SLA developmental stages and teachers’ assessment of written French: Exploring Direkt Profil as a diagnostic assessment tool

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Abstract

One of the core areas for research in SLA is the identification and definition of developmental stages in different L2s. For French, Bartning and Schlyter (2004) presented a model of six morphosyntactic stages of development, which was later implemented in the computer program Direkt Profil (Granfeldt et al. 2006). Despite the potential importance of such results, research on developmental stages has so far had limited impact on language assessment (Brindley, 1998; Purpura, 2004) and many questions concerning the applicability of profile analyses for pedagogical purposes remain. The aim of the present study was therefore to compare Direkt Profil’s automated profile analysis with the assessment of trained language teachers. In particular, we wanted to investigate the correlation between these two types of language assessment.
This issue was researched on the CEFLE corpus of written L2 French (Ågren, 2008). The texts were classified for developmental stage by the computer program Direkt Profil. Furthermore, seven experienced language teachers of French assessed the same texts. Inter-rater agreement and correlations between the teachers’ assessments and the Direkt Profil output were computed. The results indicated high degrees of correlation and showed that the analysis of developmental stage by Direkt Profil could explain 73% of the variance in the teachers’ mean assessments (r2 = 0.735).

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature

Keywords

  • French, Direkt Profil, Developmental sequences, Assessment, Language proficiency
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-305
JournalLanguage Testing
Volume31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Related projects

Jonas Granfelt, Malin Ågren, Suzanne Schlyter & Pierre Nugues

Swedish Research Council

2005/01/012008/12/31

Project: ResearchInterdisciplinary research

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