Second and Foreign Language Writing and Computer-Mediated Communication: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis of Recent Research

  • Linda Tay
  • Yin Ling Cheung National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


The use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in the classroom is common nowadays. The bulk of literature produced so far has done little in informing us the factors that facilitate the role of CMC in language writing, and the nature of the interaction that takes place via CMC in a systematic manner. This paper examines what empirical research has found out about the factors that facilitate the use of CMC in second/ foreign language writing instruction and learning, and the nature of interaction that takes place via CMC in an educational context. 60 peer-reviewed published primary studies from 2007-2017 were reviewed. The key findings are as follows. First, instructor support plays a critical role in ensuring the successful implementation of a CMC tool in the classroom. Second, the affordances of CMC in enhancing the writer’s identity and the presence of an audience can increase learners’ motivation to write. Third, both asynchronous and synchronous CMC have shown to be beneficial, and the provision of training can further enhance the effectiveness of peer reviews. Last, the participatory patterns of CMC in writing are influenced by factors such as task type, personal goals, native-speaker status, and self-perceived competencies. Pedagogical implications are suggested.


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How to Cite
Tay, L., & Cheung, Y. L. (2019). Second and Foreign Language Writing and Computer-Mediated Communication: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis of Recent Research . Issues in Language Studies, 8(2), 79-95.