CEFLING dissemination: Franceschina (2007a)

Franceschina, Florencia. 2007. Linguistic indicators of L2 proficiency levels: some conceptual, methodological and empirical issues. Paper presented at Departmental seminar, Modern Languages Department and Centre for Applied Language Research, University of Southampton, 7 February 2007.


In this talk I will discuss conceptual, methodological and empirical issues related to the investigation of the linguistic characteristics of interlanguage grammars at difference proficiency levels as defined by proficiency scales such as the CEFR scales or the IELTS scales for writing†. Although I will concentrate on data from the acquisition of L2 English for this presentation, this work is part of a larger project involving other L2s and I will consider some issues that relate to the identification of linguistic markers of L2 proficiency in other languages too. The talk will concentrate on the following:

•    Finding a rationale for the selection of particular linguistic indicators of L2 proficiency levels in specific languages
•    Tracing emergence, mastery, accuracy, frequency and contexts of use of these indicators

I will discuss some preliminary findings from the marking of plural on head nouns, subject-verb agreement and use of demonstratives in L2 English by learners at different proficiency levels and from different L1 backgrounds. The data come from collaborative projects by SLA and language testing researchers funded by the Finnish Academy, IELTS and the British Council.

†CEFR= Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; IELTS= International English Language Testing System