Peer evaluation (PE) of student writings is increasingly conducted online these days, creating unique opportunities for intercultural communication. Adopting a socio-cognitive approach and drawing on data from an online exchange program between Chinese and American university students, the study examines how revision-oriented metapragmatic comments (MPCs) are used to adjust the salience of specific contextual factors in three dimensions: information (including socio-cultural, language, and writing knowledge), situational context, and interpersonal relations. The MPCs are found to have substantiated a host of pragmatic strategies, such as patterned moves, foregrounding or backgrounding information, evidentiality markers, dispreferred second turns, and highlighting group identity. Enhancing or degrading the salience of contextual factors, the MPCs facilitate the construction of a common ground between the Chinese and American students in terms of knowledge and personal affiliation. The use of revision-oriented MPCs in PE manifests the collaborative, mutually supportive nature of web-based intercultural communication.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language