The Influence of Writing Beliefs on Two Chinese EFL University Students’ Use of Peer Feedback: An Ecological Perspective

Ma Jingjing


Despite the increasing popularity of peer feedback in EFL writing classrooms, little research has been conducted to explore how individual factors such as learner beliefs may influence L2 students’ use of peer feedback. From an ecological perspective (van Lier, 2000, 2004), this exploratory case study investigated the extent of peer feedback use by two purposefully-chosen Chinese EFL university students and how their use of feedback was mediated by learner beliefs, a salient factor that emerged from the study. Detailed qualitative data were collected from multiple sources: written documents, stimulated recall, semi-structured interviews, and classroom observations. The findings indicated that the two students integrated peer comments selectively into their revision across two tasks. The selective use of peer feedback was found to be mediated by writing beliefs related to qualities of good English expository writing, to the importance of word limit and to student reviewer roles. Seen from an ecological perspective (van Lier, 2000, 2004), these writing beliefs were employed by the students to create affordances to mediate the use of feedback while some of these beliefs were shaped by local classroom affordances (Peng, 2011). Pedagogical implications of the findings are also discussed. 



Chinese EFL university students, use of peer feedback, writing beliefs, ecological perspective, affordances

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