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An Investigation into L1 Use in the L2 Writing Process Of Tertiary-level English Learners in China

WANG Wen-yu 1, WEN Qiu-fang 2 (English Department, School of Foreign Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Prov., 210093, China)  
This study investigates the writing processes of sixteen tertiary-level English majors in China through a combination of research techniques such as thinking aloud, observation, retrospection, and interviews. It reveals that the L2 writing process is a bilingual event (i.e., L2 writers have both L1 and L2 at their disposal when they are composing in L2) and the tendency of L1 occurrence varies with individual composing activities. It also shows that though the proportion of L1 thinking decreased with the writer's L2 development, the extent of the decline of L1 use in individual activities varied. Based on these findings, a L2 writing process model is proposed.
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