Impacts of Online Technology Use in Second Language Writing: A Review of the Literature
Reading Improvement Volume 51, Number 3, ISSN 0034-0510
This article reviews the literature on computer-supported collaborative learning in second language and foreign language writing. While research has been conducted on the effects of online technology in first language reading and writing, this article explores how online technology affects second and foreign language writing. The goal of this study is to examine the strengths and weaknesses of online technology in second and foreign language writing instruction. The literature review suggests that online collaborative learning environments can have cognitive, sociocultural, and psychological advantages, including enhancing writing skills, critical thinking skills, and knowledge construction, while increasing participation, interaction, motivation, and reducing anxiety. The most frequently mentioned advantages are cognitive achievements and the least frequently mentioned advantages are psychological benefits. However, a few studies also reveal that online collaborative learning environments can have cognitive, social, psychological, and technological disadvantages, including mechanical errors, conflict, fear, discomfort, and time wasted on technological problems. Most studies argue for the potential benefits of online collaborative writing. None of the studies is strong against online collaborative learning or online collaborative writing. Even though a few studies recognize the drawbacks of online learning, they are not specially related to writing or second language writing. Finally, issues important for future research are discussed.
Lin, S.M. & Griffith, P. (2014). Impacts of Online Technology Use in Second Language Writing: A Review of the Literature. Reading Improvement, 51(3), 303-312.