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Assessing L2 task performance: understanding effects of task design

Tavakoli, P. (2009) Assessing L2 task performance: understanding effects of task design. System, 37 (3). pp. 482-495. ISSN 0346-251X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2009.02.013


The overarching aim of the research reported here was to investigate the effects of task structure and storyline complexity of oral narrative tasks on second language task performance. Participants were 60 Iranian language learners of English who performed six narrative tasks of varying degree of structure and storyline complexity in an assessment setting. A number of analytic detailed measures were employed to examine whether there were any differences in the participants’ performances elicited by the different tasks in terms of their accuracy, fluency, syntactic complexity and lexical diversity. Results of the data analysis showed that performance in the more structured tasks was more accurate and to a great extent more fluent than that in the less structured tasks. The results further revealed that syntactic complexity of L2 performance was related to the storyline complexity, i.e. more syntactic complexity was associated with narratives that had both foreground and background storylines. These findings strongly suggest that there is some unsystematic variance in the participants’ performance triggered by the different aspects of task design.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:31026

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