Item Details

Exploring the social nature of L2 writing: Insights into the division of labor of an EAP writing task

Issue: Vol 4 No. 2 (2017)

Journal: Language and Sociocultural Theory

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lst.26454


Using an activity system framework this study examined the social nature of the writing processes by investigating the division of labor in the writing processes of 31 ESL learners. The study involved one of the four major writing assignments in a required first-year composition course for ESL students at a North American university. Data was collected from: (a) A semi-structured interview with each participant, (b) process logs kept by all participants, (c) classroom observation notes, and (d) class materials. Findings indicate that L2 writers used various context-specific affordances derived from division of labor to accomplish their writing task. The study arrived at these findings by creating taxonomies of people who were part of their writing process and examining the influence that these people had on their writing. The findings show that people related to L2 writers within the social space in both academic and non-academic capacities mediate them in non-trivial ways. This mediation renders not only positive but also negative effects on the production of L2 texts. Implications for L2 writing pedagogy and research are discussed.

Author: Subrata Kumar Bhowmik

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