Collaborative versus individual learning of English letter writing via short texting

Document Type : Original Article


1 Isfahan University of Technology

2 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz



This study aimed at uncovering the extent to which individual and collaborative learning and practicing English letter writing via short texting (SMS) affect Iranian students' English letter writing ability. Accordingly, 60 intermediate university students who managed to complete the second stage of a letter writing test (Hulteinus, 2010) were divided into two groups, collaborative and individual, to learn 30 English letter writing features in ten virtual sessions through the medium of short texting; that is, three new notes per session. Using SMS, the first group of learners, divided into 10 triple groups, received the didactic materials from educational center (i.e., intelligent server) and then learned and practiced them collaboratively, while the learners in the second group received the same content from the same channel, but practiced it individually. Finally, the students took part in a test of letter writing, namely, a battery composed of three subtests, the data of which were analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics. Also, to study the participants' attitudes about individual or collaborative ways of practicing English through SMS, they were required to answer a Likert type attitude questionnaire. Analyzing learners' performance in the test battery indicated that the learners who practiced learning content (English letter writing notes) with their peers outperformed their counterparts in the second group who learned the materials individually. In addition, although both groups displayed favorable attitudes towards collaborative learning and the application of SMS as a medium, the amount of tendency for m-learning was higher among the learners of the collective group.