Processability and proficiency: Is there a causal relationship?
The objective of this paper is to investigate if the relationship between the Processability Theory, a model for second language acquisition, and proficiency, is causal. The focus will be on attributive and predicative adjectival agreement. According to the Processability Theory, Swedish is acquired following five steps, which cannot be jumped over. The steps analyzed in this paper are level 3 and 4 of the Processability Theory (PT). In order to investigate this, an experimental study was designed, which consisted of two versions of four texts, identical to each other except for errors in predicative and attributive positions, which put them to different PT levels. The texts were then evaluated by 62 teachers via online survey and the results between the two versions of the texts were then compared. The results clearly show no causal relationship between PT and proficiency. There is no significant difference in mean grade given to the two versions of the texts and, therefore, grade does not depend on PT level. Keywords: Proficiency, PT, processability theory, second language acquisition, adjective, predicative, attributive