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Language Education research

The Language Learner Profile Project

The aim of this project is to describe the linguistic profile of the Greek learner/user of foreign languages, adding details to the CEFR leveled descriptors of language proficiency across languages. Emphasizing the significance of learner data for describing language competences, we specify proficiency scaling in terms of the use of target language properties exhibited by learners with coherent L1 characteristics. We call attention to the following questions: How are language competences of Greek learners scaled across levels? To what extent is the language use exhibited by Greek learners similar or different from that generally expected from learners across levels? Which are the commonalities or divergences between generally expected and observed developmental patterns of language use, designating the 'profile' of the Greek learner of languages, i.e. representing identifiable, measurable features or idiosyncrasies of the Greek learners' use of languages? Bringing together different strands related to the study of languages (applied and theoretical linguistics, foreign language studies, computational linguistics), we intend to carry out an extensive empirical study of the use of three European languages (English, German and Spanish) made by Greek learners, in various communicative and discursive contexts. Drawing on corpus data collected on the basis of the KPG multilingual examination suite (i.e. the KPG English Corpus and similar corpora for German and Spanish) and using advanced natural language processing techniques for automated text analysis, we develop and implement a generic methodological framework (portable across languages), suitable for describing the contextual use of language in terms of features pertaining to distinct levels of linguistic analysis. This project will eventually deliver lists of lexical, semantic, grammatical/morpho-syntactic, and functional features that characterize Greek learners' language production, at different levels of proficiency. The results of this research will be valuable for practitioners working on foreign language teaching, testing and assessment, especially on a local level, for language education policy and language curriculum planners and for foreign language learning and second language acquisition scholars studying the relationships between acquired/learned languages. This project will inform, on an ongoing basis, the Integrated Foreign Languages Curriculum (IFLC) database and will support the development of novel teaching/testing materials tailored to the needs of a linguistically homogeneous group of learners, i.e. proficient users of the official language of the state.


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