Metacognitive awareness of EFL student writers in a Chinese ELT context

Zhoulin Ruan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on an investigation into metacognitive awareness of Chinese English as a foreign language (EFL) student writers, under a threefold metacognition framework - person, task, and strategy variables, and within the broader domain of cognitive writing theories. Data were collected in a Chinese tertiary English language teaching (ELT) context through small-group interviews with 51 English-major students prior to an English writing course. Findings show that motivation, self-efficacy, and writing anxiety constitute students' awareness of person variables influencing their EFL writing, whereas their task awareness involves task purposes, task constraints, and cross-language task interference. Strategy awareness of planning, text generating, and revising was found typical of novice EFL student writers. The paper proposes an interactional model of EFL student writers' metacognitive awareness that intends to describe and explain the intertwining nature of the complex process underlying their EFL writing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-91
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage Awareness
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Chinese ELT context
  • Chinese student writers
  • EFL
  • L2 writing
  • metacognition
  • metacognitive awareness

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