Exploring Potential Correlation Between CEFR Grammar Profile in English and Learners’ Overall Grammar Knowledge: An Exploratory Study of “that”

Kasin Janjaroongpak

Abstract


This preliminary study explored the possibility of using an opaque polysemous grammatical unit as a representation for the whole grammatical knowledge of a learner. There were two groups of informants, a group with a certified language proficiency level at CEFR B1-B2 and a learner group at A1-A2 level. The informants were asked to provide a Thai translation of an English text as faithful as possible. The first group consistently and correctly answered the questions by supplying the right translation of polysemous “that” while the answers from the second group were divided in that some could correctly identify C2 function of the word, “that”, though their overall grammatical knowledge was considered to be at A1 but other A2 students failed to identify C2 function of the word in question. The result indicated that the grammatical construction in question could not be used as a key predictor for learners’ syntactic representation as the lineage relation between CEFR level of the grammatical unit corresponded with the translated texts provided to a limited extent. On pedagogical implications, insights provided suggested that instructors should spend more time explaining challenging advanced grammatical functions as they were points that learners were struggling with and one possible way to check whether they did understand syntactic meaning of a function word was by asking students to supply a translation.

Keywords


Syntactic Representation, CEFR, Opaqueness, Corpus Linguistics, Form-function Mapping, Translation, Opacity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.11n.2p.59

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