Advertisement

Tasks in L2 Syllabus Design

  • Craig Lambert
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter discusses current models of L2 task sequencing based on the cognitive demands for L2 processing that they make on learners. Two psycholinguistic models of task-based instruction are compared: The Limited Attention Capacity Hypothesis (Skehan, 1996, 2009, 2014, 2016) and the Cognition Hypothesis (Robinson, 2001, 2011). However, before discussing these models, some background issues, integral to them both, are discussed. These issues relate to theories of attention, speech production, and the cognitive processes of SLA. The chapter then compares the similarities and the differences between the two models together with their implications for L2 instructional planning. The primary concern in both models has been with how learners’ attention is focused during the completion of tasks as reflected by general measures of the fluency, accuracy and syntactic complexity of their L2 production. These three facets of performance have been taken as general indices of learners’ attention to the form and the meaning of the language that they use, and they it is presumably assumed that a balance of attention to these aspects language during L2 use will ultimately relate to balanced L2 development.

References

  1. Bialystok, E. (1994). Analysis and control in the development of second language proficiency. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16, 157–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bowles, M. (2010). The think aloud controversy in second language research. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. De Bot, K. (1992). A bilingual production model: Levelt’s ‘speaking’ model adapted. Applied Linguistics, 13, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De Jong, N. (2013). Levelt’s model of speech production and comprehension. In P. Robinson (Ed.), The Routledge encyclopedia of second language acquisition (pp. 379–382). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Erlam, R., Loewen, S., & Philp, J. (2009). The roles of output-based and input-based instruction in the acquisition of L2 implicit and explicit knowledge. In R. Ellis, S. Loewen, C. Elder, R. Erlam, J. Philp, & H. Reinders (Eds.), Implicit and explicit knowledge in second language learning, testing and teaching (pp. 241–261). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gass, S. (1988). Integrating research areas: A framework for second language studies. Applied Linguistics, 9, 198–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gass, S., & Mackey, A. (2000). Stimulated recall methodology in second language research. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Hama, M., & Leow, R. (2010). Learning without awareness revisited: Extending Williams (2005). Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27, 269–304.Google Scholar
  9. Izumi, S. (2002). Output, input enhancement and the noticing hypothesis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24, 541–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Izumi, S. (2003). Comprehension and production processes in second language learning: In search of the psycholinguistic rationale of the output hypothesis. Applied Linguistics, 24, 168–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jourdenais, R. (2001). Cognition, instruction and protocol analysis. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 354–375). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kahneman, D. (1973). Attention and effort. Englewood-Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  13. Kormos, J. (2006). Speech production and second language acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Levelt, W. (1989). Speaking from intention to articulation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Levelt, W. (1999). Producing the language: A blueprint of the speaker. In C. Brown & P. Hagoort (Eds.), The neurocognition of language (pp. 83–122). New York: Oxford Press.Google Scholar
  16. Neumann, O. (1987). Beyond capacity: A functional view of attention. In H. Heuer & A. Sanders (Eds.), Perspectives on perception and action (pp. 361–394). Berlin, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. Posner, M., & Petersen, S. (1990). The attention system of the human brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 13, 25–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Posner, M., & Rothbart, M. (1992). Attentional mechanisms in conscious experience. In M. Milner & A. Rugg (Eds.), Foundations of neuropsychology series (pp. 91–112). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  19. Robinson, P. (1995). Attention, memory and the ‘noticing’ hypothesis. Language Learning, 45, 283–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Robinson, P. (2001). Task complexity, cognitive resources and second language syllabus design. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 287–318). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Robinson, P. (2010). Situating and distributing cognition across task demands: The SSARC model of pedagogic task sequencing. In M. Putz & L. Sicola (Eds.), Cognitive processing in second language acquisition: Inside the learner’s mind (pp. 243–268). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Robinson, P. (2011). Second language task complexity, the cognition hypothesis, language learning and performance. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Second language task complexity: Researching the cognition hypothesis of language learning and performance (pp. 3–37). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Robinson, P., Mackey, A., Gass, S., & Schmidt, R. (2011). Attention and awareness in second language acquisition. In S. Gass & A. Mackey (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 247–267). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Sanders, A. (1998). Elements of human performance. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Schmidt, R. (1983). Interaction, acculturation and the acquisition of communicative competence: A case study of an adult. In N. Wolfson & E. Judd (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language acquisition (pp. 137–174). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  26. Schmidt, R. (1990). The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 11, 129–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schmidt, R. (2001). Attention. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 3–32). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schmidt, R., & Frota, S. (1986). Developing basic conversational ability in a second language: A case study of an adult learner of Portuguese. In R. Day (Ed.), Talking to learn: Conversation in second language acquisition. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  29. Shiffrin, W., & Schneider, R. (1977a). Controlled and automatic human information processing I: Detection, search, and attention. Psychology Review, 84, 1–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shiffrin, W., & Schneider, R. (1977b). Controlled and automatic human information processing II: Perceptual learning, automatic attending and a general theory. Psychology Review, 84, 121–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Skehan, P. (1996). A framework for the implementation of task-based learning. Applied Linguistics, 17, 38–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Skehan, P. (2009). Modeling second language performance: Integrating complexity, accuracy, fluency and lexis. Applied Linguistics, 30, 510–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Skehan, P. (2011, September). Tasks, conditions and characteristics: Understanding the influences upon task performance. Plenary at JACET 50th commemorative international convention, Seinan University, Fukuoka, Japan.Google Scholar
  34. Skehan, P. (2014). Processing perspectives on task performance. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Skehan, P. (2016). Tasks versus conditions: Two perspectives on task research and their implications for pedagogy. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 36, 34–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Swain, M. (1985). Communicative competence: Some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output on its development. In S. Gass & C. Madden (Eds.), Input in second language acquisition (pp. 235–253). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  37. Swain, M. (1995). Three functions of output in second language learning. In G. Cook & B. Seidlhofer (Eds.), Principle and practice in applied linguistics (pp. 125–144). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Talmy, L. (2008). Aspects of attention in language. In P. Robinson & N. Ellis (Eds.), Handbook of cognitive linguistics and second language acquisition (pp. 27–38). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Tomlin, R., & Villa, V. (1994). Attention in cognitive science and second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16, 183–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Toth, P. (2006). Processing instruction and a role for output in second language acquisition. Language Learning, 56, 319–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Truscott, J., & Sharwood-Smith, M. (2011). Input, intake and consciousness: The quest for a theoretical foundation. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 33, 497–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wickens, C. (2007). Attention to the second language. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 45, 177–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Williams, J. (2005). Learning without awareness. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 465–491.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig Lambert
    • 1
  1. 1.Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia

Personalised recommendations