About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4599-4606
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

CUSTOMIZING LEXICAL FREQUENCY PROFILE (LFP) SOFTWARE TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC WRITING

A. McNeill

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HONG KONG)
The current interest in 'Assessment As Learning' has encouraged new perspectives in language assessment, including a reappraisal of some established language tests. This paper reports on a study that explores the potential of a customized version of the Lexical Frequency Profile (LFP) developed by Laufer and Nation (1995) to allow learners to check the lexical richness of their own written texts and make appropriate adjustments to the vocabulary content before submitting a final draft.

Lexical richness has been identified as one of the most important features of second language writing and can determine the quality of a text in the eyes of independent judges. In the present study, the LFP software was reconfigured to replace the original frequency-based wordlists with Hong Kong’s new official English wordlists for primary and secondary schools plus the prescribed academic and general words of the Year 1 English curriculum of a Hong Kong university. This customized version of LFP allows students to see the extent to which their writing reflects their local vocabulary curriculum. By contrast, the original LFP only shows the representation of different lexical frequency levels in a piece of writing. It seems reasonable to assume that a LFP based on local lists is likely to be more meaningful to learners who use the software to monitor and redraft their written output. The participants in the study were first-year undergraduate (n=20) and postgraduate research students (n=20). The results suggest that students typically produce first drafts with an over-reliance on high-frequency items, then make a serious effort to monitor their lexical choices and improve the sophistication of the vocabulary in the light of their profile. Fears that students might insert low frequency words in a reckless manner just to improve their profile were largely unfounded. The paper also explains how local wordlists can be integrated into the original LFP software, including discipline-specific vocabulary, and discusses issues related to the interpretation of vocabulary profiles by learners and teachers.
@InProceedings{MCNEILL2013CUS,
author = {McNeill, A.},
title = {CUSTOMIZING LEXICAL FREQUENCY PROFILE (LFP) SOFTWARE TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC WRITING},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {4599-4606}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. McNeill
TI - CUSTOMIZING LEXICAL FREQUENCY PROFILE (LFP) SOFTWARE TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC WRITING
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 4599
EP - 4606
ER -
A. McNeill (2013) CUSTOMIZING LEXICAL FREQUENCY PROFILE (LFP) SOFTWARE TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC WRITING, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 4599-4606.
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