Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students

Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta, Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on
Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students. Doctor of
Philosophy (Curriculum and Instruction), December 2004, 189 pp., 27 tables, references, 170
titles.
Today's global culture makes communication through writing in a foreign language a
most desirable tool to expand personal and professional relations. However, teaching writing is a
complex, time-consuming endeavor in any language. Foreign language teachers at every level
struggle to fit writing into an already full curriculum and need the most effective methods and
tools with which to teach. Technology may provide a viable scaffold to support writing
instruction for teachers and students.
The purpose of this research was to determine any benefits of weekly/structured, in-class,
computer-assisted grammar drill and practice on the composition quality and quantity of
intermediate university Spanish learners. A related purpose was to determine whether students
who participated in such practice would access a computer-based writing assistant differently
during writing than students without the treatment. The research design was a nonequivalent
groups pretest-posttest design. Fifty-two subjects' compositions were graded with both holistic
and analytic criteria to analyze composition quality and quantity, and statistical analyses assessed
interactions of treatment and effects. The computer-based Atajo writing assistant, which could be
accessed during composition, had a logging feature which provided unobtrusive observation of
specific databases accessed by each student.
There were no statistically significant differences found between the two groups in
overall composition scores or in subscale scores. Improvements across time were observed in
composition performance for both the experimental and control groups. The implementation of

Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta. Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4688/. Accessed July 28, 2014.