Mapping out the foreign language writing process

The Language Gym



In this article I take on the very difficult task of illustrating the cognitive processes that take place in the brain of a second language student writer as s/he produces an essay. Why? Because often, as teachers and target language experts, we forget how challenging it is for our students to write an essay in a foreign language. Gaining a better grasp of the thinking processes essay writing in a second language involves, may help teachers become more cognitively empathetic towards their students; moreover, they may reconsider the way they teach writing and treat student errors.

A caveat before we proceed: this article is quite a challenging read which may require some background in applied linguistics and/or cognitive psychology.


A Cognitive account of the writing processes: the Hayes and Flower (1980) model

Hayes and Flower’s (1980) model of essay writing in a first language is regarded as one…

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