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The effectiveness of integrating technology in EFL/ESL writing: a meta-analysis

Baleigh Qassem Al-Wasy (Department of English, College of Science and Arts, Balqarn, University of Bisha, Bisha, Saudi Arabia and Sana’a University, Sana’a, Yemen)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 17 July 2020

Issue publication date: 22 September 2020




This paper aims to highlight a research on integrating technology into teaching and learning of second/foreign language writing.


In total, 18 empirical studies, involving a total of 1,281 second and foreign language learners, have been reviewed. These studies are selected from the following two databases: Web of Science and Google Scholar. The meta-analysis investigates how effect sizes vary depending on these moderators as follows: stage of writing, language context, learners’ educational level and language proficiency level.


The findings of this meta-analysis have indicated that technology has a large effect on second/foreign language writing (d = 1.7217). These findings have also revealed that the two stages of writing, drafting and editing, have received most of the researchers’ concern. In addition, high school and university learners have achieved a larger effect size of using technology in writing learning; beginner learners have achieved the smallest effect size.


To sum, the previous meta-analyses and reviews tried to explore the effect of computer on writing skills. However, some of them were limited to special groups (Williams and Beam, 2019) and some others analyzed very few studies (Little et al., 2018). Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of the effect of implementing technology in writing skills is needed. The purpose of this study is to perform a meta-analysis of the primary studies about the integration of technology into writing skills. The primary goals of this meta-analysis were to: examine the overall effects of implementing technology in writing; synthesize the relationship between technology and a number of moderators such as stages of writing, language context, learners’ target language proficiency and learners’ educational level (school and university).



Funding: The author received no financial support for the research, authorship, and publication of this article.


Al-Wasy, B.Q. (2020), "The effectiveness of integrating technology in EFL/ESL writing: a meta-analysis", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 435-454.



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