TOOL USAGE AND EFFECTIVENESS AMONG L2 SPANISH COMPUTER WRITERS / USO Y EFECTIVIDAD DE HERRAMIENTAS EN LA ESCRITURA POR ORDENADOR EN ESPAÑOL COMO SEGUNDA LENGUA

Daniel G. Tight

Resumen


This study describes the tools employed by intermediate learners of Spanish (N = 12) writing short, low-stakes compositions via computer. Echo360 screencasting software was used to create video recordings of five compositions per participant over a three-month period, as well as to capture a think-aloud protocol on the final task. Results reveal that sixth-semester learners make frequent use of online bilingual dictionaries and translators, regularly depend on the word processor’s spelling and grammar checkers, and use a variety of techniques to make diacritics and special characters in their writing. Despite high levels of overall success with both internet and word processing resources, errors were common in the texts generated, with grammatical errors occurring more than vocabulary and spelling mistakes combined, at a rate of just over 6 per 100 words. Taken together with previous research, these findings paint a more complete picture of L2 computer writing in Spanish as a demanding task requiring pedagogical intervention to maximize the effectiveness of available resources, even for college majors and minors.

Este estudio describe las herramientas empleadas por aprendices intermedios de español (N = 12) mientras escribían breves composiciones informales en ordenador. El programa de captura de pantalla Echo360 se usó para crear videograbaciones de cinco composiciones por participante a lo largo de un período de tres meses, así como para registrar un protocolo de pensar en voz alta durante la última tarea. Los resultados revelan que los aprendices de sexto semestre hacen uso frecuente de los diccionarios bilingües y traductores en línea, a menudo recurren a los correctores ortográficos y gramaticales del procesador de textos, y emplean una variedad de técnicas para producir signos diacríticos y caracteres especiales en su escritura. A pesar de altos niveles de éxito generales con estos recursos de internet y del procesador de textos, había gran cantidad de errores en los textos generados, con más errores gramaticales que errores léxicos y ortográficos juntos, a una frecuencia de más de 6 por cada 100 palabras. Estos hallazgos, apoyados en investigaciones previas, presentan un panorama más completo de la escritura en español L2 por ordenador como una tarea exigente que requiere intervención pedagógica para maximizar la efectividad de los recursos disponibles, incluso para los universitarios especializados en materias lingüísticas.



Palabras clave


computer writing, L2 writing tools, online dictionaries, spell checker, grammar checker, diacritic generation, escritura por ordenador, herramientas de escritura en la L2, diccionarios en línea, corrector ortográfico, corrector gramatical...

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Referencias


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