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Title: Effectiveness of recent web 2.0/3.0 tools as writing assistants
Authors: Buyse, Kris
Issue Date: 2014
Conference: International Conference on Writing Research location:Amsterdam, The Netherlands date:27-29 Augsut 2014
Abstract: Effectiveness of recent web 2.0/3.0 tools as writing assistants
ICT are nowadays a ubiquitous ingredient, but at the same time a very diverse instrument in the languages classroom, as its role depends on the skills and/or content aimed at, the teacher, the audience and the course. Furthermore, today’s students, known as “digital natives” (Jones & Shao, 2011), educated with less authoritarian methods than their predecessors, need more triggers and rewards in order to perform the activities teachers want them to carry out (Gyselaers, 2007). For writing activities, digital dictionaries seem to be the perfect assistance tool. Nevertheless, they are not used sufficiently nor adequately due to factors such as time, insecurity and lack of knowledge of the possibilities, and the information contained in the dictionaries can be limited or inadequate (Nomdedeu Rull Serrano, 2009). Today, given the current state of technology, it is useful to investigate whether modern electronic data driven dictionaries (or “dictionary-featured corpora”?) in web 2.0/3.0 instruments such as Linguee, Glosbe, Blabla, etc. are able to trigger the digital natives to use them in an efficient way. Our research questions are whether such data driven dictionaries (1) can increase user-friendliness and usability, (2) enhance further more certain skills and attitudes of learning such as empowerment, discovery and student autonomy, as well as (3) improve the correct identification and use of lexico-grammatical patterns.
Therefore, we present a qualitative and quantitative analysis of a classroom based experiment carried out twice (once in 2012 and a second time in 2013) with respectively 52 and 50 students of the second year Spanish (CEFR level B1) of Applied Linguistics at the University of Leuven. In the experiment we divided the students into 3 subgroups: an experimental group (EG) with Linguee as the only available tool, a first control group (CG1) with only “traditional” online dictionaries at their disposal and a second one (CG2) with a combination of all tools. All students were asked to write in Spanish a summary of a Dutch press article. Our research hypothesis was that CG 2 scores best because of the richness of the tools and its impact on the linguistic accuracy and the satisfaction on the quality of the tools. Surprisingly, in both experiments EG scores best, and the qualitative data seem to indicate that the quality of the combination of the available tools is higher, but too time-consuming.
In our talk, after outlining the current context of teaching (Spanish) writing, we will present our research data and conclude by proposing additional pedagogical and technological interventions in order to obtain even higher satisfaction and efficiency levels.

Gijselaers, Wim. (2007). Talking about My Generation. Keynote at EARLI 07: European Practice-based and Practitioner Research conference on Learning and Instruction for the new generation. Maastricht, 14-16 November.
Jones, C.; Shao, B. (2011).The net generation and digital natives: implications for higher education. Higher Education Academy, York, UK.
Nomdedeu Rull Serrano, Antonio (2009). Diccionarios en Internet para el aula de ELE. RedELE: Revista Electrónica de didáctica ELE, 15, 2009.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Functional and Cognitive Linguistics: Grammar and Typology (FunC), Campus Sint-Andries Antwerp
Linguistics Research Unit - miscellaneous

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