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    Rights statement: This is the pre-print version of the following article:Préfontaine, Y. and Kormos, J. (2015), The Relationship Between Task Difficulty and Second Language Fluency in French: A Mixed Methods Approach. The Modern Language Journal, 99: 96–112. doi: 10.1111/modl.12186 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/modl.12186/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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The relationship between task difficulty and second language fluency in French: a mixed-methods approach

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Modern Language Journal
Issue number1
Volume99
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)96-112
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date28/04/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

While there exists a considerable body of literature on task-based difficulty and second language (L2) fluency in English as a second language (ESL), there has been little investigation with French learners. This mixed-methods study examines learner appraisals of task difficulty and their relationship to automated utterance fluency measures in French under three different task conditions. Participants were 40 adult learners of French at varying levels of proficiency studying in a university immersion context in Québec. Appraisal of task difficulty was assessed quantitatively by participants’ self-reports in response to a five-item questionnaire and qualitatively by retrospective interviews. Utterance fluency was operationalized by four temporal variables and measured by Praat, a speech analysis software program. Across tasks, the quantitative results indicate that appraisals of lexical retrieval difficulty and fluency difficulty were most strongly related to perceived overall task difficulty. The qualitative analysis shows how L2 speakers evaluated the difficulty of each task as well as the features that either contributed to or limited their L2 fluency. Students’ fluency in performing the three tasks was found to differ for articulation rate and average pause time, but not for pause frequency or phonation-time ratio.

Bibliographic note

This is the pre-print version of the following article:Préfontaine, Y. and Kormos, J. (2015), The Relationship Between Task Difficulty and Second Language Fluency in French: A Mixed Methods Approach. The Modern Language Journal, 99: 96–112. doi: 10.1111/modl.12186 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/modl.12186/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.