The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21, No. 0, pp.247-260
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Received 25 Jan 2021 Revised 15 Mar 2021 Accepted 25 Mar 2021

An In-Depth Analysis of Errors in L2 Writing: The Effects of Task Complexity and Task Closure
Jiyong Lee
Postdoctoral researcher, Dept. of English Education, Konkuk Univ (

© 2021 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although accuracy is among the common dimensions of L2 performance that is investigated in the majority of task-based research, a limited range of measures—usually the number of error-free units or number of total errors per unit—are used to measure this feature. The present study attempted to conduct an in-depth analysis of the specific types of errors that are more susceptible to task closure and increases in task complexity. The written performance of 45 Korean learners of English was examined, and errors were divided into six major categories. It was found that increasing task complexity led to significantly greater numbers of noun ending errors and article errors. A significant interaction between task complexity and task closure was also found on the number of lexical errors. Findings are interpreted in terms of Skehan’s (1996, 1998) Trade-Off Hypothesis, the nature of the tasks, and participants’ L2 proficiency level.

Keywords: task complexity, task closure, L2 writing, errors, error-analysis

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