Comparing ESL electronic and face-to-face pre-writing conferences and first drafts : discourse, participation, and idea transfer /
Fitze, Michael James.
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This study was a comparative investigation of face-toface (i.e., proximate) and computer-mediated written (i.e., graphic) pre-writing conferences. The participants in this study were advanced English as a second language students. The 2 types of conferences were compared in terms of textual features, participation, and the . degree to which they were on topic. Moreover, drafts written after the 2 types of conferences were compared in terms of textual features, and the degree to which they were related to the conferences. Students produced an equivalent amount of discourse in an equivalent amount of time in the 2 types of conferences. The discourse in graphic conferences displayed greater lexical range, and some evidence suggests that it was less on-topic. Both these results likely occurred because the graphic conferences contained more discourse demonstrating interactive competence. Participation in graphic conferences was found to be as balanced or more balanced among students, and among students and the group leader combined. Overall, the drafts produced after the 2 types of conferences were of equivalent length and topical range, but some evidence suggests that drafts written after proximate conferences were more related to the conferences.