Edited by Naoko Taguchi and YouJin Kim
[Task-Based Language Teaching 10] 2018
► pp. 266–285
Chapter 11. Assessing functional adequacy of L2 performance in a task-based approach
When assessing L2 performance in task-based research, dimensions of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) have typically been evaluated. Less attention has, however, been devoted to the functional dimension. This paper argues that it is critical to consider the functional dimension of L2 performance in addition to complexity, accuracy, and fluency. Functional adequacy as a task-related construct is viewed in the present study as a component of L2 pragmatics, referring to the appropriateness and felicity of the utterances of the speaker/writer within a particular context, and evaluated by the listener/reader. The study investigates the applicability of a rating scale developed for the assessment of functional adequacy in the L2, considered from the perspective of task-based language teaching (TBLT) and task-based language assessment (TBLA), as successful task completion. In the rating scale, four components of functional adequacy are distinguished: content, task requirements, comprehensibility, and coherence and cohesion. A group of non-expert raters judged the oral and written samples of two groups of university students of Dutch L2 and Italian L2. The results show that the scale appears to be a reliable and efficient tool for assessing the functional adequacy of written and spoken L2 production.
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