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 Tasks can have effect on the process of
interaction. In other words, Interaction of learners can be different regarding
different types of tasks. There are several studies, which have examined the
role of collaborative output tasks on L2 learning. (e.g., Kowal and Swain,
1994; Storch, 2005; Swain and Lapkin, 2001). These tasks ”encourage learners
to reflect on language form while still being oriented to meaning making”
(Swain, 2000, p. 112). A limited number of studies, which have been conducted
on the impact of learners’ proficiency differences on their interaction have
used divergent or symmetrical convergent tasks (e.g., Kim & McDonough,
2008; Kowal & Swain, 1994; Leeser, 2004; Watanabe & Swain, 2007).

Kowal and Swain (1994) analyzed
the role of dictogloss task, which is a symmetrical convergent task, on
learning French grammar. They concluded that, when learners participated in
dictogloss task, they could receive feedback from their peers. In other study,
Leeser (2004) stated that the dictogloss task differs from other information
exchange tasks in that there are no predetermined roles for each member in
pairs, and both high and low leaners have equal information.

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However, Yule and Macdonald (1990)
investigated the effects of an asymmetrical convergent tasks on dyadic
interaction. Put it in another way, one of the learners in pair is provided
with more information. Pairs are given similar maps of a city. One of the
learners is provided with map which has delivery route, while the other map
lacks delivery route. So, the partner with extra information should explain the
routes to the peer without showing the map. They reported that when the lower
proficiency member was responsible for the more dominant role, there was more
negotiation of meaning. However, when the higher proficiency member acted as a
more dominant role, they engaged in little negotiation.

 In other study, done by Swain and Lapkin
(2001), two kinds of collaborative tasks (dictogloss and jigsaw) were used to
compare their effectiveness in terms of LREs. They hypothesized that while the
focus of dictogloss was on form, jigsaw would put more focus on meaning and
they found no significant difference between the two tasks.

 Based on lack of sufficient studies which have
analyzed the effects of asymmetrical tasks, and contradictory results in
different studies, it is worthwhile to examine LRES across both symmetrical and
asymmetrical tasks in a single study involving mixed proficiency dyads.

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Studies on technology-oriented
environment:

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 Collaborative learning allows students to
interact in face-to-face environments. However, with improvement in technology
there is a need for learners to have not only face to face interaction but also
collaboration via mobiles, computers, and other devices.

 In a study by Kroonenberg (1995), French learners
were able to have interaction in synchronous computer-mediated chat. Being fast
is difficult in face-to-face settings. Therefore, this text-based mode allowed
learners to reflect on their utterances. In other words, on-line chat
encourages learners to have negotiation of meaning. It also increases their
noticing of linguistic errors.

Salaberry (2000) pursued similar
research by comparing the language of four Spanish learners in an offline setting
versus an online setting. The result indicated the efficacy of online context,
which can be attributed to positive features of text-based chat.

Zeng & Takatsuka (2009) is
another study which has utilized Moodle in our realm. This study investigates
EFL learners’ dialogues in synchronous task-based computer-mediated communication
(CMC). Sixteen Chinese tertiary-level learners participated in this study. They
were divided into eight pairs, and completed four tasks via Moodle. LRE was the
basis of analysis in this study. The findings indicated that participants
scaffolded each other through collaborative dialogue, which resulted in
language learning.

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Shekary and Tahririan investigated
the hybrid nature of synchronic computer-mediated chat (SCMC). Sixteen Persian
learners were analysed to see to what extent their noticing improved. Online
negotiation was proved to be a way to reduce anxiety and increase the quality
of output during interaction.

This study will foster the
positive effects of text-based online chat, to see whether it can be helpful in
learning conjunctions through collaboration or not. The application of Moodle
on mobile will be used for analyzing interaction between learners.

Attitudes of learners toward
technology:

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Meunier (1998) carried out a study
on SCMC among French and German learners. Positive attitude among learners was
reported in this stress free atmosphere. She concluded that technology-based
environment improved initiation of learners who are usually reticent in
classroom.  

Al-Fahad (2009) implemented a
study to analyze attitude of learners towards mobile learning. One hundred
eighty six female students were participants of this study. The aim was to
determine how technology can improve student retention at Bachelor of Art and
Medicine programmed at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.  Findings indicated that mobile learning could
be a suitable method for improving this retention. The biggest advantage of
this technology is that it can be used anywhere.

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1.5          
Research
hypothesis

To answer the research questions,
following null hypotheses will be proposed:

1. There are not any significant
differences between groups of symmetrical and asymmetrical   convergent tasks in terms of learning English
conjunctions

2. There are not any significant
differences among proficiency levels of participants in terms of learning
English conjunctions during symmetrical convergent tasks.

3. There are not any significant
differences among proficiency levels of participants in terms of learning
English conjunctions during asymmetrical convergent tasks.

4. Three levels of proficiency do
not affect quantity and quality of LREs.

5. The attitude of the learners toward MALL does not
change after treatment

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