Joint project with the University of Melbourne and Kwansei Gakuin University, with the collaboration of the Center for Applied Linguistics
Project goals This research project considers the reliability and validity of a set of measures of syntactic complexity typically used in L2 oral production research and seeks to determine how these measures relate to oral proficiency. It investigates to what extent various syntactic complexity measures are valid, useful, and reliable developmental indices at various levels of oral proficiency on a range of different tasks and across four foreign languages: German, Japanese, Spanish, and English. The following research questions are addressed:
Development of elicitation and test instruments
All tasks and instruments were incorporated into a test booklet with instructions in English or Japanese, depending on the expected L1 background of participants, and two parallel forms of the booklet were created in order to counterbalance the order of the tasks.
Data have been collected from four languages, all in foreign language higher education contexts. For each language, the data collected yielded a corpus of narrative productions by 40 students at two different proficiency levels, intermediate and advanced. For Japanese and English, baseline data on all tasks by native speaking college students in the target environment have been collected. The data were collected in the three research sites as follows:
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, US: (a) Forty L2 Japanese students enrolled in fourth semester courses or higher, to be divided into two proficiency bands according to their ACTFL ratings; (b) Forty L2 Spanish students enrolled in fourth semester courses or higher, to be divided into two proficiency bands according to their ACTFL ratings; (c) Twenty L1 English undergraduate students as ba