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ERIC Number: EJ923368
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0742-7778
Computer Supported Collaborative Writing in Practice: An Activity Theoretical Study
Blin, Francoise; Appel, Christine
CALICO Journal, v28 n2 p473-497 Jan 2011
This paper addresses issues of language use and negotiation and utilizes cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) as a framework to analyze and understand the complexity of the mediational and collaborative structures constituting computer supported collaborative writing in a second language (CSCWL2) activities. Following an introduction to CHAT as an analytic framework, the article then presents the preliminary results of an activity theoretical study exploring the establishment and development of collaborative writing practices among a group of English as a foreign language distance learning students. The analysis focuses firstly on the goal-oriented actions carried out by students as they revised their writing, and secondly, on the emergence of deviations from planned normal procedures, as outlined in task guidelines, that resulted in different modes of interaction. The findings highlight the pivotal role of artifacts used and created by students in mediating their collective practice. They also reveal the emergence of different modes of interaction, i.e., coordination, cooperation and reflective communication. We suggest that while a cooperation mode of interaction afforded the development of language awareness and language use, the lack of transition to a reflective mode of communication and/or the contraction of the activity to coordination and cooperation modes constrained the further attainment of learning outcomes. (Contains 4 figures, 4 tables and 3 notes.)
Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium. 214 Centennial Hall, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666. Tel: 512-245-1417; Fax: 512-245-9089; e-mail: Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain