The Effect of Task Structure, Task Repetition, and Reformulation on Foreign Language Written Performance

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dc.contributor.advisor Barkhuizen, G en
dc.contributor.advisor Li, S en
dc.contributor.advisor Ellis, R en Mehrang, Faezeh en 2017-07-06T23:00:02Z en 2016 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract In the field of task-based language teaching, research on task design and task implementation variables has indicated positive effects of task structure as a task design variable and task repetition as a task implementation variable on oral performance (e.g. Tavakoli & Skehan, 2005; Bygate, 2001). Fewer studies, however, have investigated the effect of these variables on written task performance. To this end, the current study was conducted to explore how written performance is affected by task structure and task repetition. Oral performance studies investigating task repetition have reported that the performance of the same task benefits from task repetition, whereas the performance of a new task does not. Ellis (2009b) claims that positive effects of task repetition are carried over to a new task and learning takes place if feedback is provided between the repeated performances of tasks. Therefore, in this study written feedback (i.e. reformulation) was provided as an intervention variable to investigate how performance of the same task, a new task of the same type, and a new task of a different type are affected by task repetition both in presence and absence of feedback. This is an experimental study involving four groups of EFL learners (n = 106) in two private language schools in Iran (i.e. structured group, structured + reformulation group, unstructured group, and control group). The study took place over a period of five weeks with all groups completing a pre-writing task in week 1 and a post-writing task in week 5. In weeks 2, 3, and 4, the structured group repeated structured tasks, the structured + reformulation group repeated structured tasks and was engaged in reformulation, and the unstructured group repeated unstructured tasks. Task structure was operationalised by adopting Hoey’s (1983) problemsolution discourse structure. Written data were analysed in terms of both micro-measures (i.e. complexity, accuracy, and fluency) and macro-measures (i.e. textual organisation). Scores were compared across groups by means of parametric/non-parametric ANOVAs to discover the effects of the variables. No significant improvements were found with regard to the performance of the same task. There was, however, strong evidence of the effectiveness of repeating structured tasks on the structural complexity and accuracy of the performance of a new task of the same type. Repeating the unstructured tasks facilitated the development of textual organisation of the performance of a new task of a different type and led to the production of well-organised texts in this group. Findings have implications for both theory and pedagogy. I propose that micro aspects of written performance can best be promoted by providing learners opportunities for structured task repetitions, whereas unstructured task repetitions are beneficial in improving macro aspects of written language. I also suggest that writing education in Iran is reinforced by development of formal syllabi and training writing teachers. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264918814102091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title The Effect of Task Structure, Task Repetition, and Reformulation on Foreign Language Written Performance en
dc.type Thesis en Applied Language Studies and Linguistics en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 635608 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-07-07 en

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