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• Relationship between L2 student-writers’ mental models and the development of L2 written performance.
• A longitudinal change from multidimensional models of writing to reduced but more sophisticated mental models.
• Process-oriented task representations led to improved writing ability across time at least holistically.
• Student-writers’ views on the task were related to their motivation, self-regulation levels, and levels of writing achievement.
The present paper reports an investigation into individual differences in writing with students of English as a foreign language (EFL) enrolled in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at a university in southeast Spain. Specifically, it represents an attempt to shed light on writers’ internal process factors by examining the longitudinal development of the students’ stored beliefs on the task and goals and their contribution to the development of L2 written performance. Data for the study included reflective journals, timed essays, and language proficiency tests collected nine months apart. The results indicate the development over time of advanced L2 students’ multidimensional models of composition into more sophisticated models, and the existence of two different views on task conceptualizations in terms of processes and products that affect the activation of a hierarchical network of goals for composing. The students’ views on the task were also found to be related to their motivation, self-regulation, and levels of writing achievement. The contribution of this study lies in furthering the understanding of writer-internal factors in relation to writing development, thus helping to advance both theoretical knowledge of second language writing and to improve pedagogical practice.
Journal: Journal of Second Language Writing - Volume 24, June 2014, Pages 1–19