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Introduction to Word Processing: Enhancing Language Learners’ Writing by Means of Comment Feature in Word Processor

Word Processing has been proven by many researches in CALL that it enhances language learners’ writing skills. Though the word processor is not intended for language learning it affords itself into aiding learners to enhance their writing and linguistic skills. As with all tools, word processor cannot teach learners writing skills unless the teacher is there to act as a moderator, manager, orienteer, and observer.

According to many researchers and studies on the nature of word processor to enhance language learning, the following are evident:

Word processing

  • mitigates learners’ apprehension of revising and editing since they do not need to rewrite everything. All they need to do is to cut, paste, move blocks with a click of a button
  • strengthens learners’ confidence that words are not permanent and that they can be changed
  • gives learners better visibility of the whole writing process
  • the public nature of the computer encourages class collaboration as opposed to the private nature of the paper
  • encourages creativity with its inclusion of graphs, photos, videos to illustrate learners’ writing
  • organizes teacher feedback which is systematic and organized as opposed to the red pen comments on paper
  • results in longer writing, therefore, better writing

It is the last bullet that I address in this post : Teacher feedback in word processer

Actually, teacher feedback is not that much of innovative but it does lend itself into organized and systematic feedback that rather makes the writing leaner notice the comments. ( Next post will discuss a rather innovative way for teacher feedback in word processer).

Most teachers use the MS Word Processor, though WordPerfect is also adopted by many, so for this and forthcoming posts the examples and tutorials will be based on MS WORD 2007.

  1. In the student’s Word document click the ‘Review’ button in the toolbar


2. Highlight the section or word in your student’s writing document then click ‘New Comment” in the toolbar.


3. If you want you comments to appear in a balloon, then click “balloon”, then “show revisions in balloons” or else you can show revisions “inline by clicking again “Balloons” in the toolbar then “ show revisions inline”

Students will appreciate and notice the comments in the word processor as they are well structured and target specific writing errors rather than holistic.

You can, as well, insert a link to a website for you students to follow that addresses their linguistic/writing error. In this way, you are changing the role of you student from a mere receptive individual who might discard you comments to a language researcher. My next post discussed how you can insert a link to a web-based concordance ( definition and introduction will be provided) and how this will change the role of the language learner improving learner autonomy.

If you need any more assistance or clarification please post a comment.


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