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Volume 20 Number 2, Summer 2023, Pages 215-506   

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Pre-Task Planning in L2 Writing: Pedagogical Benefits and Practical Concerns

    Hieu Manh Do

While previous pre-task planning (PTP) studies tended to adopt a quantitative method (testing, survey), examining its effects on linguistic measures of fluency, accuracy, and complexity, qualitative studies that explored students' perceptions of PTP in practicing L2 writing have been scarce. In an attempt to bridge this gap, this qualitative study, including students' essays, their reflections, and semi-interviews, was adopted for data collection. A total of three EFL college Vietnamese students were qualified to collect data for in-depth analysis. The findings show that students of various levels of English all have positive perceptions of PTP, which helps them reduce cognitive demand and manage time while writing. In addition, PTP has a measurable influence on the quality of writing with regard to higher-level writing skills (content, organization of ideas) in general. For example, students provide relevant information and develop ideas with specific examples in their written performance. It should be noted, however, that composition teachers should consider providing students with explicit instructions and training on how to do PTP appropriately. Students will then know how to apply PTP effectively to their writing practice based on their learning styles. These pedagogical benefits and practical concerns are discussed.

Keywords: pre-task planning, EFL Vietnamese students, pedagogical benefits, practical concerns