An update on discourse functions and syntactic complexity in synchronous and asynchronous communication

Susana Sotillo


The following commentary presents an overview of earlier studies of discourse functions and syntactic complexity as well as recent investigations that focus on interaction and measures of syntactic and lexical complexity in learners' output in traditional classrooms and computer-mediated environments. Recent studies emphasize the need for better measures that capture lexical and syntactic complexity as these relate to learners' development of academic writing, conversational competence, and pragmatic competence in digitally-mediated environments.