Will the use of blogging improve the writing achievement of third-grade second language learners?

This study used a blog and handwritten journals to examine the writing achievement of third-grade second language learners. There were 13 second language learners in the group of 20 students who participated in the study. Participants were placed into three heterogeneous groups and rotated between typing in a blog and handwriting in a journal during 25-minute writing sessions. Students typed five entries in a blog and handwrote five entries in a journal over a six-week period. They responded to each other in both writing formats. All entries were assessed for content, organization, grammar, and spelling using a rubric. Total word counts for blogs and journal entries were noted, and teacher observation notes were analyzed. The results of this study showed that students wrote more words in their handwritten journals than they typed in the blog, but total words increased over time in both formats. The students had no significant improvement in their rubric scores during the period of the study. It was observed that students were engaged and on task throughout the study, but had minimal keyboarding skills and were less efficient at typing than handwriting. The results of this action research indicate the need for longer studies, keyboarding practice, and more intense writing instruction as part of the study procedures. KEYWORDS: Weblogs, technology, journal writing, writing achievement, second language learners