An application of wikis for mediated collaborative learning to Spanish L2

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Abstract—Information and Communication Technologies facilitate the emergence of new contexts and practices of learning that educational institutions have to adapt to their pedagogical discourse. This paper presents an application of wikis for mediated collaborative learning of Spanish as a second language ("Spanish L2"). We employed the off-the-shelf wiki environment provided by wikispaces in this pilot project. Students were asked to create a set of pages in Spanish about topics of their interest, with the aim of creating a complete cross-linked wiki. At the end of the project, the students answered 25 open questions related with their experiences in improving their language skills, technical use, and collaborative writing with wikis; working collaboratively in small groups; and searching and reading available information in Spanish on the Internet. Our results indicate that students can quickly appropriate wikis as a tool for learning Spanish L2. Moreover, the wiki supported the shift from individual to collaborative writing effectively as indicated by a change from (a) personal to collective responsibility; (b) fragmentary and individual comprehension to general and collective knowledge; and (c) monocontextuality to polycontextuality. Notably, the wiki was a catalyst in language skill development and proved a good tool for cultural knowledge acquisition.