Researchers have had difficulty defining and assessing lexical sophistication, but its importance in explaining comprehension, proficiency, and quality in both written and spoken tasks is indisputable. However, freely available tools to automatically assess lexical sophistication are limited. TAALES was developed to offer an automatic analysis of over 130 classic and newly developed to assess the lexical features of a text.
This tool is free, fast, uses a user friendly interface and can be downloaded onto the user's hard drive. In addition, it allows for batch processing and produces an easy access output in a comma separated spread sheet file. It was designed to be a convenient and reliable tool for any researcher or educator interested in analyzing the lexical sophistication of a text.Measures reported by TAALES
Validation of TAALES:
TAALES is a relatively new tool, but a number of studies have been conducted that test its validity in assessing lexical sophistication. One such study by Kyle and Crossley (in press) compared the unstructured writing of English language learners to that of native English speakers in order to compare their holistic lexical proficiency. The results found a significant correlation between the proficiency scores and the tools indices. In another study, TAALES was used to analyze the lexical knowledge of essay writers using the Writing Pal intelligent tutoring system. The results of this study showed that 45 indices were significantly correlated with a student's vocabulary knowledge (Allen et al., in press). TAALES was also used to model differences between responses to different spoken assessment tasks in the TOEFL iBT (Kyle, Crossley & McNamara, in press). Each of these studies demonstrates that TAALES can be used to reliably assess lexical sophistication.
Allen, L. K., & McNamara, D. S. (in press). You are your words: Modeling students' vocabulary knowledge with natural language processing. In J. Boticario, O. Santos, C. Romero, & M. Pechenizkiy (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Educational Data Mining (EDM 2015). Madrid, Spain.
Coxhead, A. (2000). A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly, 34, 213–238. doi:10.2307/3587951
Kyle, K., & Crossley, S. A. (in press). Automatically Assessing Lexical Sophistication: Indices, Tools, Findings, and Application. TESOL Quarterly.
Kyle, K., Crossley, S. A., McNamara, D. S. (in press). Construct validity in TOEFL iBT speaking tasks: Insights from natural language processing. Language Testing.
Simpson-Vlach, R., & Ellis, N. C. (2010). An academic formulas list: New methods in phraseology research. Applied Linguistics, 31, 487–512. doi:10.1093/applin/amp058
To access TAALES please click on the following link: [LINK]