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"Task" as research construct

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul SeedhouseORCiD



The article examines "task" as research construct as predominantly conceived in terms of task-as-workplan in the task-based learning/second language acquisition literature. It is suggested that "task" has weak construct validity and ontology in an overwhelmingly quantitative paradigm because the construct has a "split personality." Conceptualization is based on the task-as-workplan, but data are gathered from the task-in-process. The article adopts a conversation analysis perspective and demonstrates that the two can be very different. It is proposed that a secure basis for "task" as research construct and for the quantification of discoursal data is attainable only by switching the conceptual and methodological focus to task-in-process.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Seedhouse P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Language Learning

Year: 2005

Volume: 55

Issue: 3

Pages: 533-570

Print publication date: 01/09/2005

ISSN (print): 0023-8333

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9922

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/j.0023-8333.2005.00314.x


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