The relationship of proficiency to speed fluency, pausing, and eye-gaze behaviours in L2 writing

Andrea Révész, Marije Michel, Xiaojun Lu, Nektaria Kourtali, Minjin Lee, Laís Borges

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this study we investigated the extent to which writing proficiency predicts L2 writers’ speed fluency, pausing, and eye-gaze behaviours and the cognitive processes that underlie pausing. Additionally, we explored whether these relationships were influenced by stage of writing (beginning, middle stages, end). The participants were 60 Chinese second language users of English, with proficiency levels ranging from CEFR B1 to C1 levels. They all completed two independent TOEFL iBT writing tasks over two sessions, with the tasks being counterbalanced across participants. While composing, we recorded participants’ keystrokes and eye-gaze behaviours. Participants also took part in a stimulated recall session based on the last writing task they had completed. A series of mixed-effects regression models found that proficiency was the strongest predictor of speed fluency. The stimulated recall analysis revealed considerably less variation in cognitive activities among lower- than higher-proficiency writers across writing stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100927
JournalJournal of Second Language Writing
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Eye-tracking
  • Fluency
  • Keystroke logging
  • Pausing
  • Stimulated recall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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