Uptake, task complexity, and L2 development in SLA: An online perspective Book Chapter

Baralt, M, Leow, RP. (2015). Uptake, task complexity, and L2 development in SLA: An online perspective . 199-218.

cited authors

  • Baralt, M; Leow, RP



  • Learner uptake has been shown to predict subsequent learning in the FTF mode (e.g., Lightbown, 2000; Loewen, 2004,2005; McDonough, 2004,2005; McDonough & Mackey, 2006). It is still unknown, however, if uptake can positively mediate learning in the SCMC (synchronous computer-mediated communication) mode as well. Furthermore, the task that learners perform may differentially modulate uptake efficacy after feedback (e.g., Revesz, Sachs, & Mackey, 2011; Robinson, 2011), but this has yet to be been studied in the computerized environment. The present study sought to address this gap by examining whether uptake during cognitively simple or complex tasks (e.g., Baralt, 2013, 2014; Robinson, 2011) in SCMC was related to learning of the Spanish past subjunctive. 34 learners of intermediate-level Spanish were randomly assigned to perform simple or complex tasks, during which they received corrective recasts. Learning was measured with two interactive tasks performed after the treatment and one week later. Albeit differences in learning outcomes, the amount of uptake production was identical in both groups - almost null - and was found not to be related to learning. We conclude by arguing that uptake, as it is operationalized in the FTF environment, may not be appropriate for the SCMC mode. Consequently, operationalizing and measuring the construct of uptake may warrant careful consideration when employed in the online environment.

publication date

  • November 13, 2015

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

start page

  • 199

end page

  • 218