Home » JAS4QoL » JAS4QoL – Volume 1(4) (December, 2015) » Effects of Task Types on the Writing Performance of Japanese English-as-a-Foreign-Language Learners across Proficiency Levels in terms of Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency

Effects of Task Types on the Writing Performance of Japanese English-as-a-Foreign-Language Learners across Proficiency Levels in terms of Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency

FUJIWARA Yumi (u_fujiwara@yahoo.co.jp)*

Kyoto University of Education, Kyoto, Japan

Article first published online: December 27, 2015
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether different types of second language (L2) writing tasks would differently affect the linguistic performance of Japanese EFL (English as a Foreign Language) university students across different proficiency levels. Subjects consisted of 30 Japanese EFL learners, who had been divided into two different language proficiency levels, CEFR level B1 (n = 15) and B2 (n = 15), on the Oxford Quick Placement Test. They were asked to perform individual writing tasks: i.e. narrative and argumentative task. In order to cancel the effect of task order, the participants were randomly divided into two groups with crossover task performance: viz., one group performed the narrative task the first week and the argumentative task the next, while the other group did the reverse. Then, the 60 completed texts were collected and measured for complexity, accuracy and fluency (collectively known as CAF). The method of statistical analysis consisted of a two­way­mixed­design ANOVA test performed over each CAF variable. The results from ANOVAs demonstrated that the argumentative task improved student performance significantly better than the narrative task for both proficiency groups with one exception: lower­proficiency learners (the B1 group) showed no significant difference in performance on the two tasks in the aspect of syntactic complexity. Additionally, the findings revealed that the B2 learners performed significantly better than the B1 learners, especially in terms of accuracy, on both tasks.