The development of complexity, accuracy and fluency in the written production of L2 French

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The present longitudinal case study investigated the development of fluency, complexity and accuracy – and the possible relationships between them – in the written production of L2 French. We assessed fluency and complexity in five intermediate learners by means of conventional indicators for written L2 (cf. Wolfe-Quintero et al. 1998), while accuracy was measured on the basis of four morphosyntactic features, namely subject-verb agreement, past tense, negation and clitic object pronouns. Results revealed major individual differences and showed that fluency, complexity and accuracy follow separate developmental trajectories. Data for the morphosyntactic features pointed to a relationship between fluency and accuracy. However, the nature of this relationship seemed to vary according to the structural complexity of these features. Fluency and syntactic complexity did not appear to be related. These findings shed new light on the concepts of complexity and accuracy.


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