Peter Skehan

Peter Skehan
Institute of Education University College London · Culture Media and Languages

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96
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Publications (96)
Chapter
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It is a privilege for the two of us to have this opportunity to read this book, written by our colleague and collaborator Prof Richard Sparks, and to have the honour to write a foreword. Richard has had a distinguished career and is now Professor Emeritus of Special Education in the Mount St. Joseph University's Department of Graduate Education. Hi...
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This latest book by Prof Richard Sparks traces and summarizes the author's theoretical insights and empirical findings in the field of foreign language education. The volume explores themes such as individual differences in L1 ability and their connection to L2 aptitude and L2 achievement, L2 anxiety as an affective or cognitive variable, and the r...
Chapter
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With contributions from the world's most active aptitude researchers and teams, this edited volume provides the most comprehensive, authoritative, and updated developments in language aptitude theory and practice. The most popular language aptitude tests, including the most durable and innovative batteries, are revisited in a timely manner and re-e...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract The current volume calls for a paradigm shift of language aptitude research from its previous focus on aptitude testing to theory construction and practical applications. In this introductory chapter, we first provide a brief overview of research paradigms of language aptitude testing and theory construction in the past six decades, summar...
Book
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Reviews and Endorsements: "Theoretically motivated research into aptitude for second language acquisition (SLA) under different conditions of exposure, and at different stages of development and levels of proficiency, is essential for aptitude test development, and for matching learners to optimal conditions of instruction. This book provides the...
Article
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This paper explores the roles of both working memory (WM) and more traditional aptitude components, such as input processing and language analytic ability in the context of foreign language learning aptitude. More specifically, the paper compares two current perspectives on language aptitude: the Stages Approach (Skehan, 2016, 2019) and the P/E Mod...
Article
This study uses a complexity–accuracy–lexis–fluency (CALF) framework to explore performance on 2 speaking tasks: a narrative picture‐based task and an interactive decision‐making task. A preliminary aim is to compare performance on the 2 tasks, using a wide range of CALF measures to explore where scores are similar and where they are different. How...
Article
The article addresses the need to devise assessment methods appropriate for task-based instruction in an Asian context. An initial attempt was made to use an existing (non-Chinese) system to establish the difficulty level of test tasks, and rating systems appropriate to them. This attempt, although promising, indicated a need for modifications to b...
Book
Cambridge Core - Applied Linguistics - Task-Based Language Teaching - by Rod Ellis
Book
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Available for Pre-order Now from both Routledge homepage and Amazon etc. https://www.routledge.com/Language-Aptitude-Advancing-Theory-Testing-Research-and-Practice/Wen-Skehan-Biedron-Li-Sparks/p/book/9781138563872 Summary: Language Aptitude: Advancing Theory, Testing, Research and Practice brings together cutting-edge global perspectives on fore...
Book
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Reviews (Michael Long) "Language aptitudes are reliable predictors of rate of classroom foreign language learning and of level of ultimate attainment in naturalistic SLA. Aptitude is a central interest in the field, therefore, as reflected both in increasingly detailed analyses of the construct itself and in the development of several new aptitude...
Preprint
Full-text available
...The International Roundtable Forum on ‘Language Aptitude’ was successfully held at the Macao Polytechnic Institute and the University of Macau between 6-9 June 2017. During the forum, most contributing authors to the current volume (except for a few who could not attend) presented their individual chapters and participated actively in the roundt...
Chapter
Full-text available
...The International Roundtable Forum on ‘Language Aptitude’ was successfully held at the Macao Polytechnic Institute and the University of Macau between 6-9 June 2017. During the forum, most contributing authors to the current volume (except for a few who could not attend) presented their individual chapters and participated actively in the roundt...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated L2 speaking performance under three different types of task-related time pressure, with a control (Control) group narrating a video at normal playing rate, an online planning (OP) group narrating the video at a slowed playing rate, and a hybrid online planning (HOP) group which combined online planning (a slowed playing rate...
Chapter
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This chapter explores research into the use of tasks with advanced learners, focusing principally on the conditions under which tasks are completed, rather than covering task characteristic effects. Three main research areas are covered. First, the impact of pre-task planning is considered, followed by the role of on-line planning, the planning tha...
Chapter
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This entry provides an introduction to theories of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) as a tripartite conceptualization of task-based second language performance. It locates these constructs within task-based language teaching (TBLT), gives definitions of each, and outlines measurement options in each case. The entry argues that, though CAF wa...
Article
Full-text available
Foreign language (FL) aptitude generally refers to a specific talent for learning a foreign or second language (L2). After experiencing a long period of marginalized interest, FL aptitude research in recent years has witnessed renewed enthusiasm across the disciplines of educational psychology, second language acquisition (SLA) and cognitive neuros...
Article
Full-text available
Foreign language (FL) aptitude generally refers to a specific talent for learning a foreign or second language. After experiencing a long period of marginalized interest, FL aptitude research in recent years has witnessed renewed enthusiasm across multiple disciplines of educational psychology, second language acquisition (SLA) and cognitive neuros...
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This article reports a study comparing first and second language fluency during narrative retelling tasks of varying degrees of tightness in structural organisation, exploring in particular a distinction between discourse-based and clause-based fluency. We argue that positive and negative influences on fluency are linked to the Conceptualiser and F...
Method
Full-text available
CALF is an automatic analytical tool for speech (and written, if coded properly) data analyses. Developed by Gavin Bui and Peter Skehan with the generous support from RGC Hong Kong (UGC/FDS14/H01/14), CALF processes coded files and outputs a wide range of results for measures of complexity, accuracy, fluency, and lexis. The public full text here de...
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This chapter explores the contrast between the effects on second language performance of tasks and task characteristics, on the one hand, and the conditions under which tasks are done, on the other. The first major section explores the evidence on this issue and proposes that the impact of conditions such as pretask planning, task repetition, and p...
Article
This article presents a critical overview of research studies which link foreign language aptitude to grammar. It starts by covering fundamental issues—of the structure of aptitude and its measurement. It is argued that the concept of aptitude needs to be updated, and that clear linkages to second language acquisition processes need to be establish...
Chapter
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We review empirical studies and theoretical models on the role of WM in interpreting, emphasizing the importance of research design, specially regarding participant selection and types of WM tasks employed. Possible future research directions are discussed, such as research on WM in consecutive interpreting, coordination in simultaneous interpretin...
Chapter
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The Cognition and Tradeoff Hypotheses account for task performance in different ways. The former sees task complexity as the driver for higher accuracy and structural complexity whereas the latter, within the constraints of limited attentional capacities, sees performance as being accounted for through the interaction of influences from task charac...
Book
Understanding the way in which learners differ from one another is of fundamental concern to those involved in second-language acquisition, either as researchers or teachers. This account is the first to review at book length the important research into differences, considering matters such as aptitude, motivation, learner strategies, personality a...
Article
The concept of focus on form has been influential in second language (L2) acquisition and pedagogy. One example of the implementation of focus on form is a post-task activity (e.g., anticipation of a public performance) that can selectively orient learners toward increased levels of accuracy. The present research proposes a new operationalization o...
Chapter
Full-text available
The literature on a task-based approach to language acquisition has grown enormously in the last three decades, as researchers have explored how the use of tasks can have an impact on second language performance and development. This line of inquiry has tried to establish how choices as to which task or task-type to use, and what conditions operate...
Chapter
John (Jack) Bissell Carroll was a psychologist interested in language who had immense impact, both within his own field and also in applied linguistics.
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This article reports on three research studies, all of which concern second language task performance. The first focuses on planning, and compares on-line and strategic planning as well as task repetition. The second study examines the role of familiarity on task performance, and compares this with conventional strategic planning. The third study e...
Chapter
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College This is an earlier version of a chapter which originally appeared in: Skehan, P. & Foster, P. (2008). Complexity, accuracy, fluency and lexis in task-based performance: A meta-analysis of the Ealing research. Many studies of second language performance, usually from within a task-based framework, use complexity, accuracy, and fluency to cap...
Article
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The present paper proposes and argues a case for incorporating the working memory (WM) construct as a component of foreign language aptitude. As such, it first briefly reviews previous research on foreign language aptitude, which lays the ground for the proposal. Then, by drawing on recent research from both the fields of cognitive psychology and s...
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Resumo A re-awakening of interest in foreign language aptitude in recent years has also seen some reanalyses of the construct. Prominent in these reanalyses is revised conception of memory and aptitude, and particularly, the role of working memory. A number of studies have explored the relevance of non-word repetition tests as measures of this typ...
Article
This excellent book presents an account of second language fluency from multiple perspectives, with a clear focus on cognitive science. Chapter 1 charts the territory. After definitional concerns, broad theoretical viewpoints are presented, such as Levelt's model of first language speaking and dynamic systems theory. Chapter 2 provides a review of...
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Complexity, accuracy, and fluency have proved useful measures of second language performance. The present article will re-examine these measures themselves, arguing that fluency needs to be rethought if it is to be measured effectively, and that the three general measures need to be supplemented by measures of lexical use. Building upon this discus...
Chapter
The last 20 years or so have seen a vast increase in research into second language learning tasks. A series of articles has been published by this author and co-researchers taking a cognitive approach to task performance (Foster, 2001a; Foster and Skehan, 1996, 1999; Skehan and Foster, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2007). This chapter reports on a meta-analysi...
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Definitions, Terminology, and ScopeFundamental Issues and Early DevelopmentsConstraints on Interlanguage Development and TransferMethodologyInterlanguage, Transfer, and Performance ModelsPedagogy
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IntroductionForeign Language AptitudeForeign Language Aptitude and SLASLA-Informed Aptitude ResearchAptitude: Conclusion Cognitive and Learning StyleLanguage Learning StrategiesMotivationIndividual Differences: Conclusions
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The chapter provides a survey of research into task-based foreign language instruction, spanning the last twenty years or so. At the outset, it contextualises task research within communicative approaches to language teaching, and argues that optimistic interpretations of communicative activities as vehicles for language development lack research s...
Article
Peter Skehan, who obtained his Ph.D. from Birkbeck College, University of London, is Professor of English at the Chinese University, Hong Kong, having previously worked at King's College, London; Thames Valley University; and the Institute of Education, London. He is interested in second language acquisition, especially individual differences in la...
Article
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In the main, second language acquisition research and the applications of technology to language learning have remained relatively separate areas, with occasional exceptions in research studies (e.g., Doughty, 1991) and book length treatments (Chapelle, 2001). This article will explore connections between technology, and especially, web-based learn...
Article
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This article is organised in five main sections. First, the sub-area of task-based instruction is introduced and contextualised. Its origins within communicative language teaching and second language acquisition research are sketched, and the notion of a task in language learning is defined. There is also brief coverage of the different and sometim...
Article
This article explores the effects of inherent task structure and processing load on performance on a narrative retelling task. Task performance is analyzed in terms of competition among fluency, complexity, and accuracy. In a study based on 47 young adult low-intermediate subjects the fluency of performance was found to be strongly affected by degr...
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This book brings together a series of empirical studies into the use of pedagogical tasks for second language learning, with a view to better understanding the structure of tasks, their impact on students, and their use by teachers. This edited volume starts with an introduction to the background and key issues in the topic area. Each section begin...
Article
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Recent research (Crookes, 1989: Foster and Skehan, 1996) has focused on the role of planning when tasks are used within language instruction. These studies have indicated that pre-task planning can have beneficial effects upon the nature of task performance, consistently leading to greater fluency and complexity and, less dependably, greater accura...
Article
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This paper examines the effects of planning and post-task activity on task-based performance. It is motivated by the need, given recent claims that task-based instruction has desirable pedagogic qualities, to investigate the effects of choosing different types of tasks, as well as different task implementation conditions, on the fluency, accuracy a...
Article
This study focuses on the impact of different variables on the nature of language performance in the context of task-based instruction. Characteristics of tasks are discussed, and then a framework is offered that can organize the nature of task-based instruction and relevant research. The framework is used to generate predictions regarding the effe...
Article
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This paper examines recent proposals for task-based approaches to instruction It reviews relevant research, before going on to examine a number of potential problems with task-based teaching, such as a potential focus away from form and towards lexis It reviews recent developments in cognitive psychology which support a dual-mode perspective for la...
Article
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This article is broadly concerned with the differences between individual language learners. In terms of particular content areas of Individual Differences (ID) research, it surveys developments in foreign language aptitude, motivation, learner strategies, and learner styles. A brief review of earlier research on aptitude is presented, followed by...
Article
[In this article Skehan reexamines the Carroll Model of School Learning, and suggests that it has considerable import for the neglected field of aptitude testing.]
Article
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A British longitudinal study of language acquisition was followed up for further information on the relationship between language acquisition, language aptitude, and second language learning. One of the original cohorts (n=23), now in secondary school, was originally studied for native language learning achievement and was now being studied for for...
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This paper examines recent approaches to communicative language testing, and, in particular, the testing of English for specific purposes (ESP). The first three sections of the paper are concerned with validation procedures as a means of verifying the claims made for new tests. These three sections con trast two approaches to language testing resea...
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Thesis (doctoral)--University of London, 1982.

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Projects (4)
Project
The International Round Table Forum on “Language Aptitude: Pushing the Boundaries” is organized and held by the Center for Linguistic Sciences of Beijing Normal University. Leading and upcoming scholars with research expertise in language aptitude are invited to present their innovative perspectives and latest findings. A strong feature of the conference benefits the presenters and the audience with insightful presentations and interactive discussions, all aiming to push the boundaries of language aptitude research. The following sub-themes constitute the major contents and issues to be covered in the conference: [1] Recent developments of language aptitude theories and issues are presented and discussed, augmented with multidisciplinary perspectives and insights from diverse fields of second language acquisition, educational psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience. In addition, theories and practice of working memory, explicit and implicit language aptitudes are also highlighted. [2] New developments and applications of test instruments and batteries to measure language aptitude are presented, which are instrumental in the process of selecting foreign language talents, and foreign language diagnostic tests etc. [3] Empirical studies of aptitude-treatment interactions (ATI) will be presented, which are conducive to informing language pedagogy and L2 classroom practice. The ultimate goal is to promote personalized and individualized language learning and teaching practice.
Archived project
Task-based Language Teaching