Publication details [#62784]

Vercellotti, Mary Lou. 2017. The Development of Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency in Second Language Performance: A Longitudinal Study. Applied Linguistics 38 (1) : 90–111.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Oxford University Press


Language, particularly second language (L2), performance may be broken into linguistic subcomponents, covering complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF). These subcomponents of language performance have been of enhanced interest in second language development (SLD). Generally, the aim in L2 learning is to acquire all three CAF subcomponents. In a cognitive framework of SLD, restricted attentional resources prevent learners from attending to all CAF components concurrently. A focus on one CAF component may compromise a learner’s performance in another CAF component, which has been called trade-off effects. One goal of this study is to describe the development of oral language performance as measured by CAF. Understanding the effects of the processing demands of speaking in an L2 is of theoretical and pedagogical interest. Language programs may endorse tasks that promote development of each CAF component individually rather than expecting learners to be able to attend to every…