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An Empirical Research On Communication Strategies In Class

Posted on:2008-10-03Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:N PengFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360242973586Subject:English Language and Literature
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The ultimate purpose of language learning is to communicate and acquire communicative competence. So improving the students' communicative competence becomes an overall goal in language teaching. An essential approach to achieve this goal is to train the learners' strategic competence, that is, to help the learners use communication strategies (CSs), which is one important element of communicative competence. The concept of CSs was initiated by foreign scholars. They should not be copied or introduced indiscriminately, but be applied into Chinese teaching for finding out our own suitable modes to guide teaching. However, the study of CSs is not adequate in China. Besides, many foreign experts and scholars have conducted a lot of research on the definition and taxonomy of communication strategies both theoretically and empirically, which lay a solid foundation for the further research in this field. Those researchers also suggest that some factors influencing the choice and efficient employment of CSs should be further studied. Base upon the above research, the author of this research conducted a further research on CSs. This paper is based on a survey of the English majors' perceptions of CSs in their English learning in Linyi Teachers College. It is hoped that language teachers will derive useful insights from the result of the survey and adopt some of the suggested techniques to enhance the effective use of CSs on the part of the students.One hypothesis is put forward in this research, that is, the choice of CSs varies with the learners' L2 proficiency, communicative context, personality and task. An experiment was conducted to prove the hypothesis. There are 360 freshmen as subjects, who were divided into three groups (top, middle and bottom) according to their different proficiency. This experiment consists of three stages: 1) the first stage—instruction stage, in which CSs are taught and trained so that all 360 students can acquire the related knowledge and recognition about CSs, meanwhile the factors affecting the choice of CSs can be found out; 2) the second stage—association and practice stage, in which the experiment only concentrates on 80 top students who can use achievement strategies successfully (only achievement strategies can benefit the realization of communication goal) in order to find out when L2 proficiency is available, what the factors that dramatically influence the efficient employment of achievement strategies are; 3) the third stage—autonomous production stage, in which the subjects are narrowed down to only 46 achievers who top out from all the experiments in the hope of finding the common nature of successful employment of achievement strategies. The data are collected from questionnaires, interviews and tape-recording and put into computer for analysis by the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) software. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are employed for the purpose of making the result more objective and reliable.Results show that most students hold positive attitude to achievement strategies and negative attitude to reduction strategies. In communication, they have frequent tendency to choose achievement strategies to assist in conveying the meanings when communicating problems arise. However their choice and employment of CSs are greatly discouraged by some factors: 1) L2 proficiency, 2) communicative contexts, 3) personality, and 4) task. Generally speaking, subjects of higher L2 proficiency employ more achievement strategies, while subjects of very limited knowledge of target language are the most frequent users of reduction strategies. So do the extraverted subjects who employ more achievement strategies than the introverted. On the condition that the scope of the communicative content is within the subjects' comprehension, concrete task elicits more employment of concept-based strategies, such as paralinguistic, cooperative, etc. besides IL-based. In contrast, abstract task elicits more utilization of linguistic-based strategies-IL-based strategies. Basically, IL-based strategies are the first that are quite popular with the students of different L2 proficiency.The results provide some implications for foreign language teaching. CSs can compensate for the breakdown of deficient linguistic knowledge. L2 proficiency is the first premise to achieve communicative goal, however, successful employment of achievement strategies can dominate whether the communicative goal can be finally achieved. Now that CSs could contribute a lot to learners' communicative competence, the teachers should incorporate strategies training into their teaching program in the eflfort to improve the learners' strategic competence, and design as many diversities of communicative contexts as possible so as to make the students gradually adapt to various communicative situations for the purpose of reducing the subjects' communicative stress, transferring the strategic competence successfully when real communication occurs and ultimately realizing the aim of strong communicative competence.
Keywords/Search Tags:communicative competence, communication strategies, strategic competence, the choice of CSs, the employment of CSs
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