Opening Pandora’s box: how does peer assessment affect EFL students’ writing quality? [Presentation]

Meletiadou, Eleni (2022) Opening Pandora’s box: how does peer assessment affect EFL students’ writing quality? [Presentation]. In: EALTA Conference - CBLA Classroom-based Language Assessment Special Interest Group, 2 June 2022.


Recent research has underlined the benefits of peer assessment (PA) as it helps learners write high-quality essays and increases their confidence as writers. In terms of this intervention study, 200 Greek Cypriot EFL learners’ essays (pre- and post-tests) were evaluated taking into consideration four aspects of writing quality after using either PA and teacher assessment (TA) (experimental groups, n = 100 students) or only TA (control groups, n = 100 students) in their writing classes for one year. This is one of the few studies, to the knowledge of the present researcher, which have performed text analysis of so many aspects of writing quality using such a—relatively—large sample (400 essays) in such a challenging setting (secondary education). Learners’ essays were evaluated in terms of accuracy, fluency, grammatical complexity, and lexical complexity using Atlas.ti. Findings indicated that learners who received PA and TA improved their essays more in terms of lexical complexity, accuracy, and some features of grammatical complexity and fluency than those who received only TA. The current study highlights the desirability of collaborative group work, in the form of PA activities, in the creation of opportunities conducive to promoting writing quality. PA is a promising alternative assessment method for teachers and their low achieving students who face considerable challenges in terms of their writing skills and are struggling with accuracy. EFL teachers should consider experimenting with PA as they need to use more inclusive assessment strategies to support underperforming students promoting Education for Social Justice.

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