Measuring accuracy in second language performance: the case for a weighted clause ratio

Foster, Pauline and Wiggleworth, Gillian (2016) Measuring accuracy in second language performance: the case for a weighted clause ratio. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 36. pp. 98-116.

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As increasing numbers of research papers in applied linguistics, language learning and assessment use discourse analysis techniques to assess accuracy in performance, it is timely to examine at a detailed level the wide variety of measures employed. Ideally, measures need to capture accuracy in as valid and reliable a way as possible, but this has proved elusive. In this paper, we systematically review the variety of different measures in used in these fields, both global and local, before presenting a more finely tuned weighted clause ratio measure which classifies errors at different levels, i.e. those that seriously impede communication, those that impair communication to some degree, and those that do not impair communication at all. The problem of reliably identifying these levels is discussed, followed by an analysis of samples from written and spoken L2 performance data. This new measure, grounded in a comprehensive review of prior practice in the field, has the advantages of being relatively easy to use, of measuring accuracy rather than error, and of evaluating smaller increases in improved performance than have previously been possible.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: measuring accuracy second language acquisition
Subjects: 400 Language > 407 Education, research & related topics
400 Language > 410 Linguistics
School/Department: School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Pauline Foster
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 08:14
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 08:14


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