NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1099922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1362-1688
Similar Prompts May Not Be Similar in the Performance They Elicit: Examining Fluency, Complexity, Accuracy, and Lexis in Narratives from Five Picture Prompts
de Jong, Nel; Vercellotti, Mary Lou
Language Teaching Research, v20 n3 p387-404 May 2016
Only a few characteristics of picture-based narrative prompts have been studied to determine what features affect task performance. Thus, it is not easy to identify equivalent narrative prompts or identify features that are impactful. Tavakoli and Foster (2008) and Tavakoli (2009) examined the impact of prompt on the language produced by English learners during a picture-based narrative task in respect to narrative structure and storyline complexity. This study investigates if prompts within these known categories elicit similar performance. Considering the findings based on different prompts in Tavakoli and Foster, as well as in Robinson's (2011) Triadic Componential Framework for pedagogical tasks, we added another feature, number of elements. All of the prompts in this study had a tight sequential structure (±causal reasoning), similar storyline complexity (±intentional reasoning), and similar main characters and props (±elements). Although the accuracy and complexity in the ESL narratives were similar across prompts, there were some unexpected differences in fluency and lexis. Potential explanations of the variation in these subareas of language performance are discussed. Overall, this study highlights the importance of piloting research and testing materials and of investigating features that constitute task complexity.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: SBE0836012