A Case Study on the Impact of Weblogs on the Writing of Low-Level Learners in the University of Chile
Since the turn of the century the use of computer-mediated-communication (CMC) has become more widespread in educational contexts and weblogs (blogs), one of the more popular forms of CMC (Bloch, 2007), have been the focus of numerous studies. However, whilst these studies have listed the potential benefits of blog use for language learners, few studies have offered any practical tips for educators who wish to implement the use of writing blogs in the EFL classroom. Moreover, the vast majority of studies have focused on the use of blogs with relatively high-level learners in academic contexts.
This small-scale study focuses on how the use of blogs impact on the writing of a group of low-level learners in a tertiary EFL context in Chile. Moreover, it presents a tentative model to explain the different factors that contribute to writing development using weblogs as these learners grapple "not only with a written code but with a linguistic code that is still being acquired" (Raimes, 1985: 232). The findings report that blogs have the potential to aid low-level learners develop their L2 writing, and a number of suggestions are made that may help practitioners facilitate the process.