Mullen and Wedwick’s (2008, p. 66) assertion that “the literate of the twenty-first century must be able to download, upload, rip, burn, chat, save, blog, Skype, IM, and share” is correct—literacy in this age is no longer only the ability to read and write, albeit it is built on it. Furthermore, as Meyers (1993) and Herrell and Jordan (2011) note, students should not only read and write every day, but they should also have opportunities to share their ideas and writing. One of the strengths of using computers in reading and writing is that electronic technologies can provide myriad opportunities such as forums, blogs, fanfiction sites, Wikis, social media pages and applications, and virtual words for learners to share their ideas. Another useful reading and writing activity that computer use can support is journal writing. Journal writing provides students with many clear benefits (Hiemstra, 2001; Guenette, 2007; Kreeft- Peyton, 1990). It allows students to practice writing, receive modeling, gain authentic input, and communicate with others. Journals can be written among learners, between the teacher and learner, between learners and experts, or even between learners and parents. Learners can write their journals in a first language, additional language, or combination of the two (or more), using academic or informal writing. More broadly, e-mail journals (Goettsch, 2001) and social networking applications such as Facebook (Tess, 2013) can be used to connect with learners in other cities, states, and countries, and to help learners gain insights about different cultures, literatures, and language uses. As messaging via social media application (see chapter 3) and emails is generally accessible and simple today, learners can use them to journal even in contexts with less advanced technologies.
More Ideas for CALL Reading and Writing Activities by Joy Egbert and Seyed Abdollah Shahrokni is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.