Language learning strategies in EFL

Maroulis, Dimitris (2006). Language learning strategies in EFL. EdD thesis The Open University.



This dissertation explores advanced level learners' responses to the introduction of an alternative instruction based on the explicit teaching of nine strategies in three language skills: reading, writing and vocabulary. Using an action research plan and working as a teacher-researcher, I intervened in learners' regular instruction, designing a study of three cycles: pre-instruction, intervention and evaluation. The main aim of this study is to investigate the possibility of practice change and improvement in the advanced level EFL class, where learners seem to face a number of linguistic problems and difficulties due to the distance between the levels of "independent" and "competent" user. Data collected from the three cycles showed that learners use a number of strategies, influenced mainly by their experience as language learners, the task at hand and their exam-oriented preparation instruction. After instruction on the strategy, learners attempted some of the taught strategies, whereas their evaluation of these strategies showed that if an alternative approach to teaching and learning at the advanced level is adopted, learners may become more effective language users and, thus, more competent exam-takers, thereby bridging the gap between "independent" and "competent" levels of proficiency. The implications of the intervention and a basic framework for the introduction of this alternative approach are presented in the last, post-instruction, cycle.

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