The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 22, No. 0, pp.229-245
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2022
Received 13 Feb 2022 Revised 20 Mar 2022 Accepted 28 Mar 2022

Motivational Principles underlying Linguistic Characteristics of Second Language Writing

Mijin Eom ; Mostafa Papi
(1st author) Adjunct Professor, Florida State University
(co-author) Assistant Professor, Florida State University

© 2022 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study explored how a learner’s motivational foundation driven by regulatory focus and mode is related to the linguistic characteristics of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) of L2 writing. It was hypothesized that learner’s regulatory focus and mode would lead the learners to focus on certain aspects of the writing processes, thus resulting in individual variations in CAF levels of writing. English argumentative essays written by 48 Korean EFL students were analyzed with reference to writing CAF measures. The participants’ regulatory foci and modes were also measured using two questionnaires. The results of multiple regression analyses showed that the promotion-focus positively predicted complexity and the prevention-focus negatively predicted fluency and accuracy. Regarding regulatory mode, the assessment-mode positively predicted both complexity and accuracy and the locomotion-mode was not significantly related to any measures of CAF. The findings may contribute to understanding individual differences in L2 development through writing and suggest that learners’ inherent motivational characteristics play a role in the L2 writing process. Results are discussed in relation to the writing process models, and pedagogical implications and future research directions are suggested.


motivational orientation, L2 writing, complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF), regulatory focus, regulatory mode, individual difference


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