Self-disclosure in EFL writing by computers

Adam Serag

Self-disclosure during the pedagogical process of English language learning is shown in this paper to enhance the likelihood of a positive outcome. A computer-mediated communication (CMC) environment designed to facilitate and promote effective English writing skills and learner autonomy in Japan is outlined within, along with a review of current work in this area, focusing on computer-mediated self-disclosure of Japanese university students from a psychological perspective. A self-disclosure technique was implemented in two dimensions online in the form of weekly assignments in paragraph writing and discussion forums given to 203 of the first grade students at Ehime University over a 15-week semester. Students showed a dramatic improvement in both their English writing and their critical thinking abilities, whilst reporting an increase in overall enjoyment and autonomy, as found in their response to a 36-item self-report questionnaire. The paper goes on to discuss the role of self-disclosure supported by computers in EFL writing and also how computer activities can be integrated into the regular structure and goals of English writing courses.