This study investigated the effects of writing with peer response using genre knowledge of 6th grade students. Meta-studies (Hillocks 1984; Graham & Perin, 2007) indicated that peer response is effective for writing. However, these studies did not focus on what makes peer response working. In addition, several studies discuss the quality of peer comments during writing conferences (too general comments, pre-occupation with spelling and interpunction, no concrete suggestions for revision of contents). A literature review was undertaken indicating that instruction in genre knowledge may be used to improve the quality of peer comments by providing a concrete focus. However, studies into peer response with instruction in genre knowledge with strong experimental designs have not been conducted yet. In addition it is not clear what type of genre knowledge supports students' writing, discussing and revising. In an experiment (141 students, randomly assigned to three conditions), the effects of two approaches of peer response with genre knowledge have been investigated. In one condition students were taught Specific Genre Knowledge (functions of linguistic indicators of time and place in narratives and instructions). In another condition students were taught General Aspects of Communicative Writing (general purpose of narratives and instructions, and goal- and audience-oriented writing). Both groups were compared with a base-line control group (no peer response and no genre knowledge) receiving writing lessons from the normal teacher. Results showed strong effects of the condition SGK, outperforming the two other conditions on text quality of four post-test writing tasks. No differences were found between the condition GACW and the baseline control group. Positive effects were found on several measurements: global writing quality, the functional use of indicators of time and place, students' attention to these indicators during writing conferences, and the functional use of indicators of time and place during text revision.
|Award date||18 Jan 2013|
|Place of Publication||Enschede, The Netherlands|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Jan 2013|