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EFFECT OF SOCIAL INTERACTION OF L2 WRITING PERFORMANCE OF AMERICAN AND CHINESE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

by BERMAN, PEIYAN M

Abstract (Summary)
The main goal of this study was to investigate the effect of social interactive writing (SIW) with native speakers (NS) pals of the target language on second language (L2) writing performance for secondary school beginning L2 learners. Other goals included investigating the strategy use, cultural learning and affective states of secondary school L2 learners during the SIW. The SIW in this study was via electronically scanned hand-written exchange letters attached to e-mail between American and Chinese pen-pals. A total of 79 participants were involved in this study for over a four-month period, where the 37 American participants (grades 7 to 11) were divided into two comparable groups (SIW and worksheet-writing) and tested for two-month writing improvement. The ANCOVA results indicated that the SIW group writing mean scores were marginally significantly greater (F = 3.52, p=.07) than those of the worksheet-writing group and the effect size of the writing improvement of the SIW group was medium to large (ç2 = .105). Other findings of this study derived from participants’ surveys, interviews, exchange letters and teachers’ notes triangulated the statistical results and further revealed that participants used their first language (L1), memory tools, and dictionaries as common strategies to help L2 writing; that L2 learners somewhat benefited in cultural learning and social skills development through SIW; and that SIW improved participants’ level of interest, motivation in learning an L2. Thus, the proposed two-way SIW model supports the notion of sociolinguistics that L2 educators consider facilitating L2 acquisition in real social contexts as they construct classroom environments. The technique of using e-mail with a scanned hand-written letter attachment is also recommended for L2 classrooms, especially for beginning learners.
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School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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