An Investigation of Chinese Students’ Acquisition of Oral and Written English through the Measurement of Processability Theory

Hao Tang, Yanyin Zhang


Processability Theory (PT) believes that L2 learner can not understand and produce those linguistic forms which are beyond the current stage of the language processor (Pienemann, 2007). Based on the understanding of the architecture of the language processor and how L2 is acquired under it, teachers can not only better predict the learners’ L2 developmental stages, explain the learners’ acquiring variations, but also indicate some constructive and objective guidelines for L2 teaching. So this study adopts the hierarchy of processing procedures applied to English (Pienemann, 1998) as the instrument to explore the two aspects of the English language acquisition. The final results support that Chinese college students’ written English is better than their oral English. Besides, there is indeed a positive relationship between Chinese college students’ written and oral English.



Processability Theory, oral English, written English, emergency criteria

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