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Title: An analysis of gains in lexical richness in the writing of instructed intermediate EFL learners
Author: Muñoz Acevedo, Daniel O.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 5886
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the development of lexical richness as observed in L2 writing performance. A study was conducted that observed gains in a series of measures of lexical diversity and lexical sophistication in the written production of a group of EFL learners. Participants were 34 intermediate undergraduate Chilean students (Spanish Ll). Two sets ofL2 writing tasks were collected for the study: three standardised tests (ie IELTS Writing Task 2) and two in-house tests (ie course assessment). Scripts collected were analysed to obtain three sets of measures, first, a set of lexical diversity measures (ie D, R, and TTR with adjusted-length texts); second, a set of lexical sophistication measures (as yielded by the Lexical Frequency Profile); and third, a set of proficiency scores provided by expert IELTS examiners for the standardised data. Gain patterns over time were then observed for the three sets of measures. Results of the study show modest but statistically significant gains in lexical sophistication in both the standardised and the naturalistic data sets. In contrast, no gains were observed in lexical diversity in any data set. Although L2 writing proficiency improved over time, no relations were identified between lexical richness measures and proficiency scores. At the same time, results indicated a wide individual variation for each measure used in the study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available