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

knowledge constructions. Exploration is a favored approach in order to encourage students to
seek knowledge independently and to manage the pursuit of their goals. Learners are provided
with the opportunity for apprenticeship learning in which there is an increasing complexity of
tasks, skills and knowledge acquisition. Knowledge complexity is reflected in an emphasis on
conceptual interrelatedness and interdisciplinary learning. Collaborative and cooperative learning
are favored in order to expose the learner to alternative viewpoints. Scaffolding is used to
facilitate students' performance just beyond the limits of their current level of ability.
Scaffolding can occur in many ways, from human to technological.
Many researchers have recently explored the connection between constructivism and
technology use. McAdoo (2000) asserts: "Traditional or fearful teachers may not tolerate the
kinds of exploratory, 'nonlinear,' constructivist approaches that students bring to web surfing
and computer use" (p. 149). Many teachers who consider themselves traditional prefer students
to learn in more teacher-directed, conservative ways. Roblyer (2003) contrasts behavioral and
cognitive learning theories and suggests technology integration strategies based on each model of
instruction. Several tenets of the directed and constructivist models are compared in terms of the
roles of the teacher and student, curriculum characteristics, learning goals, types of activities, and
assessment strategies. Learning language is a highly personal, intense, and constructivist act
that is to say that language acquisition occurs as an individual participates in certain language
acts and experiences. There are constructivist underpinnings in the very act of writing and
composing. While Roblyer (2003) notes that computer software programs that emphasize drill
and practice are essentially related to directed instruction, they can play an important part in
language acquisition. Furthermore, the teacher can be more hands-off and serve as facilitator.
Use of a writing assistant program that is learner-directed extends on the concept of the student


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 October 21, 2014.