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. 109–132
Chapter 5Profiling the dynamic changes of syntactic complexity in L2 academic
A multilevel synchrony method
This chapter investigates changes in the textual manifestation of the syntactic complexity construct in second language (L2) academic writing at the advanced level through linguistically profiling the academic essays of an L2 graduate student in a Master of Education (TESOL) program in Australia. This work explores the dynamic changes of the subconstructs of syntactic complexity at the sentential, clausal, and phrasal levels synchronously through the perspective of complex dynamic systems theory (CDST). To do so, this chapter also introduces a multilevel synchrony method which translates the feature of nestedness of language structure into data mapping, exploration, and profiling. The resulting profile offers visual access, through numerical data and graphs, to the mechanisms that underpin the changes manifest in the language produced by the learner. The findings are then discussed within the framework of CDST and the characteristics of academic writing in English.
- Measuring second language performance and development
- Syntactic complexity in L2 writing
- Nestedness in complex dynamic systems
- Multilevel synchrony method
- The present study
- Data coding and analysis
- Discussion and implications
Published online: 04 June 2020
Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Bofman, T.
Biber, D., & Gray, B.
Biber, D., Gray, B., & Poonpon, K.
Biber, D., Gray, B., & Staples, S.
Bulté, B., & Housen, A.
Casanave, C. P.
Caspi, T., & Lowie, W.
Chan, H., Verspoor, M. H., & Vahtrick, L.
de Bot, K., & Larsen-Freeman, D.
de Bot, K., Lowie, W., & Verspoor, M. H.
De Clercq, B., & Housen, A.
Housen, A., & Kuiken, F.
Housen, A., Kuiken, F., & Vedder, I.
Kerz, E., Wiechmann, D., & Riedel, F.
Khushik, G. A., & Huhta, A.
Kuiken, F., & Vedder, I.
(2012) Syntactic complexity, lexical variation and accuracy as a function of task complexity and proficiency level in L2 writing and speaking. In A. Housen, F. Kuiken, & I. Vedder (Eds.), Dimensions of L2 performance and proficiency: Complexity, accuracy and fluency in SLA (pp. 143–169). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
(2016) Measuring syntactic development in L2 writing: Fine grained indices of syntactic complexity and usage-based indices of syntactic sophistication (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/alesl_diss/35/> (7 January 2020).
Kyle, K., & Crossley, S. A.
Larsen-Freeman, D., & Cameron, L.
Lu, X., & Ai, H.
Neary-Sundquist, C. A.
Norris, J. M., & Manchón, R.
Norris, J. M., & Ortega, L.
Park, J. H.
Parkinson, J., & Musgrave, J.
Penris, W., & Verspoor, M. H.
Taguchi, N., Crawford, W., & Wetzel, D.
van Geert, P.
van Geert, P., & van Dijk, M.
Vercellotti, M. L.
Verspoor, M. H., Lowie, W., Chan, H., & Vahtrick, L.
Verspoor, M. H., Lowie, W., & van Dijk, M.
Verspoor, M. H., Schmid, M. S., & Xu, X.
Wolfe-Quintero, K., Inagaki, S., & Kim, H. Y.
Yang, W., Lu, X., & Weigle, S. C.
Yang, W., & Sun, Y.