WHAT THEY MEASUREProduction (oral or written)Performance (don’t tap into competence very much)Primarily implicit knowledge
WHAT THEY STUDYLexical knowledgeInflectional morphology (use of past tense morphology)Basic syntax (word order)In classroom research
ProsEasy to conductClosest way to measuring language as it is actually used.
Cons Time-consuming (create and analyze transcripts) No control over production for the experimenter Low proficiency L2 learners may be reluctant to produce anything Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
ELICITED PRODUCTION TASKSEliciting entire speech/writing samplesEliciting individual words/phrases
WHAT THEY MEASUREProduction (oral or written)Performance (tap into competence)More explicit knowledge than the naturalistic tasks
WHAT THEY STUDYLexical knowledgeInflectional morphology (have to supply the right form of a verb)Semantics of closed-class words (use of the vs. a)In classroom research
ProsMore control over type of production than with naturalistic productionCan target specific words/phrases
ConsStill a lot of transcribingMay be testing explicit rather than implicit knowledge (with word/phrase elicitation)Not appropriate for use with children or low literacy adults (most experimenter controlled type of elicitation is written)
What they measureComprehensionPerformance (tapping directly into competence)Very explicit knowledge
What they study Complex sentence structure (that are not often used spontaneously) Inflectional morphology Semantic appropriateness (whether one grammatical sentence is appropriate in the context of another)
Pros Cantest just about any kind of grammatical construction. Straightforward: testing exactly what we want to know. Easy to analyze the data.
ConsTests highly explicit knowledgeL2 learners are often unsure about their judgementsInappropriate for use with children and low literacy adults (written format)