Development of Lexic Complexity in Two Genres Written by Students of Different Socioeconomic Groups

Soledad Aravena – Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
Riva Quiroga – Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

Soledad Aravena y Riva Quiroga 2018: "Desarrollo de la complejidad léxica en dos géneros escritos por estudiantes de distintos grupos socioeconómicos", Onomázein 42, 197-224.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.42.03

The study aimed to know the way in which some measures of lexical complexity are used in texts written by students of three levels of High School and two socioeconomic groups. 240 narrative and explicative texts were elicited through a brief video about Internet and social networks and then labeled with CLAN (MacWhinney, 2000) in three types of lexical measures: diversity, density, nominal abstraction and types of processes. For the data analysis, T-tests and a mixed factorial ANOVA design were applied with two intergroup factors (age/school level and SES group). The results show that lexical performance changes significantly as a result of two main factors: age/school level and discursive genre. On the other hand, they also make clear that lexical complexity must be studied according to various measures and in various communicative situations. The conclusions of the study also reaffirm the important role of lexicon in the development of writing skills and the command of genres.