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An investigation into the benefits of collaborative writing for the development of EFL children’s communication skills : a reflective report of a teacher researcher

By Young Ok Jong


The purpose of the present study is to investigate effective ways of designing taskbased\ud collaborative writing lessons in the EFL classroom in South Korea. In this\ud research, a group of 11/12 year-old children were involved in repeating three\ud different writing tasks three times. In order to examine the effects of task type and\ud task repetition on task performance and outcomes, written texts were measured in\ud terms of fluency, accuracy, and lexical complexity with seven sub-measures and\ud pair dialogues were quantified by the focus on a particular aspect of the language\ud and then categorised into form-focus, lexical-focus, and mechanical-focus\ud language-related episodes. Follow-up interviews were undertaken with the children\ud to examine their perspectives on collaborative writing from their first experience of\ud paired writing. On the basis of self-reflection on my prior learning and teaching\ud experience in the EFL context, a classroom action research project was designed\ud and conducted to promote my personal and professional growth. Classroom\ud observation was undertaken to monitor the children’s performance and engagement\ud when working together. The results of quantitative and qualitative data analysis\ud showed strong effects of task type and task repetition on the products and processes\ud of Korean children’s writing and the pedagogical benefits of collaborative writing.\ud In addition, this teacher research gave me a valuable opportunity to explore ways of\ud becoming a reflective teacher. The research findings may help classroom teachers\ud who want to develop task-based collaborative writing lessons in the classroom and\ud teacher researchers who want to initiate classroom action research to improve their\ud teaching practice

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