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Scope

Complexity figures prominently in current science (Mitchell 2009), including the language sciences where it has received much attention from linguists working within functional and typological frameworks (Miestamo et al 2008).  Also in SLA research the notion of complexity has played an important role ever since the 1970s. In current SLA research, two strands of complexity research can be distinguished (Housen & Kuiken 2009). In the first strand, complexity figures as an independent variable, i.e., as a factor whose influence on some aspects of L2 performance or proficiency is investigated. Examples include studies of how the complexity of tasks affects L2 performance and development (Robinson 2011), or how the complexity of the target structure affects the effectiveness of instruction (e.g. Spada & Tomita 2010). In the second strand, complexity is investigated as a dependent variable, typically alongside fluency and accuracy, as a basic descriptor of L2 performance and proficiency. Here, the complexity of L2 learners’ performance is measured to demonstrate the effect of other variables, such as the effects of learner factors (e.g. age, aptitude) or of different types of instruction or of learning contexts (e.g. Kormos & Trebits in press; Norris & Ortega 2000). However, a review of the L2 literature shows that there is no consistency in terms of how complexity is defined, operationalised and measured in L2 research, which at least partly explains the inconsistency of complexity findings both across and within studies (Housen & Kuiken 2009; Housen, Kuiken & Vedder 2012).

The goals aimed at the Ailla REN COSELL are the following:

  • investigate the various strands of L2 research on complexity;
  • critically approach the definition and operationalisation of the complexity construct;
  • standardisation and validation of measures of complexity;
  • investigate the link between L2 complexity and other constructs in SLA and testing (e.g. developmental stages, learnability, ultimate attainment);
  • cross-linguistic approaches and perspectives on complexity;
  • pedagogical implications (e.g. complexity as skill or typical behaviour, complexity in L2 production and perception, task sequencing)

ReN conveners and contact

Folkert Kuiken, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam

website: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/f.kuiken

Ineke Vedder, Amsterdam

website : http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/s.c.vedder

Current members 

AAAL (USA)

  1. Melissa Baralt, Florida International University, Miami
  2. Philip Choong, Columbia University, New York
  3. Daniel Jackson, University of Hawai’i  at Manoa, Honolulu
  4. Shawn Loewen, Michigan State University, Michigan
  5. John Norris, University of Hawai’i  at Manoa, Honolulu
  6. Lourdes Ortega, University of Hawai’i  at Manoa, Honolulu
  7. Sholo Sasayama, University of Hawai’i  at Manoa, Honolulu
  8. Mary Lou Vercellotti, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

 ABLA (Belgium)

  1. Bram Bulté, Free University Brussels, Brussels
  2. Alex Housen, VUB, Brussels
  3. Elke Peters, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven

 AESLA (Spain)

  1. Roger Gilabert Guerrero, University of Barcelona, Barcelona

AFinLA (Finland)

  1. Raili Hilden, Helsinki University, Helsinki
  2. Lea Nieminen, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä
  3. Nina Reiman, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä
  4. Gabriele Pallotti, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia
  5. Stefania Ferrari, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia

AITLA (Italy)

ALAK (South Korea)

  1. Jay Kim, Korean National University of Education.  

ALANZ (New Zealand)

  1. Rebecca Adams, University of Auckland, Auckland

ANéLA (the Netherlands)

  1. Nel de Jong, Free University, Amsterdam
  2. Folkert Kuiken, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  3. Rob Schoonen, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  4. Ineke Vedder, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  5. Nivja de Jong, University of Utrecht, Utrecht

ASLA (Sweden)

  1. Inge Bartning, Stockholm University, Stockholm
  2. Victorine Hancock, Stockholm University, Stockholm
  3. Rakel Österberg, Stockholm University, Stockholm
  4. Jonas Granfeldt, Lund University, Lund
  5. Marie Kallkvist, Lund University, Lund
  6. Petra Bernardini, Lund University, Lund
  7. Malin Ågren, Lund University, Lund

BAAL/IATEFL (UK)

  1. Judit Kormos, University of Lancaster
  2. Andrea Revesz, University of Lancaster
  3. Anna Trebits, Eötvös University, Budapest

EAAL (Estonia)

  1. Annekatrin Kaivapalu, Tallinn University, Tallinn

GAL (Germany)

JAAL (Japan)

  1. Tomohito Ishikawa, Soka Women's College, Tokyo.
  2. Peter Robinson, Ayoama Gakuin University, Tokyo.

Activities (2011-2014) 

Conferences and events (2011)  

  • Bartning, I. & Hancock, V. took the initiative to set up a discussion group on Complexity in L2 at EuroSLA 21, Stockholm. September 9, 2011
  • Housen, A., Kuiken, F. & Vedder, I. Complexity in L2 performance. Definition, measurement and research. Colloquium at Eurosla 21, Stockholm. September 8, 2011
  • TBLT 2011. 4th Biennial Conference on Task Based Language Teaching. University of Auckland. November 18-20, 2011

Upcoming events

  • Workshops on Complexity and Idiomaticity in L2, June 8-9 2012, organizers: Fanny Forsberg & Victorine Hancock, Stockholm University, Stockholm
  • Eurosla 2012, Poznan, Poland, 5-8 September 2012
  • AILA 2014: organization of a symposium on complexity; special focus, design and participants of the colloquium still to be decided

Publications

  • Robinson (ed.) (2011). Second language task complexity: Researching the Cognition Hypothesis of language learning and performance. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
  • Housen, A., Kuiken, F. & Vedder, I. (eds) (2012, forthcoming) Dimensions of L2 performance and proficiency. Investigating complexity, accuracy and fluency in SLA. Amsterdam: John Benjamin

The following issues have been prepared for download in Acrobat Reader format.

Volume 1

AILA Review / Revue de l'AILA 1, edited by Ranko Bugarsky, 1984
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (437 kb)

Volume 2

Revue de l'AILA / AILA Review 2, edited by Albert Valdman, Bloomington, Indiana; December 1985
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (274 kb)

Volume 3

Psycholinguistics — AILA-Review 1986, edited by Tatiana Slama-Cazacu, Bucharest, Spring 1987
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (221 kb)

Volume 4

Linguistics as Applied Linguistics — AILA Review 1987, edited by Wolfgang Kühlwein, 1987
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (448 kb)

Volume 5

Classroom Research — AILA Review - Revue d'AILA 1988, edited by Gabriele Kasper, 1988
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (3 MB)

Volume 6

Vocabulary Acquisition, edited by Paul Nation & Ron Carter, Nottingham, 1989
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (657 kb)

Volume 7

Standardization in Language Testing, edited by John H.A.L. de Jong, Nottingham, 1990
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (416 kb)

Volume 8

Reading in Two Languages, edited by Jan H. Hulstijn & Johan F. Matter, Alblasserdam, 1991
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (588 kb)

Volume 9

Language Teaching in the Twenty-first Century. Problems and Prospects, edited by Johan F. Matter, 1992
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (588 kb)

Volume 10

Case Studies in Minority Languages, edited by Kees de Bot, 1993
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (5.16MB kb)

Volume 11

Consciousness in Second Language Learning, Jan H. HULSTIJN & Richard SCHMIDT, Nottingham, 1994
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (892 kb)

Volume 12

Applied Linguistics Across Disciplines, Anna Mauranen and Karl Sajavaara, 1995
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (1.21 MB)

Volume 13

English in a changing world. L'anglais dans un monde changeant, David Graddol and Ulrike H. Meinhof, 1999
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (835 KB)

Volume 14

Applied linguistics for the 21st century, edited by David Graddol, Amsterdam/Philadelphia 2003
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (568 kb)

Volume 15

Learner autonomy: new insights, edited by Leni Dam, Amsterdam/Philadelphia 2001
Table of contents, PDF Acrobat Reader Document (609 kb)

Prof. Dr. Karlfried Knapp

Universität Erfurt, Germany


 Prof. Dr. Gerhard Nickel

Universität Stuttgart, Germany


Dr. John Trim

Cambridge, UK


Prof. Albert Valdman

Indiana University, USA


Prof. Susan Gass

Michigan State University, USA


Prof. Christopher Candlin

Macquarie University, Australia

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