Collaborative Writing in the L2 Classroom: Making the Most of Digital Social Tools

Digital L2 Writing Literacies - Ana Oskoz

Ana Oskoz [+-]
University of Maryland Baltimore County
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Ana Oskoz is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), USA. Her research is on the applications of technologies to language learning. In particular, it focuses on the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and social tools to enhance the development of second language writing and intercultural competence development. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics. She is currently Associate Editor of CALICO Journal.
Idoia Elola [+-]
Texas Tech University
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Idoia Elola is Associate Professor of Spanish and applied linguistics at Texas Tech University, USA. Her research focuses on second language writing, collaborative and individual writing when using social tools, digital literacy and the use of multimodal texts, Spanish heritage language learners’ writing processes, and revision and feedback. Her work has been published in national and international journals and specialized books.


By their very nature, digital social tools have transformed writing from an individual to a collaborative act. Yet, rather than presenting collaborative writing as the panacea for L2 writing practices, we argue that the integration of digital social tools—which have altered the nature of and blurred the lines between reading and writing—has emphasized “collaborative forms of textual composition and interpretation” (Blyth, 2014, p. 204) and reinstated literacy practices as collaborative and public. After defining what collaborative writing means and arguing for its important role in the L2 classroom, we examine current work on L2 collaborative writing, which has been mostly informed by sociocultural and activity theories. Furthermore, it is also important to understand how the affordances of different collaborative tools (ranging from discussion boards to wikis, blogs, or Twitter) benefit L2 writers’ development in terms of, for example, content development, linguistic accuracy, and appropriate structure, while facilitating the “ways of doing, relating, thinking, and being” (Hafner, Chik, & Jones, 2015, p. 2). Throughout the chapter, we provide practical applications of collaborating writing—for example, following a task-based approach, we demonstrate the affordability that different tools bring to the development of digital literacies. In addition, the chapter presents ideas and questions for reflection.

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Oskoz, Ana; Elola, Idoia. Collaborative Writing in the L2 Classroom: Making the Most of Digital Social Tools. Digital L2 Writing Literacies. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2020. ISBN 9781781796931. Date accessed: 23 Aug 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34288. Oct 2020

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