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Task design and second language performance: the effect of narrative type on learner output

Tavakoli, P. and Foster, P. (2008) Task design and second language performance: the effect of narrative type on learner output. Language Learning, 58 (2). pp. 439-473. ISSN 0023-8333

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00446.x

Abstract/Summary

This article presents a study examining how narrative structure and narrative complexity might influence the performance of second language learners. Forty learners of English in London and sixty learners in Teheran were asked to retell cartoon stories from picture prompts. Each performed two of four narrative tasks that had different degrees of narrative structure (loose or tight) and of storyline complexity (with or without background events). Results support the findings of previous research that tight task structure is connected to increased accuracy and that narratives involving background information give rise to more complex syntax. A comparison of the data from the London and Teheran cohorts showed that the learners in London used significantly more complex syntax and diverse vocabulary even though they did not differ from the Teheran learners in other performance dimensions.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:34889
Uncontrolled Keywords:second language performance; task effects; narrative structure; storyline complexity; processing capacity; limited-attention model; multiple-pool model
Additional Information:Published again in: Tavakoli, P. and Foster, P. (2011) Task design and second language performance: the effect of narrative type on learner output. Language Learning, 61 (S1). pp. 37-72. ISSN 0023-8333 doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00642.x
Publisher:Wiley

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