Volume 14 Number 3

Kwanghyun Park and Celeste Kinginger
Pennsylvania State University

The advance of digital video technology in the past two decades facilitates empirical investigation of learning in real time. The focus of this paper is the combined use of real-time digital video and a networked linguistic corpus for exploring the ways in which these technologies enhance our capability to investigate the cognitive process of learning. A perennial challenge to research using digital video (e.g., screen recordings) has been the method for interfacing the captured behavior with the learners’ cognition. An exploratory proposal in this paper is that with an additional layer of data (i.e., corpus search queries), analyses of real-time data can be extended to provide an explicit representation of learner’s cognitive processes. This paper describes the method and applies it to an area of SLA, specifically writing, and presents an in-depth, moment-by-moment analysis of an L2 writer’s composing process. The findings show that the writer’s composing process is fundamentally developmental, and that it is facilitated in her dialogue-like interaction with an artifact (i.e., the corpus). The analysis illustrates the effectiveness of the method for capturing learners’ cognition, suggesting that L2 learning can be more fully explicated by interpreting real-time data in concert with investigation of corpus search queries.
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Idoia Elola, Texas Tech University
Ana Oskoz, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The use of social technologies, such as wikis and chats, has brought a renewed attention to L2 collaborative writing. Yet, a question that still remains to be answered is the extent to which learners’ writing is enhanced when using these tools. By analyzing learners’ individual and collaborative writing, this study (a) explores L2 learners’ approaches to the writing task in the wikis, (b) examines learners’ collaborative synchronous interactions when discussing content, structure and other aspects related to the elaboration of the writing task, and (c) describes learners’ perceptions of individual and collaborative writing and their impressions of the use of social tools in the FL writing class. Analysis of the data showed that while statistically significant differences were not evident in terms of fluency, accuracy and complexity when comparing the individual and collaborative assignments, there were observable trends that inform us about how learners’ interactions with the text differ when working individually or collaboratively. Further, an analysis of learners’ approaches to collaborative writing through the use of social tools shows that wikis and chats allowed them to concentrate on writing components in a different, yet complementary, manner depending on whether they interacted in the wikis or in the chats.
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Íñigo Yanguas
San Diego State University

This study explores task-based, synchronous oral computer-mediated communication (CMC) among intermediate-level learners of Spanish. In particular, this paper examines (a) how learners in video and audio CMC groups negotiate for meaning during task-based interaction, (b) possible differences between both oral CMC modes and traditional face-to-face (FTF) communication, and (c) how this oral computer mediated negotiation compares to that found in the text-based CMC literature. Fifteen learner-to-learner dyads were randomly assigned to an audio group, a video group, and a FTF control group to complete a jigsaw task that was seeded with 16 unknown lexical items. Experimental groups used Skype, free online communication software, to carry out the task. The transcripts of the conversations reveal that oral CMC groups do indeed negotiate for meaning in this multimedia context when non-understanding occurs between speakers. In addition, results showed differences in the way audio and video groups carry out these negotiations, which were mainly due to the lack of visual contact in the audio group. No differences were found between video and FTF groups. Furthermore, oral CMC turn-taking patterns were shown to be very similar to FTF patterns but opposite to those found in written synchronous CMC. Oral CMC interaction patterns are shown to be more versatile.
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