A1 Journal article (refereed)
Investigating Syntactic Complexity in EFL Learners' Writing across Common European Framework of Reference Levels A1, A2, and B1 (2020)


Khushik, Ghulam Abbas; Huhta, Ari (2020). Investigating Syntactic Complexity in EFL Learners' Writing across Common European Framework of Reference Levels A1, A2, and B1. Applied Linguistics, 41 (4), 506-532. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amy064


JYU authors or editors


Publication details

All authors or editors: Khushik, Ghulam Abbas; Huhta, Ari

Journal or series: Applied Linguistics

ISSN: 0142-6001

eISSN: 1477-450X

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 41

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 506-532

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: http://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amy064

Open Access: Publication channel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66085


Abstract

The study investigates the linguistic basis of Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels in English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ writing. Specifically, it examines whether CEFR levels can be distinguished with reference to syntactic complexity (SC) and whether the results differ between two groups of EFL learners with different first languages (Sindhi and Finnish). This sheds light on the linguistic comparability of the CEFR levels across L1 groups. Informants were teenagers from Pakistan (N = 868) and Finland (N = 287) who wrote the same argumentative essay that was rated on a CEFR-based scale. The essays were analysed for 28 SC indices with the L2 Syntactic Complexity Analyzer and Coh-Metrix. Most indices were found to distinguish CEFR levels A1, A2, and B1 in both language groups: the clearest separators were the length of production units, subordination, and phrasal density indices. The learner groups differed most in the length measures and phrasal density when their CEFR level was controlled for. However, some indices remained the same, and the A1 level was more similar than A2 and B2 in terms of SC across the two groups.


Free keywords: linguistic basis; syntactic complexity; Common European Frameworkd of Reference (CEFR); foreign language education; second language education


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Ministry reporting: Yes

Preliminary JUFO rating: 3


Last updated on 2020-18-08 at 13:01