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ERIC Number: EJ1143180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0026-7902
"One Task Fits All"? The Roles of Task Complexity, Modality, and Working Memory Capacity in L2 Performance
Zalbidea, Janire
Modern Language Journal, v101 n2 p335-352 Sum 2017
The present study explores the independent and interactive effects of task complexity and task modality on linguistic dimensions of second language (L2) performance and investigates how these effects are modulated by individual differences in working memory capacity. Thirty-two intermediate learners of L2 Spanish completed less and more complex versions of the same type of argumentative task in the speaking and writing modalities. Perceived complexity questionnaires were administered as measures of cognitive load to both L2 learners and native speakers to independently validate task complexity manipulations. Task performance was analyzed in terms of general (complexity and accuracy) as well as task-relevant (conjunctions) linguistic measures. Quantitative analyses revealed that task modality played a larger role than task complexity in inducing improved linguistic performance during task-based work: Speaking tasks brought about more syntactically complex output while writing tasks favored more lexically complex and more accurate language. In addition, relationships of working memory capacity with various linguistic measures were attested, but only when the cognitive complexity of tasks was enhanced.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A