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Gender differences in syntactic complexity amongst Swedish L2 learners of English
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Internationally, female L2 learners of English are believed to outperform males in all areas including writing. However, in the context of Sweden, the gender gap has been reducing in recent decades. A body of literature focusing on gender differences and syntactic complexity of Swedish high school L2 learners of English using the Uppsala Learner English Corpus (ULEC) has not provided strong evidence to suggest female students outperform male students. Furthermore, the analyses of most of these studies do not take into consideration other important control variables, lack thorough statistical testing and use small datasets. This study uses linear regression analysis to test the hypothesis of whether females outperform males. It uses the ratio of dependent clauses to total clauses (DC/C) as a proxy of syntactic complexity which is estimated using the L2 Syntactic Complexity Analyzer (L2SCA). A total of 663 essays written by year one and year two senior high school L2 learners taken from the ULEC dataset are used in the analysis. The results clearly reject the hypothesis that females outperform males. An inconclusive yet interesting insight which requires further investigation is some evidence from the results which suggests that males may, in fact, outperform females when programme fixed effects are considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
syntactic complexity, gender, L2 learners, ULEC, linear regression
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29398OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29398DiVA, id: diva2:1297459
Subject / course
English
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-03-21 Created: 2019-03-20 Last updated: 2019-03-21Bibliographically approved

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Department of Humanities
General Language Studies and Linguistics

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf