Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching

The Correlation between Verb-centered Lexical Chunks and the Development of L2 Writing Accuracy, Complexity and Fluency

Author SuWenZuo
Tutor WuHePing
School Northwest Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords verb-centered lexical chunks non-English majors L2 writing accuracy complexity and fluency correlation
CLC H319
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
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The present research sets out to investigate the correlation between the use of verb-centered lexical chunks and the development of L2 writing accuracy, complexity and fluency. Two research questions are put forward: (1) Does the use of verb-centered lexical chunks play a significant role in L2 writing accuracy, complexity and fluency? (2) Does the number of verb-centered lexical chunks produced in writing increase significantly along with the progress of L2 proficiency level?Lexical chunks are frequently-occurred, fixed or semi-fixed multi-words or sentences stored in and retrieved from the minds as wholes automatically rather than generated from grammatical rules. As the unity of grammar rules, semantic meanings and pragmatic contexts, lexical chunks contribute to English learners’language production. Verbs play a special role in both grammar and lexis. Meanwhile, verbs have always been an obstacle for L2 learners. It is assumed that verb-centered lexical chunks have crucial effect on language production. Few researches on the role of verb-centered lexical chunks in L2 writing accuracy, complexity and fluency have been conducted so far. The present research intends to make some exploration in this aspect.90 non-English majors participated in the experiment. They were divided into the Elementary group, the Intermediate group and the Advanced group according to their English proficiency levels. After a writing test, data analysis was conducted in two steps: In the first step, the descriptive statistics of writing accuracy, complexity, fluency and verb-centered lexical chunks was processed in SPSS 12.5 to offer a general picture of the subjects’test results. In the second step, the data of them was computed and a qualitative analysis of three samples was conducted so as to answer the research questions. This research yielded two major findings.The first finding is that there is a significantly positive correlation between the use of verb-centered lexical chunks and the development of L2 writing accuracy, complexity and fluency. It suggests that the use of verb-centered lexical chunks can be a predictor for measuring L2 writing accuracy, complexity and fluency.The second finding shows that the number of verb-centered lexical chunks produced in writing increase significantly from the Elementary level to the Intermediate level while from the Intermediate level to the Advanced level no significant increase exists. This means development of L2 writing is not a continuous process and plateau phenomenon exists in the process of learning. The finding also shows that L2 learners’receptive vocabulary is larger than their productive vocabulary.This research is an attempt to explore the role of verb-centered lexical chunks in L2 writing and the evidence proves that the use of verb-centered lexical chunks facilitates L2 writing significantly. It opens up the possibility of altering present college English teaching and provides the momentum to improve English writing proficiency.

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