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Past researchers in writing dedicated their time in examining the use of corrective

feedback in writing instruction. Many of these were found to be meaningless but some

are noted to reap meaningful and significant results. This made the researchers of this

paper interested in conducting a study that focuses on written corrective feedback in

improving writing skills of students on areas of grammar and mechanics.

Peer editing is also a subject of scrutiny among researchers. It is a vicarious

experience that provides information about the writing ability of one’s peers (Driscoll,

2004). Gebhardt (1980) tells us that good teachers do give instruction about the writing

process but seldom have the time to monitor or evaluate it; yet Maimon (1979) feels it is

vital to make time because, "Composition teachers can do their most effective teaching as

they coach their students through successive drafts and revisions". Peer-editing can

relieve teachers of some editing tasks and thus enable them to give more individual

attention and consideration to students involved in the writing process (Ritchey, 1984). In

Philippine schools, researchers have yet to study the effectiveness of this practice.

It is for the abovementioned reasons that this investigation will be conducted.


The ability to write well enables one “to participate fully in many aspects of

society” (Cushing Weigle, 2011). According to Vähäpässi’s (1982) general model of

writing discourse, we write “to learn, to convey emotions, to inform, to convince or

persuade, to entertain, delight or please and to keep in touch”. In terms of cognitive

processes, we write to reproduce, organise or reorganise, and invent or generate

something (Cushing Weigle, 2011). These tell us that writing is a life skill and is central

to literacy.

In the behaviourist approach of the 1950s and 1960s, errors were perceived much

more negatively than today (Bitchener and Ferris 2012). According to the reference cited,

the term error refers mainly to grammatical errors. Behaviourists believed that teachers

should correct errors strictly and systematically. Later on, the perception of giving

corrective feedback was influenced by the first general second language acquisition

theory that was proposed by Krashen (1985), who did not believe that focusing on errors

should play a very important role; nor, consequently, should corrective feedback

(Bitchener and Ferris 2012).

Feedback is part and parcel of every educational process. In learning a language,

it is vital that students be taught and corrected for their improvement. Written corrective

feedback, according to Bitchener and Ferris (2012), can be defined as grammar/ error

correction. It can be direct (the wrong word is crossed out and the right word is given),

indirect (an explanation, an example, a hint is given, but not the correction itself), or

focused (only one or a smaller number of errors are corrected), or unfocused (all errors

are corrected).

A key component of the writing process is peer editing. In this process, students

read each others’ papers and provide feedback. Peer response shows that readership does

not only belong exclusively to the teacher. Peer editing engaged students in a series of

cognitive processes such as reflection, analysis and reviewing (Diaz Galvis, 2010).

In view of these assumptions, the present study will determine the effect of using

written corrective feedback and peer editing in improving the writing skills of senior high

school students.


This paper generally seeks to examine the use of written corrective feedback and

peer editing in improving the writing skills of Senior High School students at Polangui

General Comprehensive High School. Specifically, it attempts to answer the following


1. What is the topmost grammatical error of the participants based from the pre-test


2. What writing tasks may be given during the revision stage in order to improve the

students’ skills?

3. What is the effect of written corrective feedback and peer editing in the writing skills

of the participants in the area of grammar based from the immediate post-test result?

4. What suggestions can be made to improve the use of written corrective feedback and

peer editing in writing instruction?


The following review of related literature and studies is of great value to the

current study.

Corrective feedback gives either an explicit or an implicit indication to the learner

that he or she uses the target language incorrectly (Lightbown & Spada 2006).

Ellis (2009) identifies six different types of CF. However, we will just present the

three that are relevant to this study:

Direct CF: the teacher marks the error and provides the student with the correct form.

Indirect CF: the teacher indicates that the student has made an error without providing

the correct form.

Focused/unfocused CF: in case of focused CF the teacher choses to correct one or a

few types of errors in a student text. In the case of unfocused CF the teacher correct all

student errors independent of how many and what types they are.

Many studies have since been conducted, researching and comparing different

types of CF with each other and to a control group. They claim different types and

aspects of CF to be most effective for L2 writers. Bitchener, Young and Cameron (2005)

conducted a study aiming to find out to what extent the type of CF given on ESL

students’ texts determined their accuracy when producing new writing. What they found

was that explicit, written feedback in combination with oral one-to-one feedback

significantly improved the participants writing in terms of both past simple tense and the

definite article. It also improved the writing accuracy over time. The researchers finally

suggest that “classroom L2 writing teachers provide their learners with both oral

feedback as well as written feedback on the more ‘‘treatable’’ types of linguistic error on

a regular basis” (Bitchener, Young & Cameron 2005).

In contrast to Bitchener, Young and Cameron (2005), Sheen (2010) compared the

separate effectiveness of using oral feedback or written corrective feedback on learners’

accurate use of English articles. The result revealed that the written direct correction

showed greater effects than oral recast in helping learners improve their grammatical

accuracy of English articles. There were no evidence showing that the oral recast group

and control group made any progress concerning grammatical accuracy of English

articles. The researcher concluded that there are differences between oral corrective

feedback and written corrective feedback: oral recasts are more implicit whereas written

corrective feedback is explicit and the corrective function is clear to the learner.

Therefore, learners might not notice errors they committed with oral corrective feedback

and that could be the reason why it was not effective. Sheen states that the effectiveness

of the CF depended on the clarity (Sheen 2010).

In a study comparing focused (providing error correction alone on specific

functional uses of limited number of rule-based features) with unfocused (providing error

correction on all of the existing errors from different grammatical features in learners’

one piece of writing) direct WCF, Farrokhi (2012) found that both WCF groups

outperformed the control group. Even though the participants were already high-

proficient L2 learners, the effectiveness of WCF was evident immediately after it had

been provided. More than this, the study stated that focused direct WCF was more

effective than unfocused.

For the focus of this research, the researchers utilize written direct and indirect CF

which is focused on selected areas of grammar and punctuation.

Peers have been used as tutors in several studies. One cited by Bruffee is Bloom's

study, "Peer and Cross- age Tutoring in the Schools," in which Bloom states that 90% of

the tutees in reported studies made significant gains (cited in Bruffee, 1980). Many

colleges have followed suit and instituted tutorial writing programs in hopes of improving

the writing skills of incoming freshmen.

Whatever peer involvement procedures are used, educators are reporting

enthusiastic, if somewhat unscientific, results and point to the many advantages of peer

involvement in the composition process. Kirby and Liner (1981) summarize several of

the main advantages. First, peer evaluation helps students realize that there is a basis for

the grades they have been receiving from teachers. Second, by reading other students'

papers, writers become sensitized to problems in their own writing. As they offer editing

and proofreading advice to peers, they are also teaching themselves. The authors also

found that students write more carefully for their peers.

In connection, this study also investigates the effectiveness of using oral peer

editing alongside written corrective feedback.


This research endeavour has its groundings on the following theory:

Cognitive Process Theory of Writing by Linda Flower and John Hayes (1981)

The cognitive process theory of writing rests on four key points.

1. The process of writing is best understood as a set of distinctive thinking process which

writers orchestrate or organize during the act of composing.

2. These processes have a hierarchal, highly embedded organization in which any given

process can be embedded with any other.

3. The act of composing itself is a goal-directed thinking process, guided by the writer’s

own growing network of goals.

4. Writers create their own goals in two key ways: by generating both high level goals

and supporting sub-goals which embody the writer’s developing sense of purpose, and

then, at times, by changing major goals or even establishing entirely new ones based on

what has been learned in the act of writing.

Figure 1. Cognitive Model of the Writing Process

The concept of this research is specifically anchored on the first key point stating

that a writer undergoes series of metacognitive processes in writing such as thinking

about the writing process itself, planning for writing, monitoring the task, evaluating the

text produced and all these can happen simultaneously. The process of reviewing or

revising a written work is the focus of this study involving the teacher, students, and


Research Methodology

This study uses quantitative and qualitative approaches combined. To assess

students’ progress in the pre-test until the post test, the TOEFL tests about grammar is

utilized for five sessions of one week interval. The first session is the pre-test, followed

by three sessions and the last is the post test. The experimental group receives the

treatment which is a combination of direct and indirect written CF. Peer editing happens

after revision in every session. On the other hand, no amount of feedback or editing is

provided to the control group. Their papers are corrected but not returned. Since the

participants are homogenously grouped, analysis of variance (ANOVA) may be used to

analyze data.

For the qualitative data, a survey questionnaire is provided to the selected

participants through fishbowl technique. This contains questions that require them to

describe and share their thoughts, feelings and experiences related to corrective feedback.

This serves as the basis for making a booklet that provides information on the use of

corrective feedback in writing instruction.


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