Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students Page: 125
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The third research question (What composition elements available through the writing
assistant program (Atao) do students access most?) was exploratory in nature. How do students
access the databases of the Atajo as revealed by the log? The purpose of this question was to
determine whether or not the students in the experimental group (who had more consistent
grammar and vocabulary practice with Spanish Partner) would make fewer grammar or total
inquiries to Atajo. When accessing Atajo, students can choose between four reference databases:
dictionary, grammar, vocabulary and phrases. The researcher hypothesized that students would
make use of all databases with the dictionary and grammar being the most frequently consulted
and this pattern decreasing over time. The researcher also hypothesized that the students that had
regular grammar and vocabulary practice on Spanish Partner would make fewer grammar
inquiries to Atao than the control group.
Writing is a highly recursive and complex act (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1987). When
authors write they draft, revise, edit, redraft, make semantic and syntactic changes and so on.
This is a time-consuming and nonlinear process (Atwell, 2001; Calkins,1999). When composing
on a word processor this process is facilitated for many writers by the ability to cut, paste and
move text as desired. Student may write the title of their composition at the end of a writing
session or cut and paste entire paragraphs or sentences. The Atajo logs give insight into this
process since some of the steps taken by the writers are obvious when examining the logs from
the Atalo writing assistant. For example, the time spent planning might be indicated in the time
lapse between the time a student logs into Atalo and the student raises the editor and dictionary
to compose. Comparing the order of the words in a composition and their appearance in the log
suggests rereading, revision or editing. The Atalo log can give insight as well to a student's
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Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta. Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students, dissertation, December 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4688/m1/134/: accessed February 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .