Peer review in an EFL classroom: Impact on the improvement of student writing abilities

Noriko Kurihara


The benefits of peer review have been found in several studies (see, for example, Min, 2005; Tsui & Ng, 2000). However, little research has examined whether peer reviewing actually contributes to student writing performance (Kurihara, 2014; Lundstrom & Baker, 2009), especially at the high school level. The current study investigates the effects of peer reviewing on the development of writing abilities of high school EFL students in Japan. The participants engaged in peer reviewing over a 12-week period, and pre-and post-essay tests were conducted to determine whether it had a positive effect on their writing performance. Students’ attitudes to peer reviewing were also investigated through questionnaires and interviews conducted after the post-test. The findings indicate that students’ attitudes toward peer review influenced their revision process and thus had a major impact on the development of their writing. Regardless of their English achievement levels, students who trusted the validity of peer comments showed improvement in their writing performance and those with little trust showed no significant improvement.




peer review; writing; English as a Foreign Language; classroom research; Japan

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