SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Task effects on L2 Chinese fluency during Study Abroad

Clare Wright (Leeds)

Date: 12 June 2018Time: 3:30 PM

Finishes: 12 June 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B111

Type of Event: Seminar


This talk investigates task effects on fluency development in second language (L2) Mandarin during a period of Study Abroad (SA). Data were collected from 10 adult English instructed learners of Mandarin comparing 4 tasks (rehearsed vs. spontaneous speech, in monologic and dialogic mode). Significant differences between tasks prior to SA were generally not found after SA, indicating immersion reduced cognitive disadvantage in producing "open" speech. Some task-related differences remained between the monologues and the dialogues, reflecting different cognitive task-loads overriding effects of SA, and suggesting that fluency may not be a single cognitive construct. These findings bring fresh insights to the emerging field of research into L2 Mandarin development, as well as contributing to current debates within fluency research, task research and SA research.

About the speaker

Clare Wright is a lecturer in linguistics and language teaching at the University of Leeds. After graduating from Cambridge University, she taught English for Academic Purposes for nearly twenty years, leading to her MA and PhD in Second Language Acquisition at Newcastle University. Her research investigates the interfaces between linguistic, cognitive and contextual factors in second language acquisition, most recently for Chinese as a second/third language. Current projects focus on task and cognitive factors affecting fluency development during Study Abroad experiences.