Differences between individually and collaboratively written texts in case of Estonian upper secondary school EFL students
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This thesis explores collaborative writing and the differences between collaboratively and individually written texts in terms of sentence complexity and linguistic accuracy. Collaboratively and individually written texts have been extensively compared in previous studies all over the world, but in Estonia, collaborative writing has been out of research focus altogether. In addition, there have been few studies concentrating on comparing and analysing individually and collaboratively written texts that have been written by the same students. The main aims of this thesis are to find out if there are any significant differences between students’ collaboratively and individually written texts, and if there are any significant differences between the texts written before and after a collaborative writing task in terms of sentence complexity and linguistic accuracy. The literature review discusses what skills and competences foreign language learners might need to excel in writing tasks. The section also provides an overview of collaborative writing as such, and discusses previous studies on collaborative writing in terms of the differences between collaboratively and individually written texts as well as what effects collaborative writing might have on students’ writing skills. Previous studies have shown that collaborative writing has a positive effect on foreign language learners’ writing skills. In addition, collaboratively written texts have been shown to be considerably more accurate and complex. However, the studies comparing collaboratively and individually written texts have analysed the texts written by different students at the same time, not the ones written by the same students at different times. This thesis aims to fill that gap. The empirical part compares individually and collaboratively written texts as well as individually written texts with one another. Thirteen upper secondary level English as a foreign language students wrote one text collaboratively in groups and two texts individually – one before the collaborative writing task and the other after collaborative writing task. The results were compared using paired samples T-test, and the statistical significances in differences were calculated.
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