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Title: The effects of task complexity, mode of interaction and L2 aptitude on the development of the present third person singular through recasts
Author: Kourtali, N. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 5888
Awarding Body: UCL, Institute of Education
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The role of recasts, a corrective feedback technique, has received much attention from instructed SLA researchers. While a variety of factors have been identified as influencing their effectiveness in promoting L2 development, task complexity, mode of interaction and L2 aptitude are three potential moderator variables that have been the object of relatively little research. To fill these gaps, two studies were conducted. Study 1 investigated the combined effects of task complexity and recasts on modified output and development in knowledge of the present third person singular, the target construction. Study 2 explored the joint impact of mode of interaction and recasts on these outcome variables. Whether L2 aptitude influences these relationships was also examined. In both studies, 60 young learners, all Greek learners of English, were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions. In Study 1, the two groups completed tasks of differential cognitive complexity, with more or fewer reasoning demands. In Study 2, the two groups carried out tasks in different modalities, face-to-face versus computer-mediated. Recasts were provided in response to errors in the target construction. L2 development was gauged by an oral production test and a written production test in both studies, and Study 1 additionally included an elicited imitation test. The LLAMA test (Meara, 2005) was used as an index of L2 aptitude. In Study 1, students who completed less complex tasks achieved greater gains on the oral and written production tests. In Study 2, the face-to-face group demonstrated greater L2 improvement on both outcome measures. Correlational analyses showed that the gains of the learners who completed more complex tasks were related to learners' ability to recognize oral patterns (LLAMA D) and to associate sounds with symbols (LLAMA E). No correlation was found between aptitude and L2 gains in Study 2.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available