Enhancing Second Language Writing Self-regulation Through Self-assessment and Peer-assessment: A Case of Iranian EFL Learners

Jalil Fathi, Sara Mohebiniya, Saeed Nourzadeh


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of self-assessment and peer-assessment activities on second language (L2) writing self-regulation of Iranian English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learners. For this purpose, a sample of forty-six English major students from two intact classes at an Iranian Islamic Azad University were recruited as the participants of the present study. Then, the two classes were randomly assigned to a self-assessment group (N=22) and a peer-assessment group (N=24). The self-assessment group was instructed on the writing assessment criteria in order to self-assess their writing tasks and the peer-assessment group was trained on how to assess the writings of their peers. The treatment carried out for the self-assessment and peer-assessment groups lasted for a period of one university semester. The data was collected through Second Language Writing Self-regulation (SLWS) administered as the pre-test and post-test of the study. The results obtained from the data analysis indicated that both self-assessment and peer-assessment were conducive in enhancing L2 writing self-regulation of the participants. Nevertheless, further analysis of the data indicated that the participants in the peer-assessment group were better than those in the self-assessment group with regard to writing self-regulation, suggesting that peer-assessment activities were more effective than the self-assessment activities in contributing to enhancing writing self-regulation of the EFL learners. The justification of the findings and their implications for L2 writing pedagogy are also discussed.


Alternative Assessment, Self-Assessment, Peer-Assessment, Writing Self-Regula-tion, EFL

Full Text:



Alderson, J. C., & Banerjee, J. (2001). Language testing and assessment (Part I). Language Teaching, 34(4), 213-236.

Allen, D. (2004). Oxford placement test 1. Oxford: OUP.

Andrade, H. L., & Heritage, M. (2017). Using formative assessment to enhance learning, achievement, and academic self-regulation. London: Routledge.

Arnaudet, M. L., & Barrett, M. E. (1990). Paragraph development: A guide for students of English. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Regents.

Bailey, K. M. (1998). Learning about language assessment: Dilemmas, decisions, and directions. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Birjandi, P., & Hadidi Tamjid, N. (2012). The role of self-, peer and teacher assessment in promoting Iranian EFL learners’ writing performance. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 37(5), 513-533.

Birjandi, P. & Siyyari, M. (2011). Self-assessment and peer-assessment: A comparative study of their effect on writing performance and rating accuracy. Iranian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 13(1). 23-45.

Black, P. J., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment.

Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5-31.

Black, P. J., McCormick, R., James, M., & Pedder, D. (2006). Learning how to learn and assessment for learning: A theoretical inquiry. Research Papers in Education, 21(2), 119-132.

Blanche, P., & Merino, B. J. (1989). Self‐assessment of foreign‐language skills: Implications for teachers and researchers. Language Learning, 39(3), 313-338.

Boekaerts, M., & Corno, L. (2005). Self‐regulation in the classroom: A perspective on assessment and intervention. Applied Psychology, 54(2), 199-231.

Brookhart, S. M., & Durkin, D. T. (2003). Classroom assessment, student motivation, and achieve¬ment in high school social studies classes. Applied Measurement in Education, 16(1), 27–54.

Brown, A. (2005). Self-assessment of writing in independent language learning programs: The value of annotated samples. Assessing Writing, 10, 174-191.

Brown, J. D., & Hudson, T. (1998). The alternatives in language assessment, TESOL Quarterly, 32(4), 653-675.

Butler, Y. G. (2018). The role of context in young learners' processes for responding to self-assessment items. Modern Language Journal, 102(1), 242-261.

Csizér, K., & Tankó, G. (2017). English majors’ self-regulatory control strategy use in academic writing and its relation to L2 motivation. Applied Linguistics, 38(3), 386-404.

Dörnyei, Z., & Ryan, S. (2015). The psychology of the language learner revisited. London: Routledge.

Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gipps, C. V. (1994). Beyond testing: Towards a theory of educational assessment. London: Routledge.

Hamayan, E. V. (1995). Approaches to alternative assessment. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 15, 212-226.

Han, J., & Hiver, P. (2018). Genre-based L2 writing instruction and writing-specific psychological factors: The dynamics of change. Journal of Second Language Writing, 40, 44-59.

Hashamdar, M., & Maleki, M. (2018). The effects of the instruction of self-regulation strategies and critical thinking strategies on the second language vocabulary achievement among Iranian EFL learners. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 7(7), 148-157.

Hiver, P., & Al‐Hoorie, A. H. (2016). A dynamic ensemble for second language research: Putting complexity theory into practice. Modern Language Journal, 100(4), 741-756.

Kellogg, R. T. (1996). A model of working memory in writing. In C. M. Levy & S. Ransdell (Eds.), The science of writing: Theories, methods, individual differences and applications (pp. 57–71). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Khodadady, E., & Khodabakhshzade, H. (2012). The effect of portfolio and self assessment on writing ability and autonomy. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 3(3), 518.

Kostons, D., Van Gog, T., & Paas, F. (2012). Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning. Learning and Instruction, 22(2), 121-132.

Lam, R. (2014). Promoting self-regulated learning through portfolio assessment: Testimony and recommendations. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(6), 699-714.

Lambert, D., & Lines, D. (2013). Understanding assessment: Purposes, perceptions, practice. London: Routledge.

Lantolf, J. P., & Aljaafreh, A. (1995). Second language learning in the zone of proximal development: A revolutionary experience. International Journal of Educational Research, 23(7), 619-632.

Lantolf, J. P., Thorne, S. L., & Poehner, M. E. (2015). Sociocultural theory and second language development. In B. VanPatten & J. Williams (Eds.), Theories in second language acquisition: An introduction (pp. 207-226). London: Routledge.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2016). Classroom-oriented research from a complex systems perspective. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 6(3), 377-393.

Lee, I. (2017). Classroom writing assessment and feedback in L2 school contexts. New York: Springer.

Little, D. (2009). Language learner autonomy and the European language portfolio: Two L2 English examples. Language Teaching, 42(2), 222-233.

Liu, H., & Brantmeier, C. (2019). “I know English”: Self-assessment of foreign language reading and writing abilities among young Chinese learners of English. System, 80, 60-72.

McDonough, S. K. (2001). Promoting self-regulation in foreign language learners. The Clearing House, 74(6), 323-326.

Moyer, A. (2014). Exceptional outcomes in L2 phonology: The critical factors of learner engagement and self-regulation. Applied Linguistics, 35(4), 418-440.

Oscarson, M. (1989). Self-assessment of language proficiency: Rationale and applications. Language Testing, 6(1), 1-13.

Piniel, K., & Csizér, K. (2015). Changes in motivation, anxiety and self-efficacy during the course of an academic writing seminar. In Z. Dörnyei, P. D. Maclntyre, & A. Henry (Eds.). Motivational dynamics in language learning (pp. 164-189). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Pintrich, P. R. (2004). A conceptual framework for assessing motivation and self-regulated learning in college students. Educational Psychology Review, 16, 385-407.

Rea-Dickins, P. (2008). Classroom-based language assessment. In E. Shohamy & N. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education, Volume 7 (2nd ed.) (pp. 257-271). New York: Springer.

Reeves, T. C., & Okey, J. R. (1996). Alternative assessment for constructivist learning environments. In B. G. Wilson (Ed.), Constructivist learning environments: Case studies in instructional design (pp. 191-202). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

Reinholz, D. (2016). The assessment cycle: a model for learning through peer assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(2), 301-315.

Roscoe, R. D., & Chi, M. T. (2007). Understanding tutor learning: Knowledge-building and knowledge-telling in peer tutors’ explanations and questions. Review of Educational Research, 77(4), 534-574.

Rose, H., Briggs, J. G., Boggs, J. A., Sergio, L., & Ivanova-Slavianskaia, N. (2018). A systematic review of language learner strategy research in the face of self regulation. System, 72, 151-163.

Sally, A. (2005). How Effective Is Self-Assessment in Writing? In P. Davidson, C. Coombe, & W. Jones (Eds.), Assessment in the Arab World (pp. 307-321). United Arab Emirates: TESOL Arabia.

Sambell, K., McDowell, L., & Montgomery, C. (2012). Assessment for learning in higher education. London: Routledge.

Schunk, D. H., & Zimmerman, B. J. (2012). Motivation and self-regulated learning: Theory, research, and applications. London: Routledge.

Sullivan, K., & Lindgren, E. (2002). Self‐assessment in autonomous computer‐aided second language writing. ELT Journal, 56(3), 258-266.

Teng, L. S., & Zhang, L. J. (2016). Fostering strategic learning: The development and validation of the Writing Strategies for Motivational Regulation Questionnaire (WSMRQ). The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 25(1), 123-134.

Von Glasersfeld, E. (1996). Footnotes to ‘the many faces of constructivism’. Educational Researcher, 25(6), 19.

Von Glasersfeld, E. (2013). Radical constructivism. London: Routledge.

Williams, M. (1996). Learner control and instructional technologies. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 957 - 983). New York: Scholastic.

Zimmerman, B. J. (2001). Theories of self-regulated learning and academic achievement: An overview and analysis. In B. J. Zimmerman, & D. H. Schunk (Eds.). Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: Theoretical perspectives (pp. 1–36). (2nd ed.). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Zimmerman, B. J., & Kitsantas, A. (2002). Acquiring writing revision and self-regulatory skill through observation and emulation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 660-668.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.8n.3p.110


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2021 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.