Linguistic indicators of text quality in analytical texts: developmental changes and sensitivity to pedagogical work

  • Publication type: Article
  • EDS: .
  • Journal: Journal for the Study of Education and Development
  • Publishing house: .
  • Year: 2021
  • DOI: DOI
  • authors: Melina Aparici, Rocío Cuberos, Naymé Salas, Elisa Rosado,
  • elbec members involved: Melina ApariciRocío CuberosNaymé SalasElisa Rosado

Mastering analytical writing involves the proficient use of varied later-acquired grammatical, lexical and discourse forms and functions. Developmental studies have identified specific linguistic features as diagnostic of increasing proficiency. This study examines how these features change throughout educational levels and before and after the implementation of a set of classroom activities aimed at homogenizing participants’ pedagogical input while raising their awareness of analytical texts’ main functions. Two hundred and twelve Spanish speakers from primary, secondary and university levels participate in the study, each producing two analytical texts. The corpus consists of 424 texts produced on the same topic. Results indicate that not all the features pertaining to the same domain show identical changes across educational levels or are identically sensitive to pedagogical work. Productivity measures increase with educational level and after pedagogical work, except for university students. Most lexical, syntactic and discourse-level measures improve with educational level, though their sensitivity to pedagogical work is not straightforward. Findings suggest the need to evaluate writing quality at a high level of granularity.