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The Effects Of Pre-task Planning Time On Chinese English Majors’ Performance In Pair-discussion Task

Posted on:2014-02-12Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:F Q SongFull Text:PDF
GTID:2235330398462837Subject:Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Language production is seen by most researchers as a planned process, and timevariable in planning studies plays an important part. In task-based language teaching, it isoften the case that teachers need to decide how much time students should be allowed tomake preparations before task performance. Previous studies have shown that whenstudents were given time to plan before task performance, the quality of their languageoutput generally improved.Adopting a quantitative method, the present study aims to investigate the effects ofdifferent lengths of pre-task planning time on Chinese English majors’ oral performance interms of fluency, complexity and accuracy, and what role learners’ language proficiencyplays in the process.The subjects for this study are72sophomore English majors from a key university inchina; they were assigned to four treatment groups with0minute,1minute,2minutes and3minutes of pre-task planning time respectively. At first, the subjects were equally dividedinto a high-achiever group and a low-achiever group according to their final exam results(average scores of three courses: English Listening, English Speaking, and ComprehensiveEnglish) from the previous semester, and then with every9high-achievers and every9low-achievers remixed, four new groups were formed, and these four groups were to begiven different lengths of planning time before task performance. The task used in theexperiment was in the form of pair discussion.Subjects’ speeches were recorded, transcribed and analyzed quantitatively, and thefindings of this study are as follows:1. One minute planning time may be the minimum time length for fluency measures toshow significant improvement, and more planning time will generate greater fluency.Subjects did not improve significantly on complexity measures with one or twominutes of pre-task planning time, but with three minutes of planning time, SyntacticComplexity of their oral output showed significant differences. Two accuracy measures on the whole showed trends of increase with more planning time, but the differencesdid not reach a significant level in this study.2. Language proficiency hardly interacts with planning time in influencing subjects’ oralperformance. However, the high-achievers performed significantly better than thelow-achievers on all three aspects, i.e. fluency, complexity and accuracy.Based on these findings, some theoretical and pedagogical implications are given inthe final chapter.
Keywords/Search Tags:pre-task planning time, language proficiency, fluency, complexity, accuracy
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