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Effects of task goal orientation on learner engagement in task performance

Dao, Phung (2019) Effects of task goal orientation on learner engagement in task performance. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. ISSN 0019-042X

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Abstract

The study investigated the potential impact of task goal orientation on cognitive, social and emotional aspects of task performance through the lens of learner engagement. Sixteen EFL learner dyads completed a convergent decision-making task and a divergent opinion-exchange task. Their audio-recorded interactions were transcribed and coded for evidence of engagement, including idea units and language-related-episodes (cognitive engagement), instances of explicit task enjoyment, reported emotions (emotional engagement), and responsiveness (social engagement). To determine the effects of task goal orientation on learner engagement, scores for engagement types were compared between two tasks. To understand learners’ perception about their engagement, posttask exit questionnaire responses were analyzed using content-analysis approach. Findings showed that learners showed greater cognitive and social engagement in the convergent than divergent tasks. No differences were observed in learners’ emotional engagement. Results are discussed in terms of the role of task goal orientation in promoting learners’ cognitive and social engagement.

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