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8 Replies to “The Impact of Task Complexity and Language Proficiency on the Written Production of Second-Generation Spanish Heritage Speakers (Vivian H. Franco Díaz)”

  1. Thank you very much for your presentation. I encourage you to try this with more students in the future. Do you think it would be interesting to see their results after a semester (or two) of instruction? How do you think your results would change? Also, how do you think written production could be improved in both groups? ¡Muchas gracias!

    1. Thank you very much Marina for your comments. Yes, I’m doing a similar study but with 42 participants. It would be great to see the effects of instruction on their writing performance. I think that they would have more gains in all of the dimensions since they would have had a lot more practice with the writing modality and they would have had a more explicit instruction related to linguistic patterns.

  2. Interesting research. Congratulations!
    How would you conduct a qualitative analysis of HLLs’ written production, I mean, what features would you analyze? And following Marina, you could follow the students for one semester and see whether their wrtten production improves with instruction.

    1. Thank you very much Adrian for your comments. I would use a rubric for adequacy to examine if the participant achieves or responds to task objetives and I would also analyze features such as the type of modifiers they use for nominal phrases, classify the type of phrases they are using and frequency of those phrases or modifiers. I think that it would be very interesting to compare a group that has been exposed to instruction and a group that hasn’t so that I can see effects of the instruction variable.

  3. Hello Vivian and thank you for your interesting presentation.

    My main question deals with the true difference in complexity between the tasks. I understand that the second writing task is supposed to be significantly more complex, yet it seems to me like it is very similar to the first task, just with three new criteria. I see on the limitations slide that you plan to randomly assign participants so they don’t all do the tasks in the same order, but do you plan to make the second task more complex in other ways as well?

    Thanks again!

    1. Thank you very much Kacie for the comments. Yes, for my new study I plan to manipulate the complexity of the task by increasing the reasoning demands and also manipulating the procedural feature of planning time. So I would have a continuum of task complexity: simple (+planning and -reasoning demands), less simple (-planning and -reasoning demands), complex (+planning and +reasoning demands) more complex (-planning and +reasoning demands).

  4. Very interesting. In lexical measures of complexity, a more complex task does seem to have the effect of increasing lexical complexity. However, as you showed in the beginning, the results are a lot more varied with respect to syntactic complexity and accuracy. Most likely it may have to do with the design of the different studies. I liked how you used subclausal indexes which seem to behave differently. I would put this in connection with how oral language tend to have more subordination but less subclausal complexity, so adding more subordination could be a response to more complexity of the task, but having less subclausal complexity is also such reaction, as this is more taxing on the individual. It would be interesting to compare if the same effect is observed in monolinguals.
    I was also wondering if all participants took the same amount of time for the tasks. I know you allocated the same amount of time, but in my experience, some use it all, others don’t, so perhaps a better fluency measure would be how much time the used total, divided by number of words?

  5. Thank you very much Irene for your comments. I carried out this pilot study in person and I could notice that some would not have enough time to finish the task. So yes, it would be interesting to see how their performance would be if I have them write the amount of words with not restriction of time. From my pilot study experience, I would predict that they would use more time than I what I would provide them. However, I think that this would also vary depending on the participants’ motivations/interest during the task in terms of the desire of having a perfect paragraph and doing proofreading.

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