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Analyzing Pauses in Computer-Assisted EFL Writing--A Computer-Keystroke-Log Perspective


Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 20, Number 4, ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647


Using computer keystroke logs, this study investigated how writing skill affected L2 writers' pausing patterns to gain insights into their management of the cognitive writing processes. The 59 participants, 29 in the more-skilled group and 30 in the less-skilled group, were recruited from a college English course at a key Chinese university. The two groups completed an argumentative essay in a computer classroom where Inputlog6.0 was installed to log their writing activities. Setting the pause threshold at 2 seconds, the study examined both the global pausing patterns and the interval pausing patterns by dividing each writing event into five equal intervals, and how the final text quality related to the pausing patterns. The results showed a significant effect of writing skill on the interval pausing patterns, but not on the global pausing patterns. Correlating significantly with the final text quality, the interval pausing patterns also revealed important differences in L2 writers' management of writing processes in terms of how one writing process dominates at specific intervals with interaction and shifts between other processes in a recursive fashion. Pedagogical implications are then discussed in light of these findings.


Xu, C. & Qi, Y. (2017). Analyzing Pauses in Computer-Assisted EFL Writing--A Computer-Keystroke-Log Perspective. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 20(4), 24-34. Retrieved October 2, 2022 from .

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