plan, compose and revise. Focusing on one aspect of the writing process, Roca de Larios, Marin,
and Murphy (2001) found that formulation time was the same regardless of whether their
Spanish EFL (English as a foreign language) participants wrote in L1 or L2. Writing samples
were obtained in L2 and L1 from participants in high school (n = 7), university (n = 7) and recent
graduates (n = 7) who were instructed to think aloud while composing for a maximum of one
hour. L2 proficiency affected time in that the students with higher proficiency devoted less time
Harrington (2002) conducted a study comparing the writing process in L1 and L2 for six
elementary students in a transitional bilingual classroom. She found that the students generally
used the same processes when writing in both English and Spanish. Not surprisingly, students
were weaker in their second language with problems with accuracy in grammar and limited
vocabulary. The researcher recommended explicit grammar instruction.
While the writing process seems to be of most interest in research studies searching to
improve learning, examining written products is one means to assess and define the writing
process. Polio (2001) describes recent methodology. Several research studies only describe the
written text after a particular intervention, and numerous examples of studies exist utilizing what
has become to be known as the Jacobs scale from the ESL Composition Profile (Jacobs, Zingraf,
Wormuth, Hartfiel, & Hughey, 1981), which is a rubric that analyzes composition in five areas:
Content, Organization, Vocabulary, Language Use, and Mechanics. The Jacobs scale has been
used in its entirety or the various subscales to analyze writing products in numerous studies.
These include examining the overall quality with the composite score (Pennington & So, 1993),
linguistic accuracy using the grammar portion of the Jacobs scale (Hedgcock & Lefkowitz,
1992), lexical features using the vocabulary component (Hedgcock & Lefkowitz, 1992; Tsang,
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 December 5, 2013.