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Text characteristics of task input and difficulty in second language listening comprehension

Revesz, Andrea and Brunfaut, Tineke (2013) Text characteristics of task input and difficulty in second language listening comprehension. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35 (1). pp. 31-65. ISSN 0272-2631

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    Abstract

    This study investigated the effects of a group of task factors on advanced ESL learners’ actual and perceived listening performance. We examined whether the speed, linguistic complexity, and explicitness of the listening text and characteristics of the text necessary for task completion influence comprehension. We also explored what textual factors learners perceived as causing difficulty. The participants were sixty-eight students who performed 18 versions of a listening task, each followed by a perception questionnaire. Nine additional students engaged in stimulated recall. The listening texts were analysed in terms of a variety of measures, utilizing Praat v5.0.25, Cohmetrix v2.0, and WebVocabProfiler v3. We used Rasch and regression analyses to estimate task difficulty and its relationship to the text characteristics. Six measures emerged as significant predictors of task difficulty, including indicators of lexical range, density, and diversity, and causal content. The stimulated recall comments were more reflective of these findings than the questionnaire responses.

    Item Type: Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Studies in Second Language Acquisition
    Additional Information: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=SLA The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Second Language Acquisition, 35 (1), pp 31-65 2013, © 2013 Cambridge University Press.
    Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
    Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Linguistics & English Language
    ID Code: 52453
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 06 Feb 2012 09:17
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 13 Jun 2014 14:35
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/52453

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