Collaborative Output Tasks and their Effects on Learning English Comparative Adjectives

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 University of Mazandaran

2 Islamic Azad University, Ayatollah Amoli Branch, Iran

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the effect of two types of collaborative output tasks on Iranian EFL learners’ comparative adjectives with two or more syllables. Thirty Iranian EFL learners participated in this study which were then divided into two experimental and one control groups; one experimental group received dictogloss task in 4-pairs and the other experimental group was given text reconstruction editing task in 6-pairs. Using pretest, posttests and delayed posttests, the data were collected through a grammaticality judgment test (GJT) and audio-recording of the learners’ interaction. Comparing the mean scores of three groups in GJT generally indicated that experimental groups gained more than the control group and text reconstruction editing group outperformed dictogloss group in noticing and learning the English comparative adjectives with two or more syllables. The transcripts of the students' verbal interactions indicated that text reconstruction editing group generated larger number of turns and language related episodes (LREs) in comparison to dictogloss group. Findings of this study also indicated that the majority of problems encountered in all the dyads were correctly solved in both dictogloss and text reconstruction editing groups, while the dictogloss group correctly solved more LREs in comparison to the text reconstruction editing group which showed that the dictogloss group was better regarding the quality of LREs. It can be concluded that the current study found evidence in support of Swain and her colleagues' claims (e.g. Kowal & Swain, 1994) that task implementation required the learners to produce output collaboratively which in turn leads to the internalization of grammatical features.

Keywords


Abadikhah, S. & Harsini, B. (2014).Comparing the effects of collaborative and individual output tasks on the acquisition of English articles. International Journal of English Language and Translation Studies, 2(3), 23-34.
Brown, H. D (2007). Principles of language learning and teaching. New York: Pearson Education.
Ghari, A. & Moinzadeh, A. (2011). The effects of output task types on noticing and learning of English past modals: A case of intermediate Persian adult learners of English. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2(5), 1180-1190.
Mayo, M. (2002). The effectiveness of two form-focused tasks in advanced EFL peda­gogy. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 12(2), 156–175.
Kowal, M. & Swain, M. (1994). Using collaborative language production tasks to promote stu­dents’ language awareness. Language Awareness, 3(2), 73–93.
Kuiken, F. & Vedder, I. (2002). The effect of interaction in acquiring the grammar of a second language. International Journal of Educational Research, 37, 343–358.
Lapkin, S. & Swain, M. (2000). Task outcomes: A focus on immersion students’ use of pronominal verbs in their writing. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 3, 7-22.
Leeser, M. (2004). Learner proficiency and focus on form during collaborative dialogue. Language Teaching Research, 8(1), 55-81.
Leow, R. P. (1995) Modality and intake in second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 17(1), 79-89.
Murphy, V. A. (1997). The effect of modality on a grammaticality judgment task. Second Language Research, 13(1), 34-65.
Nassaji, H. & Tian, J. (2010). Collaborative and individual output tasks and their effects on learning English phrasal verbs. Language Teaching Research, 14(4), 397-419.
Pica, T. (2005). Classroom learning, teaching, and research: A task-based perspective. Modern Language Journal, 89, 339-59.
Storch, N. (1999). Are two heads better than one? Pair work and grammatical accuracy. System, 27, 363-374.
Storch, N. (2005). Collaborative writing: product, process, and students’ reflections. Journal of Second Language Writing,14, 153-173.
Storch, N. (2007). Investigating the merits of pair work on a text editing task in ESL classes. Language Teaching Research,11, 143–159.
Swain, M. (1985). Communicative competence: Some rules of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. In S. Gass, & C. Madden (Eds.), Input in second language acquisition (pp. 235–256). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Swain, M. (1995). Three functions of output in second language learning. In G.  Cook & B. Seidlhofer (Eds.), For H.G. Widdowson: Principles and practice in the study of language. A festschrift on the occasion of his 60th birthday (pp. 125-144). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Swain, M. (1998). Focus on form through conscious reflection. In C. Doughty & J. Williams (Eds.), Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition (pp. 64-81). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Swain, M. (2005). The output hypothesis: Theory and research. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook on research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 471-83). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Swain, M. (2010). Talking it through: Languaging as a source of learning. In R. Batestone (Ed.), Sociocognitive perspectives on second language use and language learning (pp. 112-130). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Swain, M., Brooks, L., &Tocalli-Beller, A. (2002). Peer-peer dialogue as a means of second language learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 22(1), 171–185.
Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (1995). Problems in output and the cognitive processes they generate: A step towards second language learning. Applied Linguistics,16(3), 371-391.
Swain, M. & Lapkin, S. (1998). Interaction and second language learning: Two adolescent French immersion students working together. The Modern Language Journal, 82(3), 320-337.
Swain, M. & Lapkin, S. (2001). Focus on form through collaborative dialogue: Exploring task effects. In M. Bygate, P. Skehan, & M. Swain (Eds.), Researching pedagogic tasks: Second language learning, teaching and testing (pp. 99-118). Harlow: Pearson Education.
Swain, M. & Lapkin, S. (2002). Talking it through: Two French immersion learners’ response to reformulation. International Journal of Educational Research, 37, 285-304.
Swain, M., Lapkin, S., Knouzi, I., Suzuki, W., & Brooks, L. (2009). Languaging: University students learn the grammatical concept of voice in French. Modern Language Journal 93(1), 5-29.
Tajeddin, Z. & Jabbarpoor, S. (2014). Individual and collaborative output tasks: Effects on the acquisition of English inversion structures. Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics, 4(2), 16-32.
Tocalli-Beller, A. (2003). Cognitive conflict, disagreement and repetition in collaborative groups: Affective and social dimensions from an insider’s perspective. Canadian Modern Language Review, 60, 143–71.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wajnryb, R. (1990). Grammar dictation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Yarmohammadi, L. (2002). A contrastive Analysis of Persian and English: Grammar, Vocabulary and Phonology. Tehran: Payame Noor University Press.
Yarmohammadi, L., & Rashidi, N. (2009). Practical contrastive analysis of English and Persian with special emphasis on grammar. Tehran: Rahnama Press.