On the importance of register in learner writing: A multi-dimensional approach

Tove Larsson, Magali Paquot, Douglas Biber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


The present study explores the relative importance of register in learner writing vis-à-vis learner-internal factors such as first-language background. Using multi-dimensional analysis, the study looks at learner and native-speaker student writing from two registers (argumentative essays and research papers), in comparison to published scientific articles. The results show that while certain differences could be noted across first-language background, the main differences were found between the registers, stressing its importance as a moderating variable. Specifically, the research papers and the scientific articles were characterized by topic-focussed, factual descriptions, and the argumentative texts by a more personal style. The results thus highlight the importance of taking register into consideration in learner corpus research studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCorpus-based Approaches to Register Variation
EditorsElena Seoane, Douglas Biber
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9789027258458
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameStudies in Corpus Linguistics
ISSN (Print)1388-0373


  • Argumentative essays
  • English as a Foreign Language
  • First-language background
  • Learner corpus research
  • Multi-dimensional analysis
  • Register
  • Research papers
  • Scientific articles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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