Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/03/2020

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Second Language Acquisition

First Advisor

Severino, Carol

Second Advisor

Liskin-Gasparro, Judith E

First Committee Member

Plakans, Lia

Second Committee Member

Wesely, Pamela M

Third Committee Member

Schrier, Leslie L


Collaborative work in pairs or groups is a common practice in the workplace, in content courses, and in classrooms across languages, settings, and geopolitical boundaries. However, research on collaborative writing—working with a partner to jointly produce a text, including both planning and writing phases—is limited. In addition, it has resulted in contradictory findings, especially in terms of whether learners deliberate about language and how the composition process affects the written texts produced learners produce.

The present study, carried out in a fifth-semester university Spanish Writing course, examines the process (i.e., interaction) and product (i.e., written document) of a collaborative writing module that focused on the creation of narratives. The analysis of learners’ collaborative dialogue produced during the planning and writing phases of the interaction focuses on: (1) at a macro level, how learners apportion their time while collaboratively planning and producing a written narrative (e.g., planning, formulating, revising); and (2) at a micro level, the types (e.g., discourse, grammatical, lexical, mechanical), frequency, and resolution (e.g., resolved, unresolved, resolved incorrectly) of their language-related episodes (i.e., the instances where they talk about the language they are producing and question their language use). Learners’ jointly produced texts were examined analytically in terms of complexity, fluency, and accuracy measures, as well as holistically using a rubric. Additionally, a microdiscourse analytic approach was used to examine the means by which members of a collaborative pair position themselves as partners in a collaborative writing activity.

Results indicate that a fully collaborative writing event is a productive site for co- constructed learning as students pool their knowledge to solve language-use problems, particularly those related to word choice and grammatical structures. Additionally, the texts composed collaboratively are of higher quality, based on several of the measures utilized, than texts composed individually by members of the collaborative pair. Finally, implications for implementing collaborative writing tasks in L2 classrooms are discussed.


Collaborative Writing, Peer Interaction, Second Language Acquistion, Second Language Writing, Sociocultural Theory, Spanish Language Learning


xvi, 248 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 178-198).


Copyright © 2018 Brian M. Olovson

Available for download on Friday, July 03, 2020