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Processing Perspectives on Task Performance


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Table of Contents

1. Series editors' preface to Volume 5; 2. Preface; 3. Chapter 1. The context for researching a processing perspective on task performance (by Skehan, Peter); 4. Chapter 2. On-line time pressure manipulations: L2 speaking performance under five types of planning and repetition conditions (by Wang, Zhan); 5. Chapter 3. Task readiness: Theoretical framework and empirical evidence from topic familiarity, strategic planning, and proficiency levels (by Gavin, Bui Hiu Yuet); 6. Chapter 4. Self-reported planning behaviour and second language performance in narrative retelling (by Pang, Francine); 7. Chapter 5. Get it right in the end: The effects of post-task transcribing on learners' oral performance (by Qian, Li); 8. Chapter 6. Structure, lexis, and time perspective: Influences on task performance (by Wang, Zhan); 9. Chapter 7. Structure and processing condition in video-based narrative retelling (by Skehan, Peter); 10. Chapter 8. Limited attentional capacity, second language performance, and task-based pedagogy (by Skehan, Peter); 11. Author Biodata; 12. Index


This volume, on the whole, presents a focused set of exceptionally well-designed studies that investigate task design variables and their major processing benefits for L2 speakers. A major contribution of this volume is Skehan's proposed finer-grained definition for the construct of "planning," which includes the traditional concept of planning, along with newer additions of readiness-task-internal properties, such as content familiarity and task. Moreover, the consistency of the CAF-lexis performance measures across the volume is a valuable model which, if adopted, could contribute to the validity and reliability of future studies. One area for improvement would be a fuller exploration of proficiency levels; the editor readily admits that this volume only contributes to our understanding of intermediate learners. In addition, the pedagogical implications are highly theoretical and would benefi t from more concrete examples. The volume assumes prior knowledge of several important theoretical concepts, such as serial versus parallel processing, rendering it somewhat inaccessible for a nonexpert audience. Nevertheless, this research significantly contributes to a theoretical understanding of task design, its impact on performance measures, and the manner in which L2 speakers can overcome the limitations of their finite cognitive resources.) -- Julie B. Lake, Georgetown University, in Studies in Second Language Acquisition 37:1 (2014

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