Syntactic and Lexical Complexity of Turkish University Students' Spoken English Discourses

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Kaya O., Yüksel H. G.

9th International Conference on Education: Education of Social Sciences, Eskişehir, Turkey, 17 - 18 January 2022, pp.599-608

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.51508/intcess.202282
  • City: Eskişehir
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.599-608
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


English language has become an international language and many academics and researchers have been working to find a more efficient and convenient approach to teach and test it. Especially, speaking is one of the skills that English as a Foreign Language students need to master and is regarded as one of the most difficult skills in the learning experience. Speaking skill is especially crucial for university students as it is vital for academic performance, for graduating from university, for pursuing a good career, and for successful communication. This study aims to investigate the syntactic and lexical complexity of the B1 level of English learners’ spoken discourse, as well as examine the effect of speaking task type on syntactic and lexical complexity. The study was conducted with 30 Turkish university students. Three different speaking tasks were employed: a personal task, a descriptive task, and a narrative task. Students' spoken productions were transcribed and examined utilizing web-based syntactic and lexical complexity analyzers. The numerical data obtained from the analyzers were analyzed in the SPSS program. The findings showed that there was no statistically significant correlation between the syntactic and lexical complexity development of the students. The results of the student t-test indicated that the task type had an effect on the syntactic and lexical complexity in spoken discourse. The most syntactically and lexically complex sentences were produced in the personal task and the second-best complexity was measured in the descriptive task. This study has ramifications for material designers, EFL instructors, and test developers. The current study's findings revealed that subject familiarity is indeed very important in spoken production. Topic and subject familiarity should be taken into account while designing speaking tasks for lower proficiency levels.