Register variation in spoken and written language use across technology-mediated and non-technology-mediated learning environments

Kristopher Kyle, Masaki Eguchi, Ann Tai Choe, Geoff LaFlair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the realm of language proficiency assessments, the domain description inference and the extrapolation inference are key components of a validity argument. Biber et al.’s description of the lexicogrammatical features of the spoken and written registers in the T2K-SWAL corpus has served as support for the TOEFL iBT test’s domain description and extrapolation inferences. In the time since the T2K-SWAL corpus was collected, however, university learning environments have increasingly become technology-mediated. Accordingly, any description of the linguistic features of university language should account for the language produced in technology-mediated learning environments (TMLEs) in addition to non-technology-mediated learning environments (non-TMLEs). Kyle et al. recently began to address this issue by collecting a corpus of TMLE language use, which they then compared to language use in non-TMLEs using multidimensional analysis (MDA). The results indicated both similarities and substantive differences across the learning environments, but the study did not investigate the effects of particular registers on these results. In this study, we build on previous research by investigating lexicogrammatical features of specific spoken and written registers across technology-mediated and non-technology-mediated learning environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-648
Number of pages31
JournalLanguage Testing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by Educational Testing Service (ETS) under a Committee of Examiners and the Test of English as a Foreign Language research grant. ETS does not discount or endorse the methodology, results, implications, or opinions presented by the researcher(s).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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