements as writers and their improvements in social skills, the instructors were observed to be more doubtful about the effectiveness of the students’ peer feedback practices on students’ essay revisions based on their observations. In terms of student and instructor suggestions, it was seen that while the instructor suggestions were more about making the students’ peer feedback practices more effective and structured, the students’ suggestions were found to be mostly related to their desire to exchange more feedback.