Research

Research group

Communication for Academic and Professional purposes (C-APP)

Expertise

  • Jennifer Thewissen specialises in learner corpus research and second language acquisition. She actively researches the concept of accuracy and its development across proficiency levels (https://uclouvain.be/fr/instituts-recherche/ilc/accuracy-across-proficiency-levels-a-learner-corpus-approach.html). Using error-annotated learner corpus data from different mother tongue groups at different proficiency levels (from B1 to C2), she has shown that learners' errors do not de facto necessarily decrease as proficiency increases but that different error types develop differently across the proficiency groups. This research has concrete implications for the language teaching and testing fields as empirical findings about accuracy profiles at different levels can be fed into the current Common European Framework descriptors of language competence which are labelled as overly vague. To gain further insight into learner language development, Jennifer Thewissen is currently investigating the development of syntactic and lexical complexity across proficiency levels to (1) determine whether these constructs help discriminate between learner writing at different levels and (2) analyse how they interact with the construct of accuracy.