Peerfeedback is applied in classrooms in order to develop writing skills. InJapanese and Chinese schools teachers prefer working in groups, so that themembers will share the success and this will teach them to be fruitful as apart of the society (Carson & Nelson, 1994). Because of students’ focus on the harmony ofthe group, lack of trust in their peers, peer feedback cannot be very effective in particular situations, moreover thestudents need to be prepared to givefeedback first in order to avoid thedrawbacks that the cultural and contextual backgrounds can cause. Students from collectivist countries likeKosovo tend to focus on the conformity of the group rather than on improving writing skills. For example peoplein China and the United States both usethis method to improve student’s skillsbut 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 thecollectivist societies such as Japanese or Chinese will focus on the groupconformity and the fear of embarrassment(Carson & Nelson, 1994; Carson , 1996;Carson & Nelson, 1998).It is nearly impossible for Japaneseor Chinese students to give negativecomments to their peers because of their desire to maintain the harmony intheir group, rather than improving theirpeers’ writing skills (Carson & Nelson , 1994). Carson and Nelson (1996) did a research with Chinese andSpanish students. The Spanish students were more vulnerable to give negativecomments even if they would hurt theirpeers, 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 alsoavoided to maintain the harmony. The Chinese students would focus on moderatingtheir comments by using questions instead of statements and by not tellingdirectly where the problem is, leaving the writer to find it which usuallycaused problems. On the other hand theneed to improve was the Spanish students’ main focus.
TheKosovar students find it difficult to trust their peer’s feedback more thantheir teacher’s. The l2 learners have different opinions and beliefs towardgroup working and peer feedback (Nelson& Murphy, 1992). In collectivist countries the tutor is seen as the onlysource of information thus the students can only trust his or her suggestionsand are unlikely to take their peers’ comments seriously (Carson & Nelson, 1998).They would prefer the teacher to monitor the whole process because theyfeel inadequate to give feedback totheir peer’s work(Carson & Nelson,1998; Hu , 2010). They couldconsider the comments from their peers but still the tutor was the “finalauthority”(Tsui & Ng, 2010; Hu & Lam, 2010).Thedrawbacks of peer feedback can beimproved with training.
Connor and Asenavage (1994) suggest explanation of thetask for both the tutor and the student,train students to improve giving feedback before asking them to give actualfeedback , the student’s experience in group working is helpful in the processand the teacher’s participation is also considered very useful in completingthe task. They add that it might behelpful if students make copies of their peer’s assignment and review it beforecoming to class. Moreover the Chinese students were less worried about thegroup conformity and embarrassment after the teacher constantly motivated themby reminding them of the benefits they will get if they helped improvingeach-other ( Yu, Lee & Mak, 2015).
Thefear of losing face actually inspired them in improving in order to avoid being givennegative reviews again ( Yu et al , 2015). In conclusion , students from collectivistcountries are influenced by their culture in the process of peer feedback. Theytry to avoid group conflicts rather than helping each-other and are also scared of humiliation. Their culturalbackground also influences the considering of the feedback from their peers ,but with motivation and practice all ofthe problems can be solved.