Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Barbara J. Salice


Many college-level students choose to study in another country and in a second language, often in English. In this context, a high standard of written English is important to attain good grades in college and earn degrees with distinction, which may lead to successful careers. One international college provided computer tools to students to improve their writing; however, students were reluctant to use the tools provided. This qualitative study explored these college students' perceptions of their lack of motivation to use computer tools and the barriers that prevent them from improving their English writing. The research questions investigated the technology available for these English as a Second Language students, their motivation to use error correction tools, barriers to their use, and attitudes to writing well in English. This study used the social constructivist theory as its theoretical framework that students learn by interacting with others. Semi structured interviews were conducted with 20 students, and 2 focus groups of 5 participants. All were selected purposefully. Data were open coded and thematically analyzed and 4 themes emerged. The four themes were technology and its uses, user preferences, writing, and motivation. The results indicated that the participants preferred to consult teachers, with technology as an aid, and used error correction tools only as a last resort. A total immersion writing development program with follow-up mentoring was developed to improve incoming international students' writing skills and to build their confidence in the use of technology. The emergent information from this study is intended for use by students, staff, and faculty to improve international students' English language acquisition, academic achievement, and professional success.