Assessed Levels of Second Language Speaking Proficiency & Error‐Tagged EFL Learner Corpus

Authors;Assessed Levels of Second Language Speaking Proficiency: How Distinct?-N. Iwashita(2008)

Capturing L2 Accuracy DevelopmentalPatterns: Insights From an Error‐Tagged EFL Learner Corpus- J. Thewissen(2012)


After reading these two articles then having them discussed  in the class I found some similarities between them, thus decided to express  my thoughts on both articles in one blog post.

I found several common things in  two articles . First of all they both contribute to Applied linguistics by providing with  helpful insights about such an important area of language, as L2 proficiency. Both articles focus on the  means  through which L2 speaking or writing proficiency can be investigated and defined.These articles also provide with methodological implications as to how the testing of  ESL learners proficiency and also thorough understating of acquisition process  of grammatical forms and structures as well as vocabulary and other linguistic features can help us to more clearly  distinguish  proficiency levels and thus build our methodology to teach certain aspects of language in a more elaborated way. In both articles the ways that help us  to investigate  L2 proficiency  are discussed. This is done  by  comparing  the performances of learners` of different proficiency levels, and by analyzing different categories both in written and spoken language.The first article concentrates on second language  accuracy developmental  patterns and shows how they can be captured through Error-tagged EFL corpus. The second article  focuses on exploring the nature of speaking proficiency in larger context, specifically in high stake tests, especially in English for Academic purposes, in TOEFL IBT. So this process is done through comparison of  five different proficiency levels and through analysis of different categories, such as grammatical accuracy, vocabulary, pronunciation, and fluency. Both articles show that different categories seem to have an impact on overall performance of the learner, The studies discussed in articles also show that development of some linguistic patterns take place in certain proficiency levels(mostly intermediate) and are less visible in higher levels. In case of error analysis it was shown that learners` developmental patterns undergo both progress and stabilization processes, the main visible progress being seen  between adjacent  B1-B2 levels.

What refers to speaking proficiency, it was found out that the most recognizable features of speaking proficiency are vocabulary and fluency. Thus from this we can infer that as teachers when trying to develop speaking we should not only  focus on grammar forms and structure, on developing grammatical accuracy, but also on vocabulary and production.

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