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ERIC Number: EJ905515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
Independent vs. Integrated Writing Tasks: A Comparison of Task Representation
Plakans, Lia
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v44 n1 p185-194 Mar 2010
As the field of second language writing embraces the authenticity and meaningfulness of connecting writing with other skills, language teachers and testers require greater understanding of how writers respond to as well as compose for integrated tasks. Research on integrated tasks is critical in highlighting how integration impacts students and their writing, as well as in implications for instruction and assessment of integrated writing. An essential step for writers composing either classroom assignments or assessment tasks is to construct an understanding of the task demands. This construction of meaning has been labeled as "task representation" by Wolfersberger (2007). A gap in the research appears when considering how writers differ in their approaches to integrated tasks in comparison to traditional independent writing tasks. Such research is needed to inform teachers and test developers on the impact of using or choosing between the two task types and to help guide development or use of the tasks. This study focused on how task type impacts task representation, asking the research question: How do writers' task representations of an integrated reading-to-write task differ from that of an independent writing-only task? To answer this research question, think-aloud verbal protocol and interview data were collected from 10 writers who were undergraduate and graduate, nonnative-English-speaking students at a U.S. university. The results of this study revealed some writers constructing very similar task representations for the two tasks, while others interpreted the tasks differently. These findings are presented in terms of local issues, followed by global findings. (Contains 2 tables and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A