n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Effectively digitizing communication with for improved writing in amultilingual classroom

Volume 49, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



This research aims to establish the effect of computer technology, specifically referring to the use of Turnitin, on writing in a South African multilingual language class. By employing a qualitative case study, the researchers observed the development of writing skills of 19 learners in an Afrikaans First Additional Language (FAL) class, utilising the internet and harnessing the use of blogs to collect data. Electronic interviews with learners and focus group discussions in a specially created chat room with other FAL teachers in the school were conducted to collect data. The conceptual framework incorporated the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework and Vygotsky's zone of proximal development (1978). This adapted framework was employed as the lens to evaluate the efficacy of computer technology on writing. Findings indicate that the innovative application of Turnitin, a tool that provides a similarity index, to provide written corrective feedback (WCF), started an iterative cycle of review and contribution which lead to self-directed learning through spontaneous written collaboration amongst learners. Teaching was enhanced, learners felt more organised which resulted in more confidence, and learners' individual needs were met. Instant access to the grammar rules via Turnitin's quick mark comment led to the integration of the grammar rules and writing which is optimal for successful Afrikaans FAL writing.

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