Nordic Journal of Language Teaching and Learning 2023-01-22T12:40:36-08:00 Susan Erdmann Open Journal Systems <p>Focus and Scope</p> <p><em>Nordic Journal of Language Teaching and Learning</em> (<em>NJLTL</em>) is an international open access journal which publishes scholarly articles on subjects related to teaching and learning foreign languages, particularly in the Nordic context.&nbsp;The journal promotes research and professional development work across the Nordic countries, although articles within the fields of foreign language learning and teaching from outside this region are also accepted. Articles focussing on foreign language teaching and learning from interdisciplinary perspectives will also be considered. Articles&nbsp;may be written in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English, French, German, Spanish.</p> <p><em>NJLTL</em> has two sections. The main section contains double-blind, peer-reviewed articles. Our forum section features shorter articles of general interest such as book reviews, opinion pieces, lectures, professional development reports or contributions from educators and students about hands-on experiences in the classroom.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tracking Written Learner Language 2023-01-17T18:22:51-08:00 Ingrid Kristine Hasund Eli-Marie Danbolt Drange Henrik Martin Hansen Torjusen 2023-01-17T12:54:20-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Ingrid Kristine Hasund, Eli-Marie Danbolt Drange, Henrik Martin Hansen Torjusen Design and construction of the Tracking Written Learner Language (TRAWL) Corpus: A longitudinal and multilingual young learner corpus 2023-01-17T18:23:03-08:00 Hildegunn Dirdal Ingrid Kristine Hasund Eli-Marie Danbolt Drange Eva Thue Vold Elin Maria Berg <p>This article describes the design and construction of the Tracking Written Learner Language (TRAWL) Corpus. The corpus combines several features that are all rare for learner corpora: it is longitudinal, following individual pupils over several years; it has data from young learners from school years 5 to 13 (ages 10–18); it is multilingual, containing learners’ texts in several L3s (French, German and Spanish), L2 English and L1 Norwegian; and it includes teacher comments on a number of the texts. In addition, some of the texts exist in both a first and a second revised version, all tied to a rich set of meta-data. Not only does such a corpus offer new possibilities for research on language acquisition in general; it can also be used to provide valuable insights for teachers, teacher training and policymaking within the national context of Norway. In this article, we describe the design of the TRAWL Corpus and outline its uses and benefits for the research community. We also describe the compilation process in the hope that it may inspire and enable others to build similar corpora for their own national contexts.</p> 2023-01-17T12:39:40-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Hildegunn Dirdal, Eva Thue Vold, Ingrid Kristine Hasund, Eli-Marie Danbolt Drange, Elin Maria Berg The development of sentence complexity in the writing of young learners of L3 Spanish in Norway 2023-01-17T18:22:40-08:00 Eli-Marie Danbolt Drange <p>This article explores the development of sentence complexity in the writing of young learners of Spanish as the third language (L3) learned in Norwegian schools. Learning to write in a foreign language is a complex process, and a novice learner will start to write simple sentences that develop over time. To track this development, the present study investigates texts written by learners of Spanish from the first and second year of upper secondary school (school years 11-12, ages 16-17) as their ordinary schoolwork. The texts are collected as part of the TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language) corpus and show how learners write in an authentic school context. To address sentence development, the use of coordinating and subordinating conjunctions is analyzed. The findings indicate that most pupils use <em>y</em> (and) and <em>pero</em> (but) to coordinate clauses. In subordinate clauses, <em>que </em>is frequently used to introduce relative clauses and <em>porque</em> to introduce causal clauses. There are only a few examples of a more varied use of conjunctions, indicating individual differences in the process of developing sentence complexity. &nbsp;The studied features are estimated to be acquired at the A1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), while the pupils in this study are expected to be at the A2 level. The findings show that there may be a discrepancy between the pupils’ actual knowledge and the expected knowledge according to the reference levels.</p> 2023-01-17T13:31:43-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Eli-Marie Danbolt Drange Writing in German as a foreign language in Norwegian upper sec-ondary school: An investigation of patterns of language choices for meaning-making 2023-01-17T18:22:08-08:00 Veronika Hamann <p>The main objective of this article is to identify and describe characteristic patterns of language choices in texts written by Norwegian upper secondary school students of German as a foreign language (GFL) (age 16/17, school year 12, 5th year of FL learning). The study maps language choices in a set of 12 learner responses to a writing prompt about interpreting a film title. The aim of the study is to describe these choices in terms of how the learners use ideational meaning-making resources to arrive at meaningful content. The study takes a systemic functional linguistics (SFL) approach and analyses the responses in terms of the following lexicogrammatical and discourse semantic systems of resources: Transitivity, taxonomic and logico-semantic relations. The study finds several strategies and language choices that presented themselves as particularly relevant for meaning-making. For example, the learners reach an interpretation through clauses relating two messages to each other, and one of those two messages is typically structured in a complex way. Overall, the study provides insights into relevant patterns for expository writing in general and such that seem important to the particular context in which the response was situated. The article also points to the sophistication of the learners’ language use and the linguistic demands regarding the task at hand. In line with existing research, the current study also shows how SFL and genre theory can be successfully applied to the analysis of responses by beginner to intermediate GFL learners.</p> 2023-01-17T13:56:17-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Veronika Hamann Development of lexical richness among beginning learners of French as a foreign language 2023-01-17T18:22:29-08:00 Eva Thue Vold <p>Vocabulary knowledge forms the basis of all the communicative skills and is a core component of language proficiency. In educational contexts in which target language input is limited, the acquisition of new vocabulary can be a challenging task for learners, and lexical development might be slow. This study explored the extent to which 14 upper-secondary students of French as a foreign language (FFL) in Norwegian schools showed signs of increased lexical richness in their written production over a period of approximately six months. The data were taken from the TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language) corpus, a digital collection of second and foreign-language learner texts. Two aspects of lexical richness were investigated: 1) lexical sophistication was measured using the MultiLingProfiler software for lexical frequency profiling and supplemented by a manual and more detailed analysis of five learners’ texts; 2) lexical diversity was measured using D_Tools v.2.0 and word family counts. The data revealed that although many learners showed signs of using a somewhat more varied vocabulary over time, it is difficult to find proof of productive vocabulary development among beginning learners of FFL within such a limited period. The study suggests that finer-grained measures of analysis could be added to existing automated tools to make these tools more useful for beginner levels.</p> 2023-01-17T13:36:23-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Eva Thue Vold Written corrective feedback in the lower secondary EFL classroom 2023-01-17T18:23:13-08:00 Elin Maria Berg <p>For decades, scholarly debates have been concerned with the effect of corrective feedback (CF), both written and oral, on L2 language development. Much of the research that supports written corrective feedback (WCF) comes from short-term focused feedback studies, representing a type of feedback practice not necessarily applicable in classroom contexts. This has pointed to a need for more classroom research of authentic WCF and its effect on written learner language. Attempting to explore authentic classroom data longitudinally, this article presents a Norwegian case study of two English teachers’ WCF provided to three students during three years of lower secondary EFL instruction. The student texts are part of the TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language) corpus and were collected from obligatory mock exams. The texts came with teacher WCF as well as revised versions. Semi-structured interviews with the teachers provided information about the teachers’ practices and beliefs related to WCF. The collected data was analyzed qualitatively and later discussed against cognitive, motivational, and sociocultural theories. The process of tracking changes in error patterns confirmed some of the issues with using accuracy and global error scores as a measurement for improvement and development, interpreted as proof of learning in language acquisition research. The data further suggests that students do not engage with feedback enough to benefit from its learning potential.</p> 2023-01-17T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Elin Maria Berg Genres in young learner L2 English writing 2023-01-17T18:22:17-08:00 Ingrid Kristine Hasund <p>In learner corpus research, it is well known that one should control for genre when collecting and analysing written L2 (second language) English data, as genre is one factor that has been shown to account for language variation. This article presents a genre typology for annotating learner texts from the lower secondary level in Norway (ages 13-15, school years 8-10). The data are drawn from TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language), a new learner corpus currently under compilation. As the TRAWL corpus will be openly available for research, it is important that the typology is clearly described, which is the primary aim of the present study.</p> <p>Little research has been carried out on younger learners, and no detailed genre typology exists for classifying learner texts at the lower secondary level. Therefore, a genre typology developed by Ørevik (2019) for the upper secondary level was tested on data from TRAWL using a functional, social semiotic perspective and a mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) approach. The analysis showed that Ørevik’s typology was largely suitable for annotating the selected TRAWL data and only had to be slightly modified.</p> <p>By highlighting some of the theoretical and methodological challenges with the genre typology, the analysis may inform discussions about genre in L2 English teaching, which was a secondary aim of the present study. Not only do the results mirror the tensions in the international debate within genre research, they also mirror the everyday challenges of lower secondary school teachers/examiners, who seem to adopt an eclectic approach to genre.</p> 2023-01-17T13:54:49-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Ingrid Kristine Hasund Development of metaphorical production in learner language 2023-01-17T18:21:57-08:00 Susan Lee Nacey <p>This article details a longitudinal corpus-based exploration into the development of metaphorical production of L2 learners of English. The study tracks the progress of five secondary school pupils aged 13-17 in Norway, with the data consisting of texts written for end-of-semester exams: two texts per pupil over four consecutive academic years.</p> <p>The overall goal is to shed light on how metaphorical production changes as pupils progress through different semesters and grades in their school careers. To do so, three subordinate aims are addressed. First, the study investigates how metaphor density varies over time, both for the group of pupils and for the individuals. In this regard, patterns for open-class versus closed-class metaphors across grade levels are also compared, to identify whether there is any particular level at which the use of the former overtakes the latter, as has been uncovered in previous research. A second aim is to examine the distribution of metaphor clusters over time, since clusters have been found to serve important discoursal functions and might therefore be expected to increase with improved proficiency over time. The third aim is to focus more closely on the identified metaphor clusters to explore the functions they serve in the written discourse of these language learners.</p> 2023-01-17T14:23:43-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Susan Lee Nacey Noun-phrase complexity in the texts of intermediate-level Norwegian EFL writers: stasis or development? 2023-01-17T18:21:46-08:00 Sylvi Rørvik <p>This paper examines the longitudinal development in noun-phrase complexity in English texts written by Norwegian learners in school years 8-10. The study is based on material from the TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language) corpus (Dirdal et al., 2017; Dirdal et al., 2022), comprising longitudinal data from nine pupils. The study tests the hypothesis proposed by Biber et al. (2011) that noun-phrase complexity increases gradually as writers develop, and answers the following research question: To what extent can longitudinal development in noun-phrase complexity in accordance with Biber et al.’s (2011) stages be traced in the written production of intermediate-level Norwegian EFL writers in Years 8-10? The results indicate that there is very little evidence to suggest an increase in sophistication as regards phrasal modification over the three years. Instead, the pupils primarily rely on the types of modifiers that are acquired in early developmental stages, such as attributive adjectives and prepositional phrases. Thus, there should be a greater pedagogical focus on developing pupils’ skills in using more sophisticated noun-phrase modifiers, to prepare them for the future demands placed on their academic-writing skills.</p> 2023-01-17T14:26:15-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Sylvi Rørvik Cross-linguistic influence in the acquisition of relative clauses by Norwegian learners of English 2023-01-17T18:21:26-08:00 Hildegunn Dirdal <p>This paper reports on an exploratory study of cross-linguistic influence in the acquisition of relative clauses by young Norwegian learners of English, comparing L1 Norwegian and L2 English material from the TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language) Corpus to L1 English material from the GiG (Growth in Grammar) Corpus. Previous reports of cross-linguistic influence in this domain have usually involved language pairs that have very different relativization strategies. This study investigates whether similarities between relative clause systems may lead to more subtle effects in the choice of relativizer, the type of head nominal, the syntactic function of the relativized item, the extent of relativization from embedded clauses and the use of relative clauses in special constructions such as existentials and clefts. Although the material is limited, the study found traces of the Norwegian system in the learners L2 English, signalling that this is an area worth further investigation. The learners struggled with the choice between <em>who</em> and <em>which</em>, but used <em>that</em>/zero in a very similar way to their L1 English peers. The L2 English group also had slightly higher frequencies of relative clauses belonging to existentials and clefts, and where the relativized item stemmed from a further embedded clause. These results are consistent with a usage-based theory of second language acquisition, where learners are assumed to transfer features of constructions from their L1 when they are similar enough for them to make a cross-linguistic identification.</p> 2023-01-17T14:38:24-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Hildegunn Dirdal A Bigram-Based Exploration of Phraseological Development in Norwegian Secondary School Students’ Writing in English L2 2023-01-17T18:21:15-08:00 Kaja H. S. Ø. Evang <p>This study investigates phraseological units produced by Norwegian secondary school students (aged 13 to 17) writing in English L2. The study employs association measure as a way of calculating the collocational strength and certainty of words in word pairs (bigrams) in the L2 learners’ writing. The association measures MI and <em>t</em>-score have been shown to be reliable measures for telling learner language apart from native language. Durrant and Schmitt (2009) and Granger and Bestgen (2014) found a higher proportion of high MI-scoring bigrams to be a marker of more advanced language, native or nativelike, while a higher proportion of high <em>t</em>-scores was associated with less advanced language. The present study includes language from a lower proficiency level than has previously been investigated. The pattern of association measures found for intermediate Norwegian learners of English does not match the previous findings for advanced learners. Instead, an initial decline is uncovered, in that the students produce a higher proportion of bigrams with high MI scores and high <em>t</em>-scores in the first year than they do one and two years later. At higher levels of proficiency, the scores increase again, the pattern resembling previous findings. The article considers possible explanations and discusses applications for teaching.</p> 2023-01-17T14:43:35-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Kaja H. S. Ø. Evang Adverb-adjective combinations in young writers’ English (EL1 and EL2) 2023-01-17T18:21:35-08:00 Hilde Hasselgård <p>The topic of the present study is adverb-adjective combinations in narrative writing by lower secondary school pupils in Norway and the UK. The investigation is based on subsets of the TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language) and GiG (Growth in Grammar) corpora and thus compares English as a second language with first-language usage (EL2 and EL1). A number of differences were identified between the two writer groups. While adverb-adjective constructions, such as <em>so happy, much better </em>and <em>really bad</em>, were &nbsp;more frequent and widespread in EL2, they showed more variability in EL1 regarding syntax, semantics and lexical choice. In particular, the amplifying function of modifiers was more dominant in EL2 writing at the cost of other modifier functions. There was also a stronger concentration on a few highly frequent intensifiers in the EL2 than in the EL1 material.</p> 2023-01-17T14:31:29-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Hilde Hasselgård Acquiring English Through Virtual Worlds 2023-01-22T12:40:36-08:00 Jovana Dasic <p>This article presents the results from an MA thesis published at the University of Agder in Norway in 2019 (Dasic, 2019). It studies the connection between Norwegian lower secondary pupils’ gaming habits and their essay grades and lexical richness in their L2 English, as well as their attitudes towards gaming and language learning. Data were collected from 14 Norwegian lower secondary pupils, with a total of 20 essays Three methods were used to answer the re- search questions. First, statistical tests were run in SPSS to discover possible differences in grades in correlation to time spent gaming. Following, a qualitative corpus analysis of 12 texts was conducted to see what lies behind the quantitative numbers. Finally, six semi-structured interviews were conducted with the aim to elicit the participants’ attitudes toward gaming and language learning with their longitudinal aspects in mind.</p> <p>The results revealed that there is a statistically significant positive correlation between the amount of time the participants spent gaming and their English essay grades. The findings also suggest that large amounts of time on spent gaming are beneficial to other aspects of the student’s English proficiency, such as greater self-confidence when speaking English and creativity when writing. In addition, findings concerning the motivation behind gaming suggest that teachers of L2 English should be aware of the possibility to implement activities either in the classroom or as homework to enhance some of the pupils’ motivation for learning English. Furthermore, some of the informants in the interviews reported a desire for more gaming centered or open-school writing tasks, as they believe it would give them a greater opportunity to show knowledge gained by gaming</p> 2023-01-17T15:00:04-08:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Jovana Dasic