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U SING T ECHNOLOGY TO T EACH W RITING Lecture 10 Teaching Writing in EFL/ESL Joy Robbins.

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Presentation on theme: "U SING T ECHNOLOGY TO T EACH W RITING Lecture 10 Teaching Writing in EFL/ESL Joy Robbins."— Presentation transcript:

1 U SING T ECHNOLOGY TO T EACH W RITING Lecture 10 Teaching Writing in EFL/ESL Joy Robbins

2 T ODAY ’ S S ESSION Word Processing in the classroom Online writing conferencing & collaboration Using corpora to teach/develop students’ writing 2

3 D ISCUSSION Do you use a computer regularly for your own writing? Why (not)? If you do, do you do everything (i.e. planning, composing, revising, editing, etc.) on the computer? Or do you do some of this with pen and paper? Why? In what ways has your writing benefited from computer- based writing tools? What frustrations or disadvantages have you experienced? What do you think are the greatest advantages computers offer to second language writers? What are the potential drawbacks? What sort of computer-based writing activities would you get your students to do? Why? (Partly based on questions by Ferris & Hedgcock 1998: 264) 3

4 A QUICK LOOK AT RESEARCH ON THE USE OF W ORD P ROCESSING (WP) IN THE CLASSROOM 4

5 W ORD PROCESSING : ADVANTAGES (1) Students are said to have a positive attitude to WP (Aykel & Kamisli 1999; Rusmin 1999) Research shows students produce longer texts when word processing than when writing with pen & paper (Brock & Pennington 1999; Chadwick & Bruce 1989; Pennington & Brock 1992) 5

6 W ORD PROCESSING : ADVANTAGES (2) WP allows for easier revision of texts: ‘Surface-level editing for spelling and mechanics is encouraged in a word processing environment…. At the same time, the ease with which individual words can be searched and whole sections of the text deleted, added, or moved suggests that word processing may have value as a macro-level revision tool. Rather than being a separate activity following the generation of a draft, revision in a computer context is closely linked to text generation.’ (Pennington 2003: 290) 6

7 WP: PLANNING, & REVISING L2 writers revise more when WP rather than using pen & paper (Chadwick & Bruce 1989; Li & Cumming 2001; Phinney & Kouri 1993) L2 writers revise more continuously when WP (Phinney & Kouri 1993) ‘In pen-and-paper composing, writers often spend a lot of time in intensive planning before writing to avoid making mistakes or changing their minds about what they want to say and then having to undertake the tedious chore of rewriting or recopying text already written down. Under such conditions, pen-and-paper writers may habitually write a paper without any revision or with only a minimum amount of revision to avoid producing more than one draft.’ (Pennington 2003: 290) 7

8 B ENEFITS OF WP: SUMMARY ‘When the learners’ knowledge and attitudes [towards WP] are favourable…they will gradually experience effects on their writing behaviour of three types…: Manner Effects. A sense of the ease of writing and revising in a fluid writing process involving continuous and recursive write-revise cycles Quantity Effects. Writing for extended periods of time, producing long texts with much content and many revisions Quality Effects. Writing to a high standard in terms of topic development, formal characteristics, and writing goal (Pennington 2003: 292) 8

9 P OTENTIAL D RAWBACKS OF WP: S UMMARY Students may become frustrated with computer- based writing instruction if they have negative attitudes towards computers, and/or if they experience technical problems (Pennington 2003) Although some studies have reported that students collaborate more when using computers to write, other studies report less collaboration, inferior revisions and redrafting, and no significant gains in writing quality in computer- based writing classrooms in comparison to pen- and-paper classrooms (Bernhardt et al 1989, 1990; Harris 1985; Hawisher 1987) 9

10 WP S UMMARY Computer-based writing research dates so quickly. We need current research on the benefits of L2 word processing BUT Overall: students like it, it seems to have advantages for writing as mentioned earlier, it is necessary these days, and it can also help make giving feedback easier* How can you integrate WP in your teaching context? 10

11 U SING T ECHNOLOGY FOR C ONFERENCING & C OLLABORATION 11

12 S TUDENT - STUDENT C ONFERENCING V IA C OMPUTER Sullivan & Pratt (1996) found student writing improved in a ‘networked’ vs. traditional classroom. Students also gave each other more focused feedback and more of it ____________________________ Skinner & Austin (1999) included a weekly 3 hour computer conferencing discussion period in their pre-sessional courses for non-native students, mainly from East Asia. They investigated the students’ feelings about conferencing by questionnaire. Students reported that computer conferencing was motivating for three reasons… 12

13 Students were interacting with a real audience Students found computer conferencing made them feel more confident and comfortable with participating Students felt less apprehensive about writing Let’s have a look at some of the students’ comments… 13 S- S C ONFERENCING V IA C OMPUTER (2)

14 C ONFERENCING & ENHANCED INTERACTION ‘other students comments always give me some new ideas’ ‘What I learnt from taking part in the conferencing course was…so many minds. I enjoyed very much to read other students’ comments and give mine.’ ‘I love to speak to other students to use conferences and we knew better each other than in the classroom. I feel they want to hear me because they know me.’ ‘No matter if I make error because I have feeling that everyone is the same.’ 14

15 G ETTING EVERYONE INVOLVED Computer-based conference classes are also said to lead to higher rates of participation… More students contribute in comparison to a traditional speaking activity, where only some of the students seem prepared to speak… 15

16 C ONFERENCING & INCREASED PARTICIPATION ‘I think it is easier for me to write down opinions than speak it out. When writing I can express my opinions logically. I think this system benefits me a lot.’ Skinner & Austin (1999) comment: ‘The notion of enhancing personal confidence was particularly noticeable with students who were generally ‘weak’ in traditional oral discussions. Throughout the six-week course the Japanese students were hesitant to express individual opinion in classroom situations, but added numerous controversial comments to various conferences’. (p.274) 16

17 I NCREASED PARTICIPATION (2) Skinner & Austin partly attribute the students’ increased participation to the fact that computer-based writing occurs at a slower pace than oral discussions, ‘so students had time to consider each response as it arrived’ (p.274) Another reason commonly given for increased participation in computer-based chat classes is that students are less self-conscious about making mistakes because of ‘the anonymous quality of network communication’ which ‘can be face-saving’ (Hoffman 1996: 55). Warschauer (2001) claims that it is often those students who participate the least in traditional speaking activities who participate the most in network-based activities. 17

18 S IMPLE W AYS TO DO O NLINE C ONFERENCING Word + Skype, Tinychat, Google+ Hangouts …SkypeTinychatGoogle+ Hangouts 18

19 M ORE I NTEGRATED W AYS TO DO C ONFERENCING O NLINE … INTO C OLLABORATION Google Drive Google Drive (previously Google Docs) a way to store documents on ‘the cloud’. Students can invite other students to their document or you can set up documents for groups of your choosing. People can comment on or edit the document while chatting in the side bar. 19

20 M ORE I NTEGRATED W AYS TO DO C ONFERENCING O NLINE … INTO C OLLABORATION ( NON G OOGLE ) Sync.in A web-based, no sign-up document collaboration site. Students can work on a text together, chat in the sidebar, and export the final version to HTML or.txt Twiddla A web-based, no sign-up ‘meeting room’. Focus can be a whiteboard, a document, a webpage. Sign-in needed to save work, 30-day free trial VyewVyew – like above but free forever Really so many possibilities!! Check out this mind map of current online collaboration toolsmind map 20

21 C OMPUTER - ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING AND PROCESS WRITING : AN EXAMPLE FROM K OREA If online collaboration is not possible, you can still use computers to improve student writing through simpler means: Suh (2002) –19 intermediate Korean undergraduates learning English 21

22 F IRST SESSION In the 1 st lesson, the class chose to write about the topic ‘travelling abroad’ The learners were then asked to think about where they wanted to visit and what they wanted to do there Learners surfed the Web for information about the country they had in mind, finding out about hotels, food, museums, historical sites, etc by using search engines like Yahoo When they found relevant information, learners took notes or printed pages out. They then discussed their chosen destinations with other learners, in an attempt to persuade them to come along with them Once students had found someone who agreed to go on holiday to the same destination they formed a pair 22

23 S ECOND SESSION The class now began to think about what they would include in their essays on travelling abroad, and how to organize their writing The students worked in pairs and wrote a 1 st draft of their essay together Then different pairs exchanged their 1 st drafts via . The pairs read each other’s drafts and were asked to provide feedback and comments on the writing. They were asked by the teacher to focus in their comments on meaning (‘clarity of message, effective transitions between sentences and paragraphs, and appropriate vocabulary’ (Suh 2002:672) ) rather than on grammar 23

24 T HIRD SESSION Some students had ed their colleagues their feedback Each pair read the feedback on their 1 st drafts from their colleagues Pairs of students worked with other pairs to help them revise their 1 st drafts in the light of these comments Based on these discussions, each pair now produced a 2 nd draft Because their colleagues’ feedback had focused on ideas and meaning rather than on grammar, students were encouraged to improve the grammar in their 2 nd drafts by looking at grammar books and grammar websites 24

25 O UT OF CLASS Students worked in pairs outside the class (presumably either face-to-face or via ) and produced a 3 rd and final draft, which they then sent to the teacher Imagine a teacher who has very little class time with students—say 4 hours a week to cover everything (i.e. grammar, vocabulary, skills). How could they teach writing in a similar way to Suh? 25

26 A NALYZING THE STUDENTS ’ REACTIONS Suh (2002) asked the learners to write their reactions to this approach to the teaching of writing in a journal (in Korean)… Suh’s data showed that the students were very positive about process writing and about CALL Let’s have a look at a few of the things they said, beginning with their comments about using the Internet… 26

27 U SING THE I NTERNET : PROS Many of the students believed the Internet was a tool they could use to improve their writing: ‘To me, one great advantage of using the Internet is that it helps my composition a great deal. When writing my drafts in the class, I experience considerable difficulty finding appropriate structures and vocabulary expressing specific ideas. When this happens, it strikes me sometimes that a few English sites I visited before include texts using similar structures and vocabulary which I want to use. Then I immediately go back to those sites, and check them out to see if I can use the structures and words in them to express meaning in my draft. In this was, I can solve some problems’ (p.674) 27

28 U SING THE I NTERNET : CONS But some students also reported that they had difficulty finding what they wanted on the Internet: ‘The Internet is easy to use, and is very convenient for getting information. But often I experience difficulty in searching for exactly what I want, feel frustrated, and even stop searching because there are so many similar sites out there, and because a considerable amount of time is needed to check out each of the sites’ (p.674) What could the teacher have done to try to make this student less frustrated? 28

29 C ORPORA 29

30 W HAT ’ S A CORPUS ? W HAT ARE CORPORA ? ‘…a corpus is a body of written text or transcribed speech which can serve as a basis for linguistic analysis and description.’ (Kennedy 1998: 1) Corpora is the plural of corpus: 1 corpus, 2 or more corpora Corpora can consist of writing or (transcribed) speech 30

31 W HAT COULD GO INTO A CORPUS ? Spoken Corpora conversations in the pub; telephone conversations; political interviews on the TV/radio; pop song lyrics; student interviews; soap operas, etc. etc. Written Corpora student essays; academic articles; formal/informal letters; s; online chatroom/bulletin board postings, etc. etc. 31

32 W HAT CAN WE FIND OUT FROM A CORPUS ? (1) how frequent certain words and phrases are the differences between near-synonyms (e.g. island vs. isle ; weak vs. feeble ; to adore vs. to worship : see Gesuato (2007) for good examples of how corpora enable you to do this) the key words in a corpus. These are not usually the most frequent words, but are the ‘unusually frequent’ ones (Scott 1999). So, for instance, O’Keefe et al (2007: 12-13) show that words like ‘tax’, ‘income’, ‘average’, and ‘equity’ are unusually frequent, key words in an economics lecture : ‘[Key words] can be used by teachers and materials writers to create word lists, for example in Languages for Specific Purposes programmes (e.g. English for pilots…), where the key specialised vocabulary can be automatically identified…’ (O’Keefe et al 2007: 13) 32

33 W HAT CAN WE FIND OUT FROM A CORPUS ? (2) the most frequent collocates of the word/phrase (e.g. heavy, pouring, torrential rain) 33

34 C OLLOCATION : ANOTHER EXAMPLE ‘The term collocation refers to the tendency of words to occur in the close environment of particular other words. For example, Michael Halliday…discusses the fact that the noun tea often co-occurs with the adjective strong but not with its near-synonym powerful ; on the other hand, we might describe a car as powerful, but we would be unlikely to call it strong.’ (Anderson & Corbett 2009: 53) 34

35 W HAT CAN WE FIND OUT FROM A CORPUS ? (3) the colligates of the word/phrase (i.e. the lexico- grammar customarily surrounding it, e.g. want + to ; want + object + to + verb ; want + noun/noun phrase ) …occupation of owning a business. In college, I want to study biology first. …the children's thoughts and knowledge, and I want children to remember me… …is to become a good teacher. Most people want to be a lawyer or a doctor, but I… …valuable thing in life is happiness. Some people want money, honor, or health. But I… I am a 35 year old female student who wants to be an English teacher. As Dellar (2003) says, ‘corpora have helped us become aware…that grammar is much broader than sentence- based/tense-based grammar… Words have their own micro-grammar…’. 35

36 C OLLIGATION : A DEFINITION ‘Colligation is usually defined as the tendency of a word to co-occur, not with another word or phrase [as in collocation], but with a grammatical category or construction.’ (Anderson & Corbett 2009: 58) 36

37 W HAT CAN WE FIND OUT FROM A CORPUS ? (4) If corpora of non-native speech and writing is used, we can compare and contrast how different users with the same mother tongue (e.g. Chinese students) use English compared to other non-natives (e.g. German students) and/or native speakers This could then show Chinese or German learners’ most frequent errors Or it could be used to show what the key features of ‘Chinese’ or ‘German’ English are … 37

38 U SING CORPORA TO TEACH WRITING : PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES Let’s try! I will sent you a document I used with MA students to teach them about corpora. What do you think? One of the easiest corpora to use https://ca.sketchengine.co.uk/open/ And a useful document teaching you to use ituseful document 38

39 C ORPORA & NOTICING : TWO STUDIES Watson Todd (2001) and Gaskell & Cobb (2004) are examples of studies which use corpora to get students to notice, and then correct, their errors 39

40 Here’s how Gaskell & Cobb (2004) used corpora and concordances to get student writers to correct their own errors… 40

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43 W ATSON T ODD (2001) Watson Todd identified vocabulary that his learners had difficulty with in their writing He got learners to search for this vocabulary on the Internet, and to make concordances (10 examples) containing the vocabulary The learners also compared their writing, and their use of the vocabulary, with a native speaker reference corpus Learners were able to notice and self-correct their errors in 70% of cases 43

44 R EFERENCES Anderson, W. & Corbett, J. (2009) Exploring English with Online Corpora: An Introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Aykel A & Kimisli S (1999) Word processing in the EFL classroom: effects on writing strategies, attitudes, and products. In MC Pennington (ed.), Writing in an Electronic Medium: Research with Language Learners. Houston: Athelstan, pp Bernhardt SA et al (1989) Teaching college composition with computers: a program evaluation study. Written Communication 6: Bernhardt SA et al (1990) Teaching college composition with computers: a timed observation study. Written Communication 7: Brock MN & Pennington MC (1999) A comparative study of text analysis and peer tutoring as peer input to writing on computer in an ESL context. In MC Pennington (ed.), Writing in an Electronic Medium: Research with Language Learners. Houston: Athelstan, pp Chadwick S & Bruce N (1989) The revision process in academic writing: from pen to paper to word processor. Hong Kong Papers in Linguistics and Language Teaching 12: Dellar H (2003) What have corpora ever done for us? DevelopingTeachers.com, March Ferris D & Hedgcock JS (1998) Teaching ESL Composition: Purpose, Process, and Practice. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum. Gaskell D & Cobb T (2004) Can learners use concordance feedback for writing errors? System 32(3): Gesuato S (2007) How (dis)similar? Telling the difference between near-synonyms in a foreign language. In E. Hidalgo et al (eds.), Corpora in the Foreign Language Classroom. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp Harris J (1985) Student writers and word processing: a preliminary evaluation. College Composition & Communication 36: Hawisher GE (1987) The effects of word processing on the revision strategies of college freshmen. Research in the Teaching of English 21: Hoffman R (1996) Computer networks: webs of communication for language learning. In MC Pennington (ed.), The Power of CALL. Houston: Athelstan, pp

45 R EFERENCES ( CONTD.) Jones S & Tetroe J (1987) Composing in a second language. In A Matsuhashi (ed.), Writing in Real Time: Modelling Production Processes. Norwood: Ablex, pp Kennedy GD (1998) An Introduction to Corpus Linguistics. London: Longman. Li J & Cumming A (2001) Word processing and second language writing: a longitudinal case study. International Journal of English Studies 1(2): O’Keeffe A et al (2007) From Corpus to Classroom: Language Use and Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pennington MC (2003) The impact of the computer in second language writing. In B Kroll (ed.), Exploring the Dynamics of Second Language Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp Pennington MC & Brock MN (1992) Process and product approaches to computer-assisted composition. In MC Pennington & V Stevens (ed.), Computers in Applied Linguistics: An International Perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp Phinney M & Khouri S (1993) Computers, revision, and ESL writers: the role of experience. Journal of Second Language Writing 2: Rusmin RS (1999) Patterns of adaptation to a new writing environment: the experience of word processing by mature second language writers. In MC Pennington (ed.), Writing in an Electronic Medium: Research with Language Learners. Houston: Athelstan, pp Skinner B & Austin R (1999) Computer conferencing: does it motivate students? ELT Journal 53(4): Suh J-S (2002) Effectiveness of CALL writing instruction: the voices of Korean EFL learners. Foreign Language Annals 35(6): Sullivan N & Pratt E (1996) A comparative study of two ESL writing environments: a computer- assisted classroom and a traditional oral classroom. System 29(4): Warschauer M (2001) On-line communication. In R Carter & D Nunan (eds.), The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp Watson Todd R (2001) Induction from self-selected concordances and self-correction. System 29(1):

46 T HIS WEEK ’ S READING Chapter 9 of Ferris & Hedgcock (1998/2005) Teaching ESL Composition: Purpose, Process and Practice. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum. 46


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