This paper explored how it may be possible to improve higher education English writing teachers’ practice by enhancing their understanding of the strategies used by their students when writing in English. Thirty six college students registered in English composition courses and their teachers at a university in northern Taiwan participated in this study. The analysis of student data showed the complexity of writing strategy use. Students’ higher writing performance seemed to be associated with their higher awareness of writing skills. When the student data were presented to the teachers, the teachers noted that they were unaware of their students’ writing strategy use in brainstorming, free writing and text generating. The interviews indicated that the students’ writing strategy use in organizing, sentence and word use, and revision converged with the teachers’ thinking. The data were interpreted as supporting the view that this research could enhance the development of teaching English writing. Students’ higher writing performance seemed to be associated with their higher awareness of writing skills. The student data also provided valuable information that enlightened teachers to think about how to better address the needs of their students and to improve teaching writing. An important role in educational research was to inform practitioners and support teachers gain a deeper understanding of their students’ writing strategy use, so that they could begin to adapt to their students’ needs.