The Comparison of Typed and Handwritten Essays of Iranian EFL Students in terms of Length, Spelling, and Grammar

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of English, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

Abstract

This study attempted to compare typed and handwritten essays of Iranian EFL students in terms of length, spelling, and grammar. To administer the study, the researchers utilized Alice Touch Typing Tutor software to select 15 upper intermediate students with higher ability to write two essays: one typed and the other handwritten. The students were both males and females between the ages of 22 to 35. The analyses of the students’ scores in the three mentioned criteria through three paired samples t-tests indicate that typed essays are significantly better than handwritten ones in terms of length of texts and grammatical mistakes, but not significantly different in spelling mistakes. Positive effects of typing can provide a logical reason for students, especially TOEFL applicants, to spend more time on acquiring typing skill and also for teachers to encourage their students with higher typing ability to choose typed format in their essays. 

Keywords


Bangert-Drowns, R. L. (1993). The word processor as an instructional tool: A meta-analysis of word   processing in writing instruction. Review of Educational Research, 63 (l), 69-93.

Cunningham, A. E., & Stanovich, K. E. (1990). Early spelling ac­quisition: Writing beats the computer. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 159-162.

Deutscher & Lehrerverband (2015). UmfrageunterLehrernmachtdeutlich: ProblememitdemHandschreiben in der Schulenehmenzu [Survey among teachers points out: Problems with handwrit­ing in schools increase]. Retrieved from

Khishdari (2014).The effect of word-processors on the spelling errors and the difference between the number of typing and handwriting spelling mistakes of students at Islamic Azad University, TAFT Branch. International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World,6 (1), 422- 429.  

Lee, H. K. (2004). A comparative study of ESL writers' performance in a paper-based and a computer-delivered writing test. Assessing Writing, 9, 4–26.

Lessien, E. (2013). The effects of typed versus handwritten essays on students’ scores on proficiency tests (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from http://etd.lib.msu.edu/islandora/object/etd%3A1970/datastream/OBJ/view

Li, J. (2005). The Mediation of Technology in ESL writings and its implications for writing assessment. Assessing Writing, 11, 5–21.

Mangen, A., & Velay, J.L. (2010). Digitizing literacy: Reflections on the haptics of writing.In M. H. Zadeh (Ed.), Advances in Haptics (pp. 385-402). Rijeka, Croatia: InTech.

McAllister, C. &Louth, R. (1988).The effect of word processing on the quality of basic writers' revisions. Research in the Teaching of English, 22 (4), 417-427.

Mogey, N., Paterson, J., Burk, J., & Purcell, M. (2010). Typing compared with handwriting for essay examinations at university: letting the students choose. Research in Learning Technology, 18 (1), 29–47.

Ouellette, G., & Tims, T. (2014). The write way to spell: Printing vs. typing effects on orthographic learning. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 117.

Pennington, M. C. (1996). The computer and the non-native writer: A natural partnership. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Rodrigues, D. (1985). Computers and basic writers. College Composition and Communication, 36, 336-339.

Schwartz, H., Fitzpatrik, C., &Huot, B. (1994).The computer medium in writing for discovery. Computers and Composition, 11, 137–149.

Sharpe, P. J. (2006). How to prepare for the TOEFL iBT.(12th Ed.). New York: Barron's Educational Series.

Susser, B. (1994). Process approaches in ESL/EFL writing instruction. Journal of Second Language Writing, 3, 31–47.

Vaughn, S., Schumm, J. S., & Gordon, J. (1992). Early spelling acquisition: Does writing really beat the computer? Learning Disability Quarterly, 15, 223-228.

Warschauer, M. & Healey, D. (1998) Computer and language learning: An overview. Language Teaching, 31 (2), 57-71.