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TBLT-conference Leuven Symposium on Task Complexity: Introduction Lies Sercu.

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Presentation on theme: "TBLT-conference Leuven Symposium on Task Complexity: Introduction Lies Sercu."— Presentation transcript:

1 TBLT-conference Leuven Symposium on Task Complexity: Introduction Lies Sercu

2 Participants Lieve De Wachter, K.U.Leuven Folkert Kuiken, UvAmsterdam Elke Peters, K.U.Leuven Lies Sercu, K.U.Leuven Ineke Vedder, UvAmsterdam

3 Organisation introduction: framework 2 papers + time for informative questions coffee break third paper + time for informative questions summary of findings + discussion topics discussion time handouts

4 TC and Curriculum design starting point: two questions (1) What do we want tasks to do? How do we want tasks to be helpful to learners? Can this specific task do this? (2) How can we sequence tasks in an optimal way? How can we vary the degree of complexity of tasks? In what order do we offer tasks to learners?

5 What do we expect of tasks? Distinction between two kinds of tasks extension of knowledge, interlanguage development, enhanced intake and retention of input (papers 1 & 2) better, faster access to existing knowledge, enhanced performativity, automatising (paper 3)

6 How can we sequence tasks? What makes a task difficult or easy? Can we design a more difficult and an easier version of a task? How do we sequence tasks? Developmental tasks before automatization tasks? Difficult tasks always after easy tasks? Paper 1: single/dual task Paper 3: +/- elements, +/- reasoning demands

7 Construct Task complexity operationalization: different proposals (Robinson, Skehan & Foster, Nunan, Candlin) Robinson 2005

8 task complexity (cognitive factors) task conditions (interactional factors) task difficulty (learner factors) (a) resource-directing e.g., +/- few elementes +/- here-and-now +/- reasoning demands (a) participation variables e.g., closed/open one-way/two-way convergent/divergent (a) affective variables e.g., motivation anxiety confidence (b) resource- dispersing e.g., +/- planning time +/- single task +/- prior knowledge (b) participant variables e.g., same/different gender familiar/unfamiliar power/solidarity (b) ability variables e.g., working memory intelligence aptitude Sequencing criteriaMethodological influences

9 task complexity (cognitive factors) task conditions (interactional factors) task difficulty (learner factors) (a) resource-directing e.g., +/- few elementes +/- here-and-now +/- reasoning demands (b) resource- dispersing e.g., +/- planning time +/- single task +/- prior knowledge Sequencing criteria

10 task complexity (cognitive factors) task conditions (interactional factors) task difficulty (learner factors) (a) affective variables e.g., motivation anxiety confidence (b) ability variables e.g., working memory intelligence aptitude Methodological influences

11 task complexity (cognitive factors) task conditions (interactional factors) task difficulty (learner factors) (a) participation variables e.g., closed/open one-way/two-way convergent/divergent (b) participant variables e.g., same/different gender familiar/unfamiliar power/solidarity Methodological influences

12 task complexity (cognitive factors) task conditions (interactional factors) task difficulty (learner factors) (a) resource-directing e.g., +/- few elementes +/- here-and-now +/- reasoning demands (a) participation variables e.g., closed/open one-way/two-way convergent/divergent (a) affective variables e.g., motivation anxiety confidence (b) resource- dispersing e.g., +/- planning time +/- single task +/- prior knowledge (b) participant variables e.g., same/different gender familiar/unfamiliar power/solidarity (b) ability variables e.g., working memory intelligence aptitude Sequencing criteriaMethodological influences

13 TC & effect on learning Different effects on learning for changing tasks with respect to Resource-dispersing dimension distribute/disperse attention capacity over different things Resource-directing dimension direct learners attention to more complex form(s) in the input

14 Effect on learning Resource-dispersing trade-off: paying attention to A = paying less attention to B e.g., attention to meaning = less attention to form (or vice versa) attention to fluency = less attention to accuracy Resource-directing no trade-off but cooperation between meaning and form; e.g., more complex contents = more complex language production

15 Sequencing of tasks Main idea: practise already acquired knowledge before offering new input Order of tasks 1. low performativity demands – low intake demands 2. high performativity demands – low intake demands 3. low performativity demands – high intake demands 4. high performativity demands – high intake demands

16 Explain effects: two theoretical models 1. Limited Attentional Capacity Model resource – dispersion, trade-off between fluency, accuracy, complexity meaning - form increased complexity = debilitated language production 2. Cognition Hypothesis resource directing cooperation between meaning – form increased complexity = improved language production

17 3 papers Lies Sercu & Lieve De Wachter Elke Peters Folkert Kuiken & Ineke Vedder

18 paper 1paper 2paper 3 dimension task compleixty single/dual resource dispersing single/dual resource dispersing +/-few elements resource directing task goaldevelopment, intake, retention access, performance specific focusretention of cultural information here-and-now + vocabulary retention of cultural information there-and- then + vocabulary enhancement accuracy, complexity in written language production

19 paper 1paper 2paper 3 task conditionsconvergent one-way read convergent one-way read divergent one-way write learner characteristics intermediate level of proficiency Dutch multicultural sample upper- intermediate level of proficiency German monocultural sample different levels of proficiency French & Italian monocultural sample

20 Contact details


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