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Volume 17 Number 3, Autumn 2020, Pages 758-1157   


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Genre-based Analysis of Syntactic Complexity in L2 College Students' Writing: Pedagogic Scope and Directions

    Jiyoung Bae & Sujung Min


This study aims to examine the degree of syntactic complexity in Korean L2 college students' writing of four different genres. Using 14 syntactic complexity measures as indices of L2 language development of writing, this study investigates how syntactic patterns are different among four different genres and English proficiency levels. Sixty-one participants in A university in South Korea participated in this study, and their writings were scored by two raters. All 244 essays including four different genres were collected, and these data were analyzed by using the computer program of syntactic complexity analyzer. The results have shown that genre difference has an impact on syntactic complexity in Korean students' English written products. Details of results showed strong evidence of genre-specific features among narrative, expository (comparison and cause-effect essays), and argumentative genres. Based on the overall findings of the study, syntactic complexity showed significant genre differences, but there were not significant group differences of syntactic complexity among L2 proficiency levels.

Keywords: syntactic complexity, genre-based writing, L2 academic writing