Syntactic Variety and Writing Quality: An Investigation on EFL Students’ Argumentative Writing

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
EventThe 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 2017May 14 2017
https://acll.iafor.org/acll2017/

Conference

ConferenceThe Asian Conference on Language Learning / The Asian Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2017
Abbreviated titleACLL/ACTC 2017
CountryJapan
CityKobe
Period5/11/175/14/17
Internet address

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Keywords

  • syntactic variety
  • argumentative writing
  • EFL writers

Cite this

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.

Syntactic Variety and Writing Quality: An Investigation on EFL Students’ Argumentative Writing. / Fan, Yu-Shan.

2017. Paper presented at The Asian Conference on Language Learning / The Asian Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2017, Kobe, Japan.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Fan Y-S. Syntactic Variety and Writing Quality: An Investigation on EFL Students’ Argumentative Writing. 2017. Paper presented at The Asian Conference on Language Learning / The Asian Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2017, Kobe, Japan.
Fan, Yu-Shan. / 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.13 p.
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