Learner Characteristics and Syntactic and Lexical Complexity of Written Products

Shahin Vaezi, Neda Babanezhad Kafshgar


The purpose of this study was to search for the probable effects of learners’ characteristics on linguistic properties of their writings. Learners’ characteristics were studied via three main leaner variables; affective, cognitive, and biological variables. Extroversion/ introversion (affective), reflectivity/ impulsivity (cognitive), and gender (biological) were selected as three variables via which the learners could be categorized into different groups. The linguistic properties of the learners’ written performance were measured through Syntactic Complexity and Lexical Complexity. The participants were selected from a homogeneous group of university language learners whom were asked to write a composition. The compositions were then transcribed into available information for a computer. A computerized text analysis program (Word Smith Tools) was used to measure the linguistic properties of the written compositions. Syntactic complexity (ratio of subordination and average sentence length of the written texts) and Lexical complexity (lexical diversity and lexical density) were calculated by the program. Extroverts indicated to write in a more lexically complex way than introverts. The results showed that there was not any significant difference between reflective and impulsive learners with respect to the linguistic properties of their writings. Female and male learners also indicated no such difference with regard to the linguistic characteristics of their written performance.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v4i3.2391

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