Role of Task Repetition and Content Familiarity in EFL Students’ Fluency and Accuracy in Narrative Tasks: A Case Study
Developing writing skills has become a priority for many students in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts. To this end, classroom practices should be facilitative of opportunities to communicate accurately and fluently in written and oral forms. Drawing on evidence which suggests that task repetition allows students to perform subsequent tasks more efficiently and accurately, the study examines the likely effect of procedural repetition with four narrative tasks (i.e. narrating stories in written form after watching short animated videos) on five EFL students’ fluency and accuracy (AF). To do this, the levels of the students’ AF were measured during the performance of each task. Moreover, qualitative data from questionnaires administered to the students after each task were also included to better understand the behavior of the AF levels in relation to their perceptions of the task performance and the familiarity with the content of the tasks. The evidence shows that the students’ AF tended to progressively increase as weeks went by. The highest AF levels were found in the tasks where the content was familiar to the students. The opposite was observed when the students claimed not to be familiar with the content. The argument that we put forward in this article is that task (procedural) repetition may be beneficial for enhancing students’ AF in writing task performance; however, if this practice combines with the students’ lack of content familiarity, AF may engage in a dynamic interaction in which trade-off effects can be observed.
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