Differences in the effects of Task Repetition Techniques on the fluency development of ESL learners

Sujata Kakoti, Sarat Kumar Doley


In an attempt to compare the effects of interleaved and blocked practice on L2 fluency development, 44 adolescent Indian English as L2 learners were given fluency training in English for three months. The participants in the blocked group engaged in task repetition practice of speaking English sentences in a predictable sequence of task repetition, i.e., aaaa, bbbb, cccc, and dddd, in the first 16 sessions. The sequence of the task repetition practice in the interleaved group was arranged using the technique of spacing and mixing, i.e., abcd, abbd, aacc, and bdcd, in the first 16 sessions. The mean values of the English fluency scores of the interleaved and blocked group in the two intermediate fluency tests in the middle of the training and one achievement test at the end showed no statistically significant difference in fluency development as the p-value of the comparison in a repeated measures ANOVA test was .29 representing low F value of 1.16 and effect size of .05. The participants in the blocked group, however, demonstrated a minor growth in fluency development from slow and hesitant speech behavior to occasional self-correction or repetition in a long speech in the later stages of the fluency training in English. The systematic manipulation of the sequence of the tasks to be practiced incorporating high similarity or stimuli retrieval in blocked practice might be more effective in fluency development in L2 than interleaving. As interleaving causes anxiety among beginners, it might not be an appropriate method of task repetition in the initial stage of fluency practice in L2.


Interleaving; blocked practice; L2 fluency; task repetition; speaking

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24815/siele.v10i3.29751

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