The effects of planning on oral performance of Japanese as a foreign language

Masumi Tajima, Purdue University


The purpose of the present study is to investigate the impact of the provision of planning time on oral task performance of second language learners. Previous studies report that planning prior to task performance has a facilitative role in learner's interlanguage development and positive effects on oral performance (Crookes, 1989; Ellis, 1987; Foster & Skehan, 1996; Ortega, 1999). To date, research findings have suggested that providing second language learners with planning time results in more complex and fluent oral production (Crookes, 1989; Foster & Skehan, 1996). However, the results concerning the accuracy of planned production are conflictive, and the positive effects of planning on accuracy have not yet been confirmed. The present study compared planned and unplanned oral production of 61 Korean learners of Japanese at a post-beginner level with quantitative and qualitative analyses. The results suggested overall positive effects of planning time, especially on fluency, confirming the previous findings. However, being inconsistent with the findings of the previous research, syntactic complexity did not improve with the provision of planning time. In addition to objective measurement, the subjects' production was rated to assess task completion and fluency. The subjective ratings also rendered evidence of planning effects. Moreover, individual differences on planning effects were found concerning a preference for planning time, the relationship between subjective feelings and planning effects, and an area of output quality which planning time influenced. The results are discussed in terms of the processing of L2 oral production. Several issues that need further research are identified, and the importance of the investigation into planning in L2 speech is emphasized.




Fukada, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Language arts|Bilingual education|Multicultural education

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