Lexis in Writing: Investigating the Relationship Between Lexical Richness and the Quality of Advanced Learners’ Texts
The aim of this article is to outline key issues in assessing lexical richness, operationalized as consisting of four interrelated components: lexical sophistication, diversity, density and number of errors, as well as to present the results of a study aimed at providing insight into a possible relationship between selected aspects of lexical richness and general quality of learner texts. Compositions written by 65 English philology students were analyzed using two measures of lexical richness, namely diversity and sophistication. The results of the analysis were correlated with holistic scores for compositions, which included such components of assessment as content, organization and language control. Positive correlations were found between holistic scores for composition and the measure of lexical sophistication, but not between holistic scores and lexical diversity of texts. The paper will conclude with a discussion on the extent to which lexical richness influences general text quality, and implications of the results of the study for language instruction at the academic level.
KeywordsVocabulary Knowledge Lexical Diversity Rater Judgement Holistic Assessment Text Length
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