HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 19 no. 2 (2010)

"What You Think, Feel, and Experience Shape Your Writing:" Cognitive, Affective, and Contextual Processes in ESESL Writing

Leah E. Gustilo

Discipline: Education, Psychology, English



The present study positions itself within the research tradition based on the cognitive process and focuses the research lens on young writers, investigating the composing processes of six students at three proficiency levels in their final year in high school. Cognitive-based previous research is generally limited to describing how cognitive strategies interact during writing and how these strategies spell the difference between good and poor writers. There is a need to look at the writing context and varying experiences among writers, which help account for the differences in the cognitive processes among writers and their sources of difficulty. Hence, the present study seeks to describe (1) how secondary graduating students in a product-oriented writing context approach the writing task; and (2) how they are different or similar in terms of cognitive strategies, metacognitve models, emotions while writing, and sources of difficulty. The study underscores that writing should be viewed as multiprocesses including cognitive and emotional processes analyzed within the classroom context and experiences of writers. The findings lead to tentative conclusions and suggest implications for pedagogy and research.