The chapter discusses the question to what extent the effect of task complexity on linguistic performance in L2 writing and speaking is influenced by the mode in which the tasks have to be performed (oral versus written). The majority of studies which have been conducted so far in the framework of either the Limited Attentional Capacity Model (Skehan, 1998; Skehan & Foster, 2001) or the Multiple Attentional Resources Model (Robinson, 1995, 2007, this volume) concern oral task performance. While some studies have also looked at the effect of task complexity on the written production of L2 learners, there are no studies to our knowledge in which the effect of task complexity on linguistic performance in relation to mode has been investigated. For that reason a study was set up where two tasks of different task complexity, which already had been submitted to L2 learners in the writing mode, were presented to a group of L2 learners as speaking tasks. The participants in the oral mode were 44 learners of Italian as a second language, with Dutch as their mother tongue. Their performance was compared with that of another group of 91 Italian L2 learners with Dutch L1 who had performed the same tasks in the written mode. Scores on a cloze test were used as a measure of the general level of L2 proficiency of the learners. Our results demonstrate that both in the oral and the written mode task complexity mainly seems to affect accuracy, in particular with respect to lexical errors. We did not observe an interaction of task type and proficiency level, either in the written or in the oral mode.
2022. Task complexity, language proficiency and working memory: Interaction effects on second language speech performance
. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching 60:2 ► pp. 169 ff.
2020. Revisiting genre effects on linguistic features of L2 writing: A usage‐based perspective. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 30:3 ► pp. 429 ff.
2017. ‘One Task Fits All’? The Roles of Task Complexity, Modality, and Working Memory Capacity in L2 Performance. The Modern Language Journal 101:2 ► pp. 335 ff.
Zhan, Ju, Qiyu Sun & Lawrence Jun Zhang
2021. Effects of manipulating writing task complexity on learners’ performance in completing vocabulary and syntactic tasks. Language Teaching Research► pp. 136216882110243 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 5 june 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.