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Investigating Students’ Use of a Social Annotation Tool in an English for Science and Technology Course

  • Jianqiu TianEmail author
Conference paper
  • 13 Downloads
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11984)

Abstract

This study investigates the linguistic and pedagogical benefits and challenges of using a digital annotation tool (called Perusall) to facilitate second language (L2) reading in an advanced English language course at university level. The goals of the study are to analyze the students’ reading and annotating behavior, examine the effects of social reading on their understanding of English for science and technology texts and investigate how an L2 teacher might effectively incorporate this activity in his/her classroom. The results indicate that students spent an above average amount of time reading (compared to that reported in the literature) and that most students completed their reading assignments before class with the Perusall platform. Moreover, they predominantly used the social reading experience to summarize the sections of the long article, and query fellow students about the meaning of difficult and transitional sentences. Perusall allowed students to co-construct meaning and scaffold their learning while engaged in close readings of the science and technology texts outside of the physical classroom. Drawbacks of social reading in this environment are primarily others’ comments impeding some students’ understanding of the text and students’ frustrations with some technical aspects of the Perusall tool. Pedagogical suggestions regarding L2 social reading include better integrating students’ virtual comments into classroom discussion/activities, and offering more structure for students.

Keywords

Social annotation tool L2 reading English for science and technology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Foreign LanguagesPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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