When ESL teachers look at student texts they often intuitively notice like all native speakers of a language that which is inaccurate. Yet, B1 is the level that most General English students are in and are also taking on most of the new language and also making most the errors. It is easy to mark red over a paper because it requires no thought. Marking the complexity of language is something which is not intuitive in my opinion. It requires knowledge of what students can do at various levels while they are progressing through levels. And as far as empirical research goes, nothing comes close to the English Profile for that information. No teacher has time to check through the EGP or EVP either or to somehow summarise all the information in it to mark a handful of texts. That is why the ‘complexity checker’ on this website was created. A quick way to find something positive to highlight in student’s work (among other uses).
One of the really useful things with the complexity checker is the ability to turn off various highlights. The buttons below the text allow us to quickly locate stand out features. Here I was interested in the academic vocabulary:
Similarly, we can very quickly locate C level grammar (generally longer lines) or C level vocabulary (usually just small spots) in this 100,000-token B1 corpus by zooming out in our browser, and since the highlights also get larger the higher the level, they stand out, making it easy to find areas to focus in on. Also, the black lines are links that go to detailed information about grammar points. (not all grammar has been linked yet = work in progress)
Here are some C level points that were noticed in this B1 student writing:
C2 Adverb phrase
860, gm7, Arabic Fem 110 50,1,103
1586, dm4, Chinese Fem 110 158,1,281 Explain to your teacher how you became successful. (See page 149 of the text)
1910, ci3, Taiwanese Fem 111 188,1,216 Explain to your teacher how you became successful. (See page 149 of the text)
*These complex transition signals are often learnt at pre-intermediate and it is quite clear that this is a long chunk of language being used by different students. From my own experience with students at B1, this structure is usually full of errors.
13204, gq1, Turkish M 280 1848,1,213.
14645, ak5, Chinese Fem 280 2106,1,311
6682, bz5, Korean M 223 1027,2,74. 5
6972, bz5, Korean M 223 1020,1,127. 5
*Notice the versions. It would be great to know what prompted the correction. Also, I am not totally convinced with the formality or choice of grammar, when ‘make me imagine’ sounds more natural. Also, the whole paragraph doesn’t make it clear why it is written in the past tense.
13999, ea4, Korean M 280 1955,1,314
It is not difficult to get ingredients of ddukboggi.
C1 Verb Pattern
860, gm7, Arabic Fem 110 50,1,103
*Below is a large concentration of advanced language:
3522, fo8, Chinese Fem 169 419,1,233:
C1 Adverb phrases
6488, bb5, Taiwanese M 223 1027,1,237
12627, ak5, Chinese Fem 280 1816,1,159
14262, gt7, Korean Fem 281 2006,1,146
The graph indicates that they were almost exactly the same in 2004.
C1 Pronoun passive
It is said that the spicy hot pots can enlarge your pores…
*’enlarge’ & ‘pores’ is not in the EVP.
3846, as4, Korean M 169 419,2,211. (version 2)
In Korea about 100 years ago, the country was quite undeveloped compared with nowadays.
9349, ae3, Taiwanese Fem 223 1381,1,180
C1 Focus phrases
7041, dt4, Chinese Fem 224 1074,1,63
All things considered, I will choose the Sony VAIO notebook.
13710, ea4, Korean M 280 1936,1,299
In the following snippet, ‘based on’ is almost used twice. The problem is that there is some confusion with punctuation and word order to really say that a non-finite subordinate clause has been used to introduce the main clause successfully.
7673, fl5, Korean M 223 1176,1,154
*Not quite mastery.
48105 : 15343, af0, Thai M 329 2242,1,211