The effects of blogging on the writing achievement of third-grade second language learners

A skill that second language learners struggle to acquire is writing. This study is based on the Huebner (2008) study which findings indicated that there was no significant difference in the writing achievement of third-grade second language learners when they responded to writing prompts in writing journals and in a blog. A limitation of the Huebner (2008) study was that the participants had no prior keyboarding skills. Two research questions were explored. Will there be a difference in writing achievement between third-grade second language learners who participate in a three week training in keyboarding skills, compared to students who do not when they blog? "Will the use of blogs versus journals cause third-grade second language learners to write more words, use more sophisticated language, and have less grammatical and mechanical errors?" (Huebner, 2008, p. 4). Twenty-two third-grade second language learners and 2 native English speakers participated, 12 in the experimental and 12 in the control group. The experimental group was exposed to a three-week keyboarding training. Both groups for three weeks answered 12 writing prompts 6 in their journal and 6 a blog. The results indicated that the experimental group had a higher word count when the word counts of only blog and blog and writing journal entries were added. However, the control group had a slightly higher writing rubric score. There was no significant difference in writing achievement. KEYWORDS; computers, keyboarding skills, second language learners, web 2.0 sites, weblogs (blogs), writing achievement