Idioma: Español
Fecha: Subida: 2021-04-08T00:00:00+02:00
Duración: 17m 58s
Lugar: Conferencia
Visitas: 61 visitas

Differences in TOEFL Writing between EFLs and L1 Speakers of English: A Corpus-Based Study (...)

Nan Jiang (Vanderbilt University)


This article mainly concerns the features of argumentation writing presented in TOEFL by EFLs
in China compared with the samples writing of L1 speakers provided by ETS. Based on the
analysis, the article aims to address two research questions: What are the differences between the
TOEFL essays of Chinese EFLs and L1 speakers in aspects of vocabulary, grammar and structure?
What do the differences suggest for instruction in TOEFL writing for non-native speakers in the
Chinese context? Running the analysis, TAACO is applied as the language analysis tool and the
output data of its three main categories: type-token ratio indices (TTR), adjacent overlap indices
and connective indices are analyzed in order to identify the differences in argumentation writing
between EFLs and L1 speakers (NLP, 2019). Following the overall analysis is a micro-study of
the specific vocabulary and grammar use of Chinese EFLs, and the findings of which are grouped
into five categories: a mixture of word forms and tenses, a blurred concept of sentences, difficulties
in dealing with abstract concepts, vague use of vocabulary, misuses of connective words and
The theoretical framework of the article includes two elements: the “Field Tenor Mode”
framework (Gledhill, 2013) and the development stages L1 speakers experience (Bergs & Brinton,
2012). The “Field Tenor Mode” framework serves as the guideline of the macro corpora analysis,
where specific attention will be focused on “Field”, aiming to figure out the writing features of
argumentation on topics in different registers. Meanwhile, the application of Bergs and Brinton’s
development stages theory provides the framework for the microanalysis of Chinese EFL’s writing
in terms of the development from space to time and other abstract concepts, the tendency of
overgeneralizing grammar features, and the vague choices of vocabulary which serve as indicators
of levels of language development.
Based on the analysis, there are three findings concluded. First, the conclusion regarding TTR is
that though Chinese EFLs perform better in a field they get more exposed to; they will still benefit
from opportunities to learn more vocabulary and use them properly in their TOEFL essays. The
finding in terms of adjacent overlap indices is that Chinese EFLs have the sense of using diverse
words but due to their limited vocabulary, they can only manage to do it in a narrow range. Last
but not least, surprisingly, Chinese EFLs have a higher rate of using words from news and
magazines than L1 speakers in TOEFL writing which may due to the fact that teachers have offered
them many examples from news and magazines to make the writings look more authentic.
After the microanalysis, the author will identify the current problems in the TOEFL teaching in
China and provide suggestions on designing lesson plans accordingly, which includes the parts of
before class, in class and after class.


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Serie: CILC2021: Los corpus y la adquisición y enseñanza del lenguaje / Corpora, LA and teaching (+información)