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Title: French writing proficiency at age 14-16 in England and Germany - an international comparison
Author: Gruber , Alice
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 0369
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2012
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Britain has been repeatedly told that its linguistic capability is behind that of other European countries but this perceived difference has hardly been investigated or explored. This research project aimed to provide insights into how German and English 14- to 16-year-old learners of French as a first foreign language compare to one another in terms of vocabulary size and in their written production in terms of lexical richness, accuracy and syntactic complexity. The participants (on average 50 students per nation) from comparable schools in Germany and England were set two tasks which were marked by three French native speakers using standardised criteria aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). The X_lex test established the students' receptive vocabulary size. Lexical richness was measured by the VocabProfile tool and syntactic complexity was established using the mean length oft- units (MLTU). Tokens and types of verb phrases (VP) were counted to measure VP complexity. Error frequency using a word/error calculation and length of product were established. Classroom observations, students' and teachers' questionnaires and semi- structured interviews were used to triangulate the data. The findings suggest that in terms of accuracy, essay scoring and vocabulary size, the German group outperformed the English group, whereas in terms of syntactic complexity and vocabulary richness, the English student fared better. The differences in performance outcomes are analysed and discussed with regard to variables related to the educational contexts (e.g. curriculum design and methodology).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available