[Home ] [Archive]   [ فارسی ]  
:: Main :: About :: Current Issue :: Archive :: Search :: Submit :: Contact ::
:: Volume 19, Number 1 (4-2016) ::
IJAL 2016, 19(1): 99-140 Back to browse issues page
An Investigation into the Individual Differences Correlates of Iranian Undergraduate EFL Learners’ Writing Competence: A Mixed Methods Approach
Abstract:   (1461 Views)

The present study adopted a mixed-methods research design and explored the role of a set of cognitive (i.e., aptitude and working memory) and motivational (i.e., self-regulatory capacity and self-efficacy beliefs) individual difference variables in the writing quality and composing behavior of 78 Iranian undergraduate EFL learners. The necessary data were collected through a series of instruments and both quantitative (e.g., multiple regression and t-tests) and qualitative (e.g., narrative construction and qualitative comparative analysis) techniques were used to analyze the data. The results of these analyses indicated that the construct of foreign language aptitude had the highest level of correlation and contributory potential to account for the writing competence of the learners. The composing process of learners with different individual characteristics was also compared and it was found that learners with high self-regulation capacity orchestrated and managed their composing behavior in more effective ways compared to their less self-regulated counterparts. Moreover, the narratives and qualitative comparative analysis provided some insights about how various individual characteristics might affect the composing behavior of the individual learners. Finally, it was suggested that consideration of individual differences in writing can reveal more subtle information about the causes of strengths and weaknesses of different learners and may enable the teachers to design and implement more effective instructions targeting their learners’ individual needs

Keywords: Key words: Individual differences, Writing competence, Composing process, Mixed-methods research
Full-Text [PDF 678 kb]   (933 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: General
Received: 2016/01/11 | Accepted: 2016/02/13 | Published: 2016/10/29
References
1. Adams, A.M., & Guillot, K. (2008). Working memory and writing in bilingual students. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 156, 13-28.
2. Archibald, A., & Jeffery, C. G. (2000). Second language acquisition and writing: A multidisciplinary approach. Learning and Instruction, 10, 1–11.
3. Biedroń, A. (2012). Memory abilities in gifted foreign language learners. In M. Pawlak (Ed.), New perspectives on individual differences in language learning and teaching (pp. 77-95). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer.
4. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.## Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (1987). The psychology of written composition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
5. Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (1987). The psychology of written composition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
6. Bruning, R., & Horn, C. (2000). Developing motivation to write. Educational psychologist, 35(1), 25-37.
7. Bruning, R., Dempsey, M., Kauffman, D. F., McKim, C., & Zumbrunn, S. (2013). Examining dimensions of self-efficacy for writing. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(1), 25-38.
8. Carroll, J. B., & Sapon, S. M. (1959). Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT) Manual, 2002 edition.
9. Casanave, C.P. (2012). Heading in the wrong directions: A response to Porte and Richards. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(3), 296-297.
10. Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication, Inc.
11. Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research designs: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
12. Cumming, A. (1989). Writing expertise and second-language proficiency. Language Learning, 39(1), 81-141.
13. Cumming, A., & Riazi, A. (2000). Building models of adult second-language writing instruction. Learning and Instruction, 10, 55-71.
14. De Milliano, I., van Gelderen, A., & Sleegers, P. (2012). Patterns of cognitive self-regulation of adolescent struggling writers. Written Communication, 29(3), 303-325.
15. De Smet, M. J. R., Brand-Gruwel, S., Leijten, M. & Kirschner, P. A. (2014). Electronic outlining as a writing strategy: Effects on students' writing products, mental effort and writing process. Computers & Education, 78, 352-366.
16. Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
17. Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Mehodologies. New York: Oxford University Press.
18. Dörnyei, Z. (2009). Individual differences: Interplay of learner characteristics and learning environment. In N. C. Ellis & D. Larsen–Freeman (Eds.) Language as a complex adaptive system (pp. 230–248). Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.
19. Dörnyei, Z., & Kormos, J. (2000). The role of individual and social variables in oral task performance. Language Teaching Research, 4, 275–300.
20. Dörnyei, Z., & Skehan, P. (2003). Individual differences in second language learning. In J. Doughty and M. Long (eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 589–630). Oxford: Blackwell.
21. Ehrman, M. E., & Oxford, R. L. (1995). Cognition plus: Correlates of language learning success. Modern Language Journal, 79(1), 67–89.
22. Engle, R. W., Kane, M. J., & Tuholski, S. W. (1999). Individual differences in working memory capacity and what they tell us about controlled attention, general fluid intelligence and functions of the prefrontal cortex. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control. London, UK: Cambridge University Press.
23. Ferris, D. R., Liu, H., Sinha, A., & Senna, M. (2013). Written corrective feedback for individual L2 writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22, 307–329.
24. Flower, L., & Hayes, J. R. (1981). A cognitive process theory of writing. College Composition and Communication, 32(4), 365-387.
25. Gerring, J. (2007). Case study research: Principles and practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
26. Gilabert, R., & Muñoz, C. (2010). Differences in attainment and performance in a foreign language: The role of working memory capacity. International Journal of English Studies, 10 (1), 19-42.
27. Grabe, W. (2009). Reading in a second language: Moving from theory to practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
28. Grabe, W. & Kaplan, R. B. (1996). Theory and practice of writing. London: Longman.
29. Graham, S., & Harris, K.R. (2000). The role of self-regulation and transcription skills in writing and writing development. Educational Psychologist, 35(1), 3-12.
30. Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2009). Almost 30 years of writing research: Making sense of it all with The Wrath of Khan. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 24(2), 58-68.
31. Graham, S., Berninger, V., & Fan, W. (2007). The structural relationship between writing attitude and writing achievement in first and third grade students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32(3), 516-536.
32. Grigorenko, E. L., Sternberg, R. J., & Ehrman, M. E. (2000). A theory-based approach to the measurement of foreign language learning ability: The CANAL-F theory and test. Modern Language Journal, 84(3), 390-405.
33. Guan, C. Q., Ye, F., Wagner, R. K., & Meng, W. (2013). Developmental and individual differences in Chinese writing. Reading and Writing, 26(6), 1031-1056.
34. Gustilo, L., & Magno, C. (2015). Explaining L2 Writing performance through a chain of predictors: A SEM approach. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 21(2), 115 –130.
35. Harris, K. R., Graham, S., Mason, L. H., & Friedlander, B. (2008). Powerful writing strategies for all students. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
36. Helms-Park, R., Radia, P., & Stapleton, P. (2007). A preliminary assessment of Google Scholar as a source of EAP students' research materials. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(1), 65-76.
37. Hinkel, E. (2013). Teaching academic ESL writing: Practical techniques in vocabulary and grammar (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
38. Hoskyn, M., & Swanson, H. L. (2003). The relationship between working memory and writing in younger and older adults. Reading and Writing, 16(8), 759-784.
39. Humes, A. (1983). Research on the composing process. Review of Educational Research, 53(2), 201-216.
40. Kanlapan, T. C. E., & Velasco, J. C. (2009). Constructing a self-regulation scale contextualized in writing. TESOL Journal, 1, 79-94.
41. Kellogg, R.T. (1996). A model of working memory in writing. In C. M. Levy & S. Ransdell (Eds.), The science of writing: Theories, methods, individual differences and applications (pp. 57-71). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
42. Kellogg, R. T. (2008). Training writing skills: A cognitive developmental perspective. Journal of Writing Research, 1, 1-26.
43. Kellogg, R. T., Whiteford, A. P., Turner, C. E., Cahill, M., & Mertens, A. (2013). Working memory in written composition: An evaluation of the 1996 model. Journal of Writing Research, 5, 159-190.
44. Kellogg, R. T., Turner, C. E., Whiteford, A. P., & Mertens, A. (2016). The role of working memory in planning and generating written sentences. Journal of Writing Research, 7 (3), 397-416.
45. Kemper, E., Stringfield. S., & Teddlie, C. (2003). Mixed methods sampling strategies in social science research. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research (pp. 273-296). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.
46. Khuder, B., & Harwood, N. (2015). L2 writing in test and non-test situations: Process and product. Journal of Writing Research, 6(3), 233-278.
47. Klassen, R. (2002). Writing in early adolescence: A review of the role of self-efficacy beliefs. Educational Psychology Review, 14, 173-203.
48. Klein, P.D., & Boscolo, P. (2016). Trends in research on writing as a learning activity. Journal of Writing Research, 7(3), 311- 350.
49. Kormos, J. (2012). The role of individual differences in L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(4), 390-403.
50. Kormos, J., & Sáfár, A. (2008). Phonological short term-memory, working memory and foreign language performance in intensive language learning. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 11, 261-271.
51. Kormos, J., & Trebits, A. (2012).The role of task complexity, modality and aptitude in narrative task performance. Language Learning, 62(2), 439-472.
52. Lee, J. (2013). Can writing attitudes and learning behavior overcome gender difference in writing? Evidence from NAEP. Written Communication, 30(2), 164-193.
53. Lei, X. (2008). Exploring a sociocultural approach to writing strategy research: Mediated actions in writing activities. Journal of Second Language Writing, 17(4), 217-236.
54. Leki, L., Cumming, A., & Silva, T. (2010). A synthesis of research on second language writing in English. New York: Routledge.
55. Lu, Y. (2010). Cognitive factors contributing to Chinese EFL learners’ L2 writing performance in timed essay writing. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Georgia State University.
56. MacArthur, C. A., & Philippakos, Z. A. (2013). Self-regulated strategy instruction in developmental writing: A design research project. Community College Review, 41(2), 176–195.
57. Magno, C. (2009). Self-regulation and approaches to learning in English composition writing. TESOL Quarterly, 1, 1-16.
58. Meier, S., McCarthy, P. R., & Schmeck, R. R. (1984). Validity of self-efficacy as a predictor of writing performance. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 8(2), 107-120.
59. Miyake, A., & Friedman, N. P. (1998). Individual differences in second language proficiency: Working memory as language aptitude. In A. F. Healy & L. E. Bourne Jr. (Eds.), Foreign language learning: Psycholinguistic studies on training and retention (pp. 339–364). Mahwah; NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
60. Miyake, A., & Shah, P. (1999). Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control. London, UK: Cambridge University Press.
61. Nishino, T., & Atkinson, D. (2015). Second language writing as socio-cognitive alignment. Journal of Second Language Writing, 27, 37-54.
62. Pajares, F. (2003). Self-efficacy beliefs motivation and achievement in writing: A review of the literature. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 19, 139-158.
63. Pajares, F., & Johnson, M. J. (1996). Self-efficacy beliefs in the writing of high school students: A path analysis. Psychology in the Schools, 33, 163-175.
64. Paulus, T. M. (1999). The effect of peer and teacher feedback on student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 8, 265–289.
65. Pawlak, M. (2012). New perspectives on individual differences in language learning and teaching. New York: Springer.
66. Plakans, L. (2008). Comparing composing processes in writing-only and reading-to-write test tasks. Assessing Writing, 13(2), 111-129.
67. Rahimi, M. (2015). The role of individual differences in L2 learners’ retention of written corrective feedback. Journal of Response to Writing, 1(1), 19–48.
68. Raimes, A. (1987). Language proficiency, writing ability, and composing strategies: A study of ESL college student writers. Language Learning, 37, 439-469.
69. Rihoux, B. (2006). Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) and related systematic comparative methods: Recent advances and remaining challenges for social science research. International Sociology, 21(5), 679-706.
70. Robinson, P. (2005). Aptitude and second language acquisition. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 25, 45–73.
71. Roca de Larios, J., Manchón, R., Murphy, L., & Marín, J. (2008). The foreign language writer's strategic behavior in the allocation of time to writing processes. Journal of Second Language Writing, 17(1), 30-47.
72. Sanders-Reio, J., Alexander, P. A., Reio, T. G., & Newman, I. (2014). Do students' beliefs about writing relate to their writing self-efficacy, apprehension, and performance? Learning and Instruction, 33, 1-11.
73. Santangelo, T., Harris, K. R., & Graham, S. (2008). Using self-regulated strategy development to support students who have “trubol giting thangs into werds”. Remedial and Special Education, 29(2), 78-89.
74. Sasaki, M. (2000). Toward an empirical model of EFL writing processes: An exploratory study. Journal of Second Language Writing, 9, 259-291.
75. Sasaki, M. (2007). Effects of study-abroad experiences on EFL writers: A multiple-data analysis. The Modern Language Journal, 91(4), 602–620.
76. Schneider, C. Q., & Wagemann, C. (2007). Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) und fuzzy sets. Verlag Barbara Budrich.
77. Schunk, D. H., & Zimmerman, B. (Eds.) (1994). Self-regulation of learning and performance: Issues and educational applications. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
78. Shahnazari, M. (2011). The role of working memory in second language reading comprehension. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Auckland, UK.
79. Silva, T. (2013). Second language writing: Talking points. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22, 432–434.
80. Skehan, P. (2002). Theorizing and updating aptitude. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 69-93). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
81. Slomp, H.D. (2012). Challenges in assessing the development of writing ability: Theories, constructs and methods. Assessing Writing, 17, 81-91.
82. Stallard, C. K. (1974). An analysis of the behavior of good student writers. Research in the Teaching of English, 8, 206-218.
83. Stapelton, P. (2010). Writing in an electronic age: A case study of L2 composing processes. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9, 295-307.
84. Swanson, H. L., & Berninger, V. W. (1996). Individual differences in children’s working memory and writing skill. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 63, 358-385.
85. Tashakkori, A., & Creswell, J. W. (2007). Editorial: The new era of mixed methods. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1, 3–7.
86. Teddlie, C., & Yu, F. (2007). Mixed methods sampling: A typology with examples. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1, 77-100.
87. Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2009). Foundations of mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.
88. Teng, S.L., & Zhang, J.L. (2016). Fostering strategic learning: The development and validation of the Writing Strategies for Motivational Regulation Questionnaire (WSMRQ). Asia-Pacific Educational Research, 25(1), 123–134.
89. The colleges of oxford university classics language aptitude test (Specimen of Written Test at Interview Issued 2010). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
90. Torrance, M., Thomas, G. V., & Robinson, E. J. (2000). Individual differences in undergraduate essay-writing strategies: A longitudinal study. Higher Education, 39(2), 181-200.
91. Wardle, E., & Roozen, K. (2012). Addressing the complexity of writing development: Towards an ecological model of assessment. Assessing Writing, 17, 106-119.
92. Weigle, S. C. (2005). Second language writing expertise. In K. Johnson (Ed.), Expertise in second language learning and teaching (pp. 128-149). Basingstoke, Hampshire/New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
93. Weir, C., O'Sullivan, B., Yan, J. & Bax, S. (2007). Does the computer make a difference? Reaction of candidates to a computer-based versus a traditional handwritten form of the IELTS writing component: Effects and impact. IELTS Research Report. 7(6), 1-37.
94. Wen, Z., & Skehan, P. (2011). A new perspective on foreign language aptitude research: Building and supporting a case for working memory as language aptitude. A Journal of English Language, Literatures in English and Cultural Studies, 60, 15-44.
95. Winke, P. (2013). An investigation into Second Language Aptitude for advanced Chinese language learning. The Modern Language Journal, 97(1), 109- 130.
96. Winne, P. H. (1996). A metacognitive view of individual differences in self-regulated learning. Learning and Individual Differences, 8(4), 327-353.
97. Wong, A. S. C. (2012). An investigation of the predictors of L2 writing among adult ESL students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
98. Wong, B. Y. (2000). Writing strategies instruction for expository essays for adolescents with and without learning disabilities. Topics in Language Disorders, 20(4), 29-44.
99. Yavuz-Erkan, D. (2004). Efficacy of cross-cultural e-mail exchange for enhancing EFL writing: A perspective for tertiary-level Turkish EFL learners. Unpublished dissertation. Çukurova University, Turkey.
100. Zamel, V. (1983). The composing processes of advanced ESL students: Six case studies. TESOL Quarterly, 17, 165-187.
101. Zhang, C., Yanb, X., & Liu, X. (2015). The development of EFL writing instruction and research in China: An update from the International Conference on English Language Teaching. Journal of Second Language Writing, 30, 14–18.
102. Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Attaining self-regulation: A social cognitive perspective. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 13–39). San Diego: Academic Press.
103. Zimmerman, B. J., & Bandura, A. (1994). Impact of self-regulatory influences on writing course attainment. American Educational Research Journal, 31(4), 845-862.
104. Zimmerman, B. J., & Reisemberg, R. (1997). Becoming a self-regulated writer: A social cognitive perspective. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 22, 73-101.
105. Zumbrunn, A. (2010). Nurturing young students' writing knowledge, self-regulation, attitudes and self-efficacy: The effects of Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD). Educational Technology & Society, 7 (3), 210-230.
Add your comments about this article
Your username or email:

Write the security code in the box >



DOI: 10.18869/acadpub.ijal.19.1.99


XML   Persian Abstract   Print


Download citation:
BibTeX | RIS | EndNote | Medlars | ProCite | Reference Manager | RefWorks
Send citation to:

An Investigation into the Individual Differences Correlates of Iranian Undergraduate EFL Learners’ Writing Competence: A Mixed Methods Approach. IJAL. 2016; 19 (1) :99-140
URL: http://ijal.khu.ac.ir/article-1-2624-en.html
Volume 19, Number 1 (4-2016) Back to browse issues page
Iranian Journal of Applied Linguistics
Persian site map - English site map - Created in 0.149 seconds with 920 queries by yektaweb 3501