Collaborative writing revision process among learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in an online community of practice (CoP)

Norizan Abdul Razak, Murad Abdu Saeed


This qualitative study aimed to identify the revision strategies among learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). It also examined the focus of these strategies and learners’ participation and membership in an online community of practice (CoP). As part of shared practices in this online CoP via a Facebook group, these revision writing activities were carried out among a heterogonous group of 15 EFL learners from different EFL countries. Data was collected from the learners’ original and revised paragraphs, online interactional exchanges and responses to the post-revision discussions. The qualitative analysis of the data revealed that addition, substitution, deletion, permutation (re-organizing elements), consolidation (combining elements), distribution (breaking up combined elements), negotiation and reciprocal scaffolding are the main revision strategies. These revision strategies focused on writing mechanics, language (form and meaning), unity and content of paragraphs. The CoP facilitated students’ revision process by increasing the participation of those peripheral learners (new members) in these activities through social ties and relationship building, a supportive learning environment and developing a sense of autonomy among them. These findings have underlying several theoretical, pedagogical and research implications and have provided a deeper insight into utilization of Facebook groups as CoPs conducive to useful writing revision activities.

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