S.C. (Ineke) Vedder (2)

Communicative adequacy and linguistic complexity in written L2 performance


In the lecture the relationship is investigated between the communicative adequacy and the linguistic complexity of the written output, elicited by writing tasks at an intermediate level of L2 proficiency. The aim is to provide evidence of learner performance, both in functional/communicative terms and in linguistic terms (i.e. grammar, lexis, accuracy), at specific levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The participants in the study are 30 L2 learners of Dutch, with various linguistic backgrounds; 45 L2 learners of Italian, with Dutch as L1; 30 L2 learners of Spanish, with Dutch as L1. To create a baseline comparison, the writing tasks were also administered to a group of 15 native speakers of Dutch, 15 native speakers of Italian, and 15 native speakers of Spanish. The main issue which will be discussed in the talk is that linguistic performance cannot be assessed meaningfully, without taking into account the communicative adequacy, effectiveness and quality of the L2 text.