AWEJ Volume.4 Number.4, 2013                                                                       Pp.45-59

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 English Writing Proficiency among Three Types of Students in an ESL Composition Course


Maxine E. Goldburg
Alliant International University
San Diego, California, USA

This article reports the findings of a study that identified similarities and differences in the perceived second language writing proficiency generation 1.5 students, immigrant/refugee students, and international student brought to an advanced ESL composition course at a local community college in Southern California.  Under quantitative investigation was (1) students’ perceptions of their L2 writing proficiency as determined by self-rated perceived writing attitude, perceived writing ability, perceived word processing/computer skills, and perceived writing behaviors scores, (2) the regionalized distribution of participants’ overall L2 writing proficiency as determined by the sum of the four component scores, and (3) students’ actual writing ability and gain in writing ability as determined by teacher-graded in-class essay scores. G1.5 students maintained realistic perceptions of their L2 writing proficiency, IMR students overrated perceptions of their overall L2 writing proficiency, and IS students underrated perceptions of their L2 writing proficiency. The results suggested that the experiences and perceptions of academic literacy for different types of ESL students may not match ambitious standards and expectations of the American ESL college-level reading-to-writing curriculum.
Keywords:  L2 writing attitude, L2 writing, L2 writing behavior, L2 electronic literacy


Dr. Maxine E. Goldburg is a TESOL educator/researcher, Academic Writing Editor and
Student Affairs Representative at Alliant International University, San Diego, California who
received a Master’s degree in TESOL education from Long Island University, New York and
Doctoral degree in TESOL Education from Alliant International University. After a seven-year
career as an ESL teacher in the American public school system, Dr. Goldburg accepted a
commission as EFL teacher, Vice Director and Dean of the International Education Center at
Shandong University of Science & Technology in Taian, China. There she authored in
collaboration with Shandong University of Science and Technology a teacher training manual
entitled Aiming Beyond, published by Taishan Shandong Foreign Language Training Center of
the State Administration of Foreign Experts. In addition to student advising, she provides
academic writing support and editorial services to domestic and international undergraduate and
graduate students and serves on the Review Board of the Arab World English Journal.