Explanatory variables for Japanese students' expository writing in English: An exploratory study

Keiko Hirose*, Miyuki Sasaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated the relationship between Japanese students' English L2 expository writing and several factors that might influence the quality of the writing product. Nineteen Japanese university students provided both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative analysis showed that the students' L2 proficiency and L1 writing ability accounted for a large proportion of variances in L2 writing quality. The finding that L1 writing ability was highly correlated with L2 writing ability is important because it suggests the existence of composing competence across L1 and L2 even for EFL students. There was also a significant interaction between this composing competence and L2 proficiency. Qualitative analysis suggested that the students' composing competence was related to: (a) use of several good writers' strategies, (b) writing fluency, and (c) confidence in writing. Furthermore, probably due to the input-poor EFL environment, the amount of self-initiated L2 writing experiences seemed to ploy an important role in determining students' L2 writing quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-229
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Second Language Writing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Sept
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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