The impact of task structure on the use of vague expressions by EFL learners

Parvaresh, Vahid and Ahmadian, Mohammad J. (2016) The impact of task structure on the use of vague expressions by EFL learners. The Language Learning Journal, 44 (4). pp. 436-450. ISSN 1753-2167

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The present study sets out to examine whether and how task structure affects the number and type of vague expressions used by a group of higher intermediate EFL learners. The participants were 50 Iranian EFL learners from 6 intact classes, all native speakers of Persian with limited opportunity to communicate with native speakers of English, and no experience in English-speaking countries. To elicit data, two picture description tasks were used. These picture-stories possessed the defining characteristics of structured and unstructured narrative tasks, respectively. Results revealed that (a) unstructured tasks were associated with the production of significantly more vague expressions and (b) the most notable differences between performances on the two task types concerned ‘vague nouns’, ‘vague quantifiers’, ‘vague deintensifiers’ and ‘vague subjectivisers’. The results of the study have implications for both teachers and teacher educators in that they may help identify the kinds of tasks which induce language learners to use vague expressions more frequently.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: AAM copy deposited in White Rose Repository:
Keywords: task, vague language, language acquisition
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Vahid Parvaresh
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2016 11:10
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:13

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