The effects of task type and L2 proficiency on discourse appropriacy in oral task performance
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Conceived within the TBLT framework, the present study examined pedagogic tasks as vehicles for demonstrating L2 learners’ discourse appropriacy in oral production. Eighty ESL learners’ discourse appropriacy was measured using three pragmatically-oriented task types (complaint, refusal, and advice) across four different proficiency levels. The findings showed that, for all task types, as general proficiency increased, ratings of discourse appropriacy also increased. We found that there was a pronounced difference in discourse appropriacy between the intermediate and advanced proficiency levels, and that for learners at higher levels of proficiency, discourse appropriacy did not vary from task to task. In contrast, task type made a difference for less proficient learners in that the refusal task was particularly challenging compared with other tasks.