Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students Page: 128
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decline in inquiries. A student, for example, may have learned to check the appropriate (i.e.,
English or Spanish) language dictionary in Atajo or learned to look up conjugations under the
Grammar Reference instead of the dictionary. Another possibility may have been related to
maturation effects over the course of the semester with expected increases in vocabulary and
grammar knowledge. That is to say that the number of inquiries that a student made to the
databases could have been affected by changes in their interlanguage. Students further along the
interlanguage continuum may only make a few inquiries in contrast to less advanced learners.
Some students might use the system to check their theories and have fewer inquiries (Appendix
O); others have a high number of inquiries due to translation of almost every word in their
composition (Appendix O). Some multiple inquiries may be due to the initial incorrect spelling
of the word requiring additional queries, while in other cases a student may simply be probing to
find the best word. Whatever the reason, the relative differences between the control and
experimental groups are dramatic. The fact remains that the experimental group reliance on the
writing assistant Atajo decreased over the study, and this could reflect an increase in language
abilities due to the treatment.
In addition to grammar practice or grammar knowledge, differences in the usage of Atajo
databases may be attributable to other dimensions or learner characteristics. An observation by
one reviewer of the writing assistant Atajo notes that the program
favors a highly autonomous and motivated user, one who enjoys "learning by doing" and
who is already comfortable using a PC and therefore values the speed at which the
program renders the desired information more than the security of the printed page."
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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/m1/137/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .