Internet-based textual interventions and interactions: how language learners engage online in a written task

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Abstract

Computer and Internet literacy is often taken for granted in the case of young adults born into the digital world; it is generally assumed that they can all use technology effectively. However, as mentioned by Fowley (2011), "it is easy to forget that in Ireland for example, many of the young people whom we routinely call digital natives have only lived online since 2005 or 2006" (p. 20). This situation is considered a drawback, especially when making use of Internet-based applications such as word processors in an educational setting. This chapter investigates learners' use of Google Drive, and more precisely Google Documents, an Internet-based word processing tool, while engaging in a written task. More specifically, it observes how twenty learners of French at university level intervened and interacted with their teacher, after being provided with comments on their written performance, while completing a "bilan", i.e., a written account of their autonomous learning activities and a reflection on their learning outcomes. Findings show that although Internet-based tools are useful in theory to assist learners during a written task, in practice, their functionalities are not systematically exploited by learners who are occasionally reluctant to engage and collaborate.

Keywords: internet-based word processing tool, intervention, interaction, language learning, corrective feedback.

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Thouësny, Sylvie. (2013). Internet-based textual interventions and interactions: how language learners engage online in a written task. In Cathy Fowley, Claire English, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), Internet research, theory, and practice: perspectives from Ireland (pp. 349-366). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2013.000095

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