Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date



Thousands of international ESL students come to the United States every year to learn English for the purpose of matriculating into an American university. Teaching these diverse students can be a challenge for educators and despite the students significant investment of time and money, many of them are inadequately prepared for the demands of university work. Text chat has been studied by some scholars as a means of assisting ESL students to write more effectively. However, greater understanding is needed of the affective experiences and perceptions of students toward peer-to-peer ESL text chat. That is the thrust of this study, which utilized Livemocha, a free international text chat program. Several striking findings were made, two of which were that all students reported enjoyment of the text chat experience and all students reported increased confidence to write in English as a result of their participation in the research. This study draws heavily on the sociocultural theory of Lev Vygotsky, especially his theories of the zone of proximal development and perezhivanie. His work illuminates the findings of this study and the study also demonstrates the vitality of Vygotsky's thought in the 21 st century. In addition to providing insight into students' perspectives on peer-to-peer ESL text chat, a valuable tool to increase students' confidence to write in English has been made known.'


English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers, Instant messaging -- Psychological aspects, Instant messaging -- Social aspects, Educational psychology

Document Type




Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Boverie, Patricia

Second Committee Member

Edmunds, Paul

Third Committee Member

Mitchell, Rose

Fourth Committee Member

Noll, Elizabeth