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Language learning strategy use and proficiency: The relationship between patterns of reported language learning strategy (LLS) use by speakers of other languages (SOL) and proficiency with implications for the teaching/learning situation

Posted on:2004-07-31Degree:Ph.DType:Thesis
University:The University of Auckland (New Zealand)Candidate:Griffiths, CarolFull Text:PDF
This thesis begins with the premise that strategies are important if students are to learn effectively, and that this applies no less to language than to any other field of learning. After issues of terminology and definition are addressed, there is a discussion of the theoretical underpinnings of the language learning strategy concept. Since the concept of proficiency is also central to the thesis, issues relating to the definition and assessment of proficiency are considered before previous research in the language learning strategy field is reviewed.; This research was carried out in three stages in a private language school in Auckland, New Zealand. Part A, Section 1 used the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) (Oxford, 1990) as the basic instrument to investigate the relationship between language learning strategies and proficiency and to examine the strategy patterns used by more proficient students. Part A, Section 2 used the same data to investigate language learning strategy use according to learner variables (nationality, gender, age). Part B used interviews to investigate language learning strategy use by individuals and Part C used a classroom based programme to explore means of instructing students in language learning strategy use and also to construct an original questionnaire using student input (the English Language Learning Strategy Inventory or ELLSI). This questionnaire was used to further investigate the relationship between language learning strategy use and proficiency and also changes in strategy use over time as well as teachers' perspectives on language learning strategy use.; The results of the SILL phase of the study revealed a significant relationship between language learning strategies and proficiency (a finding supported by the results of the ELLSI study) and also significant differences in strategy use according to nationality, while the interviews revealed some useful insights regarding the use of language learning strategies by individuals. From the longitudinal section of the study it was found that those students who made the most progress were the ones who most increased the frequency of their language learning strategy use. The results of the teachers' survey indicated that teachers regarded language learning strategies as highly important, an encouraging result in terms of positive implications for a good accord between teachers and students in the teaching/learning situation. The classroom programme, however, aimed at exploring ways to promote language learning strategy use among students, was only a lukewarm success and much work remains to be done to find ways of making insights regarding language learning strategies available to students.; The thesis concludes by bringing together the key findings and suggesting areas for further research.
Keywords/Search Tags:Language learning strategy, Students, Strategies, Proficiency, Thesis
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