Introduction Writing has always been part of applied linguistics. Even before the 1960s, when writing was considered as a mere representation of speech, it provided a way of monitoring students’ language production and of providing linguistic material because the technology for sound recording was not widely available. For researchers, it has always provided a source of tangible and relatively stable data for analysis as well as a way of recording speech. In the early years of applied linguistics, however, writing was not considered to be one of the proper goals of language learning; it was used only to the extent that it assisted the learning of speech. (See Matsuda, 2001a, for an account of the place of writing in early applied linguistics.) In the latter half of the twentieth century, writing, or written discourse, and the
teaching of writing began to receive significant attention as an important area of inquiry within applied linguistics. With the growth of composition studies in the USA and the parallel development of the field of second language writing, the act of writing also became an important focus of research and instruction in L1 and L2 writing. More recently, prompted by the recognition of the complexity of writing and the teaching of writing, second language writing has evolved into an interdisciplinary field of inquiry involving many related fields, including applied linguistics and composition studies, which are themselves highly interdisciplinary (Leki, 2000; Matsuda, 2003).