Development of Written Complexity and Accuracy in an Intermediate to Advanced German L2 Setting Using Weighted Clause Ratio

2019-06-11T16:15:43Z (GMT) by Gemini Fox
The primary focus of this study is to determine how clausal complexity and accuracy develop over the course of three academic years of intermediate to advanced-level German. This study aims to shed light on issues related to learner development of writing during advanced stages of language acquisition, particularly after conducting a study abroad. The main goal of this study will be to track the writing complexity and accuracy of multiple students longitudinally. This paper will identify Weighted Clause Ratio (Foster & Wigglesworth, 2016), as well as address Skills Acquisition Theory (DeKeyser, 2007), Interaction Hypothesis (Swain, 1985), and the Limited Attentional Capacity Theory (Skehan, 1998). In addition to this, the study will discuss the impact of a study abroad on the language-learning process, task complexity, and the language-learning plateau. Following a review of terminology, I will discuss how Weighted-Clause Ratio will be used to determine clausal accuracy and complexity. The data of this study will be analyzed with results shown in intervals throughout three academic years, comparing each of the three years with one another. Results indicate that accuracy increases drastically over the final two years when compared to the change in the first two years, confirming the effect that study abroad has on the written accuracy of learners, and the complexity showed improvements in some measures over the course of the study, but varied in other measures. I conclude the thesis by discussing by discussing the implications of these findings for our understanding of writing complexity and accuracy, and the long-term effects of study abroad.