Chapter published in:Complex Dynamic Systems Theory and L2 Writing Development
Edited by Gary G. Fogal and Marjolijn H. Verspoor
[Language Learning & Language Teaching 54] 2020
► pp. 27–48
Coordination of linguistic subsystems as a sign of automatization?
This study explored retrodictively differences in developmental patterns between a learner who makes some progress and one that does not. Their twelve successive writings were analyzed on holistically scored measures of complexity, accuracy, fluency, idiomaticity, and coherence (CAFIC) and on two analytical measures to operationalize syntactic and lexical complexity. Their developmental trajectories were explored with visual graphs (LOESS curves), Monte Carlo analyses, and correlational analyses. The stronger learner showed rather synchronous development in most measures and a significant jump in lexical complexity (operationalized as average word length), suggesting a level of coordination of subsystems and therefore automaticity of the system as a whole. The weaker learner, on the other hand, showed more competitive or random patterns in the measures.
Keywords: foreign language development, complex dynamic system theory (CDST), writing, variability, coordination
Published online: 04 June 2020