Exploring the Role of Cognitive and Procedural Task Complexity in EFL Learners' Attention to L2 System and Form-focused Self-repairs

Document Type: Research Paper


English Department, Islamic Azad University of Isfahan (Khorasgan), Isfahan, Iran


In L2 development, the cognitive complexity of tasks plays a crucial role in task performance and language features produced. However, there have only been few studies addressing the impact of task complexity on EFL learners' attention to L2 system and form-focused self-repairs (FFS).This study explores the role of increasing cognitive task complexity in EFL learners' form-focused attention (FFA) to L2 system (i.e. grammar, lexis, and phonology) and FFS and the effect of increasing procedural task complexity on EFL learners' FFA to L2 system and FFS. The participants comprised one hundred EFL junior students of TEFL. The sample was chosen from the cohort of EFL students at Islamic Azad and state universities in Isfahan and Shahrekod. The participants performed under task conditions of−/+ casual reasoning and −/+ planning time. After each stage, each participant filled in a Likert-type scale to examine his/her attention to different aspects of L2 system .Finally, Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test was used to compare the learners’ instances of of self-repairs at un-increased and increased task complexity occasions. Repeated-Measures ANOVA was used to examine the data. Results showed an overall effect of task complexity on EFL learners' attention to L2 system and FFA behavior across task types.