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Predicting second language writing proficiency: the roles of cohesion and linguistic sophistication

Published on May 1, 2012in Journal of Research in Reading 1.32
· DOI :10.1111/j.1467-9817.2010.01449.x
Scott A. Crossley27
Estimated H-index: 27
(GSU: Georgia State University),
Danielle S. McNamara50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of M: University of Memphis)
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Abstract
This study addresses research gaps in predicting second language (L2) writing proficiency using linguistic features. Key to this analysis is the inclusion of linguistic measures at the surface, textbase and situation model level that assess text cohesion and linguistic sophistication. The results of this study demonstrate that five variables (lexical diversity, word frequency, word meaningfulness, aspect repetition and word familiarity) can be used to significantly predict L2 writing proficiency. The results demonstrate that L2 writers categorised as highly proficient do not produce essays that are more cohesive, but instead produce texts that are more linguistically sophisticated. These findings have important implications for L2 writing development and L2 writing pedagogy.
  • References (59)
  • Citations (72)
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References59
Newest
Published on Jul 1, 2011in Second Language Research 1.75
Tom Salsbury11
Estimated H-index: 11
(WSU: Washington State University),
Scott A. Crossley27
Estimated H-index: 27
(GSU: Georgia State University),
Danielle S. McNamara50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of M: University of Memphis)
This study uses word information scores from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Psycholinguistic Database to analyse word development in the spontaneous speech data of six adult learners of English as a second language (L2) in a one-year longitudinal study. In contrast to broad measures of lexical development, such as word frequency and lexical diversity, this study analyses L2 learners’ depth of word knowledge as measured by psycholinguistic values for concreteness, imagability, meaningfulness,...
Published on May 1, 2010in Behavior Research Methods 4.06
Philip M. McCarthy15
Estimated H-index: 15
(U of M: University of Memphis),
Scott Jarvis19
Estimated H-index: 19
(OU: Ohio University)
The main purpose of this study was to examine the validity of the approach to lexical diversity assessment known as the measure of textual lexical diversity (MTLD). The index for this approach is calculated as the mean length of word strings that maintain a criterion level of lexical variation. To validate the MTLD approach, we compared it against the performances of the primary competing indices in the field, which include vocd-D, TTR, Maas, Yule’s K, and an HD-D index derived directly from the...
Published on Apr 9, 2010in Language Learning 2.00
Scott A. Crossley27
Estimated H-index: 27
(MSU: Mississippi State University),
Tom Salsbury11
Estimated H-index: 11
(WSU: Washington State University),
Danielle S. McNamara50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of M: University of Memphis)
Spoken language data were collected from six adult second language (L2) English learners over a year-long period in order to explore the development of word polysemy and frequency use. The data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. In the first analysis, the growth of WordNet polysemy values and CELEX word frequency values were examined. For both indexes, significant growth was demonstrated from the 2nd to the 16th week of observation, after which values remained stable. Growth in...
Published on Jan 1, 2010in Written Communication 1.22
Danielle S. McNamara50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of M: University of Memphis),
Scott A. Crossley27
Estimated H-index: 27
(MSU: Mississippi State University),
Philip M. McCarthy15
Estimated H-index: 15
(U of M: University of Memphis)
In this study, a corpus of expert-graded essays, based on a standardized scoring rubric, is computationally evaluated so as to distinguish the differences between those essays that were rated as high and those rated as low. The automated tool, Coh-Metrix, is used to examine the degree to which high- and low-proficiency essays can be predicted by linguistic indices of cohesion (i.e., coreference and connectives), syntactic complexity (e.g., number of words before the main verb, sentence structure...
Published on Jun 1, 2009in Language Learning 2.00
Scott A. Crossley27
Estimated H-index: 27
(MSU: Mississippi State University),
Tom Salsbury11
Estimated H-index: 11
(WSU: Washington State University),
Danielle S. McNamara50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of M: University of Memphis)
This study investigated second language (L2) lexical development in the spontaneous speech of six adult, L2 English learners in a 1-year longitudinal study. One important aspect of lexical development is lexical organization and depth of knowledge. Hypernymic relations, the hierarchical relationships among related words that vary in relation to their semantic specificity (e.g., Golden Retriever vs. dog vs. animal), are an important indicator of both lexical organization and depth of knowledge. T...
Published on Jun 1, 2009in Journal of Second Language Writing 4.20
Scott A. Crossley27
Estimated H-index: 27
(MSU: Mississippi State University),
Danielle S. McNamara50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of M: University of Memphis)
Abstract The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of how lexical differences related to cohesion and connectionist models can distinguish first language (L1) writers of English from second language (L2) writers of English. Key to this analysis is the use of the computational tool Coh-Metrix, which measures cohesion and text difficulty at various levels of language, discourse, and conceptual analysis, and a statistical method known as discriminant function analysis. Results sho...
Published on Jan 21, 2008
Charles A. Perfetti73
Estimated H-index: 73
,
Nicole Landi17
Estimated H-index: 17
,
Jane Oakhill49
Estimated H-index: 49
Published on Oct 1, 2007in Language Testing 1.15
Philip M. McCarthy15
Estimated H-index: 15
(U of M: University of Memphis),
Scott Jarvis19
Estimated H-index: 19
(OU: Ohio University)
A reliable index of lexical diversity (LD) has remained stubbornly elusive for over 60 years. Meanwhile, researchers in fields as varied as stylistics, neuropathology, language acquisition, and even forensics continue to use flawed LD indices — often ignorant that their results are questionable and in some cases potentially dangerous. Recently, an LD measurement instrument known as vocd has become the virtual tool of the LD trade. In this paper, we report both theoretical and empirical evidence ...
Published on Sep 26, 2007
E. Lavelle1
Estimated H-index: 1
Published on May 1, 2007in Behavior Research Methods 4.06
Nicholas D. Duran12
Estimated H-index: 12
(U of M: University of Memphis),
Philip M. McCarthy15
Estimated H-index: 15
(U of M: University of Memphis)
+ 1 AuthorsDanielle S. McNamara50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of M: University of Memphis)
We investigated the linguistic features of temporal cohesion that distinguish variations in temporal coherence. In an analysis of 150 texts, experts rated temporal coherence on three continuous scale measures designed to capture unique representations of time. Coh-Metrix, a computational tool that assesses textual cohesion, correctly predicted the human ratings with five features of temporal cohesion. The correlations between predicted and actual scores were all statistically significant. In a c...
Cited By72
Newest
Published on Jul 11, 2019in Reading & Writing Quarterly 0.93
Carla Wood3
Estimated H-index: 3
(FSU: Florida State University),
Christopher Schatschneider46
Estimated H-index: 46
(FSU: Florida State University),
Sara A. Hart20
Estimated H-index: 20
(FSU: Florida State University)
Published on Jun 25, 2019
Tricia A. Guerrero (UIC: University of Illinois at Chicago), Jennifer Wiley34
Estimated H-index: 34
(UIC: University of Illinois at Chicago)
Teachers may wish to use open-ended learning activities and tests, but they are burdensome to assess compared to forced-choice instruments. At the same time, forced-choice assessments suffer from issues of guessing (when used as tests) and may not encourage valuable behaviors of construction and generation of understanding (when used as learning activities). Previous work demonstrates that automated scoring of constructed responses such as summaries and essays using latent semantic analysis (LSA...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Journal of Second Language Writing 4.20
Sonca Vo (Iowa State University), Sonca Vo
Abstract Second language writing research has often analyzed written discourse to provide evidence on learner language development; however, single word-based analyses have been found to be insufficient in capturing learner language development (Read & Nation, 2006). This study therefore utilized both single word-based and multi-word analyses. Specifically, it explored vocabulary distributions and lexical bundles to better understand the development of writing proficiency across three levels in ...
Published on Apr 26, 2019in Instructional Science 1.58
Candace Walkington8
Estimated H-index: 8
,
Virginia Clinton5
Estimated H-index: 5
+ 0 AuthorsAnthony Sparks
Students’ grasp of the non-mathematical language in a mathematics story problem—such as vocabulary and syntax—may have an important effect on their problem-solving, and this may be particularly true for students with weaker language skills. However, little experimental research has examined which individual language features influence students’ performance while solving problems—much research has been correlational or has combined language features together. In the present study, we manipulated ...
Published on Apr 1, 2019in Behavior Research Methods 4.06
Claire M. Zedelius8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UC: University of California),
Caitlin Mills12
Estimated H-index: 12
(UBC: University of British Columbia),
Jonathan W. Schooler53
Estimated H-index: 53
(UC: University of California)
The question of how to evaluate creativity in the context of creative writing has been a subject of ongoing discussion. A key question is whether something as elusive as creativity can be evaluated in a systematic way that goes beyond subjective judgments. To answer this question, we tested whether human evaluations of the creativity of short stories can be predicted by: (1) established measures of creativity and (2) computerized linguistic analyses of the stories. We conducted two studies, in w...
Published on Mar 30, 2019in Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 1.25
Jenell Krishnan1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Soobin Yim5
Estimated H-index: 5
+ 1 AuthorsAndrew Cusimano1
Estimated H-index: 1
Published on Feb 18, 2019in Computer Assisted Language Learning 2.02
Tiong Goh14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Victoria University of Wellington),
Hui Sun (ZUEL: Zhongnan University of Economics and Law), Bing Yang (Huda: Hubei University)
AbstractThis study investigates the extent to which microfeatures – such as basic text features, readability, cohesion, and lexical diversity based on specific word lists – affect Chinese EFL writing quality. Data analysis was conducted using natural language processing, correlation analysis and stepwise multiple regression analysis on a corpus of 268 Chinese students’ SAT writing in response to a single prompt. The results show that word count, the number of words per sentence, the connecting w...
Published on Feb 1, 2019in Behavior Research Methods 4.06
Scott A. Crossley27
Estimated H-index: 27
(GSU: Georgia State University),
Kristopher Kyle9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
Mihai Dascalu13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Politehnica University of Bucharest)
This article introduces the second version of the Tool for the Automatic Analysis of Cohesion (TAACO 2.0). Like its predecessor, TAACO 2.0 is a freely available text analysis tool that works on the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems; is housed on a user’s hard drive; is easy to use; and allows for batch processing of text files. TAACO 2.0 includes all the original indices reported for TAACO 1.0, but it adds a number of new indices related to local and global cohesion at the semantic level...