Secondary school students’ discourse synthesis performance on Chinese (L1) and English (L2) integrated writing assessments

Xinhua Zhu, Guan Ying Li, Choo Mui Cheong, Guoxing Yu, Xian Liao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the relationship between three discourse synthesis skills (i.e., quotation, summarization, and connection) and students’ overall integrated writing performance in Chinese, students’ first language, and English, their second language. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that 63.6% of the variance in students’ overall Chinese integrated writing performance was accounted for by the three discourse synthesis skills, with connection and summarization contributed almost equally to the overall scores. In the English test, the three skills explained 47.9% of the variance. Cross-linguistic facilitation of the L1 discourse synthesis skills to the overall L2 integrated writing performance was observed, although the predictive strength of the three skills was comparatively low. Eye-tracking data together with subsequent stimulated-recall interviews illuminated the differences in students’ approaches to discourse synthesis. Findings of the study support the decisive role of discourse synthesis abilities in both L1 and L2 integrated writing assessments. Implications for writing instruction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReading and Writing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Cross-linguistic facilitation
  • Discourse synthesis skills
  • Integrated writing assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this