An Investigation of Blended Collaborative L2 Writing: A Focused Ethnographic Case Study in Indonesia
AffiliationSchool of Languages and Linguistics
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2019 Fauzul Aufa
Despite the potential affordances of collaborative writing activities for second/foreign language (L2) writers, very few studies have examined the nature of such collaboration in a blended approach which incorporated face-to-face (FTF) and online interaction (e.g. via Google Docs). Furthermore, most of the research to date on collaborative writing has been conducted in ESL classes, and where students have easy access to technology. This study set out to investigate the nature of a blended approach to collaborative writing in an EFL context with limited access to technology. The study was conducted in an Indonesian university. Twenty-seven EFL learners participated in the study which was implemented in an ongoing EFL class over a 16-week semester. Participants formed three dyads and seven triads and jointly completed six different text genres as part of their regular classroom activities. The study employed a focused ethnographic design that involved the collection of qualitative data from classroom and online (i.e. Google Docs) observation, field notes, and other supporting textual documents. Drawing on the work of Storch (2002), I investigated patterns of interaction formed during the blended collaborative L2 writing activities. The analysis found four distinct patterns of dyadic and triadic interaction: collaborative, cooperative, facilitative/cooperative (facilitative/cooperative/cooperative for the triads), and active/passive/passive. The findings show that shifting patterns of interaction were evident across both face-to-face (FTF) and online modes. While the majority of dyads formed facilitative/cooperative and the triads facilitative/cooperative/cooperative patterns in the FTF mode, cooperative was the predominant pattern of interaction in the online mode. Only one triad exhibited a consistent collaborative pattern during the blended prewriting activities across both modes. The findings also show salient traits during the task negotiation and text co-construction phases, associated with patterns of interaction. Multiple factors that emerged from the data, and particularly the interviews, may account for variations in patterns of peer interaction, and how student perceptions of the activities were shaped during their blended collaborative writing activities. In this study, I also observed that there were several factors (e.g., the use of L1s, positive affects, and accessibility) that may either facilitate or hinder the process of collaborative writing in the blended setting. The findings and their importance for language learning are explained by reference to Sociocultural Theory, in particular Activity Theory, the theories that informed this study. The findings provide several implications for theory and language pedagogy. In particular, this study provides insights into learners’ interaction in blended collaborative L2 writing activities, and the opportunities for meaningful interaction and mutual scaffolding.
KeywordsBlended collaborative L2 writing; Second language writing; Patterns of interaction; Sociocultural Theory; Activity Theory; A focused ethnographic case study in Indonesia at tertiary levels.; Student perception on blended collaborative L2 writing; Factors affecting blended collaborative L2 writing
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