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International Journal of Language and Applied Linguistics

2015; 1(2): 49-57


Published online June 15, 2015 (http://www.ijlal.ir)
ISSN: 2383-0514 (Online)
2015 Khate Sefid Press

The Effect of Task Repetition and


Consciousness-Raising on Iranian L2 learners'
Writing Performance
Roya Pakbaz
Iran National Language Institution, Marvdasht, Iran
Email: pakbaz.roya@yahoo.com

Mohammad Javad Rezai


Iran National Language Institution, Marvdasht, Iran
Email: mjrezai@yahoo.com
Abstract Task based language teaching emerged as a
reaction to the form-based methods of L2 teaching to reach
more meaningful outputs from the learners. The
implementation of tasks in EFL raised several questions of
how the quality of the learners' output can be improved in
terms of accuracy, complexity, fluency, and lexical intensity
(e.g. Bygate, 1999 & Harmer, 2009, among others). The
present study aimed at evaluating the possible effects of task
repetition with follow-up consciousness-raising activities to
enhance the complexity and accuracy of EFL learners'
written output in immediate and delayed post-tests. To this
aim, 60 lower intermediate learners participated in this
study. Their proficiency level was determined by Oxford
Quick Placement Test. They were divided into experimental
and control groups and performed on a pre-tests.
Consciousness-raising tasks on comparatives, superlatives
and articles were implemented in the experimental groups
and the main task was carried out. A delayed post-test
followed within a three weeks interval. The results revealed
that applying consciousness-raising tasks led to more
accurate writing production in the repeated performance,
indicating that merely repeating a task is not enough for
creating more accurate writing drafts. However, the data
signified that consciousness-raising activities did not
increase the complexity load of the written output
significantly. Furthermore, such effect lasted within a three
week interval. The results are in accordance with the
findings of Balegizadeh and Derakhshesh (2012), Finardi
(2008), Zohrabi and Abbasvand (2014) and Nosratinia and
Roustayi (2014).

I. INTRODUCTION
Tasks entered second language research as the need to
focus on meaning was gaining premium in the formfocused era. Tasks were utilized to indicate how learners
can manifest their linguistic knowledge in more fluent
and effective ways (Ellis, 2003). Perhaps the first serious
implementation of task based language teaching (TBLT)
took place by Prabhu (1987) as a project in secondary
schools in South of India as a reform to the structuraloral-situational method in which, the primary focus was
on form and attention to meaning was only incidental.
Several definitions have been devised throughout the
literature on what exactly tasks are, but no unified
agreement exists on their meaning. Ellis (2003) reviewed
all the definitions and proposed several features for tasks:
1) tasks have a special work plan for the materials to be
used and the activities to be conducted, 2) the primary
focus of tasks is on meaning, 3) tasks are authentic and
reflect real-life uses which combine four language skills
and 4) tasks have specific outcomes which should be
achieved at the end.
A framework has been put forward for TBLT by Willis
(1996) as he stated that tasks are comprised of three
cycles: namely a pre-task stage, a task cycle and language
focus. In the pre-task, the instructor can do several things
such as offering a model, doing some non-task activities
to prepare the learners or do some strategic planning in
which they can decide on the linguistic forms they may
need during the main task. During the main task phase,
the learners perform the main task and finally, the posttask phase takes place. Only the main task is obligatory in
task based instruction (Ellis, 2006). As Willis stated, the
last step, which focuses on the linguistic forms, can be
carried out by the teacher or can be left to the learners.
Instructors can devise several actions in the final stage of
TBLT: repeating the tasks, whether a similar task or the
same task have been under focus and is said to affect the
accuracy, complexity, fluency and lexical density of L2

Index Terms Task-based language teaching,


Consciousness-raising, Task repetition, Accuracy, Fluency

Received May 20, 2015;

Accepted June 9, 2015.

2015 Khate Sefid Press


35

International Journal of Language and Applied Linguistics


2015; 1(2): 49-57
Published online June 15, 2015 (http://www.ijlal.ir)
ISSN: 2383-0514 (Online)
2015 Khate Sefid Press

output (e.g. Bygate, 1999 & Harmer, 2009, among


others). Reporting on how learners did the tasks is
another option which is regarded as an indication of
pondering on the forms which were utilized during the
main task or learners may suggest ways that can help
them improve their performance (Ellis, 2003). Focusing
on the learners' errors is another option in which explicit
and implicit feedback can be supplied by the instructor.
Willis and Willis (1996) suggested doing
consciousness-raising (CR) activities after the main task
to engage the learners more with the language form and
lead to more explicit learning. CR task, as Ellis (2002)
has rightly stated, "involves an attempt to equip the
learner with an understanding of a specific grammatical
feature to develop declarative rather than procedural
knowledge of it" (p. 168). CR task has been referred to
as input enhancement by Sharewood-Smith (1991) since
he believed that the term consciousness cannot be easily
defined. According to Ellis (1991), several features exist
for CR task: focusing on a specific linguistic form,
supplying some data as the context of that form, using
metalinguistic rules or cognitive procedures to explain
the forms and even verbalizing a linguistic rule. Several
scholars have been against using CR tasks since they
believe that such activities cannot be regarded as tasks
themselves. Additionally, reflecting on what they do is
not an easy job for the learners and many students may
lack the ability to ponder on what they did during the
main task. Furthermore, CR task may be beneficial only
in higher levels of proficiency and learners in lower
proficiency levels may lack the ability to carry out CR
activities (Ellis, 2003), but such deficiency can be
overcome by conducting the CR task in their first
language (Ellis, 2002). Sheen (1992) further commented
that since such activities requires some intelligence,
students with lower intelligences or heuristic abilities
may find it difficult to conduct CR activities.
Furthermore, studies on task based language teaching are
still rare (Beglar & Hunt, 2002) and little studies have
been carried out on the comparison of repeating task
based approach with CR follow-up or without it to see
whether all learners can equally benefit from them.
Besides CR activities, repetition is another way to
enhance internalization of the forms which were
reviewed by task based approach. Harmer (2009) stated
that repetition influences language learning since
repeating the task, while thinking about what one is
doing, gives a chance of acquiring that form. He believed
that repetition leads to noticing, therefore, the noticed
structure which may have been forgotten with a time laps,
may stick to the mind of the learner and lead to better
learning. As he stated, repetition with a time interval
allows learners to "reformulate" what they have stated
previously and "restructure" their language (p.57).
Additionally, Beglar and Hunt (2002) proposed that focus
on form can be implemented before conducting the task
for the second time. Task repetition has also been

suggested by Richards (2002) as he stated that learners


can do some rehearsal before the main task by watching a
video or listening to a tape or doing a simplified version
of a task. This rehearsal can help them pay attention to
the structural and linguistic features in difficult tasks.
They can also repeat the task later by modifying some
aspects of the task such as constraining the time required
to complete the task. Finally, Bygate (2002) asserted that
"some form of task repetition can enable learners to shift
their attention from problem of conceptualization towards
that of formulation" (p. 17).

II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE


In this section of the study, firstly task repetition as a
way for enhancing the qualities of linguistic output is
taken into account and the related conceptual framework
being presented. Then, the possible effects of CR task
and the studies conducted on this matter are under focus.
Finally, the purpose of the current study is covered along
with the research questions.
A. Task Repetition
The language-processing framework proposed by
Levelt (1989) divides language production into several
steps: conceptualization (planning), formulation and
articulation. The primary element of production is the
conceptualization in which having more time or
experiencing with the language can enhance shaping
concepts and plans in mind. This enhancement can
further allow the mind to reformulate the ideas and
produce language forms which are more accurate or more
complex. Asking the learners to conduct a task for the
second time which provides additional time for
conceptualizing may have an effect on the type of
interaction, vocabulary choice or code complexity of the
produced language (Heidari Soureshjani & Etemadi,
2012).
Since the emergence of task based language
instructions, several researchers have been concerned
about the benefits or pitfalls of implementing tasks
repetition in L2 instruction. In the plethora of the studies
conducted on such matters, evaluation of the effects of
different variables on the quality of output produced by
the learners has got special attention. Task repetition is
one step which may lead to better language production.
Bygate (1996), in his pioneering study, stated that
repeating narrative oral task can affect the complexity,
fluency and clear statement of the ideas. Later on, Skehan
and Foster (1997) added a new dimension to these studies
and evaluated the effects of task repetition in front of
audiences on learners' performance. Here, previous
studies are reviewed to gain a better insight of the issue.
Mainly, the researches done on the effects of task
repetition are carried out on oral production (e.g.
50

International Journal of Language and Applied Linguistics


2015; 1(2): 49-57
Published online June 15, 2015 (http://www.ijlal.ir)
ISSN: 2383-0514 (Online)
2015 Khate Sefid Press

Baleghizadeh & Derakhshesh, 2012; Gashan &


Almohaisen, 2014; Mojavezi, 2013, among others). In
order to evaluate task repetition effects, Finardi (2008)
used picture description tasks in which complexity and
accuracy, fluency and lexical density of the learners
output were under investigation. He figured out that
repeating the same task influenced the complexity of L2
output while accuracy benefited less; however, fluency
and lexical density were not influenced significantly.
Finardi (2008) was concerned only with oral output and
nothing was mentioned on the possible effects of task
repetition on L2 writing output.
In another research, Baleghizadeh and Derakhshesh
(2012) took task repetition and noticing into
consideration and used oral tasks and gave feedback to
the learners on verb and preposition usage. They found
promising effects of such task repetitions on accurate
language productions. Such finding also resulted from
the study by Gashan and Almohaisen (2014) in which
they pinpointed the positive effects of task repetition on
fluency and accuracy gains in oral skills that was also
suggested by Lynch and Maclean (2001) and Bygate
(2001), since by having more free memory capacities in
the second task, the mind can easily dwell on the
linguistic forms. Mojavezi (2013) went further to
evaluate oral task production studies and came to this
point that learners in higher proficiency levels benefited
more from task repetition which led to more accurate,
more complex and more fluent L2 production.
Task repetition in L2 writing skill has recently came to
the spotlight. Zohrabi and Abbasvand (2014) measured
the effects of repeating the writing task for the second
time on the accuracy and complexity of L2 written
output. They did some interventions by providing
feedback to the learners' writing to focus on how they can
improve accuracy and complexity in their L2 production.
They came to this point that both accuracy and
complexity of L2 writing improved by task repetition
which involved the intervention of the teacher.
All in all, implementing task repetition in TBLT as a
way of improving both the accuracy and complexity of
L2 output has mainly focused on oral output and little has
been done on the possible effects of task repetition on
accuracy or complexity of written output. Furthermore,
the long term effects of task repetition have not been
studied much. Therefore, more researches are called for
on the effects of task repetition on L2 writing complexity
or accuracy and whether the effects are long lasting or
not.

these regularities (Hulstigin, 2005). The relationship


between implicit and explicit learning has been under
debate and opposing ideas exists as the possible weak
interface (Dekeyser, 1997) or strong interface (Ellis,
2005) between them. In both positions, explicit
knowledge is of importance and leads to L2 acquisition
which may be achieved by doing CR activities.
Rutherford and Sharwood-Smith (1985) asserted that
CR tasks are designed to focus intentionally on linguistic
form which can enhance learning. These tasks will
facilitate form-focused instruction and at the same time
creates opportunities for interaction and communication
which may lead to attending to both semantic and
syntactic features of language simultaneously (Nosratinia
& Roustaei, 2014). Weisi (2012) stated that learning by
CR tasks is a kind of discovery learning. Instead of
asking learners to produce specific linguistic structures,
they are asked to compose rules out of the examples
which are provided by the instructor (Larsen-Freeman,
2002). These activities can be the main task or be utilized
as follow-up activities (Ellis, 2006). CR tasks can be
viewed as guided problem solving (Willis & Willis,
1996).
Throughout the literature, several studies have been
carried out on evaluating the effects of CR tasks on
different grammatical structures. Fotos and Ellis (1991)
were among the first scholars who were concerned with
the CR task and evaluated its effects on grammaticality
judgments of L2 learners in dative alternation structures.
Later, Fotos (1994) targeted indirect object placement,
relative clauses and adverb placement and came to this
point that grammar CR activities leads to more noticing
of linguistic structures. English dative alternations were
also studied by Ansarin and Arasteh (2012) in
grammaticality judgment tests. They used direct CR tasks
versus grammar CR tasks and found that both approaches
led to desirable explicit knowledge of grammatical
structure.
Scott and De La Fuent (2008) added a new dimension
to these studies and took using L1 in CR task into
account. They figured out that using L1 led to more
communication and interaction among the learners and
resulted in better internalization of the language
structures. Mohammed (2004) was concerned with the
role of proficiency and evaluated the level of proficiency
to figure out which levels can benefit more from CR
tasks. No difference was noticed between proficiency
levels regarding the preferences for CR tasks and both
high intermediate and low intermediate learners benefited
from such tasks. He asserted that the current researches
are not sufficient for drawing general conclusions on the
effectiveness of CR tasks in different proficiency levels.
Amirian and Abbasi (2014) believed that CR tasks are
student centered, while the teacher acts as a facilitator,
learning happens by exploration and learners require time
to internalize the new linguistic system (p. 2). Amirian
and his colleague compared the gains in grammatical

B. Consciousness-Raising Task
Attending to the linguistic form in second language
acquisition leads to explicit knowledge in which, unlike
the implicit knowledge, awareness is a key factor
(Doughty, 2003). Explicit learning is a matter of finding
out the regularities and trying to make up rules out of
51

International Journal of Language and Applied Linguistics


2015; 1(2): 49-57
Published online June 15, 2015 (http://www.ijlal.ir)
ISSN: 2383-0514 (Online)
2015 Khate Sefid Press

competency by two approaches of teaching grammar,


namely presentation, practice, production (PPP) method
and grammatical CR tasks. They figured out that the
latter led to better internalization of the specific
grammatical features measured in multiple-choice items.
A survey on the effects of CR tasks on L2 production
and reception was carried out by Nosratinia and Roustayi
(2014) where they took reading and writing skills into
consideration and stated that: "As a way of teaching
grammar, CR tries to provide a language environment for
learners to discover grammatical features on their own in
order to develop their capability in writing" (p. 205). The
results from this study revealed that grammar CR tasks
led to improvements in overall L2 writing and reading
skills.
As it was inspected throughout the literature on CR
tasks, most studies have used grammaticality judgment
tasks as their measuring instrument and little has been
done on using the acquired linguistic structures in context
and if done, the overall reading and writing ability was of
concern and nothing has been mentioned on the
effectiveness of CR tasks on linguistic measures of
learner output like accuracy and complexity. Overall,
further studies on TBLT and the factors which may
influence learners' production are called for (Ellis, 2003).

III. METHODOLOGY
A. Participants
To carry out this study, 60 lower intermediate EFL
learners were chosen in two separate intact classes who
were attending English classes in a private language
institute in Shiraz. To ensure the homogeneity of the
participants in terms of proficiency, their proficiency
level was determined by Oxford Quick Placement Test
which is a standardized placement test devised by Allen
(1992). Those learners whose scores ranged from 28-36
were regarded as lower intermediate. Lower intermediate
level of proficiency was taken into consideration since
beginners lack the ability to write and advance learners
have mostly passed writing courses. The idea behind
choosing intact classes was the naturalness of the data
since experimental and control groups were required to
carry out the study. None of the participants have ever
been to English speaking countries and they were not
fully informed about the purpose of the study. 31 learners
participated in the experimental group and the remaining
29 learners were in the control group.
B. Instruments

C. Purpose of the Study

Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT) was the first


instrument. It is a 60 item proficiency test, comprised of
multiple choice questions on grammar, vocabulary,
reading comprehension and cloze test. This test can give
quick overall account of proficiency level of EFL learners
and was designed in Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
For pre-test and two post-tests, the same topic was
chosen which was adopted from the writing section of
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Care
has been applied to choose a topic with which the
learners are familiar and have enough content knowledge
since as Bygate (1999) rightly asserted, being familiar
with the topic frees the mind to concentrate on the
linguistic structure. Another reason behind selecting this
topic was that for CR task, specific grammatical
structures are under focus; hence this topic can help
concentrating on using comparative and superlative
structures and article use. The topic was as follows:

By reviewing the related literature, it was figured out that


few studies have been carried out to investigate the
effects of task repetition on writing performance of L2
learners. Moreover, the studies that concentrated on
writing skill did so by giving different types of feedback,
whether explicit or implicit and no attempt has been
made to measure the effects of CR tasks on the repeated
performance of L2 learners along with the long term
retention of such effects. As Crooks and Chaudron (2006)
rightly stated, currently significantly large body of
researches are at hand on TBLT and the factors which
may contribute to changes in accuracy, fluency and
complexity of learner' output, but still more researches
are called for. Therefore, the present study was an
attempt to investigate the effects of task repetition with or
without CR tasks as post-task activities and the possible
long term effects of such intervention on the accuracy
and complexity in writing performance of lower
intermediate EFL learners. The following research
questions are addressed in this study:
1.

2.

Does task repetition with follow-up


raising task lead to more accurate L2
and is this effect long lasting?
Does task repetition with follow-up
raising task lead to more complex L2
and is this effect long lasting?

You need to travel from your home to a place 40 miles


(64 kilometers) away. Compare the different kinds of
transportation you could use. Tell which method of travel
you could choose. Give specific reasons for your choice.

consciousness
writing output

C. Data Collection Procedure

consciousness
writing output

Placement test was carried out one week before the


pre-test. The participants had six sections out of 20
sections in each term on developing writing skills. In the
first section, the guidelines for brainstorming, outlining
and developing a paragraph were reviewed for both
52

International Journal of Language and Applied Linguistics


2015; 1(2): 49-57
Published online June 15, 2015 (http://www.ijlal.ir)
ISSN: 2383-0514 (Online)
2015 Khate Sefid Press

groups to ensure that the learners are familiar with


developing a paragraph and writing a proper draft. In the
second section, after brainstorming about the topic and
devising an outline, they were asked to write a draft on
the specified topic with the guidelines that have been
chosen. The first writing task was regarded as the pre-test
as no treatment has been applied yet. After writing the
first draft in each group, the control group did not receive
any follow up activity and they were just given a copy of
their own draft and were told to ponder on their own
work and revise the mistakes they have committed. In the
other group, CR tasks were supplemented.
The procedure for this follow-up CR task was inspired
by Willis and Willis (1996), Nosratinia and Roustayi
(2014) as well as Ellis (2003). The CR procedure was as
follows: firstly, since the main focus of the study was
article use and comparative/superlative structures, a text
of 2 paragraphs was developed by the researcher which
contained a good number of the specified structures. The
learners were told to read the text silently. Secondly, the
instructor read several sentences which contained
comparative and superlative structures as well as
definite/indefinite article and asked what does those
structures meant in the sentences. Later some
grammatical and ungrammatical sentences were written
on the board and the learners were asked to decide on the
correctness or incorrectness of those sentences. In the
next stage, learners were asked to try to make up a rule as
to where comparative and superlative structures are used
in English and what is the difference between the two.
Finally, learners were asked to make two sentences about
their preferences using the newly practiced structures.
In the third section which was held with one week
interval, the participants in both groups were asked to
write another draft on the same topic in the class. Four
weeks later, the delayed post-test was administered to
both groups to evaluate the possible long-term effects of
the CR task on the experimental group. In this last
section, the participants in both classes had to write on
the same topic in the classroom and their drafts were
analyzed for data coding. Accuracy and complexity of the
drafts were later specified by applying T-units and the
results were used for further analysis.

E. Coding for Complexity


Several methods of coding for complexity have been
utilized throughout the literature. For instance,
Akbarzade, Saeedi, and Chehreh (2014) divided the total
number of content words to the total number of T-unit.
On the other hand, Jung (2013) used the ratio of the
number of clauses per T-unit which he adopted from
Larsen-Freeman (2006). Zohrabi and Abbasvand (2014)
divided the number of dependent clauses to the total
number of clauses. In this study, the method used by Jung
(2013) was applied.
F. Coding for Accuracy
More agreements existed for coding the data for
accuracy. Jung (2013) and Zohrabi and Abbasvand
(2014) divided the number of error free clauses to the
total number of clauses. The same method was adopted in
the present research.

IV. RESULTS
To answer the research questions, mixed betweenwithin analysis of variance was conducted using the
statistical package for social sciences (SPSS version
16.0). Before addressing the research questions, the
homogeneity of the complexity and accuracy of learners'
writing output in the pre-test was evaluated using
independents samples t-test. Descriptive statistics along
with the significant levels are depicted in Table 1.
TABLE 1. DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FOR COMPLEXITY AND
ACCURACY IN PRE-TEST
Group
N
Mean
Std. Deviation
Sig.
Accu

Compl

Accu

Compl

Accu

racy

exity

racy

exity

racy

Control

29

.78

.42

.04

.07

Experim

30

.76

.39

.05

.04

.20

Compl
exity

.08

ental

As it can be inspected, the significant level was more


than 0.05, therefore the groups were not significantly
different in terms of their ability in writing complex and
accurate drafts before the treatment. In the remaining of
this section, descriptive statistics along with the
inferential statistics are presented for both accuracy and
complexity measures in separate sections accordingly.

D. Data Coding
The data were coded for complexity and accuracy. The
first step was to code the writings for the T-units. T-units,
as defined by Gass and Selinker (2008), are the uttered
finite clauses that may include any subordinate clauses.
Then, based on the formula to be presented in the next
section, accuracy and complexity of each draft was
determined. This procedure was carried out by two raters,
the researcher and a qualified MA colleague majoring
TEFL. At the end of data coding, Pearson Correlation
was conducted to evaluate inter-rater reliability and a
high degree of correlation (0.78) resulted.

A. Accuracy
The first research question probed about the possible
effects of task repetition with CR on the accuracy of L2
written output. To this end, the descriptive data for the
53

International Journal of Language and Applied Linguistics


2015; 1(2): 49-57
Published online June 15, 2015 (http://www.ijlal.ir)
ISSN: 2383-0514 (Online)
2015 Khate Sefid Press

TABLE 3. DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FOR COMPLEXITY

accuracy in writing of the two groups along with their


long-term post-test are presented in Table 2.
TABLE 2. DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FOR ACCURACY

Group

Mean

Std. Deviation

Pre-test

control

.42

.075

29

Group

Mean

Std. Deviation

complexity

experimental

.39

.042

31

Pre-test

control

.78

.044

29

Post-test

control

.42

.073

29

accuracy

experimental

.76

.055

31

complexity

experimental

.41

.041

31

Post-test

control

.78

.043

29

Delayed Post-

control

.43

.071

29

accuracy

experimental

.83

.053

31

test complexity

experimental

.41

.048

31

Delayed Post-

control

.79

.037

29

test accuracy

experimental

.82

.054

31

From the data presented in Table 2, it is clear that the


complexity load of L2 written output improved in the
post-test and delayed post-test, but to ensure the
significance of this data, mixed between-within ANOVA
was conducted. Preliminary analysis was used and
confirmed the normality and homogeneity of the data by
Kolmogorove-Smirnove statistics and Leven's test of
equality of variances respectively. Results revealed a
substantial main effect for time, Wilks Lambda= 0.71,
F(2,57)=11.31, p=0.000, partial eta squared=0.28,
suggesting a large effect size. Additionally, significant
interaction between intervention type and time was
suggested, Wilks Lambda=0.72, F(2,57)=11, p=0.000,
partial eta squared=0.27. However, no significant effect
resulted for the effect of CR task, F(1,58)=1.46, p=0.23,
suggesting that no statistically significant difference
existed in the complexity measures of the two groups .

The data in Table 1 indicates that the mean score for


the accuracy of written production in the control group
was almost the same during the three tasks while the
results in the experimental group show an increase in the
accuracy measures. After checking for the normality and
homogeneity of the data using Kolmogorove-Smirnove
statistics and Leven's test of equality of variances
respectively, results from mixed between-within ANOVA
revealed that there was a statistically significant
interaction effect, Wilks Lambda=0.31, F(2,57)=60.88,
p=0.000, partial eta squared=0.66, denoting a large effect
size. There was also a significant effect for time, Wilks
Lambda=0.30, F(2,57)=68.58, p=0.000, partial eta
squared=0.70, indicating a large effect size. The main
effect for comparing the two groups was also significant,
F(1,58)=4.05, p=0.4, partial eta squared=0.6. The results
show that the type of intervention, namely task repetition
with follow-up CR task led to the enhancement of
accuracy of L2 written output. This effect was also longlasting since after three weeks, the structures were
internalized which was shown with the increased
accuracy in the delayed post-test data.

V. DISCUSSION
The current study was an attempt to study the possible
effect of two follow-up activities on task based
instruction, namely task repetition alone or along with
CR tasks, in enhancing more accurate or more complex
L2 written production and whether this effect is long
lasting or not. The results revealed that applying CR tasks
led to more accurate writing production in the repeated
performance for EFL learners in lower intermediate level
of proficiency, implying that merely repeating a task is
not enough for creating more accurate writing drafts.
Furthermore, such effects did not vanish within a three
week interval.
However, the data signified that CR activities did not
increase the complexity load of the written output
significantly. Repeating the task for the second or third
time resulted in more complex written productions but
this improvement cannot be assigned to conducting CR
activities, it was only the repetition which led to more
complex drafts. The effect of task repetition was also
long lasting.
Enhancing the production of more accurate L2 output
by task repetition was suggested by Gashan and
Almohaisen (2014) who pinpointed the positive role of

B. Complexity
To address the second research question on the
effectiveness of task repetition with CR tasks, the
following statistical analysis were carried out. First,
descriptive statistics for complexity data of the two
groups in the three successive tasks are presented in
Table 3.

54

International Journal of Language and Applied Linguistics


2015; 1(2): 49-57
Published online June 15, 2015 (http://www.ijlal.ir)
ISSN: 2383-0514 (Online)
2015 Khate Sefid Press

task repetition in improving the accuracy load of L2 oral


production. The same idea has been forwarded by
Balegizadeh and Derakhshesh (2012) who found
improved accuracy in oral output by task repetition.
Additionally, increasing the complexity of L2 production
has been studied by several researchers in the plethora of
the studies on TBLT. For instance, Mojavezi (2013)
figured out an improvement in the complexity of learners'
oral output by repeating the task. Furthermore,
improvements in accuracy and complexity of L2 output
were put forward by Zohrabi and Abbasvand (2014).
Results obtained from the present study are not in
accordance with those obtained by Finardi (2008) as he
reported that with the increase in complexity, accuracy
decreases with task repetition.
Regarding the increased quality of written production
by CR tasks, the findings of this study corroborates those
of Nosratinia and Roustayi (2014) who stated that such
tasks led to improvements in overall L2 writing ability.
Throughout the literature, CR tasks have been proved to
affect the grammatical competence of L2 learners which
was mainly measured through grammaticality judgment
tasks and has been proved to develop the grammatical
ability of the learners.
The new light that the present research shed on the
studies conducted on TBLT is that the effect of CR tasks
was measured in addition to task repetition and their
effects were also compared. Additionally, the specific
effects of such activities were spotted on the accuracy
and complexity of the written production to give a more
precise evaluation on the effects of these follow-up
activities. The current study revealed that CR tasks just
enhance the accuracy load of written production while the
complexity seems unaffected. A possible explanation for
this finding is that in CR tasks, the focus is on specific
linguistic structures and the correct use of linguistic
forms. Hence, the accuracy of L2 production which is the
ratio of number of error free clauses to the total number
of clauses is more affected since the learners have a better
command of the specific forms and may avoid the errors
they have committed in their previous attempts.
However, the complexity was measured by the number of
clauses per T-unit which may not be influenced by
knowing specific structures better. Furthermore, it was
realized that task repetition and CR tasks both led to more
complex written drafts but CR tasks did not give rise to
more complex output. These influences can be assigned
to task repetition since in the second or third tasks; the
mind is no more occupied with the content and can
concentrate on the right application of linguistic
structures and reformulate the ideas that have been
written down previously (Harmer, 2009).

VI. CONCLUSION
Overall, the results of the present research suggest that
to enhance the complexity and accuracy of L2 written
output, repeating the written task can be used in second
language acquisition contexts. In addition, to gain much
more accurate written output, repeating the task along
with conducting follow-up CR activities may be
influential since the focus of these tasks are on
internalizing in learners, the right application of specific
linguistic structures through awakening their internal
heuristics which may lead to accurate linguistic rules.
Remembering these forms may be due to the fact that it
was the learner who discovered such regularities.
The lion share of the benefits gains from CR tasks has
been for accuracy load of L2 production. Therefore, the
practitioners in SLA field can benefit from such tasks in
their classes if their syllabuses are aimed at developing
better grammatical systems in the learners' competence.
In addition, instructors can benefit from such findings
since they can be sure that what they thought to the
learners will sticks to their minds in doing the task for
second or third time and these influences are long lasting.
TBLT and the activities which may lead to the
improved effects of tasks have opened new avenues of
research. The present study only took task repetition and
CR tasks as post-task activities. Further research can be
carried out on the effects of other follow up activities
such as noticing activities, reviewing the errors,
production-practice activities, focusing on forms and
reflecting on the tasks (Ellis, 2003, p. 259). Additionally,
the effect of task repetition with or without CR on other
language skills like reading and listening and speaking
can be investigated. In the current study, only learners at
the lower intermediate group were under investigation.
To be able to evaluate the difference between learners at
different levels of competency, comparative study of
different proficiency levels can be carried out.

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International Journal of Language and Applied Linguistics


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