The variety of syntactic structure of sentences has regarded as an important indicator of sentence fluency and writing proficiency. However, previous research on the relationship between syntactic variety and text quality has failed to reveal consistent patterns. Therefore, this study aims to examine the relationship of a single measure of syntactic variety with the quality of argumentative writing. It is hypothesized that syntactic complexity increases with the proficiency levels. The greater complexity of sentence used in an essay, the higher the score of the essay will be rated. A sample of 30 TWE essays written by Chinese test takers at different levels are compared to 10 by native speakers. Essays rated as Chinese 4, 5, and 6 and Native 6 represent three different levels of proficiency. The results indicate that syntactic features, such text length, number of T-units, words per T-unit, words per clauses and numbers of subordinate clauses, tend to have positive relationship with writing holistic ratings. Finally, pedagogical implications are discussed on how to integrate syntactic variety instruction with other sentence-combing exercises in a writing classroom for second language writers.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - May 2017|
|Event||The Asian Conference on Language Learning / The Asian Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2017: Educating for Change - Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan|
Duration: May 11 2017 → May 14 2017
|Conference||The Asian Conference on Language Learning / The Asian Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2017|
|Abbreviated title||ACLL/ACTC 2017|
|Period||5/11/17 → 5/14/17|
- syntactic variety
- argumentative writing
- EFL writers
Fan, Y-S. (2017). Syntactic Variety and Writing Quality: An Investigation on EFL Students’ Argumentative Writing. Paper presented at The Asian Conference on Language Learning / The Asian Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2017, Kobe, Japan.