Edited by Gary G. Fogal and Marjolijn H. Verspoor
[Language Learning & Language Teaching 54] 2020
Chapter 11. Unpacking ‘simplex systems’
Curricular thinking for L2 writing development
Following on Byrnes’ call (2018; this volume) to widen the scope of a complex dynamic systems theory (CDST) view of L2 writing, this chapter explores writing beyond the level of developmental processes. To do so, this work operationalizes ‘simplex systems’ (van Geert & Steenbeek, 2014) through an exploratory case study that examines how stakeholders in an English-medium actuary science program in a Thai university interpret the influence of different program-wide variables on developing L2 writing. Data underscore how structures of the program (e.g., the soft-assembly of orientations to time across constituent groups) benefitted all stakeholders. The findings help move L2 writing, CDST-related research in a new direction and demonstrate how exploring simplex systems can impact how writing development is envisioned, researched, and nurtured longitudinally through a curriculum.