The Cognition Hypothesis (Robinson, 2005, this volume) claims that increases in cognitive task complexity along ‘resource-directing’ variables focus L2 learners’ attention on language. This results in more accurate and syntactically and lexically more complex speech, while negatively affecting fluency. Interactive tasks have been claimed to enhance L2 learners’ attention to language form, raising the chance that they will produce more accurate speech in dialogues than monologues. As speakers ask for clarifications, and mirror each other’s speech, pair work allegedly leads to structurally less complex and lexically less diverse output while fluency increases. When task complexity and the interactional format are manipulated at the same time, combined effects may occur. As a complex task requires more clarification work, complex dialogic tasks may lead to higher levels of accuracy, but lower levels of structural and lexical complexity. This study investigated the effects of increased task complexity and interaction: 64 L2 learners of Dutch performed simple and complex tasks either individually (+monologic) or in pairs (–monologic). Task complexity was manipulated along the dimension ‘± few elements’. The students’ output was analyzed for measures of linguistic complexity, accuracy, and fluency. It was compared to the output produced by 44 native speakers of Dutch performing the same tasks. The results provide little support for the Cognition Hypothesis, although interaction had a large impact on both L2 learners and L1 speakers. The discussion takes a cognitive perspective on attentional allocation and L2 task performance.
2022. Evaluating the Capacity of Foreign Language Speaking Tasks to Stimulate Creativity. In Technology, Innovation and Creativity in Digital Society [Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, 345], ► pp. 908 ff.
Burton, J. Dylan
2023. Gazing into Cognition: Eye Behavior in Online L2 Speaking Tests. Language Assessment Quarterly 20:2 ► pp. 190 ff.
Farahanynia, Mahsa & Mohammad Khatib
2022. Participatory structure of planning and cognitive task complexity in L2 oral performance: a processing perspective. The Language Learning Journal 50:6 ► pp. 777 ff.
2021. Let’s talk tasks. TASK. Journal on Task-Based Language Teaching and Learning 1:2 ► pp. 289 ff.
Jackson, Daniel O.
2022. Task-Based Language Teaching,
Jackson, Daniel O. & Sakol Suethanapornkul
2013. The Cognition Hypothesis: A Synthesis and Meta-Analysis of Research on Second Language Task Complexity. Language Learning 63:2 ► pp. 330 ff.
2019. Task Complexity, Cognitive Load, and L1 Speech. Applied Linguistics 40:3 ► pp. 506 ff.
2020. The role of task sequencing in fluency, accuracy, and complexity: Investigating the SSARC model of pedagogic task sequencing. Language Teaching Research 24:5 ► pp. 642 ff.
Malicka, Aleksandra, Roger Gilabert Guerrero & John M. Norris
2019. From needs analysis to task design: Insights from an English for specific purposes context. Language Teaching Research 23:1 ► pp. 78 ff.
Matsumoto, Kazumi, Maki Hirotani & Atsushi Fukada
2020. Examining Oral Performance Characteristics of L2 Learners With the CAF Calculator. In Recent Tools for Computer- and Mobile-Assisted Foreign Language Learning [Advances in Educational Technologies and Instructional Design, ], ► pp. 132 ff.
Michel, Marije C.
2013. The Use of Conjunctions in Cognitively Simple Versus Complex Oral L2 Tasks. The Modern Language Journal 97:1 ► pp. 178 ff.
Michel, Marije C., Andrea Révész, Danni Shi & Yanmei Li
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.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 5 may 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
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