The Effectiveness of the Continuation Task on Second Language Learning of English Articles

  •  Lin Jiang    


This article aims to uncover how alignment in the continuation task affects second language (L2) learning of English articles. Two classes of 47 Chinese students participated in the study which employed a pretest-treatment-posttest research design and lasted for a period of 20 weeks. One class received the continuation task treatment, during which learners first read a provided text and then continued it to make a complete story. The other class received the traditional topic-writing task treatment, during which learners were required to write a composition on a given topic. An error correction test and a picture description test were used to assess learners' L2 learning of English articles. Results showed that the continuation task was superior to the topic-writing task in facilitating L2 learning of articles, suggesting that the intimate coupling of production with comprehension in the continuation task triggers interaction between learners and the text, thus motivating learners to use the linguistic forms immediately available in the preceding text to make the content and language of their continuations in line with the text. This process can no doubt enhance the likelihood of L2 learning, especially in terms of article use.

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