English writing instruction in Chinese students’ experience: A survey study

Lianjiang JIANG, Shulin YU, Nan ZHOU, Yiqin XU

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9 Citations (Scopus)


While there is no lack of studies on the major approaches to L2 writing instruction (i.e., the product-, process-, and genre-oriented approaches), it remains unclear whether and how these theory-based approaches have been translated into students’ experiences of L2 writing pedagogy. This study examined students’ experiences of L2 writing instructional approaches in the Chinese EFL context. A sample of 1,190 students from 39 Chinese universities participated in the study and they were surveyed about the English writing instruction they received in universities. Results show that the process-oriented approach was most experienced by the students, followed by the genre- and product-oriented approaches. Results of latent profile analyses revealed four distinct profiles of writing pedagogy in students’ experiences: the indistinctive pattern, the product-dominant pattern, the process/genre-dominant pattern, and the synthetic pattern. These patterns indicate that writing instructions in the Chinese university-based English programs have yet to meet the demand for students’ L2 writing development. This study contributes to our knowledge of how L2 writing instructional approaches have been experienced by students of various demographic backgrounds and to how writing curricula and pedagogies can be further improved. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-54
JournalRELC Journal
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


Jiang, L., Yu, S., Zhou, N., & Xu, Y. (2023). English writing instruction in Chinese students’ experience: A survey study. RELC Journal, 54(1), 37-54. doi: 10.1177/0033688220980227


  • L2 writing
  • Instructional approach
  • Product-oriented approach
  • Process-oriented approach
  • Genre-oriented approach


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