Toward an Empirical Model of EFL Writing Processes: An Exploratory Study

Miyuki Sasaki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated EFL learners' writing processes using multiple data sources including their written texts, videotaped pausing behaviors while writing, stimulated recall protocols, and analytic scores given to the written texts. Methodologically, the study adopted a research scheme that has been successfully used for building models of Japanese L1 writing. Three paired groups of Japanese EFL writers (experts vs. novices, more- vs. less-skilled student writers, novices before and after 6 months of instruction) were compared in terms of writing fluency, quality/complexity of their written texts, their pausing behaviors while writing, and their strategy use. The results revealed that (a) before starting to write, the experts spent a longer time planning a detailed overall organization, whereas the novices spent a shorter time, making a less global plan; (b) once the experts had made their global plan, they did not stop and think as frequently as the novices; (c) L2 proficiency appeared to explain part of the difference in strategy use between the experts and novices; and (d) after 6 months of instruction, novices had begun to use some of the expert writers' strategies. It was also speculated that the experts' global planning was a manifestation of writing expertise that cannot be acquired over a short period of time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-291
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Second Language Writing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Sept
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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