June 2007
Volume 11, Number 1

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An Investigation of Three Chinese Students' English Writing Strategies

Congjun Mu
Shanghai Institute of Technology

Suzanne Carrington
Queensland University of Technology


The purpose of this study is to investigate the writing processes of second language (L2) writers, specifically examining the writing strategies of three Chinese post-graduate students in an Australian higher education institution. The study was prompted by the paucity of second language writing strategies of Chinese students in an authentic context. Data collected from a semi-structured interview, questionnaire, retrospective post-writing discussion, and written drafts of papers were analysed. The findings indicate that the three participants employed rhetorical strategies, metacognitive strategies, cognitive strategies and social/affective strategies in their writing practice. This study supports Silva's finding that L2 writing process is strategically, rhetorically, linguistically different from first language (L1) writing process (1993). Data demonstrated that metacognitive, cognitive, and social/affective strategies except rhetorical strategies (organisation of paragraphs) transferred across languages positively.

Keywords: EFL, ESL, China, writing, learning strategies

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