Development of L2 Writing Strategy Use: Shared Patterns and Uniqueness
This longitudinal study explored how 37 Japanese university students developed in their use of three second language (L2) writing strategies (Global Planning, Local Planning, L1-to-L2 Translation) over four years as this development interacted with cognitive and affective variables (L2 proficiency, L2 writing abilities, motivation) and environmental factors (e.g., study-abroad experiences). These strategies have been found to be used differentially by learners with different L2 proficiency levels and writing abilities. The participants were observed at the beginning of their first year and in the middle of their second, third, and fourth years in university. Quantitatively, generalized linear mixed-effects modeling made it possible to examine how the participants’ developmental trajectories for each strategy use simultaneously interacted with changes in other relevant variables both at the group and the individual level. Furthermore, the results obtained through these statistical procedures were complemented by the participants’ interview accounts, in which they provided their own explanations for these changes for each of the four years. The results reveal that over the period: (1) both regularities and individual uniqueness were observed in the developing use of the writing strategies and their interaction with other cognitive and affective variables; (2) developmental trajectories in the use of the strategies were differentially affected by environmental factors both at the group and the individual level; (3) using the participants’ own accounts helped explain the results of the quantitative analyses, revealing that student motivation may be a key factor in understanding developmental trajectories.
Miyuki Sasaki, Visiting Scholar
University of Melbourne
Miyuki Sasaki is Professor at Nagoya City University’s Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, where she teaches courses in teacher education and applied linguistics. She has published extensively in the subfields of language assessment and second language writing, and her work has appeared in Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of Second Language Writing, Language Learning, Language Testing, Modern Language Journal, and TESOL Quarterly. She has also contributed numerous chapters to books published by Multilingual Matters, Kluwer Academic, and Blackwell. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Language Testing and Journal of Second Language Writing. Her interest includes the longitudinal development of second language writing ability and the effects of sociocultural factors on the motivation of L2 writers.