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WHAT CAN L2 WRITERS’ PAUSING BEHAVIOR TELL US ABOUT THEIR L2 WRITING PROCESSES?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 August 2019

Khaled Barkaoui*
Affiliation:
York University, Toronto
*
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Khaled Barkaoui, Faculty of Education, York University, 253Winters College, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3. E-mail: barkaoui@yorku.ca

Abstract

When responding to a writing task, writers spend a significant amount of their time not writing. These periods of physical inactivity, or pauses, during writing provide observable and measurable cues as to when, where, and how long writers halt to plan and/or revise their texts. Consequently, examining writers’ pausing patterns can provide important insights into the cognitive processes that writers employ when composing and the impact of various individual, task, and contextual factors on those processes. This article discusses theory and research on writers’ pausing behavior; how pause analysis can be used to investigate second language (L2) learners’ writing processes; challenges in researching writers’ pausing behavior (e.g., defining pauses); and some strategies to address these challenges. Next, the article illustrates how L2 writers’ pause data can be collected, analyzed, and interpreted, using keystroke logging data from a research project that aimed to examine the effects of task type, L2 proficiency, and keyboarding skills on L2 learners’ writing processes when writing on the computer. The article concludes with a call for more research on L2 writers’ pausing behavior, particularly how L2 writers’ pausing behavior relates to L2 writing outcomes and development across learners, contexts, and time.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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Footnotes

The keystroke data used in this article is from a study funded by Educational Testing Service (ETS) under a Committee of Examiners and TOEFL research grant. ETS does not discount or endorse the methodology, results, implications, or opinions presented by the researcher. The opinions expressed in the report are those of the author.

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WHAT CAN L2 WRITERS’ PAUSING BEHAVIOR TELL US ABOUT THEIR L2 WRITING PROCESSES?
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