The variability of lexical diversity and its relationship to learning style

Booth, Paul (2012) The variability of lexical diversity and its relationship to learning style. In: Multilingual Theory and Practice in Applied Linguistics; 6-8 Sep 2012, University of Southampton. (Proceedings of the 45th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics) ISBN 9780955953354


What is the relationship between second language vocabulary used in written texts and learning style? This talk examines the extent to which learners recycle vocabulary (i.e. lexical diversity) and how this in turn is related to learning style as defined by a memory-analysis orientated framework. The results show that diversity scores tend to cluster together from analytical learners. Learners’ texts are also examined from a qualitative perspective to see whether the quality of L2 English texts is associated with diversity. When holistic ratings of texts are examined we find that high frequency words are necessary to maintain text quality which tends to be found in learners with a cognate L1. The results are interesting insofar as previous attempts to examine lexical production have not taken into account individual learner differences. In this talk, I will argue that differences in learning style can give insights into why analysis-orientated learners may be more effective at processing semantically opaque words, grammar words, which are typically used to structure and complexify sentences.

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