An investigation of the effects of collaborative, computer-mediated communication and non-collaborative, computer-assisted writing skills practice on L2 writing
AuthorRogers, Evelyn Marie, 1962-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this dissertation is to compare the quantity and quality of writing produced by L2 students after participating in either (1) collaborative, computer-mediated communication (CMC), or (2) non-collaborative, computer-assisted writing skills practice. The subjects for this study were 42 students enrolled in French classes at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The CMC treatment consisted of 45 minutes of collaborative, simultaneous written "discussion" among student clusters of 3 or 4 students. The writing skills group focused on vocabulary building, grammatical review, and format review, using the French writing software program, Système-D. A computerized text analysis program, as well as experienced foreign language instructors then analyzed students' compositions. This study also addressed learner attributes (including gender, grade point average [GPA], and personality variables) and L2 proficiency and their interaction with the two computer-based contexts. Finally, it assessed learners' attitudes toward each of the two pre-writing activities. Results revealed that the effects of participating in either collaborative CMC or non-collaborative writing skills practice on L2 writing, in terms of the 6 variables considered (total number of words, grammatical accuracy, lexical density, lexical diversity, syntactic complexity, and overall writing quality) were minimal. While gender did not have a significant impact on quantity and quality of writing in the two contexts considered, GPA and language proficiency were significantly correlated with grammatical accuracy and overall writing quality. Selected personality variables had minimal effects on L2 writing. While subjects were markedly interested in both CMC and Système-D , quantitative as well as qualitative analysis of the attitude questionnaire showed a clear preference for Système-D over CMC. This study showed that students benefited from both types of pre-writing activities. The CMC group had the benefits of interaction and increased target language production, while the computer-assisted writing skills group benefited from access to a computerized data base of grammar, vocabulary and phrases for their compositions. Overall, students had positive attitudes toward both computer-based activities. If positive attitudes lead to increased motivation and enhanced second language development, it follows that these computer-based activities should be integrated into the traditional second language acquisition syllabus.
Degree ProgramGraduate College