Investigating EFL Learners’ Perceptions of Collaborative Writing


  •  Majed O. Abahussain    

Abstract

Although pair and group work are commonly applied in English language classrooms, research investigating EFL learners’ perceptions of collaborative writing (CW henceforth) is still limited. The present study explores EFL students’ attitudes and perceptions toward CW. The study involved 30 L2 students enrolled in a writing course at one of the largest universities in Saudi Arabia. The course was divided into two parts: individual writing (IW) for the first month (four weeks) and collaborative writing for the second month (four weeks). The study uses a within-groups mixed methods design whereby the same group of students received both the individual writing and collaborative writing assignments for exploring participants’ attitudes toward collaborative writing as compared to their views toward individual writing. The same self-report survey (6-point Likert-scale) was used two times (after each writing condition) to determine the participants’ views of each writing condition. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted to gain qualitative insights while exploring the participants’ views toward the two writing conditions they experienced as well as to find out the benefits and challenges they faced. Results show that participants reported the effectiveness of CW significantly higher than individual writing. The analyses reveal a statistically significant difference where ratings of CW were higher compared to IW, indicating helpfulness of CW in enhancing not only their writing skills but also their learning of all four English language skills. Despite some reservations, the majority of the participants were supportive of the CW experience.



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