University of Bahrain
Scientific Journals

Linguistic and Cognitive Mechanisms of L2 Learners’ Performance in Tasks with Various Constraints

Show simple item record El-dali, Hosni Mostafa 2018-07-30T07:08:17Z 2018-07-30T07:08:17Z 2012
dc.identifier.issn 1985-8647
dc.description.abstract Recently, in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), much attention has been focused on cognitive mechanisms that underpin learners’ performance in tasks with various constraints. The present study focuses on “attention” and other related concepts with respect to their definitions, theories, and presents empirical evidence of their role in shaping second language learners’ performance in essay writing; unfocused, and focused correction tasks. Fifteen subjects participated in this study. They were asked, first, to write an essay on ‘the value of learning English’. Second all subjects performed on two correction tasks; one was unfocused and the other was focused. Finally, each student was interviewed to explain his/her performance in the three tasks. The data analysis had a quantitative part which consisted of statistical comparison of the number of errors in the composition, unfocussed correction and focused correction tasks (by means of one-way ANOVA). It also had a qualitative part which was an analysis of each student’s conception of the grammatical rules that were violated in order to explain any discrepancies between their performances in the three tasks. This study, first, demonstrates that the deficiency in L2 learners’ knowledge results in inaccurate composition writing and unsuccessful correction of errors even if their attention was drawn to these errors. Second, it offers another interpretation for the noticeable discrepancies in the subjects’ performances. Such an interpretation is mainly based on the argument that composing in English is a multidimensional activity which requires L2 learners to do more than one thing simultaneously. Third, it shows that our students’ failure to perform systematically may be due, sometimes, to cognitive deficiency. Accordingly, this study supports the view that language acquisition may not be fully understood without addressing the interaction between language and cognition. Fourth, this study shows that although ‘noticing’ or ‘conscious awareness’ may have some positive effect on L2 learners’ performance; this effect, however, is constrained by two important factors: (1) learners’ overall linguistic competence, and (2) the nature of the task; that is, whether it requires controlled or automatic processing of information. This is why further research is needed to know how our students think and how to teach them to think strategically. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Bahrain en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject cognitive mechanisms
dc.subject “attention”
dc.subject second language learners’
dc.subject unfocused
dc.subject and focused correction tasks
dc.subject interaction between language and cognition
dc.subject conscious awareness
dc.title Linguistic and Cognitive Mechanisms of L2 Learners’ Performance in Tasks with Various Constraints en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.volume 2012
dc.issue 02
dc.abbreviatedsourcetitle JHS

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