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The Use of Online Dictionaries During Web-Based Collaborative Writing Among EFL Learners 

Hasan Selcuk, Linda Daniela
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. This study is about an investigation of Turkish high school English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ use of online dictionaries during asynchronous web-based collaborative writing (CW) activity. 26 groups of three EFL learners (N = 78, 16 years) were involved in a-two-hour CW task in English outside the classroom setting in a Facebook group. Data were gathered from 78 online researcher-participant interviews and 8,700 discussion threads collected from 26 groups. The study’s findings revealed that 80% of participants used their mobile phones to undertake the activity, so they preferred online English dictionaries with mobile applications. Participants with high English proficiency mainly used online English dictionaries to search for the collocations of words to vivify their sentences. Also, those participants directed their group members to use the online dictionaries to independently identify their vocabulary mistakes and validate their existing vocabulary knowledge. Participants who had low English proficiency mainly used online bilingual dictionaries (Turkish-English) to look up the unknown words and then got their group partners to verify their use in their collaborative writing pieces. Additionally, Google Translate was utilised by those participants to serve a purpose of an online dictionary. This study provides useful insights for researchers and EFL teachers about how online dictionaries were used during the web-based collaborative writing process.

Keywords: EFL writing, collaboration, online writing, small group learning, foreign language, dictionaries

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0