AWEJ Volume.4 Number.3, 2013                                                                     Pp.213-225

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The Effect of “WhatsApp” Electronic Dialogue Journaling on Improving Writing Vocabulary Word Choice and Voice of EFL Undergraduate Saudi Students

 Basma Issa Ahmad Alsaleem
AlImam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University
Saudi Arabia

Abstract
Electronic journaling is a new tool for writing skill improvement. The current study attempts to determine whether WhatsApp electronic journaling as a new application in smart phones has a significant effect on writing vocabulary word choice and voice of undergraduate Saudi students. In this quantitative, quasi-experimental study, data are gathered using a pretest-posttest design using a sample of 30 EFL undergraduate female students in Languages and Translation College at AlImam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Saudi Arabia. A rubric is used to score a writing sample from each student before and after treatment, and significance is measured using Kruskal-Wallis, Friedman, and the Wilcoxon tests.In this action research, Saudi undergraduate English students are required to post their reflective comments on different topics to their group which was created through WhatsApp. The students react well to the discussions through their dialogue journaling. They treat it as if it were play rather than class work; however, at the end of the experiment, the students know more about the writing processes of one another and their use of words is improved. This sense of enjoyment allows for the students to use WhatsApp electronic dialogue journaling as a tool for learning.Results indicate a significant difference between the overall writing scores of the pretest and posttest of the students that journaled. In addition, examination of individual item scores reveals that there are statistically significant improvements in vocabulary word choice and voice as two critically important writing factors. The study can raise a positive social change by helping teachers understand the prospective benefits of WhatsApp electronic dialogue journaling to improve the vocabulary word choice and voice writing skills of their students.

Keywords: WhatsApp , journaling, EFL Saudi students, improving ,writing, voice, choice

 

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Dr. Basma Issa Ahmad Al-Saleem, an EFL Assistant Professor at Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn
Sa’ud University in Saudi Arabia. She holds a TEFL doctorate degree from Yarmouk University
in Jordan – 2010.She has a Diploma in TESOL from Columbia University in New York and the
Professional Certificate of English Language Teachers from SIT Institution in America-2012.