Technology has been widely applied in second language (L2) teaching and learning. For instance, Neri, Mich, Gerosa, and Giuliani (2008) showed the benefits of using technology in pronunciation instruction. In addition to speaking, technology is also applied in L2 writing, and one of the examples is collocation. L2 learners may have problems in using appropriate collocations since the context plays a very important role. It is very likely that a native speaker would consider a possible collocation strange simply because it is placed in an unfamiliar or inappropriate context. Based on this, Kennedy (2003) used British National Corpus (BNC) to analyze certain collocation tendency by native English speakers. For example, Kennedy (2003) found that the English adverb considerably often collocates with the comparative forms of words (pp. 476-477) and that the adverb very often collocates with the words that have positive meanings (p. 480). This tendency in collocation use was also consistent with the results found by Fang (2013) (please note that the unrevised draft of testing sentences with typos was mistakenly placed in the appendix to Fang's (2013) study; many sentences were revised with more context and typos in the table and texts should also be corrected). These findings could be useful for English writing instructors' collocation teaching. Moreover, providing students feedback in writing is important and technology has been used to help evaluate students' writing and provide electronic feedback(Feng, Ogata, & Yano, 2000; Tuzi, 2004). As defined by Tuzi (2004, p. 217), electronic feedback was the "feedback in digital, written form and transmitted via the web," which was different from traditional written feedback in many aspects. First, according to Tzui (2004), written feedback was often given back to the writer for peer group discussion, but L2 writers may not have such opportunities for interaction or merely have a time-delay in communication in an electronic environment. Second, since a greater sense of anonymity was found in an electronic environment than in a traditional writing environment, electronic feedback "may discourage a sense of community in some students, which can also inhibit scaffolding" (p. 219). Third, unlike traditional written feedback, practices of electronic feedback were more time and place independent as essays were submitted and corrected online; it also caused less delivery effort (Sullivan, Brown, & Nielson, 1998) since students and teachers did not need to carry lots of papers. Fourth, while red pens were used by teachers for traditional written feedback, annotations were often used to mark students' errors for electronic feedback. Errors marked by annotation may be more salient for students to notice for further improvement (Wible, Kuo, Chien, Liu, & Tsao, 2001).
Research has showed the effect of electronic feedback in writing (Burston, 2001; Guardado & Shi, 2007; Feng et al., 2000; Wible et al., 2001). For example, Feng et al. (2000) introduced an annotation system CoCoA for students learning Japanese as a foreign language. Students sent their writings to the teacher via e-mail, and the teacher marked students' errors or gave comments with CoCoA. The correction environment was similar to a physical one in which paper and pens were used. Corrected writings were then saved and sent to students by e-mail so learners could read the corrected text on screen. In addition, the system included a corpus of L2 writers' compositions and a database of writing errors for learners to practice English writing and for teachers to recognize L2 learners' error patterns. CoCoA provided "teachers and students with an interactive learning environment for realizing communicative correction of student compositions and for giving student-oriented instruction" (p. 95). Burston (2001) also introduced the writing correction software Markin32 and suggested that this composition correction program with annotations helped teachers offer useful electronic feedback to students' writings. The program facilitated both teachers' correction feedback process and students' writing skills. Wible et al. (2001) designed IWiLL, an online environment for L2 writers to submit, compose and revise their compositions. Teachers provided electronic feedback in two ways: typing their own comments and choosing one of the frequently used electronic feedback stored in "Comment Bank" (e.g. sentence fragment, tense shift). Teachers could also add new comments or delete comments in this bank and did not need to type the same comments every time for similar writing errors made by students. When students received their corrected compositions, they could read a list of comments provided by the teacher in descending order of error frequency. The researchers argued that one of the differences between marking errors with annotation in this system and with red pens in students' hard copies was that the use of annotation may make students' errors more salient. Therefore, students may be able to notice their errors for further improvement. Electronic feedback was also found helpful in L2 writers' revision by Guardado and Shi (2007), who explored twenty-two L2 students' experiences of online writing peer feedback with interviews. The researchers also compared the students' first draft with their second one that was revised based on peers' electronic feedback. Students reported that electronic feedback helped reduce problems of carrying paper around. Online writing contexts also encouraged students to give more critical comments because of anonymity, and to provide electronic feedback on the basis of the audiences' needs. As suggested by the researchers, electronic feedback should work with face-to-face discussion guided by teachers to clarify unclear comments.
Some other researchers compared the effectiveness of electronic feedback and traditional feedback in writing. Tuzi (2004) investigated effects of electronic feedback and traditional feedback on twenty L2 students' writing revisions and confirmed the greater effect of electronic feedback. Although oral feedback is preferred by L2 learners, student revisions were more considerably affected by electronic feedback as they were observed to make more revisions responding to their peers' electronic feedback. In addition, electronic feedback was used by L2 students mainly "for larger blocks of text like ideas, examples, introductions, and conclusions rather than smaller elements like grammar, punctuation, or single word changes" (p. 230). This finding, however, was incompatible with that of Schultz (2000), who found that students receiving electronic feedback made more local (grammar) changes because they could follow detailed guidance from the peers' comments. On the other hand, since face-to-face feedback may be more helpful in rapid interaction to understand student writers' intentions, more global (content, organization, and style) changes were made. Schultz argued that a combination of both types of feedback can help students achieve their optimum results in writing. Yeh and Lo (2009) also found that electronic feedback improved L2 students' error recognition greatly. The researchers proposed an online corrective feedback and error analysis tool Online Annotator for L2 Writing, with which L2 writing teachers marked students' errors online. Fifty Taiwan college students were divided into two groups and were asked to write a short essay online. Writings of the experimental group were graded by a rater who gave electronic feedback with the developed system, while the control group received feedback from the same rater who gave paper-based error correction. Afterwards, participants in both groups corrected one identical essay from an L2 student using a paper-based method and participants' corrective feedback practices were evaluated by the researchers. The results showed that corrective feedback practices performed significantly better by the experimental group who identified more errors and missed a lower number of incorrect texts than the control group. In sum, the studies reviewed in this article showed us the possibilities and potential of using technology in L2 writing teaching. Teachers need to consider the timing for using these programs or software with caution. Teachers may also need to learn how to correct students' writings effectively and build learner autonomy with the help of technology.
Burston, J. (2001). Computer-mediated feedback in composition correction. CALICO Journal 19(1), 37-50.
Fang, T. (2013). Does Language Shape Thought?: Chinese and English Speakers’ Conceptions of Amplifier Collocations. Chang Gung Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 6(2), 323-346.
Feng, C., Ogata, H., & Yano, Y. (2000). Mark-up-based writing error analysis model in an on-line classroom. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 13(1), 79-97.
Guardado, M., & Shi, L. (2007). ESL students' experiences of online peer feedback. Computers and Composition, 24, 443-361.
Kennedy, G. (2003), Amplifier Collocations in the British National Corpus: Implications for English Language Teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 37(3), 467-487.
Neri, A., Mich, O., Gerosa, M., & Giuliani, D. (2008). The effectiveness of computer assisted pronunciation training for foreign language learning by children. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21, 393-408.
Schultz, J. M. (2000). Computer and collaborative writing in the foreign language curriculum. In M. Warschauer and R. Kern (eds.), Network-based language teaching: Concepts and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 121-150.
Sullivan, D., Brown, E., & Nielson, L. (1998). Computer-mediated peer review of student papers. Journal of Education for Business, 74(2), 117-121.
Tuzi, F. (2004). The impact of e-feedback on the revisions of L2 writers in an academic writing course. Computers and Composition, 21, 217-235.
Wible, D., Kuo, C. H., Chien, F. Y., Liu, A., & Tsao, N. L. (2001). A Web-based EFL writing environment: integrating information for learners, teachers, and researchers. Computers & Education, 37, 297-315.
Yeh, S. W., & Lo, J. J. (2009). Using online annotations to support error correction and corrective feedback. Computers & Education, 52, 882-892.
李維晏教授赴美參加 2016 International Education Conference San Francisco 與2016 International Conference on Social Science, Arts, Economics and Education 國際研討會，發表三篇共同研究成果，三項發表皆獲得 Best Presentation Award。其中 "Flipped Teaching, on the Alert"與 "Empowering Teaching and Learning Through Peer Support"二篇為中心教師群共同研究，肯定其優秀成果。
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
3MT competitions are well known all over the world with some of the best universities conducting their own. I consider winning this year as one my best achievements but this did not come to me easily. I was a finalist in 2015 and not getting a place in the top 3 made me even more determined to give it my all this year. There is no shortcut to success and all the perseverance and hard work one put’s in will surely be rewarded.
For me 3MT was all about showcasing my love for science and it was a platform to allow a wider section of people to see and learn about not only my work but also some remarkable work being done across different fields. I urge future participants to grab this opportunity for it will broaden their horizon.
The NTU 3MT team has become like a family to me now. Their passion has made 3MT in NTU a great success and I am sure this will become bigger in the years to come. I wish them the best and I hope they will continue to enrich the lives of students.
~ 李妮 Rini Ravindranath (臺大化學所)
Thanks AWEC for providing the great contest! I really approve the main spirit of 3MT, "do the presentation briefly and make it easy to understand."
"When I was preparing for the speech, all I wanted is to make everyone understand, same as the time when I was on the stage."
I learned more to be willing to share from the contest, feeling great while making people understand.
I am grateful to have the chance to share my research, and feels lucky to win, but the most meaningful thing is no more than hearing from the others, with all the participants making speeches in an easy way, knowledge becomes simpler and understandable, hope more and more people agree with this, it really has the power to upgrade our passion of learning, and the popularization of all kinds of knowledge.