At Chinese universities, English is more considered a subject you need to succeed in than a language that you would like to use. Almost all Chinese students, who spend a lot of time learning English, complain that their English has not improved at university. The main objective of this dissertation was to empirically verify this complaint by means of five separate consecutive studies. A first study investigating the development of writing skills of Chinese students during a course of 18 months showed that the most advanced students did not improve in their English writing skills. However, two follow-up studies suggested that these more advanced students had reached a ceiling when looking at the more general dimensions of linguistic sophistication and complexity. However, they generally showed improvement in subtle aspects of language use such as idiomaticity and text quality. The final study looks at the writing of two students from the advanced group: one student who made clear progress and one student who did not seem to have made any progress. The strong learner showed a coordinated, stable pattern; the weak learner, on the other hand, showed a fairly spread pattern and was significantly more variable than the strong learner.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||[Groningen]|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|