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Volume 15 Number 2, Summer 2018, Pages 257-565 PDF Download

The Effects of Online Collaborative Writing and TOEIC Writing Test-Preparation on L2 Writing Performance

    Daniel R. Bailey & Christopher Judd

This paper compares the effects of Online Collaborative Writing (OCW) and the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) writing training on second language (L2) writing performance with respect to lexical variation, syntactic complexity, and writing accuracy between two groups of South Korean university students. Treatments consisted of OCW through posting in private Facebook groups, while students in the TOEIC group practiced answering TOEIC writing questions. In addition to tracking changes in L2 writing performance, this study investigated the efficacy of OCW towards TOEIC writing goals outside the context of explicit TOEIC writing training in order to provide additional modes of preparation for the TOEIC test. This quasi-experimental study, conducted over an eight-week period, collected writing samples from a pre- and post-writing task consisting of items that are conceptually similar to both OCW and TOEIC writing questions. Results revealed students in the OCW group increased in L2 writing accuracy at a statistically significant level indicating social media platforms like Facebook can assist students in meeting the accuracy criteria of the TOEIC writing test. Both groups wrote fewer adjectives in task 2, but the decrease was only statistically significant for the TOEIC group. Pedagogical implications and future research directions are discussed.

Keywords: online collaborative learning, computer aided language learning, Facebook, TOEIC writing, L2 writing