Language Matters WG Presentation

Language Matters Working Group Presentation Title The Beneficial Effects of Technology-Based Social Reading in L2 Classes Dr. Gabriela Zapata | Department of Hispanic Studies Dr. Maybel Mesa | Providence College Abstract This work investigates the instructional benefits of the digital social reading application eComma for the comprehension and interpretation of authentic texts in intermediate second language (L2) Spanish classes in a university in the Southern United States. The study examines 44 students’ collaborative work on two poems connected to the themes of the class’s instructional units. Data are based on the analysis of the participants’ digital annotations, and responses to a survey that probed into their opinions of eComma. The results show a similar number of student-generated comments on either lexical queries or contextual interpretations in both poems. However, there were differences in the kind of annotations that originated in each text. In addition, the findings suggest that working with eComma allowed students to develop their L2 reading performance, and it resulted in their collaborative construction of knowledge, which might have facilitated their interpretation process. In the survey responses, the participants identified various social and instructional benefits, even though they also reported some technical difficulties. Overall, the study mirrors the positive results reported in previous work, and it points to the effectiveness eComma for the implementation of the kind of comprehensive L2 practices currently recommended in the field of L2 pedagogy. Keywords: Digital social reading, eComma, performance, interpretive mode, collaborative construction of knowledge, L2 Spanish university students   I hope you will all come and join us for this exciting talk. There will be bagels and other goodies to accompany the intellectual nourishment.