Michael C. Cheng
National Chengchi University, Taiwan
This paper explores some of the problems associated with teaching writing in Asian EFL contexts. Asian university students are often shy and unresponsive in class. This passivity is especially problematic when writing instructors attempt to introduce a process writing approach that utilizes peer revision along with instructor feedback to their classes. A second problem is that students may feel that they are unqualified or that it is not their place to give peer feedback. Large class sizes also create a heavy workload for writing instructors, who may find it difficult to schedule adequate conference time with their students. Finally, students may not adequately revise their papers after receiving feedback. Introducing synchronous or asynchronous forms of computer mediated communication (CMC) can alleviate these problems. Examination of a case study in which CMC in the form of email was introducing into a university level writing class illustrates the immediate and positive impact a common and simple tool like email can have on student motivation, participation, and interaction.
Key Words: computer mediated communication, synchronous discussion, asynchronous discussion, EFL composition, Asian EFL