Article in:Research on EFL learning by young children in Spain
Edited by María del Pilar García Mayo
[Language Teaching for Young Learners 3:2] 2021
► pp. 247–275
Effects of proficiency and collaborative work on child EFL individual dictogloss writing
Collaborative writing has been traditionally studied in terms of language-related episodes (LREs), which have been shown to be influenced by learner proficiency. Yet, the impact of collaboration on the written product has received less attention, especially regarding child EFL learners. Our study analyzes the individual reconstructions produced by 30 Spanish-Basque EFL children (aged 11–12) before and after (T1 and T3) they completed a collaborative dictogloss (T2). From the analysis of their LREs at T2, we predicted that certain areas (grammar and mechanics) could reflect more changes at T3 than others. Moreover, we wanted to determine whether those changes were moderated by the learners’ and their partners’ proficiency at T2: low (LP) or high (HP). Text-based and rubric measurements showed that only grammatical complexity improved in children’s individual writing from T1 to T3. Regarding proficiency, LP children performed significantly worse than their HP counterparts at T1 and T3 in most writing dimensions. Partner proficiency only influenced accuracy, and unexpectedly, working with an LP partner did not appear to have a detrimental effect. Our findings stress the need to carry out longitudinal studies to further determine the role of collaboration in L2 writing and knowledge development.
Keywords: EFL, young learners, dictogloss, L2 writing, collaboration, proficiency