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

In a study to investigate the difference of acquisition of specific grammar points for
students taught in computer-based instruction versus those in a teacher-directed class, Nutta
(1998) used a sample of 53 students in ESL with a treatment of one hour of instruction a day for
seven days. No significant differences resulted, but computer-based grammar instruction was
deemed at least as effective as teacher-directed.
Lange (1993) suggests another type of computer-based grammar exercise for second
language learners. She suggests teachers adapt effective exercises by "computerizing" them for
students. In this fashion the student is able to become familiar with the manipulation of text, the
ease of revision, and the mimicking of editing processes that ESL learners should acquire.
In a study attending to foreign language learners, Gillespie and McKee (1999) comment
on the use of MCQ, a multiple choice grammar revision package for French, which was used
eagerly by students because it provided answers and immediate scoring. The software was
presented for occasional use, defined as the "introduction in class of packages which may be of
interest or benefit to students but which do not form the basis of teaching for that part of a course
or module" (p. 444). They did find, however, that active independent use by the students in
general did not follow, reaffirming the idea that technology must be thoughtfully and
systematically incorporated into the curriculum.
With the multifaceted interactions and intersections of technology, language learning and
acquisition, and composition, researchers are faced with peeling back the layers and teasing apart
the effects of instruction to find the most effective tools and methodology. Writing is a powerful
means of communication, and teaching and learning to write is a time-consuming endeavor in
any language. As the literature review indicates, the role of grammar instruction is highly
contested yet it is a means by which students learn to better express themselves. Additionally,

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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 December 21, 2014.