NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ906797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0346-251X
Holistic and Analytic Processing Modes in Non-Native Learners' Performance of Narrative Tasks
Ben Maad, Mohamed Ridha
System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, v38 n4 p591-602 Dec 2010
Cognitive psychology has gained currency in the study of second language learning with focus on how real-time language use proceeds through two main processing modes: an analytic processing (rule-based) mode and a holistic processing (lexically-based) mode (Skehan, 1998). However, to date there has been little experimental evidence to document the nature of the relationship between these two processing modes. The present paper reports on a study which was designed (i) to explore how both of these modes are represented in the oral production of non-native learners of English and (ii) to determine whether language learners switch from one mode to another in the face of increasing cognitive demands during task engagement. Participants in this study were 30 Tunisian undergraduate students of English who performed three narrative tasks along three tape-recording episodes. The analysis of the transcribed findings revealed that these participants activated their holistic processing mode for lexical retrieval at the beginning of their performance when the tasks were not demanding. However, they fell back on the analytic processing mode when faced with the increasing processing load due to time pressure and lack of planning. The results not only shed empirical light on how the extent of formulaicity in learners' language may influence their processing decisions but also have pedagogical implications for speaking skill development. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tunisia