The Role of Online Tools in Promoting EFL Writing: A Pedagogical Perspective

The Role of Online Tools in Promoting EFL Writing: A Pedagogical Perspective

Shaimaa Abd El Fattah Torky (National Center for Educational Research and Development, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6619-1.ch015
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Taking into account the paradigm shift we are witnessing because of the technological revolution, the call for drastic changes in writing instruction has grown louder and stronger in recent years. In this chapter, the potential for incorporating technology into EFL writing instruction is explored. It offers a detailed account of how to incorporate online synchronous and asynchronous communication into writing instruction and mentions the precedence of asynchronous tools in this respect. It then follows a description of possible online activities claimed to promote EFL writing proficiency as well as pitfalls that might be encountered. Clear guidelines are provided for online written communication, and emphasis is on the resulting drastic change in the teacher's role. The chapter ends by explaining how to integrate online asynchronous communication and the process writing approach to enhance EFL written production.
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Online Synchronous Tools

Synchronous communication tools are often used in distance learning classes to create a virtual classroom environment, where students can ask questions, discuss, and even “whisper” to their partners in real time. Nevertheless, in regular classrooms settings, synchronous tools can also be helpful in assisting group work and peer learning. Synchronous discussion sessions can be run either in computer labs or out of the class as home assignment (Kuo, Wible, & Chou, 2001, p. 243). The most popular synchronous online tool is the chatting facility.

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