CALICO Journal, Vol 34, No 1 (2017)

The Development of Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency in L2 Written Production through Informal Participation in Online Activities

Meryl Kusyk
Issued Date: 24 Jan 2017


Research into the online informal learning of English (OILE) examines how non-native speakers of English may develop L2 skills through participation in leisure activities on the Internet in the target language. Such activities include, e.g., watching television series, films or videos, interacting on Facebook, reading articles or listening to music. Recent OILE studies have focused on students at French universities and have sought to both inventory language users’ online participation habits and track their L2 development (Kusyk & Sockett, 2012; Sockett, 2011; Sockett, 2014; Toffoli & Sockett, 2015; Sockett & Kusyk, 2015). This paper provides updated OILE participation data on French students and, for the first time, German university students. In order to increase awareness about current OILE practices, results of a questionnaire (N = 953) of OILE habits are presented. In addition, development in complexity, accuracy and fluency of three individual study participants was tracked over a period of five months. Results show a great deal of inter- and intraindividual variation, highlighting the need to consider L2 development as a complex and nonlinear process, especially when analyzed within an online, informal context.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.29513


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