Research Project

Cognitive Activity Underpinning L2 Writing

Principal Investigator
Dr Adela Ganem Gutierrez and Dr Alex Gilmore

How can we help students to improve their writing strategies?

This project investigates the complex cognitive activity underpinning the planning, formulation, transcription, reading and revising processes involved in the production of academic text in a second language.

The participants are 26 adult English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students at the University of Tokyo. Data were collected through a combination of complementary methods (eye-tracking, keystroke-logging and stimulated retrospective think-aloud protocols) to better understand the difficulties EFL university students face when composing English academic essays in real time, and to identify practical ways in which they can be helped to improve their writing strategies.

Expressive talking hands
Learn more about the project

This research project aims to combine, for the first time, some of the best data collection methods available including eye-tracking, keystroke-logging and stimulated retrospective think-aloud protocols. View a PDF detailing our project aims to learn more about our objective to help improve English Foreign Language learners' writing strategies.

View the project aims

Key publications

Tracking the real-time evolution of a writing event: Second language writers at different proficiency levels

This study focused on emergent processes during real-time second language (L2) writing activity in an English as a foreign language university context, examining differences in these processes across individual capacities.

Read the abstract or view the full text in our research repository.

Get in touch
Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi) University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872083