The Open UniversitySkip to content

Affective factors and strategy use in a distance language context: a pilot study using think-aloud verbal protocols

Hurd, Stella (2008). Affective factors and strategy use in a distance language context: a pilot study using think-aloud verbal protocols. Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education, 11(1) pp. 133–158.

Full text available as:
PDF (Not Set) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (106Kb)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This paper reports on a small-scale ethnographic pilot study using think-aloud verbal protocols (TAPs), which was carried out with novice distance learners of French. The study aimed to extend knowledge of the distance language learner experience through allowing learners to talk freely about the positive and negative emotions they were experiencing as they tackled two designated language tasks, and the strategies they used to manage these emotions. The study was prompted by the lack of research into affect in the distance context, despite a growing view that affective control may have special importance in this setting, given the isolation and the need for learners to exercise greater self-regulation than their classroom colleagues (White, 2003; Harris, 2003). Think-alouds were selected for their potential to ‘tap’ processes that are normally hidden, among learners that are hard to reach. The findings from the pilot, despite its small-scale nature, gave useful insights into affect and strategy use by this group of learners. With regard to the research tool, the paper concludes that while there are limitations to the use of TAPs, they nevertheless provide a unique method of gathering data from learners in a distance setting who are rarely given a voice.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0898-8471
Keywords: distance language learning, affect, strategies, think-alouds
Academic Unit/Department: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 10052
Depositing User: Stella Hurd
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2009 09:38
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2016 12:57
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340