Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0213-2028
  • E-ISSN: 2254-6774
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This study examines the influence of task complexity on collaborative dialogue and written texts with lower proficiency learners of Spanish. English-speaking students of Spanish from two intact classrooms ( = 24) were assigned to a simple or a complex writing group. In dyads, learners completed two information-exchange tasks that differed in complexity and produced two collaborative texts, on two separate days. Interactions produced during the writing tasks were transcribed and coded for collaborative dialogue, operationalized as language-related episodes. Written texts were rated holistically for originality, engageability, and quality. Results show that collaborative dialogue about lexis was most frequent, regardless of the task complexity. Further, increases in task complexity appeared to have influenced opportunities for collaborative dialogue and for the production of more engaging texts. Results are discussed in light of current scholarship on collaborative writing and insights are offered on the value of implementing writing tasks with lower proficiency learners.


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