First Advisor

Kimberley Brown

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language


Foreign Students -- Attitudes



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vii, 76 p.)


This study examined the attitudes of English as a second or other language (ESOL) students who used computers/word processors to develop skills in writing English. Two primary questions were investigated: what are students' attitudes toward using computers to write English and what are students' attitudes toward learning computer and word processing skills? The subjects were 40 ESOL students enrolled at South Seattle Community College (SSCC) in technical programs and were required to complete a transitional English class that included business and technical writing . Students received 10 weeks of writing instruction on word processors. A 38-item attitude inventory created by Neu and Scarcella (1991) was used to measure students' attitudes toward ComputerAssisted Writing (CAW). An additional 13 questions helped identify subjects' native language, computer experience, and amount of time spent studying English. ChiSquare and t-test were used to examine the data. South Seattle Community College students' responses are reported and compared to Neu and Scarcella's ( 1991) results. The results of this study indicated that students' attitudes were significantly positive toward the writing process when using word processors. Foremost, students acknowledged that using a computer helped them develop confidence about their ability to write in English and they would recommend that other international students learn to use word processing for writing their papers. In addition, students' perceptions toward learning and developing personal computer (PC) skills were significantly positive. When SSCC data was compared to Neu and Scarcella's (1991) data, four statistically significant differences with respect to general attitudes towards writing emerged. Students stated that computers helped develop confidence in their ability to write (item I 0), helped them pay more attention to grammar (item 3 ), punctuation (item 33), and spelling (item 21). There were no statistical significant difference with respect to attitudes towards PC's: although SSCC students generally felt less positive about learning PC skills than their California counterparts.


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