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Second Language Writing Ability: Towards a Complete Construct Definition

Kristen di Gennaro

Title:
Second Language Writing Ability: Towards a Complete Construct Definition
Author(s):
di Gennaro, Kristen
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department(s):
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Volume:
6
Persistent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics
Abstract:
In this paper, I explore the construct of second language (L2) writing ability within the context of large-scale writing assessment. As L2 writing theory is based in part on the previously established field of first language (L1) writing, I provide a brief discussion of seminal contributions from this related field before summarizing and critiquing a few early L2 writing studies. This discussion includes the process-product debate in writing research and identifies the inadequacies of applying L1 process definitions to a construct definition of L2 writing ability. After drawing a distinction between L2 and L1 writing ability, I summarize several empirical studies in L2 writing research, noting how these contribute to our current understanding of the nature of the construct. I conclude by suggesting what remains to be explored in the quest for a more complete construct definition of L2 writing ability. Specifically, I claim that a complete model of L2 writing ability must indicate (a) how L2 writing ability is distinct from other types of L2 knowledge, and (b) how L2 proficiency and writing ability interact.
Subject(s):
Writing--Ability testing
Second language acquisition--Ability testing
Education
English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers
Educational evaluation
Item views
102
Metadata:
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Suggested Citation:
Kristen di Gennaro, , Second Language Writing Ability: Towards a Complete Construct Definition, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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