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Visualizing Vocabulary: An Investigation into Student Assignments in CLIL and Non-CLIL Contexts

Chapter in book
Authors Sofie Johansson
Elisabeth Ohlsson
Published in Investigating content and language integrated learning : insights from Swedish high schools / edited by Liss Kerstin Sylvén.
Pages 216-235
ISBN 978-1-78892-240-1
Publisher Multilingual Matters
Place of publication Bristol, UK
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Swedish
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Pages 216-235
Language en
Subject categories Bilingualism, Swedish language, English language, Learning


This chapter describes the investigation of texts written in the students’ first language (L1) by CLIL and non-CLIL students participating in the CLISS project during their three-year upper secondary school period. The focus is on academic language proficiency in Swedish, where the practices of certain linguistic features characterizing academic texts are examined. The study includes 520 texts and the aim is to visualize, that is, to illustrate, various aspects of the vocabulary which are believed to be characteristic of the text genres of the essays, and examine the students’ productive vocabulary in written assignments by using quantitative measures. For this purpose, corpus linguistic methods have been applied to identify two features in academic prose, namely the use of nominalizations and verbs in the passive tense (Schleppegrell, 2004). In addition, lexical profiling (Nation & Anthony, 2016), identifying some of the most frequent words in Swedish, was carried out to visualize the general vocabulary and to explore to what degree the students’ vocabulary contains the most frequent and common words or if, and to what extent, they use lowfrequency words. Combining these two methods is beneficial when examining the vocabulary in the students’ texts. The results are reported as the means of the two student groups and analyzed statistically. A qualitative analysis of texts from two individual students is also provided.

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