Chapter 9
“Adolescent Second-Language Writing by Linda Harklau Rachel Pinnow”

Harklau and Pinnow state that “second-language writing is a relatively new field drawing from second-language acquisition and composition studies” (126).

Before reading this article, I wondered if about my own L2 experience in which I had to learn a second language as a college student instead of an adolescent. I thought about language acquisition, reading, writing, and speaking. As I read the article, I wondered if the research would show any of the obstacles that I had to work through as an adult were similar as those of an adolescent. I’m happy to report that I did see some of the same issues that the authors brought out in the article in regard to the adolescent.

The authors write, “L2 text formulation is more laborious and generates greater cognitive load than writing in L1, leading adolescent writers to give significantly more of their attention to solving problems with structure and vocabulary than to generating test” (129). Now as for me I found this statement to be very true. However, I discussed that theory with my 17 year old niece who is studying Spanish. I asked her what she found to be difficult about learning a new language. She expressed to me that when she reads, she has to look up every word and or phrase. What annoys her even more is that when she writes, she believes that the words in the sentence are in the right order, only to find that they are not in the right order.
Also, she wants to write in L2 but it takes her too long to figure out the structure of the sentence and using the correct tense of the word.
Nonetheless, she wants to learn the language. One way that helps her to learn is similar to what Sengupta notes that helps students to learn: “[students] . . .prefer teacher editing and comprehensive marking of errors” (129).