Chapter 5. Effects of task instructions on text processing and learning in a Japanese EFL college nursing setting
This study investigated the effect of task instructions on text processing and learning. Seventy limited L2 proficiency college nursing majors in a Japanese EFL context read a text in English and recalled the content of the text. Some students were told in advance to expect a recall task in a particular language which they later did in the same language (the L1-only and the L2-only conditions). Others were told to expect an L1 recall task which subsequently they were actually asked to do in the L2 (the L1-L2 condition). All students took an unplanned vocabulary test on unfamiliar words contained in the text. The results suggest that the L1-only condition enhanced content recall while the L2-only condition was more conducive to vocabulary acquisition, with the L1-L2 condition being ineffective on both measures. Results of the study are discussed in terms of resource allocation and levels of representations. An important contribution of this study is that it addresses major questions like ‘whether limited L2 proficiency learners can learn both content and language simultaneously in the L2’, and ‘how task conditions can influence students’ text processing capacity and subsequent learning’ in EFL within the principles of TBLT.