Using the internet to foster independent and collaborative learning: Reflections from students in an EFL writing course

Louise Ohashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In English as a Foreign Language (EFL) academic writing courses, teachers are often faced with the multiple challenges of developing their studentsâ'' English language and academic writing skills (including referencing) as well as increasing their topic-based knowledge. This research project looks at how a website, which was made by students under their teacherâ''s guidance, was used to work on these areas. The participants in this study were a group of 21 EFL students who were enrolled in a third-year academic writing course at a womenâ''s university in Tokyo, Japan. As part of the course, students were required to research and present a detailed overview of a branch of their major area of study (linguistics) on a website, with a reference list and links to useful information. After working in groups of two or three to make a page of the website on their designated branch, the students were required to evaluate the other groupsâ'' pages and encouraged to use information from the site to complete their final essay. Towards the end of the course a survey was given to assess the usefulness of the project from the studentsâ'' point of view. Survey results indicate that students perceived the website to be beneficial, with responses showing that most of them felt it helped them to develop their skills in the areas that this project targeted. As a pilot study the results are encouraging and have lead to the decision to conduct a modified version of the project in the same course in the next academic year.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
JournalKokusaikeiei Bunkakenkyu
Volume18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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