In the classrooms, most students prefer the teachers’ correcting students’ writing papers to peers’ (Nelson and Carson, 1998). Specifically, Tsui and Ng (2000) and Yang et al. (2006) found that lecturer comments were more favored by most of the students than peer comments and led to more revisions which yield good results on the teacher’s comments. Hence, the teacher is considered to be in a position of power when correcting students’ errors for the following reasons.
First of all, the teacher is the person who is more professional in the field of study than the peers (Yang et al., 2006). He/she has learned and dealt with a lot of different reading materials during the time of studies. His/her knowledge could cover most of the types of writing including good writing styles, broad knowledge of vocabulary, collocation, and writing structures… Therefore, the students could get great helps from the teacher in order to improve their writing.
Second, the students have more confidence in lecturer’s correction because the lecturer is seen as more experienced in the field of writing (Tsui and Ng, 2000). In terms of experience, the teacher has dealt with many different kinds of writing genres, and he/she has his/her own experience in writing, so he/she will have the power to correct students’ errors. He/she knows how to clarify what is wrong to the students. Therefore, the students have more confidence in the teacher’s corrections.
Third, the teacher’s corrections were considered to be of better quality (Tsui and Ng, 2000). The students found the teacher’s corrections were more specific because the teacher could provide clear explanations about what the problems were. The teacher was able to make concrete suggestions for revision while the peers’ corrections seem “incorrect” to the student writers. Therefore, the teacher is seen trustworthy when providing feedback to the students’ errors.
In conclusion, in the classrooms the teacher is seen in a position of power when correcting students’ errors because the teacher is considered as professional, more experienced, and providing qualified feedback to correct students’ errors. To be in this position, the teacher should be aware of this and always needs to upgrade his/her knowledge of the study fields.
Nelson, G. L., & Carson, J. G. (1998). ESL students’ perceptions of effectiveness in peer comments groups. Journal of second language writing, 7(2), 113-131.
Tsui, B.M. Amy & Ng, Maria (2000). Do secondary L2 writers benefit from peer comments? Journal of Second Language Writing (9), (2), pp. 147–170.
Yang, M., Badger, R., & Yu, Z. (2006). A comparative study of peer and teacher feedback in a Chinese EFL writing class. Journal of Second Language Writing, 15(3), 179-200.