Chapter 3. Writing to learn in content areas
This chapter discusses several studies of second language (L2) writers’ experiences using writing as a means of learning about content areas. Though some research of this kind has demonstrated success with writing to learn, collectively these studies suggest that using writing in this way is often difficult for L2 writers and that a key component in the process of learning to use writing for this purpose is the kind of support provided by both writing instructors and content area teachers. The examination of these studies also points out complexities in the linkage between theories of writing to learn and implementation of them. The analysis of these studies also lends support to a recent call from some L2 writing researchers for an increased emphasis on longitudinal studies of L2 writing, including writing to learn, in light of the complex nature of learning how to write, and how to use writing to mediate or enrich learning, in another language.