something they need to find out about their L2 and help learners engage in grammatical analysis
in the process. This is important in understanding the role of writing in second language
acquisition. Writing can inform reading and may actually improve students' facility with
language in the long run. Therefore, students may be better off engaging in more expressive
types of writing early on at whatever level they are capable and using these early attempts as a
scaffold for later, more structured forms.
The Importance of Writing
From ancient times, philosophers, educators, and researchers have stressed the
importance of writing. Writing has been called the core of education, and writing has been
acclaimed as an important avenue for learning. The past chair of the National Commission on
Writing, C. Peter Magrath, has said that "Good writing leads to clearer thinking-and successful
communication" (National Commission, 2004). Yet there is growing concern that writing
instruction, the use of writing as a valuable tool for learning, and opportunities for students to
engage in writing cohesive meaningful texts have become scarce. Writing continues to take a
back seat where instructional time and emphases are concerned. Consequently, the College
Board founded the National Commission on Writing in America's Families, Schools, and
Colleges in 2002 in hopes of ushering about "a writing revolution in the United States" (National
Commission, 2003). Kroll (2003) deems writing an integral part of the higher education system
in the United States, and Leki (2003) appropriately states that in academics, writing plays "a
major gate-keeping role in professional advancement" (p. 324).
Without a doubt, writing is very important for an educated workforce and global
economy. While much of business is conducted in English, multilingualism is part of this global
economy. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), along with the growing
Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta. Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4688/. Accessed July 29, 2014.