feedback is applied in classrooms in order to develop writing skills. In
Japanese and Chinese schools teachers prefer working in groups, so that the
members will share the success and this will teach them to be fruitful as a
part of the society (Carson & Nelson, 1994). Because of students’ focus on the harmony of
the group, lack of trust in their peers
, peer feedback cannot be very effective in particular situations, moreover the
students need to be prepared to give
feedback first in order to avoid the
drawbacks that the cultural and contextual backgrounds can cause.
Students from collectivist countries like
Kosovo tend to focus on the conformity of the group rather than on improving writing skills. For example people
in China and the United States both use
this method to improve student’s skills
but their approach is different(Carson & Nelson, 1994; Carson & Nelson,
1996). In the US the groups are used to improve a particular person’s skills (Carson
& Nelson, 1996) , but the
collectivist societies such as Japanese or Chinese will focus on the group
conformity and the fear of embarrassment
(Carson & Nelson, 1994; Carson , 1996;Carson & Nelson, 1998).
It is nearly impossible for Japanese
or Chinese students to give negative
comments to their peers because of their desire to maintain the harmony in
their group, rather than improving their
peers’ writing skills (Carson & Nelson , 1994). Carson and Nelson (1996) did a research with Chinese and
Spanish students. The Spanish students were more vulnerable to give negative
comments even if they would hurt their
peers, whereas the Chinese would remain silent and not help improving because of the fear they might hurt with their comments.
They add that the arguments were also
avoided to maintain the harmony. The Chinese students would focus on moderating
their comments by using questions instead of statements and by not telling
directly where the problem is, leaving the writer to find it which usually
caused problems. On the other hand the
need to improve was the Spanish students’ main focus.
Kosovar students find it difficult to trust their peer’s feedback more than
their teacher’s. The l2 learners have different opinions and beliefs toward
group working and peer feedback (Nelson
& Murphy, 1992). In collectivist countries the tutor is seen as the only
source of information thus the students can only trust his or her suggestions
and are unlikely to take their peers’ comments seriously (Carson & Nelson, 1998).
They would prefer the teacher to monitor the whole process because they
feel inadequate to give feedback to
their peer’s work(Carson & Nelson,1998; Hu , 2010). They could
consider the comments from their peers but still the tutor was the “final
authority”(Tsui & Ng, 2010; Hu & Lam, 2010).
drawbacks of peer feedback can be
improved with training. Connor and Asenavage (1994) suggest explanation of the
task for both the tutor and the student,
train students to improve giving feedback before asking them to give actual
feedback , the student’s experience in group working is helpful in the process
and the teacher’s participation is also considered very useful in completing
the task. They add that it might be
helpful if students make copies of their peer’s assignment and review it before
coming to class. Moreover the Chinese students were less worried about the
group conformity and embarrassment after the teacher constantly motivated them
by reminding them of the benefits they will get if they helped improving
each-other ( Yu, Lee & Mak, 2015). The
fear of losing face actually inspired them in improving in order to avoid being given
negative reviews again ( Yu et al , 2015).
In conclusion , students from collectivist
countries are influenced by their culture in the process of peer feedback. They
try to avoid group conflicts rather than
helping each-other and are also scared of humiliation. Their cultural
background also influences the considering of the feedback from their peers ,
but with motivation and practice all of
the problems can be solved.