Volume 21 Number 1, February 2017 Special Issue on Methodological Innovation in CALL Research

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    Review of Mezhdu Nami
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-02-01) Zaykovskaya, Irina
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    Web-based collaborative writing in L2 contexts: Methodological insights from text mining
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-02-01) Yim, Soobin ; Warschauer, Mark
    The increasingly widespread use of social software (e.g., Wikis, Google Docs) in second language (L2) settings has brought a renewed attention to collaborative writing. Although the current methodological approaches to examining collaborative writing are valuable to understand L2 students’ interactional patterns or perceived experiences, they can be insufficient to capture the quantity and quality of writing in networked online environments. Recently, the evolution of techniques for analyzing big data has transformed many areas of life, from information search to marketing. However, the use of data and text mining for understanding writing processes in language learning contexts is largely underexplored. In this article, we synthesize the current methodological approaches to researching collaborative writing and discuss how new text mining tools can enhance research capacity. These advanced methods can help researchers to elucidate collaboration processes by analyzing user behaviors (e.g., amount of editing, participation equality) and their link to writing outcomes across large numbers of exemplars. We introduce key research examples to illustrate this potential and discuss the implications of integrating the tools for L2 collaborative writing research and pedagogy.
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    Methodological innovation in CALL research and its role in SLA
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-02-01) Smith, Bryan ; Smith, Bryan
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    Digital-gaming trajectories and second language development
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-02-01) Scholz, Kyle W. ; Schulze, Mathias
    Recent research in digital game-based language learning has been encouraging, yet it would benefit from research methods that focus on the gaming processes and second-language development (Larsen-Freeman, 2015) rather than learner/player reflection or individuals’ beliefs about the validity of gameplay. This has proven challenging as research methods which provide insight into the gameplay experiences and its many factors are needed. Having the gameplay experience occur extramurally is desirable, but makes the direct observation of the learners’ activities by a researcher difficult. For this reason, we suggest approaching digital game-based language learning through complex adaptive systems research (Larsen-Freeman & Cameron, 2008a) and employing Dörnyei’s (2014) retrodictive qualitative modeling to capture the complex synchronic and diachronic variability of the learners and their individual nonlinear gaming trajectories with requisite data density and over a considerable period of time. This article draws on a study examining language learners playing the online role-playing game World of Warcraft over four months. We will focus on the data collection in this observational study and the methods of analysis of a complex adaptive system, which helped to better understand the role of extramural digital gaming for the purpose of second-language development.
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    Review of Discourse and Digital Practices: Doing Discourse Analysis in the Digital Age
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-02-01) Ricker Schreiber, Brooke