The influence of outside foreign language and culture exposure in EFL classroom collaborative writing task

Marni Manegre

Abstract

This study examines whether foreign language acquisition can be acquired through sharing information when students participate in knowledge building forums using English as the lingua franca. It also explores whether the students with higher levels of linguistic knowledge and cultural awareness relating to the foreign language share this information with their peers throughout the writing process. The study was conducted in two Spanish classrooms, where the participants were bilingual in both Catalan and Spanish. A pre-questionnaire was used to determine the level of exposure to the English language and English culture outside of the classroom. The students were scored on their responses and then divided into three groups: low-, medium-, and high-level exposure to the English language and culture. A one-way ANOVA was used to determine whether exposure to the English language and culture outside of the classroom would influence pre-test scores, and there is an interaction effect between language and cultural exposure and the pre-test scores (F = 5.17). Upon the conclusion of the collaborative writing task, a one-way ANOVA was used to determine whether there was an interaction effect between language and cultural exposure and the post-test scores (F = 4.47). The student scores increased at the same rate across the groups.  In collaborative writing and knowledge building tasks, students learn about the content from their peers, and the information disperses throughout the group where there is a shared understanding of the content upon completion. However, the linguistic and cultural knowledge the students have prior to participating in these tasks do not get dispersed in the same manner, rather, all groups show an improvement in their foreign language skills, but the knowledge of the foreign language does not equalize across the groups.


Keywords

Knowledge Building forums; second language acquisition; collaborative learning; intercultural competence; culture exposure; knowledge building; online collaborative learning

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