The present study is concerned with eliciting information about the errors made and the difficulties encountered as well as the strategies utilized by students with specific learning disabilities while writing in English as a second/foreign language. More specifically, the study aims at:
a. identifying the errors made and the difficulties encountered by the students of the fifth and the sixth grades of primary school when they perform a writing task; recording the range of the cognitive, metacognitive and socioaffective strategies they employ in the writing process and
c. identifying the possible differences between students with and without specific learning disabilities in their using of writing strategies and in their making of errors.
The sample consisted of 88 students with and without specific learning disabilities aged between 11 and 13. The data for the study were selected through the following instruments: (a) a variety of writing activities to be done by the students in order to gather data concerning the detection of errors and difficulties in writing, (b) thinking aloud reports to investigate the students’ writing strategies in the pre-writing, while-writing and post-writing stages and (c) retrospective interviews to understand the students’ writing sub-processes. The data have been collected and we are in the process of analyzing them. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches will be adopted for the analysis of the data. The findings of the study are expected to contribute to the discussion of research on the writing difficulties students with specific learning disabilities meet with.
Keywords: specific learning disabilities, writing, foreign language, longitudinal study