Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Gayle Nelson

Second Advisor

Diane Belcher

Third Advisor

Eric Friginal

Fourth Advisor

YouJin Kim


Sociocultural researchers in SLA consider the interface between the social dynamics of pair interactions and language learning. Using Storch’s (2002) patterns of interaction coding scheme, studies have found that students who adopt a collaborative pattern are more successful in using language as a learning tool. SLA theorists, however, have suggested research projects that further analyze peer interaction and learning outcomes, including writing development, in ecologically valid settings (Swain, 2002; Ortega, 2012). Peer response is a pedagogical practice where focus on pair dynamics in relation to learning is particularly relevant. Despite its popularity and the theoretical argument for peer response, not all peer response is successful, and Ferris (2003) called for projects that consider both characteristics and outcomes of peer response. This study bridges the gap in these two related research areas, L2 writing and SLA, examining patterns of interaction during peer response, and considering associations between these and revision outcomes. Five pairs of non-native English speaking undergraduates were recording during peer response sessions three times, and also contributed first and second drafts of the papers they discussed. Peer response conversations were coded as exhibiting one of the four patterns (collaborative, expert/novice, dominant/dominant, and dominant/passive) identified by Storch (2002), which was enhanced by students’ perceptions of the peer response sessions that they provided in interviews. Second drafts were analyzed for improvement, and these gains were compared by pattern of interaction. Results show that two patterns (collaborative and expert/novice) are indeed associated with better revision outcomes. What is more, stimulated recall interviews with these students revealed that they become more successful at peer response when they attend to not only the task, but the interpersonal relationship. Overall, results provide classroom-based evidence on the relationship between peer-peer interaction and writing acquisition. These findings complement SLA interaction studies conducted in more experimental settings, as well as contribute to the peer response research in L2 writing by describing in detail students’ social interactions. This study also provides valuable pedagogical implications about training and pairing students for peer response. Finally, this study contributes to the emerging research trend of interfaces between SLA and L2 writing (Ortega, 2012).