Oral production in an L2 proves to be more cognitively demanding than, for instance, written production given the immediateness of the speech act. Hence, the role of pre-task planning has been a matter of interest in the scholarly literature (e.g. Bygate & Samuda, 2005; Ortega, 1999) since previous empirical research has pointed to its effectiveness for certain speaking tasks. Some of these studies have explored the effect of the type of pre-task planning on the complexity, accuracy, and fluency of the learners’ performance (e.g. Mochizuki & Ortega, 2008; Sangarun, 2001), and have included different variables such as the type of planning, the task type (see Foster & Skehan, 1996) or learners’ planning processes (see Ortega, 2005). The present study intends to add to the existing bulk of research in strategic pre-task planning (Ellis, 2003, 2005) in two different conditions (free planning vs guided planning) on holistic CAF rating measures according to previous research (see Iwashita et al., 2001 and Nitta & Nakatsuhara, 2014) with a communicative task (Nunan, 1991). Through co-constructing interaction in collaborative speaking (e.g. Nakatsuhara, 2011; Van Moere, 2007), 25 undergraduate students performed the same communicative task with a group planning decision-making task procedure. For such purpose, participants were classified into two groups: (i) free planning, and (ii) guided planning. Afterward, they presented the outcomes of the communicative task in front of the class. The effects of the type of planning were compared in terms of the holistic performance of CAF measures as well as the magnitude of such an effect. In order to observe the potential predictor variables, a linear regression analysis was performed on both conditions along with a series of correlations. The findings lend support to the view that perceived fluency (Segalowitz, 2010) is highly correlated with speaking time. The implications for the body of research on communicative tasks are discussed and suggestions for further research are provided.
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