This study investigates the relationship between learners’ receptive vocabulary knowledge as measured by the Vocabulary Size Test (Nation and Beglar, 2007) and free productive vocabulary knowledge as demonstrated by the learners when writing a short story based on pictures. The focus is on three different areas of productive vocabulary use: lexical diversity (i.e. the proportion of different words in a text), lexical sophistication (i.e. the proportion of advanced words in a text) and lexical density (i.e. the proportion of content words in a text). The results of a bivariate correlation analysis indicate that there is a moderate relationship between learners’ receptive vocabulary knowledge and lexical diversity of the texts they produce; there is a weak relationship between their receptive vocabulary knowledge and lexical sophistication in the texts; and there is no relationship between their receptive vocabulary knowledge and lexical density.
This study examined the syntactic and semantic complexity of L2 English writing in a Bosnian-Herzegovinian high school. Forty texts written by individual students, ten per grade, were quantitatively analyzed by applying methods established in previous research. The syntactic portion of the analysis, based on the t-unit analysis introduced by Hunt (1965), was done using the Web-based L2 Syntactic Complexity Analyzer (Lu, 2010), while the semantic portion, largely based on the theory laid out in systemic functional linguistics (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2014), was done using the Web-based Lexical Complexity Analyzer (Ai & Lu, 2010) as well as manual identification of grammatical metaphors. The statistical analysis included tests of variance, correlation, and effect size. It was found that the syntactic and semantic complexity of writing increases in later grades; however, this increase is not consistent across all grades.
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