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Over the past 40 years, second language educators and assessors have come to the realization that investigating the process of writing can shed light on language teaching, learning and assessment practices (Odendahl & Deane, 2018). What L2 writers do and think while writing can provide links between the task, the related construct and the cognitive mechanisms the learners engage in. In assessment contexts, such information can help language testers to ensure that performance-based score inferences are truly linked to not only the linguistic knowledge of examinees, but also to the functions of mental architecture intended in a specific task (Purpura, 2013). Recent advances in technology have provided the researchers with innovative tools for investigating L2 writing processes in different contexts. This paper provides a brief review of L2 writing process research by presenting the most influential theoretical approaches to the conceptualization and investigation of writing process in L1 and L2, followed by a review of some representative empirical research. Recognizing the need for investigating writing processes under assessment conditions, the paper attempts to delve more deeply into this topic by examining the existing L2 process research in assessment contexts, paying particular attention to the role of technology and assessment techniques.
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