The Effect of Task Modality in Heritage Bilingualism Research


  • Vicente Iranzo Weber State University



Research Methods, Heritage Spanish, Task Modality


Knowledge of the effects of task design features on linguistic performance is essential to obtain the right conclusions in linguistic research. Several studies have explored the effects of task modality in second language learners (Johnson, 1992; Murphy, 1997; Shiu, Yalçın, & Spada, 2018). These studies showed that L2 learners perform better when the stimulus is presented in written form compared to aural form. However, the effect of task modality in linguistic performance is an area that needs exploration in the field of heritage bilingualism research (Jegerski, 2018). Thus, the purpose of this study is to determine the effects of task modality on linguistic performance in heritage bilinguals. Participants in this study included 63 heritage bilinguals divided into high- and low-proficiency groups. All participants completed a proficiency test, a language background questionnaire, an aural speeded acceptability judgment task, and a written speeded acceptability judgment task. The statistical analysis revealed a significant effect of task modality on linguistic performance. High-proficiency heritage bilinguals performed significantly better (i.e., shorter reaction times) when the stimuli were presented in aural form.  The results of this study contribute to the existing body on research methods in linguistic and specifically, to the effects that design features may have on linguistic performance in heritage bilinguals.


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