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The Effects Of Task Complexity On Written Language's Complexity And Accuracy Of Thai Chinese Learners

Posted on:2019-02-03Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:H D XuFull Text:PDF
GTID:2405330542954913Subject:Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
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Since the 1980s,the relationship between task complexity and foreign language learners' linguistic performance has become the focus in many studies,and much has has been discussed about the effects of task complexity in SLA research.Major theories about task complexity include the Cognition Hypothesis and the Limited Attentional Capacity Model.In the Cognition Hypothesis,task complexity is manipulated along two dimensions:resource-directing and resource-dispering.These two models have made different predictions about the effects of task complexity on language performance.Whereas studies on the effect of task complexity on oral language production have been in the forefront of investigations from the past twenty years,considerably less research has been conducted on how different task types and different levels of complexity of tasks influence written output produced by foreign language learners,especially in the field of Chinese writing.In designing teaching(TBLT)lessons,it is an urgent issue for language teachers and curriculum developers to select tasks among numerous options and control them delicately so that they can elicit optimal educational efficacy,and in particular,to elicit the targeted features of writing competence.Under the theoretical framework of the Cognition Hypothesis and the Limited Attentional Capacity Model,this dissertation aiming to written languages of 100 Thai Chinese learners,attempted to add empirical findings to the existing rather small body research on the effects of task complexity on the Chinese learners' writing performance,and provide some useful advises to Chinese writing classes Specifically,task complexity was manipulated along both resource-directing and resource-dispersing dimensions.Learners' L2 proficiency level was also incorporated to examine the interactive effects with task complexity on their writing performance.100 Thai students majoring Chinese in Chiang Mai Rajabhat University participated in the study,16 with low Chinese proficiency level,63 with middle Chinese proficiency level and 20 with high Chinese proficiency level.There were four task conditions:1)10 minutes' planning time+writing task "My favorite festival";2)no planning time+writing task "My favorite festival";3)10 minutes' planning time+Writing task "My view on environmental protection";4)no planning time+Writing task"My view on environmental protection".Each class was required to perform a task under one condition.Immediately after the participants finished their tasks,four participants from each group were selected randomly for an interview conducted.Their written products were analyzed in terms of accuracy and complexity.The analysis of the quantitative data yielded the following three findings:1)Increasing task complexity along resource-directing dimension(increasing reasoning)had negative impacts on lexical complexity and accuracy of the Thai Chinese learners' written language performance,but had a positive effect on syntactic complexity.This finding partly supports the Limited Attentional Capacity Model.2)With regard to resource-dispersing dimension of task complexity,planning resulted in significantly greater lexical complexity than the no-planning task condition.Planning had a little effect on syntactic complexity and accuracy.This finding is in line with Cognitive Hypothesis Model.3)L2 proficiency level had no interactive effects with both reasoning and planning time on the complexity and accuracy.Based on the findings,we proposed following suggestions to Chinese writing courses:1)Make good use of complexity frame to design writing tasks of different difficulties to improve learners' writing ability;2)Pay attention to the balance of language complexity and accuracy,and to push learners to apply what they have learned.
Keywords/Search Tags:task complexity, reasoning, planning time, L2 proficiency level
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