Writing in one’s mother tongue (L1) is a difficult and complex skill to master (Maldonado, 2003). Professional writers engage in constant revision, rewriting and finally editing in order to reach the desired quality. Similarly, Creative Writing courses require students to hand in initial drafts of the work to be submitted for assessment in order to show progress, which further instils the importance of following these writing processes. Writing in another language (L2) is even more complex as the ability to write is linked to linguistic competency in L2 (Myles, 2002). However, students of foreign languages do not engage enough in the revision process, partly owing to language competency awareness (metacognition) and partly owing to foreign language assessment patterns, which offer few or no opportunities to resubmit written work for assessment and feedback. An empirical study was carried out to determine the writing processes completed prior to submitting a creative writing task, particularly editing, by undergraduate language students studying Spanish at the most advanced level (C1–C2) during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 academic years. It found that many do not edit at all before submission and that translation from L1, rather than own L2 production, played a significant role in the task’s completion.
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- To Edit or Not to Edit: The Foreign Language Classroom Question
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