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Fluency, Lexical Diversity, and Selected Syntactic Features in L2 Students' Writing

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Title: Fluency, Lexical Diversity, and Selected Syntactic Features in L2 Students' Writing
Authors: Cho, HaeJung
Keywords: L2 writing
lexical diversity
syntactic feature
text analysis
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: This study intends to identify fluency and lexical and syntactic features of ESL graduate students, and examine the relationship between students’ language proficiency and the degree of complexity in a set of selected areas of L2 writing: (a) fluency as measured by total number of words per essay (Jarvis et al., 2003); (b) lexical features catalogued by Laufer and Nation’s (1995) Lexical Frequency Profile (LFP), such as K1, K2, academic, and “off-list” words; and (c) syntactic features investigated by Hinkel (2003a, 2003b), such as be copula, and adverbial markers. The analysis of 90 writing samples, obtained from their placement test for an English intensive program, showed a statistically significant difference between fluency and the three placement levels, but little significant difference was found in lexical features. This study also revealed that the “there is/are” construction is not good discriminator for a narrow band of language proficiency. Also, the use of emphatics increased according to placement level, indicating that task played a role in choosing specific discourse markers. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of developing detailed scoring rubrics for placement tests and improving text analysis studies for L2 writers in the future.
Pages/Duration: 87 pages
Appears in Collections:Student Work - ELI

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