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Inv. the eff. of task type on L2 writ. process. using eye-tracking, key.-logging and stim. recall
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The end products of writing tasks have been the object of much research in second language (L2) acquisition and assessment. Less empirical research, however, has examined the cognitive processes and behaviours in which L2 writers engage. It also remains unexplored how task type may influence the writing process. To help address these gaps, this study examined the revision and pausing behaviours of L2 writers and the cognitive processes underlying them, adopting Kellogg's (1996) model as a theoretical basis. Our methodological innovation lay in combining keystroke logging, eye-tracking, and stimulated recall to examine pausing and revision at different writing stages.

The participants were Chinese L2 users with B1-C1 CEFR English levels. They performed two independent and two integrated TOEFL iBT writing tasks, counterbalanced across participants. Writing behaviors were recorded via keystroke-logging software, and participants' eye-movements were captured with an Eyelink1000 eye-tracker. Stimulated recall comments were prompted by the playback of participants' keystrokes during the last writing task they performed. For both task types, the data analyses involved triangulating results from the keystroke-logs, eye-gaze recordings, and stimulated recall comments. We considered the thought processes and eye-gaze behaviours of participants when they paused and revised at various textual locations, and investigated how these patterns differed across writing stages (beginning, middle, end).

We will discuss the implications of the results for L2 writing and assessment research. We will additionally consider the value of triangulating data sources to examine L2 pausing and revision, placing special emphasis on the benefits and challenges of using eye-tracking.


This study examined the revision and pausing behaviours of L2 writers and the cognitive processes underlying them during independent and integrated TOEFL iBT writing tasks. To capture writing behaviours and cognitive processes, we triangulated data obtained from keystroke logs, eye-gaze recordings, and stimulated recall protocols.

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