Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/62643
Title: The Role of Task Complexity and Task Sequencing in L2 Monologic Oral Production
Author: Malicka, Aleksandra
Director: Gilabert Guerrero, Roger
Norris, John
Tragant Mestres, Elsa
Keywords: Aprenentatge integrat de continguts i llengües estrangeres
Aprenentatge basat en tasques
Content and Language Integrated Learning
Task-based teaching
Issue Date: 24-Oct-2014
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [spa] En el área de la enseñanza basada en tareas pedagógicas (TBLT), los investigadores se han interesado por el impacto de las características internas de las tareas sobre la interacción entre los aprendices, la producción en la segunda lengua, y la adquisición. En la línea cognitiva, la investigación conceptual y empírica ha sido guiada por la idea de la complejidad cognitiva de las tareas, Trade-off Hypothesis (Skehan, 1996a, 1998) y Cognition Hypothesis (Robinson, 2001, 2003) siendo los marcos teóricos particularmente influyentes. Una parte substancial de las investigaciones se ha centrado en determinar si existen características universales en el diseño de las tareas que influyen en la interlengua de manera sistemática. Sin embargo, la mayoría de los estudios realizados hasta ahora han investigado el impacto de la complejidad cognitiva en dos tareas diseñadas como simples y complejas, es decir, una dicotomía, y no una secuencia de tareas. Además, en el área de TBLT el papel de las diferencias individuales, tales como la proficiencia en la segunda lengua, no ha recibido suficiente atención tanto en la investigación teórica como en la empírica. El objetivo del presente estudio es llenar estos huecos investigando la producción moderada por la complejidad cognitiva de la tarea, la secuenciación de las tareas, y la proficiencia en la segunda lengua. Se desarrolló una secuencia de tres tareas, cuya complejidad cognitiva fue manipulada a través de dos variables de Triadic Componential Framework (Robinson, 2005, 2007): ±número de elementos y ±razonamiento. Los participantes en el presente estudio (N=117) fueron divididos en tres grupos: secuenciación de simple a compleja (N=30), secuenciación aleatoria (N=30), y 3) producción individual de tareas, en la cual diferentes participantes realizaron las tareas en su condición simple, compleja, y muy compleja (N=18, N=19, y N=20, respectivamente). En los grupos que realizaron secuencias de tareas, la mitad de los participantes fueron clasificados como de “proficiencia baja” y la otra mitad como de “proficiencia alta”. Se demostró que el aumento cognitivo llevó a más precisión y complejidad lingüística, lo cual confirma los resultados de la investigación previa. Los resultados también revelaron un posible papel de la secuenciación de simple a compleja en promover la precisión lingüística. En cuanto al efecto de la proficiencia, mientras que la complejidad cognitiva benefició a los participantes de proficiencia alta en el área de la precisión lingüística, en el otro grupo fue el caso en el área de complejidad estructural.
[eng] In the domain of task-based language teaching (TBLT), researchers have long been interested in exploring the impact of internal task features and conditions on a range of outcomes, such as the occurrence and frequency of conversational episodes (between-participant interaction), interlanguage variation at a particular point in time (performance), and interlanguage transformation over time (development). In the cognitive strand of TBLT explorations, most of the theorizing, and subsequent empirical work, have been guided by the notion of cognitive task complexity, and two particularly influential frameworks have been the Trade-off Hypothesis (Skehan, 1996a, 1998) and the Cognition Hypothesis (Robinson, 2001, 2003). An area which received particular interest from researchers has been determining whether universal task design features exist which systematically influence learners’ interlanguage in predictable ways. However, most research carried to date has focused solely on the impact of task complexity by employing a dichotomy of hypothetically simple and complex tasks, rather than a sequence of tasks. Moreover, in the TBLT domain the role of individual differences, for example L2 proficiency, has been a largely underrepresented construct in both conceptual and empirical work. Given this state of affairs, the objective of the current study was three-fold. First, it aimed to contribute further evidence to the role of task complexity on performance, as measured by general and specific fluency, complexity, and accuracy measures. Second, by employing three tasks of different cognitive complexity levels, rather than a dichotomy, it set out to explore short-term effects of simple-complex task sequencing. Third, it enquired about the role of L2 proficiency by investigating the production of two groups of participants at different stages of competence, as identified through a placement test. In order to address the aforementioned issues, three tasks of different cognitive complexity levels were developed, identified through Needs Analysis (Long, 2005, 2006), and validated by means of participants’ subjective ratings. Cognitive complexity in these tasks was manipulated along two variables form Robinson’s (2005, 2007) Triadic Componential Framework: ±number of elements, and ±reasoning demands. The participants in the study (N=117), were divided into three groups: 1) simple—complex sequencing (N=30), 2) randomized sequencing (N=30), and 3) individual task performance, in which different speakers performed the tasks in its simple, complex, and very complex condition (N=18, N=19, and N=20, respectively). In the sequencing groups, half of the participants were classified as “low proficiency” and half as “high proficiency”. The results of the dissertation have contributed further evidence to the role of cognitive task complexity on performance, with accuracy and lexical complexity being the areas which have shown an increase when task demands were high. The findings revealed a potential role of simple-complex sequencing in promoting more target-like output, but at the same time it was demonstrated that tasks performed in alternative orders presented advantages in other areas of performance: speech rate and lexical complexity. Regarding proficiency, while high proficiency speakers took advantage of increases in cognitive complexity in terms of accuracy, low proficiency speakers did so at the level of structural complexity. The findings obtained were discussed in light of the theoretical task complexity and sequencing models which have guided this work, as well as in light of speech production attention allocation models, and where possible, they were contextualized in light of previous work.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/62643
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Departament - Filologia Anglesa i Alemanya

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