The Cognition Hypothesis, second language task demands, and the SSARC model of pedagogic task sequencing
This chapter first summarises the basic pedagogic claim of the Cognition Hypothesis, that the cognitive demands of tasks be sequenced from simple to complex for learners, and describes a theoretically motivated model for syllabus designers and teachers to follow in planning and implementing such task sequences. This is followed by a description of the Triadic Componential Framework of task characteristics, which makes distinctions between task complexity, task conditions, and task difficulty. Next, I discuss the extent to which individual differences in cognitive and affective factors may mediate the effects of task complexity and task conditions on learning, interaction, and language production, and I argue for the need to research the interactions between task complexity/condition and task difficulty. The chapter concludes by identifying some points of contrast between the claims of the Cognition Hypothesis and Peter Skehan`s Trade-Off Hypothesis, and the differences in their intended scope of application to pedagogy.