Print Volume 22.3 (September 2005)

Back to Screen Features | View Print Full Text

Studying L2 writers’ Digital Writing: An Argument for Post-Critical Methods
— Kevin Eric De Pew, Old Dominion University, Susan Kay Miller, Mesa Community College

Because the fields of digital writing and second language (L2) writing both have rich methodological traditions, researchers designing a study that examines issues at the intersection of these two fields have multiple methodological traditions to draw upon. Recognizing the choices that researchers face, we advocate adopting post-critical methodologies, as articulated by Patricia Sullivan and James E. Porter (1997), for these digital/L2 inquiries. A post-critical approach, we believe, enhances these studies by fore fronting their interdisciplinary and ideological nature. After defining what a post-critical methodology entails, we connect it to recent research trends in digital writing, L2 writing, and L2 studies. To help future researchers design digital/L2 writing studies, we explain the implications of these approaches.

Situating L2 Writing in Global Communication Technologies
— Barry Thatcher, New Mexico State University

This article draws on the strengths of two fields—technology and intercultural studies—to present a model for theorizing and developing research methods that ethically and accurately situate L2 writing and communication technologies. Much research in communication technologies and writing use so-called localized approaches to intercultural inquiries. However, because these approaches focus on the concreteness of local situations, they do not provide a valid or ethical frame for understanding the influence of communication technologies across cultures. Because communication technologies restrain and reinforce certain communication possibilities and corresponding rhetorical and cultural patterns, they do not relate to or fit each cultural and rhetorical tradition the same way. Rather, communication technologies develop complexly different relations to each cultural and/or rhetorical tradition across the globe. Consequently, each rhetorical tradition uses each communication technology with a distinct sense of purpose, audience-author relations, information needs, and organizational patterns. This article first overviews the debate about technology-culture relationships and then explores how the difference-based lens cannot ethically and accurately situate L2 writing and technology. Next, drawing on research in intercultural studies and international human rights, the article sets up an intercultural frame for examining L2 writing and technologies. Finally, it puts into practice this intercultural-technology frame by looking at L2 writing in Ecuadorian contexts.

Second Language Research and Pedagogy, A Role for Computer Logging
— Kristyan Spelman Miller, University of Reading

This paper considers the use of keystroke logging software to investigate how writers interact with the task of writing on the computer. The research focuses on second and foreign language writing, drawing on studies from a variety of contexts from school to university, involving both academic and communicative tasks. The observation of writing through this means of data capture allows access to a mass of detailed information about a range of aspects of the planning, formulating, and revising processes of individual writers. It prompts investigation, at one level, of the writer's interaction with the computer itself during the writing event. The interaction may be further investigated in terms of both social and discoursal dimensions as the writer grapples with topic, audience, genre, social and cultural constraints, as well as language. The interactivity of the logging tool offers researchers the opportunity to explore not only the actions that writers take but also the conscious strategies they employ as they compose. Replaying the writing session with writers, that is, using stimulated recall, reveals insights into the writers’ perceived attention and strategies to address such issues as content, discourse organization, language and metacognitive concerns. There is considerable overlap between the use of this software from a research perspective and its potential as a pedagogic tool. The application of computer logging and stimulated recall in the classroom is presented as a means of promoting self-assessment, metacognitive awareness, and learner autonomy among second language writers.

Expressions of Disciplinarity and Individuality in a Multimodal Genre
— Christine Tardy, DePaul University

Recent research has illuminated some of the ways in which multilingual writers project multiple identities in their writing, conveying disciplinary allegiances as well as more personal expressions of individuality. Such work has focused on the writers’ uses of various verbal expressions, but has to this point overlooked the ways in which they manipulate the visual mode as a means for identity expression. The present study examines expressions of identity in a corpus of multimodal texts written by four multilingual graduate student writers. I consider how the writers’ uses of various verbal and visual expressions in their Microsoft PowerPoint presentation slides project both disciplinarity and individuality and how each individual's habitus has been influenced by both the discourses they have encountered and their personal reactions towards those discourses.

Computer-Based Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum: Two Case Studies of L2 Writers
— Alan Hirvela, Ohio State University

Since the early 1980s, second language (L2) writing specialists have been examining possible roles for computers in L2 writing instruction. How, and to what extent, L2 students use the computers for academic literacy purposes beyond the writing classroom, that is, across the curriculum, has not received much attention. Because a common goal of L2 college level writing courses is to prepare students to write in these other domains, an awareness of computer-based literacy activities in non-L2 writing courses is essential to the cause of helping L2 writing instructors connect what students learn in their courses to how they write (and read) in other courses. This paper describes research aimed at contributing to such awareness: a qualitative study of the computer-based reading and writing activity of two undergraduate English as a Second Language (ESL) students beyond ESL writing courses.

The Development of an ESL OWL, or Learning How to Tutor Writing Online
— Sarah Rilling, Kent State University

This essay describes the development of an ESL OWL by grounding practices in language and literacy pedagogy theory. An initial discussion explores OWLs emulating physical writing center spaces. Two areas of concern are then addressed in meeting the needs of second language writers as they relate to practices and training for online tutoring: error correction—an area of frequent concern to second language writers—and increased interactivity—meeting second language writer expectations and creating autonomous learners. Issues of plagiarism by second language writers are discussed as related to the type of feedback OWL tutors can provide. Highlighted throughout are samples of interactions between tutors and writers that show a process of learning how to create dialogue rather than dictations from the tutor to clean up a single essay.

The Challenge of Hybrid Forms of Electronic Writing
— Dene Grigar, Texas Woman's University

Global Dimensions
— Dene Grigar, Texas Woman's University

trAce Online Writing Centre, It Only Needs a Name if You're Writing About It
— Randy Adams, Nottingham Trent University

Keeping with the currency of the print-based journal, Print to Screen focuses on the themes found in the recent issues of Computers and Composition, and includes multimodal commentaries that explore and remediate relationships between print and screen.

Section Editor — Elizabeth Monske

Print to Screen