The Effect of Length of Pre-task Planning Time on Discourse-analytic Measures and Analytic Ratings in L2 Written Narratives

Document Type : Research Paper


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The favorable gains gleaned from the provision of pre-task planning time (PTP) have struck a chord with SLA researchers as they try to manipulate task features to promote language production and development. In a similar vein, the present study is a two-fold attempt to first compare the effect of the length of pre-task planning time on discourse-analytic measures in narrative written production of the Iranian intermediate EFL learners under (a) no planning, (b) three-minute PTP, and (c) ten-minute PTP conditions and, second, to explore the impact of manipulation of time on scores assigned to learners’ output. Subsequently, discourse-analytic measures of accuracy, syntactic complexity, lexical complexity, and fluency were estimated. In addition, the subjects’ output was scored. The results showed that both groups of planners outperformed no-planners with regard to accuracy and fluency, but not complexity. However, the difference between the three-minute planners and ten-minute planners was not statistically significant with regard to the two production areas. Additionally, scores of the subjects in the three groups did not differ significantly. The fact that three-minute planners and their ten-minute planner counterparts did equally well in terms of all measures can indicate that in future studies, three-minute PTP can be allocated in lieu of the orthodox ten-minute PTP.