Supporting Postsecondary English Language Learners’ Writing Proficiency Using Technological Tools


  • Kathleen A. Moore Brock University, Canada
  • Camille Rutherford Brock University, Canada
  • Keith A. Crawford Brock University, Canada



English language learners, language proficiency, postsecondary education, international students


Postsecondary international students who are also English language learners face a number of challenges when studying abroad and often are provided with services to support their learning. Though some research examines how institutions can support this population of students, few studies explore how technology is used to support language development and writing proficiency. This article reports on an exploratory study that examined the resources English language learners use to support their writing and the impact of the use of writing productivity software’s on writing proficiency. Data were collected using a survey, writing samples, and a focus group. Findings indicate students frequently use technological tools to enhance learning and that technology-based supports such as writing productivity software can complement face-to-face supports.

Author Biographies

Kathleen A. Moore, Brock University, Canada

KATHLEEN A. MOORE, M.Ed., is an instructor at Brock University where she teaches courses on higher education and research methods. She is also a doctoral student in the higher education program at the University of Toronto. Her research interests reside at the intersection of student affairs and graduate education, more specifically, how institutions support graduate student mental health and students with disabilities. 

Camille Rutherford, Brock University, Canada

CAMILLE RUTHERFORD, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Education at Brock University. As a former classroom teacher and university administrator, her work with teacher candidates, teachers, adult educators and educational leaders explores the use of technology to transform leadership and enhance teaching & learning. As the lead researcher at the Niagara Educational Research and Innovation Hub (iHub), she oversees a number of research projects, supervises the ihub research residents and provides educational insight regarding EdTech product development and efficacy. 

Keith A. Crawford, Brock University, Canada

KEITH A. CRAWFORD, B.Ed., is an educator and researcher in additional language learning and digital environments. Research interests include academic writing for ELLs, online pedagogy and the creation of multimodal texts to enhance additional language teaching and learning. 




How to Cite

Moore, K. A., Rutherford, C., & Crawford, K. A. (2016). Supporting Postsecondary English Language Learners’ Writing Proficiency Using Technological Tools. Journal of International Students, 6(4), 857–872.



Research Articles (English)

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