Complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) development in L2 writing: the effects of proficiency level, learning environment, text type, and time among Saudi EFL learners

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dc.contributor.advisor Howard, Martin en Alghizzi, Talal Musaed 2017-09-26T12:22:59Z 2017-09-26T12:22:59Z 2017 2017
dc.identifier.citation Alghizzi, T. M. 2017. Complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) development in L2 writing: the effects of proficiency level, learning environment, text type, and time among Saudi EFL learners. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 283 en
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this longitudinal exploratory research is to investigate the influence of four factors: proficiency levels, text types, times, and learning environments on the writing complexity, accuracy, and fluency of Saudi students majoring in the English language. Specifically, the study seeks to determine how and when the CAF constructs and sub-constructs of low- and high-proficiency Saudi EFL undergraduates in three learning contexts: traditional learning context (TLC), blended learning context (BLC), and online learning contexts (OLC), are affected longitudinally across two writing tasks (classification and argumentative) that differed in their level of complexity. Also, it intends to specify when and which of the three learning contexts: TLC, BLC, and OLC, will lead to the most/least increases or decreases in the CAF constructs and sub-constructs of the low- and high-proficiency Saudi EFL undergraduates across the two composition tasks. To answer such questions, 75 Saudi EFL university students were recruited from the pool of two proficiency levels (low and high). Six groups of equal number of students were generated from dividing randomly the 45 Low-proficiency participants and the 30 high-proficiency participants. Each of these groups was exposed to one of the previously mentioned learning contexts and undertook three tests: pre-test, mid-term test, and post-test. The 450 students’ writings were analyzed according to 45 measures of CAF constructs and sub-constructs and by using two statistical tests: t-test and ANOVA. For the first question, the t-test results showed that the similarities and differences of effect on CAF constructs between the two writing tasks were observed to be group-specific as they were based on the proficiency levels, learning contexts, and timescales (i.e., short term and long term). In other words, depending on whether a construct in the two text types was influenced similarly or differently, such influence did not generally occur in a systematic way and across the same number and types of metrics for the same group, or even across the groups of the same or different proficiency levels in the short term and long term. The findings only lent partial support to Skehan and Foster’s Limited Attentional Capacity Model and Robinson’s Multiple Attentional Resources Model since some constructs increased (e.g., accuracy, lexical variation, and syntactic complexity) or decreased (e.g., lexical density, lexical sophistication, lexical variation, syntactic complexity, and fluency). There were many other cases which were beyond the predictions of the aforementioned researchers and their explanations on how the students’ attention is deployed while performing the complex task(s). For instance, altering task complexity led some constructs to remain unaffected (e.g., syntactic complexity, lexical density, lexical sophistication, lexical variation, accuracy, and fluency), equal increases and decreases or only increases (e.g., fluency), increases more than decreases (e.g., lexical variation), less increases (e.g., accuracy), or less/more decreases (e.g., syntactic complexity and lexical sophistication). In terms of the second question, the ANOVA test results indicated mixed findings because each of the three learning environments resulted in benefits in some ways. In the two proficiency levels, the TLC, BLC, and OLC had the same level of success/unsuccess in enhancing all the measures of some CAF constructs in both writing tasks in the short term and long term. Nevertheless, in the other CAF constructs, there was no uniform linear development or deterioration of all measures across the six groups. In each of these constructs, the differences between these groups emerged from one or more measures, but not from all measures. Each of these learning contexts stood alone in being the most or least successful in increasing some constructs. Nonetheless, this was dependent on the participants’ proficiency levels, text types, and timescales. This study provides several pedagogical implications and recommendations for academic research, EFL writing instructors at pre-university and university levels, and task-based investigators. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2017, Talal Musaed Alghizzi. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Distance education en
dc.subject Traditional education en
dc.subject Blended education en
dc.subject Limited attentional capacity model en
dc.subject Multiple attentional resources en
dc.subject Writing skills en
dc.subject Complexity, accuracy, and fluency en
dc.subject Trade-off hypothesis en
dc.subject Cognition hypothesis en
dc.title Complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) development in L2 writing: the effects of proficiency level, learning environment, text type, and time among Saudi EFL learners en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en French en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out No en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
dc.internal.conferring Summer 2017 en

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