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Commenting Behavior in a Foreign Language Blog Exchange

TESOL France Colloquium 2011, Paris
November 14 – 16

Presentation summary:

This session will provide a comprehensive discussion on the ongoing class-level language blog exchange project between Japanese and American university students. The presentation will include description of all aspects of the project; including cultural context, rationale, implementation, data collection and analysis. Once the project background has been discussed in order to provide the necessary context, the focus will be on the compilation and analysis of data. The project began in 2007 when English students from the Yamanashi University in Japan began exchanging blog posts with Japanese language students from the University of New Hampshire (USA). This project employed two group blogs; one for each group of language learners. Each group of students posted content to their group blog in L2, while commenting on the partner blog using L1. In this way, all students accepted the duel roles of language learners and native peers. The presentation will cover the collection, coding and analysis of the comment discussions on each of the group blogs. The main points considered in the analysis of the comment discussions were peer vs. self comments, and communicative intent of comment content. The number of peer comments (comments from native speakers) and self-comments (author responses to peer comments) were analyzed to measure participation, engagement, and depth of interaction. Additionally, the comments were coded for communicative intent and split into the three categories: content-based, corrective, and complimentary. Patterns and behaviors in this many-to-many eTandem exchange will be shared in discussed in this presentation.