complexity check of A1-C1 paragraphs

In this post, we use the British council comments section and see how the students have chosen for themselves which level they would reply to.  This is not empirical research.  Students can just reply to writing activities that they want to online.


Her mom’s name is Maryma.  We see that the ‘complexity checker‘ incorrectly tags this as B1 because of the incorrect word order.  So to use the complexity checker correctly, it is better that the teacher edits out accuracy problems before putting it through the app.


*What time = should not be green.  Time as a verb should be, but this is an error from CLAWS7 (probably due to the pronoun error:

What_DDQ time_VV0 does_VDZ you_PPY flight_NN1 arrive_VV0 ?_?

Also note the copy pasted green parts in the later part of the paragraph. Once we realise the student was openly using the computer, it is harder to give level to the vocabulary, but generally, we can remove the ‘worship’ because present simple is more appropriate and there shouldn’t be an adjective after it.  The feeling is that a dictionary was used for a word as a result.  Hence we can turn off the green and blue:


For the B1 text above, there is green, but most of it has errors or is just vocabulary items.  We also see the inclusion in white more academic vocabulary appearing, and in blue ‘wisely‘ a correctly used c1 vocabulary item.


At B2, we see a great increase in accuracy, and even C1 grammar: ‘tons of information’ which is hyperbole.  ‘worse-gossip’ is not actually word but the app thinks it must be high-level hyphenation.  It should be remembered that the ‘complexity checker’ is not ‘grammarly’ checking for errors!


At C1, we can see an instance of C2 grammar.  The conjunction ‘and yet’.  Sadly, the website does not have a C2 section, and even the C1 section has much less writing on it.  But this is quite a proportional sample.  Most students that are engaged in learning are around the B levels.

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