Affective Variables in Simple vs. Complex Tasks: A Study of Iranian EFL Learners' Perceptions [PP: 195-200]

Fatemeh Mahdavirad
unpublished
The purpose of the present paper was to examine EFL learners' perceptions of affective variables in performing oral tasks with varying degrees of complexity. The data for the study were collected via a post-task questionnaire from a total of 20 upper-intermediate learners after they performed a set of twelve oral narrative tasks which differed along with the six complexity dimensions of number of elements, contextual support, reasoning demand, planning time, task demand, and topic familiarity.
more » ... topic familiarity. The overall results of data analysis revealed that learners' affective factors including motivation, difficulty, stress, ability, and interest were affected by task complexity variables. This was reflected by the highest rates of difficulty and stress for the task without reasoning demand and the highest rates of perceived ability to complete the task, interest, and motivation in the tasks with contextual support. A combination of contextual support, prior knowledge, and planning time was found to have greater benefits on motivation levels, interest and perceived ability to complete tasks. The findings highlight the need to consider learners' features, beliefs, and attitudes as a complexity variable for task grading and sequencing in syllabus design and materials development.
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