complexity. Her study analyzed both the final product of their writing task (in terms of fluency, accuracy and complexity) as well as the nature of interaction during the task. The results revealed that collaboration among team members leads to many opportunities for idea exchanging and peer feedback. Moreover, the results also indicated that the students who produced the text in pair wrote shorter but grammatically more accurate and more complex texts in comparison to those who produced the texts individually. But the difference between the individual and group work was not statistically significant, suggesting that the reason for this lack of significant might probably have to do with short length of the text and the small sample size, thus there is a need for further research.
Storch (2007) has investigated the benefits of pair work by comparing texts produced by pairs versus those produced by individuals. The study was conducted in four ESL classes. Students in class A completed their task in pairs whereas student in class B completed their task individually. Both class C and Class D had to choose from either of these two conditions (e.g. working individually or collaboratively). All the gathered data had been audiotaped and transcribed for further investigation. Careful analysis of edited texts showed that there was no significant difference in terms of accuracy of tasks completed individually or collaboratively, also analysis of transcribed paired revealed that most pairs engage actively in the word choice. Thus the finding suggested that although group work on grammatical task may not lead to greater levels of accuracy, but it provides L2 learners the opportunity to use L2 language and to learn the language.
Strauss and U (2007) clearly stated that group work provided lots of learning opportunities for learners such as helping them to express their ideas freely and vividly when they have difficulty to express themselves appropriately in English.
Additionally, Mutch (1998) believed that the increased interest toward group work lead not only to improvement in learners’ accountability, but it is also a medium of reducing pressure on academic educational environment. Although pair writing is a new phenomenon in foreign/ second language instruction, the impact of such technique on L2 writing improvement is to some extent unclear since there are controversial results gained from different researchers in second language learning.
In their paper, Wigglesworth and Storch (2012) explore the findings from the studies which have examined the effect of learners working in pairs or small groups on writing tasks, and the extent to which working predominantly in pairs, and receiving feedback on their writing in pairs, can enhance the language learning opportunities for learners through their ability to scaffold each other’s contributions and knowledge. Drawing also on their work from a large-scale study which examined learner’s writing and their responses to feedback, they argue that learners working on writing activities in pairs can enhance learning by providing opportunities for the discussion of language. They conclude with a discussion of possible research directions in relation to further exploring collaborative writing and collaborative processing of feedback which may prove valuable for second language learners. Collaborative writing activities can clearly promote noticing as learners discuss and deliberate over particular features of language about which they are unclear. There is now evidences that they often arrive at a correct and appropriate conclusion as a result of these discussions as evidenced by their writing performances.
In a study titled “The effect of collaborative writing on EFL students’ grammatical accuracy”, Meihami et al. (2013) aimed to examine if collaborative writing has any effect on improving grammatical accuracy on EFL students’ writing. A total of 50 advanced EFL students of English language learning all male and with age range of 20 to 24 were participating in this study. All of these students were Iranians and English was a foreign language for them. English was taught in an EFL context. 50 EFL advanced students were divided into two classes: class A and class B. In class A, collaborative writing was the desired treatment. In each session from the second session on, the teacher gave a subject to the students to write about. The aim of the program was to enable students to write in English and to improve their writing ability for the future course in essay writing. The program started in April the 6 and finished in June the 6 of 2013. It took two month period and 24 sessions. Each week there were three sessions each took 1 and a half hour. For the purpose of the research students were divided into two groups. Prior to the starting of classes and in the registration day students were informed about a pretest in the second session. It was found that improving in the knowledge of grammatical accuracy tended to be larger with the use of collaborative writing in the classroom. At one encounter, the participants in the collaborative writing class demonstrated large improves in grammatical accuracy (80 percent more than the other class); indicating that for advanced-level learners collaborative writing can increase the accuracy in grammatical points. The results indicate, overall, that Collaborative Writing has a greater influence on grammatical accuracy of advanced EFL writers than the other traditional method which was to correct student’s writings on the spot of their reading in the classroom. It is important to note that the participants of this study were in their advanced level of proficiency and already have known about collaborative writing, and analytic rating scale. Further research examining other proficiency level in accordance with the use of collaborative writing would be a useful follow up to this study. This study sheds lights on the way that collaborative writing could improve the grammatical accuracy of advanced EFL writers so it can be an excellent mean to improve writing ability in EFL context. In this way, teachers and instructors may be able to take advantage of collaborative writing in their writing classes to improve their students’ grammatical accuracy and finally writing ability.
In the study titled” The effect of cooperative learning techniques on promoting writing skill of Iranian EFL learners”, Keshavarz et al. (2014) investigated the effect of cooperative learning techniques on promoting writing skills of Iranian EFL learners. A sample of 60 students at intermediate level who were learners was chosen based on a systematic random sampling from among 100 students. The subjects were at intermediate level , based on Nelson English Language Proficiency Test , and were divide into three homogeneous groups known as two experimental groups (A and B), and one control group (C).the writing test was administered at the end of the treatments to the students in the three groups. Several different testing instruments were utilized in the process of the development of the present research. Thirty items of Nelson Battery (Fowler & Coe, 1976) was applied to determine the homogeneity of the groups regarding their levels of proficiency. The data obtained through Nelson language test as homogeneity test and post-test were analyzed (using SPSS 20 software) in different steps. A possible reason that students in cooperative groups of STAD technique were more successful than those students in the individual groups of CI technique is that individual groups in conventional instruction lack interpersonal feedback in the practice.
Furthermore, the environment structuring learning situations may cooperatively enable students to process information more deeply than those who studying the information by themselves. Students in CI group work alone on a unit or activity; however, they lack a partner with whom to interact or share knowledge. Students in cooperative groups receive peer encouragement and personalize
d support from their more competent partners. They may perceive that their contributions are expected and valued for the success of the group. Their partners are available to help them when they need a customized answer to a question or solution to a problem. When someone generates an incorrect response, the more able students in the group can explain why that answer is not acceptable, and this explanation can arouse interaction among group members which can promote deeper learning of materials through explanation, elaboration, or mental processing which take place during this interaction.
In the outset of this chapter, first, an introduction was offered. Then, the philosophy behind this study, i.e. sociocultural perspective, was explained. Writing in Vygotsky’s school of thought, and the concepts of MKO, ZPD, scaffolding, its challenges and benefits, peer interaction, mediation and writing, accuracy definition, and pair work ’s advantages and disadvantages were examined in detail.
In this chapter, the methodology of the study will be discussed in full detail. The researcher will start the methodology with restatement of the research question and hypotheses. Then, she will elaborate on the participants of the study. After that, she will elaborate on the design of the study. Next, she will explain the target structure and focus of the study. Next, she will describe the instructional and testing materials, and finally, she will describe the instructional and testing procedures.
3.2 Design of the study
Before describing the instructional and testing procedures, it is quite essential to mention that the researcher was the instructor of all groups and conducted the research individually. In other words, it was the researcher of this thesis who conducted the research, not other instructors. First the related studies and theses were studied by the researcher of this study.
Learners were homogenized based on the language institute’s records by checking their scores in their report cards in order to make sure that the results of the study were not due to the initial differences between the participants. When the homogeneity was assured, the next steps were continued.
The study employed a quasi-experimental design with a pretest-delayed posttest. It had quasi-experimental design since the researcher didn’t have the chance of randomization for the few number of applicants, registered for a technical writing class. After the participants and the materials were chosen, the procedure started. Two classes were selected as the control and experimental groups. Both control and experimental groups were taught by the researcher. The classes were held twice a week and each class took one hour and half (except for the first session which took two hours). In the first session of both classes which took two hours, a summary of the features of narrative writing and some example texts were given to the students as a handout and the researcher gave explanations about them and discussed them with the students. The reason for selecting narrative genre among the others was frequency of its usage in different ESL classes. Giving a summary of readings or short story English books has been an important part of classes as well as final exams at all levels. Narrating personal experiences in a way that it leads to accompanying the audience eagerly with the narrator is another crucial ability that all exemplify the features of the narrative genre.
Next, a pretest was given to the students of both groups with a narrative topic (Narrate the first or last day of school/college) which took 45 minutes. The topic was selected from narrative prompts listed in a paper by the researcher which