- Does foreign language writing benefit from increased lexical fluency? Evidence from a classroom experiment
- Language Learning
- Volume | Issue number
- 61 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
The Kohnstamm Instituut
We report a classroom experiment directed at increasing lexical fluency in writing. Participants were 107 Dutch students in bilingual (EFL) education (Grades 10 and 11). According to current theories of writing such fluency allows writers to devote more attention to higher order aspects of text production, such as idea generation, selection and organization, and revision of content. Two contrasting assumptions are studied: the inhibition assumption that effortful word production prevents writers from attending to higher order aspects and the compensation assumption that writers compensate for effortful word production processes by sequential processing strategies. Results show that a group trained in writing and fluency in the deployment of useful words for writing in specific tasks outperformed a group receiving the same writing lessons but without fluency training both in fluency of trained words and in frequency of use of the target words in writing. However, the lexical fluency group did not produce foreign language texts of better quality than the group that received no fluency training. Both groups, however, outperformed a baseline control group that had not received writing lessons. The results are interpreted as support for the compensation assumption.
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