Analyzing Linguistic Complexity and Accuracy in Academic Language Development of German across Elementary and Secondary School

Zarah Weiss, Detmar Meurers


Abstract
We track the development of writing complexity and accuracy in German students’ early academic language development from first to eighth grade. Combining an empirically broad approach to linguistic complexity with the high-quality error annotation included in the Karlsruhe Children’s Text corpus (Lavalley et al. 2015) used, we construct models of German academic language development that successfully identify the student’s grade level. We show that classifiers for the early years rely more on accuracy development, whereas development in secondary school is better characterized by increasingly complex language in all domains: linguistic system, language use, and human sentence processing characteristics. We demonstrate the generalizability and robustness of models using such a broad complexity feature set across writing topics.
Anthology ID:
W19-4440
Volume:
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications
Month:
August
Year:
2019
Address:
Florence, Italy
Venues:
ACL | BEA | WS
SIG:
SIGEDU
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
380–393
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-4440
DOI:
10.18653/v1/W19-4440
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Zarah Weiss and Detmar Meurers. 2019. Analyzing Linguistic Complexity and Accuracy in Academic Language Development of German across Elementary and Secondary School. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, pages 380–393, Florence, Italy. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Analyzing Linguistic Complexity and Accuracy in Academic Language Development of German across Elementary and Secondary School (Weiss & Meurers, 2019)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-4440.pdf