Students’ Perception and Practice of Writing through Peer-led Learning (PLL) at Bahir Dar University
This study endeavored to probe into Bahir Dar University (IBOU) English majoring students' perceptions and practice of learning writing through ‘one-to-five' peer-led organisation (called PLTL at BDU). The number of English major students at BDU in the 2013/14 Academic Year was only 19, and all were included in the study. Data were gathered through questionnaire and interview and were analyzed comparing obtained mean against determined expected mean, rank order and narration of the interview responses. The results of the study indicated that participants favored the fixed ‘one-to-five’ peer-led grouping, and witnessed its significance in learning writing. They also esteemed that the tasks and materials they used for practicing writing during peer discussion were of great help to their classroom learning. However, they said that teacher’s support and commitment, peer leaders’ assistance and commitment as well as peer members’ zeal and participation was negligible. It was also found that participants favored teacher-guided learning, tutor-guided learning, collaborative learning through varying groups, individual-based learning, and collaborative learning in fixed groups in that order. The interviewees had also unveiled that teacher’s support and peer-learners' capacity and commitment as well as group members’ commitment was far below the expected. Group members also tended to depend on one or two students for all tasks given to groups. Hence, they thought that PLTL had not achieved the objective it was sought to get done. Finally, it was concluded that though students’ favored the fixed, ‘one-to-five' peer led organisation in learning writing, they practically prioritized teacher-guided learning probably because of the drawbacks they observed, as they reported it in the interview, in the practical implementation of the system. So, it was recommended that teachers, peer leaders and group members should devotedly engage in the system for its effectiveness. It was also recommended that BDU should devise a strategy and guideline that could strictly be followed by the different parties to get the maximum benefit from PLTL; that is, the ‘one-to-five' group discussion to enhance students’ writing ability.
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