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Grammatical accuracy and complexity in a speaking proficiency test

Chapter in book
Authors Anders Agebjörn
Published in Teachability and Learnability Across Languages / edited by Ragnar Arntzen, Gisela Håkansson, Arnstein Hjelde, Jörg-U. Keßler
Pages 137-159
ISBN 9789027203120
ISSN 2210-6480
Publisher John Benjamins Publishing Company
Place of publication Amsterdam
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Swedish
Pages 137-159
Language en
Keywords language proficiency; grammatical accuracy; grammatical complexity; processability theory; language assessment; Common European Framework of Reference
Subject categories Bilingualism


The Common European Framework of Reference has stimulated research on the relation between linguistic competence and communicative competence. Such studies have often used linguistic measures from the Complexity-Accuracy-Fluency (CAF) paradigm to objectively tap into the linguistic competence of language learners; others have used Processability Theory. This study contributes to this research by measuring grammatical accuracy and complexity, in terms of both CAF and level of processability, in learners of second language Swedish taking a speaking proficiency test. The results show that a higher level of processability primarily enables learners to use a more complex, rather than a more accurate, language. Nevertheless, assessors focus primarily on accuracy. This raises questions about the reliability of communicative language testing, and the article argues for a more psycholinguistic and experimental approach to language testing.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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