Functions of oral monologic tasks: Effects of topic familiarity on L2 speaking performance

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Tasks with different design factors may dissimilarly affect oral production, and thus can be adopted for different pedagogical purposes. However, the functions of task types are not fully explored. To address this gap, this study investigates the influence of content familiarity and task repetition on sixty English as a foreign language learners’ speaking performance, in terms of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF). Participants twice performed four monologic tasks, and received stimulated recall interviews. The findings indicate that participants produced structurally more complex speech under familiar conditions, and increased their CAF in task repetition. Furthermore, content familiarity and task repetition may facilitate conceptualization. Task repetition may also direct participants’ attention towards lexical choices and grammatical encoding. Moreover, repeating unfamiliar topics effectively increased CAF. The findings suggest content familiarity and task repetition are two dimensions of topic familiarity, and that teachers might consider implementing task repetition when presenting unfamiliar topics to learners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-764
JournalLanguage Teaching Research
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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