I last wrote an overview of developments in second language (L2) online writing 10 years ago (Godwin-Jones, 2008). Since that time, there have been significant developments in this area. There has been renewed interest in L2 writing through the wide use of social media, along with the rising popularity of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and telecollaboration (class-based online exchanges). The recognition of writing as a social act has also led to a significant rise in interest in collaborative writing. This has been aided by the popularity of tools providing a shared writing space, such as Google Docs. The importance and recognition of genre in both student work and writing theory have grown considerably among practitioners and researchers. The increased practice of integrating multimedia into writing is reflected in the popularity of multimodal projects, such as digital storytelling. At the same time, digital tools for evaluating writing have become more widely available in the form of digital annotators and automated writing evaluation (AWE) software, which take advantage of advances in corpus linguistics and natural language processing (NLP). In addition, tools for processing and evaluating large data sets enable approaches from data mining that provide valuable insights into writing processes. The variety and, in some cases, the complexity of online writing environments has increased the need for both learner and teacher training.
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Godwin-Jones, R. (2018). Second language writing online: An update. Language Learning & Technology, 22(1), 1–15. https://dx.doi.org/10125/44574
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center Michigan State University Center for Language Education and Research