Learning to write is a complex, recursive, and strategic process that requires metacognitive competencies (Yves, 2017). Over the past few decades, language educators and researchers worldwide have called for changes in the way the writing skill is taught in schools. The rationale behind applying strategy-focused writing instructions include the interconnection between writing and metacognition. Metacognition refers to a higher order of thinking, which involves an active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning (Flavell, 1979). Instruction on metacognitive strategy facilitated learners to develop and evaluate arguments as well as select and use various syntactic representations (Negretti, 2012).
For example, metacognitive strategy-based training strongly improved the writing performance for Vietnamese students (Nguyen & Gu, 2013). A combination of text structure application strategy, summarization strategy, and self-monitoring strategy enhanced the text quality of German students (Wischgoll, 2016). The metacognitive strategies, e.g., monitoring and evaluating, provided in a cooperative learning setting enhanced the writing performance of Chinese students (Teng, 2016).
Therefore, metacognitive strategies, such as reviewing, monitoring, and evaluating, facilitate the tracking of the writing process and deciding the process of aligning these very strategies for creating the intended writing output. However, EFL/L2 students lack linguistic competence and cultural knowledge, which may hinder their effective use of strategies.
Instruction on metacognitive strategies may present a different scenario for EFL/L2 learners than native speakers. Hence, infusing praxis-based metacognitive strategy instruction into empirical investigations is sorely needed in the context of learning to write for EFL/L2 learners. Through process and intervention studies in different EFL/L2 contexts this special issue will describe research that develops understanding of the role of metacognition in second language writing and how it can be trained.
For more information, Please contact the guest editor: Mark Teng (firstname.lastname@example.org), Hong Kong Baptist University.