Applying the Benefits of Peer Assessment to the High School English Classroom

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David O’Flaherty, Kyoto Girls’ High School

The vast majority of studies and literature relating to peer assessment has focused on university level students. Proponents of peer assessment (PA) argue that the active involvement of students in the creation of assessment criteria, ongoing feedback, and the opportunity to grade and be graded by their peer group leads to greater understanding and ownership of the learning process. Critics of the process point to students’ reluctance and lack of ability to effectively engage in the process of assessment. Limited knowledge and a lack of confidence in their ability could result in the assessment element of PA being a step too far for high school students. Involving students in the creation of assessment criteria and the giving and receiving of feedback are, however, elements of PA that can be adopted for use in high school English classes in Japan.