What impact can language have on language? An intervention on productive written vocabulary in L1.

Submitted by: Elisabeth Ohlsson
Abstract: The importance of vocabulary skills, in reading, writing and in academic writing, but also as subject related and subject specific knowledge, is recognized in previous research (Nation 2013).
The aim of this paper is to present an ongoing study for a PhD which will be empirical with an intervention where two classes, one CLIL and one non-CLIL will receive explicit teaching and knowledge concerning academic writing in L1, learning the specific linguistic features characterizing academic texts whereas two other classes (same age, same programs), one CLIL and one non-CLIL, will continue their ordinary lessons. All four classes will write two essays as pre- and post-tests.
The students’ texts will be examined with the methods applied in my licentiate thesis where quantitative measures together with corpus linguistic methods were used to identify features in academic prose (McEnery et al. 2006). In addition, lexical profiling (Nation & Anthony 2016), was carried out to visualize the general vocabulary and to explore to what degree the students’ vocabulary encloses the most frequent and common words or if, and to what extent, they use low- frequency words. The results were analyzed using SPSS and reported as means of the two student groups, CLIL and non-CLIL and also gender. The findings show that the results vary in and between both groups. The boys in the CLIL group show the highest means regarding six of nine variables but strong individuals are found in all four groups, males and females, CLIL and non-CLIL. The results also show a minor usage of the features in academic prose (Halliday & Martin 1993). If and how vocabulary proficiency is enriched in students’ academic writing by content and language integrated learning (CLIL) has mostly been investigating the L2 proficiency (Dalton-Puffer 2011). The specific aspects used when writing academic texts in L1 needs to be focused on as well as to investigate what impact EMI and translanguaging (Garcia 2009, Garcia & Wei 2014) have on productive written academic vocabulary proficiency in L1.This is important for both students and for the teacher education so development in this field can be made and contribute to a variation in the tradition of writing.

Key words: vocabulary skills, writing, academic language proficiency, linguistic features, CLIL/non-CLIL


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