The Relationship Between Three Components of CAF in Learners’ Oral Performance at Different Proficiency Levels

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of English, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of English, Imam Ali University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

The current study aimed at finding out the relationship between complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) in speaking performance across language proficiency levels with the focus on Skehan’s Trade-off Hypothesis. The selected participants of the present study included 60 language learners who were selected out of 90 learners. Through the results obtained from Oxford Placement Test, 21 participants were placed at elementary, 20 at intermediate, and 19 at advanced levels. The nationality of all participants was Iranian and therefore they shared similar L1 background. The sample participants were asked to perform the designed speaking tasks in different task complexities (low, mid, and high) and their oral CAF were measured and analyzed. To measure CAF, the percentage of error free C-units for accuracy, clauses per C-units for grammatical complexity, type-token ratio (TTR) for lexical complexity, and total number of tokens (words)/ total task time (per minutes) for fluency were used. The results of Pearson product-moment correlation revealed a significant positive relationship among complexity, accuracy, and fluency in oral performance. The results of the study indicate that there is variation in the process of gradual complexification in spoken L2 production across proficiency levels. In fact, the results of this study revealed distinguishing features in all three CAF components. Moreover, the findings of the present study provide pedagogical implications and recommendations for teachers, syllabus designers, and language assessors. Finally, some suggestions for other interested researchers in this field are presented.

Keywords


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