Chien Chen Senior High School, Taiwan
National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan
“Peer revision,” a trend in current writing instruction, offers learners opportunities to work in pairs or in small groups and to give appropriate feedback on one another’s writing. It has long been claimed to be an effective writing technique and is now a widely adopted teaching method in first, second and foreign language writing instruction (Mangelsdorf, 1992; McGroarty & Zhu, 1997; Spear, 1988). In Taiwan a number of researchers have attempted to explore the usefulness as well as effects of peer revision at university level classes (Chou, 2000; Huang, 1995; Li, 2002; Su, 1995; Tu, 1997). However, little is known about how peer response works for Taiwanese senior high school students. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the effectiveness and effects of training for peer revision in a Taiwanese senior high school. Thirty-nine senior high school students participated in this study and received instruction in English writing in which peer revision was incorporated for six weeks. The effectiveness and effects of training for peer revision were assessed in terms of (a) students’ ability to critique peer writing; (b) operations and purposes of students’ revision; and (c) students’ attitudes toward peer revision and English writing in general. Various methods, including pre- and post-training questionnaires, and subjects’ revision and response sheets were used to examine the effects of the training for peer revision on students’ ability to critique peer writing, on their actual revision, and on their attitudes toward peer evaluation. It is hoped that this research may contribute to the study of peer revision in Taiwan and provide writing teachers with useful as well as effective ways to instruction in English writing in Taiwanese senior high schools.