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Title: ESL Composition Class: An In-class vs. Online Comparison 
Author: Lipske, Robert
Date: 2004
Abstract: This qualitative study investigates student attitudes in university-level ESL composition classes in both an in-class and an asynchronous on-line setting. Student and teacher interviews, classroom observations, and writing samples are used to examine group work, peer feedback, attitudes about writing in English, and freewrite activities in the two contexts. Results from this exploration suggest that each context offers unique advantages and disadvantages. An in-class section may offer teachers greater pedagogical flexibilities for group tasks, and it may provide more support for most learners to develop their L2 language proficiencies by allowing them to work with sympathetic classmates who are undergoing a similar acculturation process. However, an on-line section may provide teachers greater monitoring abilities during group work, and it may provide a more nurturing environment for the most reticent learners to develop confidence in their L2 abilities. On-line groups, however, face unique challenges because they are reliant on timely member participation in order to complete assignments. Additionally, in-class sections may enhance writing fluency whereas on-line sections may help students to develop more formal academic writing styles. The study concludes by suggesting that composite writing courses that use a combination of in-class and on-line settings may be the most beneficial scenario.
Pages/Duration: 52 pages
Keywords: online class, attitudes, L2 writing, asynchronous course

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