Assessing Digital L2 Writing: Challenges with New Tools and New Genres

Digital L2 Writing Literacies - Directions for Classroom Practice - 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.


Without neglecting the possibilities of automatized grading by computer, this chapter focuses on the linguistic and non-linguistic factors that need to be addressed and assessed to enhance L2 writers’ mastery of digital literacies. Traditional assessment practices that have primarily targeted the L2 writers’ overall linguistic development—accuracy, complexity, fluency, and vocabulary selection—have been challenged with the inclusion of digital genres in L2 writing. We believe that traditional evaluation practices fail to deliver a comprehensive assessment of learners’ writing skills that are developed by the nuances and characteristics of the new digital genres and the new digital tools. Therefore, we emphasize the need to examine the linguistic and non-linguistic components of, for example, collaborative work in wikis, the expected impact on the audience from blogs, the use of hashtags in Twitter, and the integration of sound and images in digital stories that introduce new understanding. Learners’ collaboration with others, engagement with the audience, involvement with the community, and their interrelation of images, sound, and text will demonstrate learners’ mastery of how to convey meaning. The chapter also presents examples of how these genres can be evaluated, and questions for reflection.

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Oskoz, Ana; Elola, Idoia. Assessing Digital L2 Writing: Challenges with New Tools and New Genres. Digital L2 Writing Literacies - Directions for Classroom Practice. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Aug 2020. ISBN 9781781796931. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34290. Aug 2020

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