Situating Language Learning Strategy Use: Present Issues and Future Trends 9781788926720

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Situating Language Learning Strategy Use: Present Issues and Future Trends

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Situating Language Learning Strategy Use

SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Series Editors: Professor David Singleton, University of Pannonia, ­Hungary and Fellow Emeritus, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and ­Associate Professor Simone E. Pfenninger, University of Salzburg, Austria This series brings together titles dealing with a variety of aspects of language acquisition and processing in situations where a language or languages other than the native language is involved. Second language is thus interpreted in its broadest possible sense. The volumes included in the series all offer in their different ways, on the one hand, exposition and discussion of empirical findings and, on the other, some degree of theoretical reflection. In this latter connection, no particular theoretical stance is privileged in the series; nor is any relevant perspective – sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic, etc. – deemed out of place. The intended readership of the series includes final-year undergraduates working on second language acquisition projects, postgraduate students involved in second language acquisition research, and researchers, teachers and policymakers in general whose interests include a second language acquisition component. All books in this series are externally peer-reviewed. Full details of all the books in this series and of all our other publications can be found on, or by writing to Multilingual Matters, St Nicholas House, 31-34 High Street, Bristol BS1 2AW, UK.


Situating Language Learning Strategy Use Present Issues and Future Trends

Edited by Zoe Gavriilidou and Lydia Mitits

MULTILINGUAL MATTERS Bristol • Blue Ridge Summit

DOI Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. Names: Gavriilidou, Zoe, editor. | Mitits, Lydia – editor. Title: Situating Language Learning Strategy Use: Present Issues and Future Trends/Edited by Zoe Gavriilidou and Lydia Mitits. Description: Bristol; Blue Ridge Summit: Multilingual Matters, 2020. | Series: Second Language Acquisition: 146 | Includes bibliographical references and indexes. | Summary: ‘This book presents the latest research on the role of strategy use and development in second and foreign language teaching and learning. It will equip scholars and practitioners with the knowledge to help them better appreciate how language learning strategies contribute to and are linked with language learning processes’ – Provided by publisher. Identifiers: LCCN 2020033212 (print) | LCCN 2020033213 (ebook) | ISBN 9781788926713 (hardback) | ISBN 9781788926720 (pdf) | ISBN 9781788926737 (epub) | ISBN 9781788926744 (kindle edition) Subjects: LCSH: Language and languages – Study and teaching – Foreign speakers. | Second language acquisition. Classification: LCC P51 .S525 2020 (print) | LCC P51 (ebook) | DDC 418.0071 – dc23 LC record available at LC ebook record available at British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue entry for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN-13: 978-1-78892-671-3 (hbk) Multilingual Matters UK: St Nicholas House, 31-34 High Street, Bristol BS1 2AW, UK. USA: NBN, Blue Ridge Summit, PA, USA. Website: Twitter: Multi_Ling_Mat Facebook: Blog: Copyright © 2021 Zoe Gavriilidou, Lydia Mitits and the authors of the individual chapters. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. The policy of Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publications is to use papers that are natural, renewable and recyclable products, made from wood grown in sustainable forests. In the manufacturing process of our books, and to further support our policy, preference is given to printers that have FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody certification. The FSC and/or PEFC logos will appear on those books where full certification has been granted to the printer concerned. Typeset by Riverside Publishing Solutions.


Figures and Tables Contributors Foreword by Peter Yongqi Gu Preface Introduction

ix xiii xxi xxv xxix

Part 1: Language Learning Strategies: Where Do We Go from Here? 1 Language Learner Strategies: A Call for Fine-tuned Strategy Categorization Andrew D. Cohen


2 Consciously Keeping Watch: Self-regulation and Learning Strategies25 Rebecca L. Oxford Part 2: New Pathways to Language Learning Strategy Research 3 Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms in a Higher Education Setting Milevica Bojović


4 Vocabulary Learning Strategy Surveys in Second Language Acquisition: Design, Context and Content Richard LaBontee


5 Exploring EFL Learners’ Paths through Vocabulary Learning Using Narrative Frames Višnja Pavičić Takač and Sanja Marinov


6 The Language of the Home in Learning L2 Vocabulary Thomaϊ Alexiou, Lydia Mitits and James Milton 7 Strategic Construal of Particle Verbs (PVs) in Croatian Secondary School Learners of English Ana Petanjak Dedić and Renata Geld




vi Contents

Part 3: Language Learning Strategies in Context

8 Situating Language Learning Strategy Use and Instruction: The Greek Context Angeliki Psaltou-Joycey


9 Task-specific Strategy Use in Video-mediated Integrated Writing: The Greek EAP Context Iris Papadopoulou, Ifigeneia Machili and Zoe Kantaridou


10 Understanding Language Learning Strategies in Context: The Case of Russian Students Learning Greek as a Foreign Language  Zoe Gavriilidou, Irina Tresorukova and Antonios Mylonopoulos


11 EFL Learning Strategies and Motivational Orientations of Multilingual Learners in Mainstream and Dual-immersion Schools Lydia Mitits, Zoe Gavriilidou and Athina Vrettou


Part 4: Aspects of Language Learning Strategy Instruction

12 Morphological Segmentation in Strategy-based Instruction: Towards a Graded Morphological Syllabus of Modern Greek Maria Mitsiaki and Anna Anastassiadis-Symeonidis 13 Promoting Learner Autonomy through Learning Strategy Instruction with College EFL Students Nae-Dong Yang 14 Promoting Learners’ Critical Thinking and Developing Reading Strategies through Critical Video-gaming Vasiliki-Agathi Theodoridou and Anna-Maria Hatzitheodorou




15 Using Digital Supportive Feedback for the Strategic Training of Young EFL Learners Anna-Theodora Veliki and Angeliki Psaltou-Joycey


Appendix A: VLS Surveys


Appendix B: A Completed and Coded Narrative Frame


Appendix C: Class A Course Syllabus


Appendix D: Class B Course Syllabus


Appendix E: Unit 4 Lesson Plan


Appendix F: Unit 4 Activities and Tasks


Contents vii

Appendix G: Needs Analysis Questionnaire


Appendix H: Sample Diary Entry


Appendix I: Learner Beliefs Questionnaire


Appendix J: Questionnaire and Vocabulary Tests


Appendix K: Interactive Material


Subject Index


Author Index


Figures and Tables


2.1 The Seeing Eye25 5.1 A snapshot of corpus output (sorted by the node, i.e. the codes) 5.2 SRCvoc for groups of cases, with means and standard errors for the whole sample 6.1 Vocabulary profile of Greek monolinguals 6.2 Vocabulary profile of Turkish L1 6.3 Vocabulary profile of Greek L2 produced by Turkish L1 speakers

99 101 119 120 121

7.1 Integrated model of second language acquisition (taken from Geld, 2009: 35) 7.2 Domains of strategic triggers and strategic performance (based on Geld & Stanojević, 2018)


8.1 Articles of children’s clothing


11.1 The importance of English 11.2 Interest in foreign languages

208 208

13.1 Students’ assessment of self-set assignments performance in Final Self-Evaluation 13.2 Instructor’s assessment of Class A’s two self-set assignments (SSA) 13.3 Instructor’s assessment of Class B’s two self-set assignments (SSA)


253 254 254


2.1 Prototypical features of LLS


3.1 Scale of communicative language ability – speaking ability



x  Figures and Tables

3.2 The overall use of EFL speaking strategies – frequencies 3.3 The use of EFL speaking strategies by biotechnology students – self-report scores 3.4 Level of communicative language ability in formal education context 3.5 Differences in EFL speaking strategy use dependent on overall CLA (Communicative Language Ability) levels 3.6 No differences in EFL speaking strategy use across overall CLA (Communicative Language Ability) levels

52 53 56 58 60

4.1 Language learning strategy taxonomy (Oxford, 1990) 71 4.2 ‘A taxonomy of kinds of vocabulary-learning strategies’ (Nation, 2013: 328)  72 4.3 Breakdown of VLS instrument contents and development77 4.4 VLS taxonomy comparison chart 80 4.5 Overview of SVLSS 1.2 and SVLSS 2.0 classification system81 5.1 Frequency of themes found in narrative frames 5.2 Characteristics of successful and unsuccessful learners

99 100

6.1 Mean EFL vocabulary size scores and the CEFR (adapted from Meara & Milton, 2003) 6.2 Mean vocabulary sizes among Greek monolinguals 6.3 Mean vocabulary sizes among Turkish L1 speakers 6.4 Mean vocabulary sizes among Greek L2 speakers

118 120 120 121

7.1 Frequency (%) of the types of answer in the whole sample (N = 90)


7.2 The effect of the semantic nature of the verb on the types of answer 7.3 The effect of age on the types of answer 7.4 The interaction of age and the semantic nature of the verb

137 138 138

9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4

Participants’ demographic characteristics Principal component analysis for the SIIW items Principal component analysis for the SIVMIT items Correlations among the factors of the two inventories

171 172 173 176

10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4

Means (SD) for strategy use according to motivation 190 Means (SD) for strategy use according to years of study 190 Means (SD) for strategy use according to academic level 191 Means (SD) for strategy use according to self-reported proficiency191

Figures and Tables  xi

10.5 Means (SD) for strategy use according to knowledge of a third language


11.1 Means and standard deviations indicating strategy use (overall and on each of the strategy categories) by school type 11.2 Motivational orientation

207 209

12.1 Criteria of suffix gradedness 230 12.2 MG suffixes in semantic classes 230 12.3 Semantic class token frequency 231 12.4 Valued gradedness of linguistic criteria 232 12.5 Multiple criteria hierarchy model 233 12.6 Multiple criteria hierarchy model for the suffix -íla234 12.7 Multiple criteria hierarchy model for the suffix -ítsa234 12.8 Multiple criteria hierarchy model for the suffix -tis235 12.9 Gradedness within semantic classes (TOOL)  236 12.10 Gradedness in the proficient level (C1)  236 13.1 Average scores for each part of the Online Strategy Questionnaire (SILL)  250 13.2 Contents of Class A students’ SSA selections 251 13.3 Contents of Class B students’ SSA selections 252 13.4 Students’ SSA completion rate in Final Self-Evaluation 252 13.5 Factor 1 – autonomous learning outside the class 255 13.6 Factor 2 – self-study for the course 256 13.7 Factor 3 – practice speaking English 257 13.8 Analysis of variance for the Autonomous Learning Questionnaire (Part A)  257 13.9 Comparison between Class A and Class B on self-study for the course (Part A, Factor 2)  258 13.10 Factor 1 – beliefs about students’ role in assessing learning 258 13.11 Factor 2 – beliefs about a teacher-centered approach 259 13.12 Factor 3 – beliefs about students’ roles with teachers’ scaffolding259 13.13 Factor 4 – beliefs about teachers’ responsibilities 260 13.14 Analysis of variance for the Autonomous Learning Questionnaire (Part B)  260 13.15 Class A and Class B students’ beliefs about a teacher-centered approach (Part B, Factor 2)  261 13.16 Class A students’ performance in the listening, reading, speaking, and writing pre-tests and post-tests 261 13.17 Class B students’ performance in the listening and reading pre-tests and post-tests 262

xii  Figures and Tables

14.1 Division of strategies and types of activity that aid the learning of strategies, according to Oxford (1990)  14.2 Strategy introducing activities 14.3 Strategy practice activities 14.4 Strategy recycling activities 15.1 Descriptive statistics of VLS used by both groups before and after the intervention 15.2 Range of VLS use before the intervention 15.3 Range of VLS perceived as useful after the intervention 15.4 Results of two independent samples t-test for means between control and experimental group, for tests 1–3 scores and cloze-test score at baseline 15.5 Results of two independent samples t-test for means between control and experimental group, for tests 1–3 scores 15.6 Results of multivariate regression analysis for variables test 1 score’s difference (N = 21), test 2 score’s difference (N = 25) and test 3 score’s difference (N = 23)

270 274 274 275 292 292 293 294 295



Thomaï Alexiou is Associate Professor, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her expertise is in early foreign language learning, methodology of teaching languages and material development for young learners. She has participated in research projects such as PEAP, DysTEFL2, CLIL-Prime, etc. She has been an invited speaker and trainer in Greece, Europe, Australia, Russia and the UAE. She has published widely in the area of SLA pedagogy and she has also authored and edited textbooks for children learning English as a foreign language. One of these books, Magic Book 2 was shortlisted for the Macmillan Education Award for New Talent in Writing (ELTons, 2014). Anna Anastassiadis-Symeonidis is Emerita Professor of Linguistics, Department of Philology (Section: Linguistics), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. From 1991 to 2012 she was the coordinator of ERASMUS projects with seven European universities. She has taught as a visiting professor at many European universities, including Sorbonne-Paris IV, INALCO in Paris, and the University of Cyprus. She is interested in the study of the Greek lexicon and vocabulary, in the compilation of printed and electronic dictionaries, in neology, borrowing, word formation (derivation and compounding), multiword units, terminology, spelling and vocabulary teaching. She is the author of five books. She has also authored more than 170 papers, published in various journals and proceedings worldwide. Milevica Bojović has been a practicing EFL teacher since 1997. She holds an MA in the methodology of foreign language learning/teaching and a PhD in philology/English linguistics. She teaches EFL for engineers of biotechnical sciences at the University of Kragujevac, Serbia. Her research interests include second language acquisition, methodology of foreign language teaching, psycholinguistics, e-teaching/learning, teacher education, and adult education. She has published more than 50 articles in journals, conference proceedings and selected readings. She is the co-author of several handbooks for in-service teacher education xiii

xiv Contributors

programs. She has participated in the TEMPUS project ‘Building capacity of Serbian Agricultural Education to link with Society’. Andrew D. Cohen is Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural community development with the Aymara Indians on the high plains of Bolivia (1965–1967). Cohen taught in the ESL Section, UCLA (1972–1975), in language education at the Hebrew University (1975–1991), as a Fulbright lecturer/researcher at the Pontifical Catholic University, São Paulo, Brazil (1986–87), and was Professor of L2 Studies, University of Minnesota (1991–2013). During his Minnesota years, he was a visiting scholar, University of Hawaii (1996–7) and Tel Aviv University (1997), and a visiting lecturer, Auckland University, New Zealand (2004–5). He co-edited Language Learning Strategies with Ernesto Macaro (Oxford University Press, 2007), co-authored Teaching and Learning Pragmatics with Noriko Ishihara (Routledge, 2014, with translations into Japanese, Korean, and Arabic), authored Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language (Routledge, 2011), and most recently published Learning Pragmatics from Native and Nonnative Language Teachers (Multilingual Matters, 2018). He has also published many book chapters and journal articles. Copies of most of his papers are available for download on his website: Zoe Gavriilidou (BA, DEA, PhD) is Professor of Linguistics and Vice Rector of Academic Affairs and Student Welfare, Democritus University of Thrace. She has participated in research projects and was the supervising coordinator of the THALES 379335 Project on Language Learning Strategies, co-funded by national resources and the EU. She is the author of several monographs and textbooks as well as academic articles. She is a member of the expert committees for the revision of curricula in Greece and Cyprus in primary and secondary education. She has organized international conferences, including the International Conference of Greek Linguistics (September 2011), Language Learning Strategies: Current Issues and Future Perspectives (June 2015), and the 2nd International Conference on Situating Strategy Use: Present Issues and Future Trends. Her main areas of research are applied linguistics, language teaching, linguistic testing, and pedagogical lexicography. Renata Geld is Associate Professor of linguistics and Head of SLA and TEFL Section, Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, University of Zagreb. She is Deputy Director of the doctoral program in foreign language education and co-founder of the Zagreb Forum for Cognitive Science. Her main area of interest is interdisciplinary work pertaining to marrying cognitive science and (language) education. She has conducted research on strategic meaning construal

Contributors xv

(monomodal and bimodal) in L2 speakers of English with a variety of L1s (Croatian, Spanish, Arabic, etc.) and with varying personal characteristics, such as congenital and adventitious visual impairment. Anna-Maria Hatzitheodorou is a teacher of English for Specific/Academic Purposes, Aristotle University and an academic tutor for the MEd in TESOL program of the Hellenic Open University. She has an MA in English from Ohio State University and a PhD in applied linguistics from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is the coordinator (with Marina Matthaioudakis) of GRICLE – the Greek component of the International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE). She is the author of a number of books and has published articles in conference proceedings and international academic journals. Her book, Comprehension and Production of Written Discourse in a University EFL Context, was published in 2008 (Ziti Publications). Her research interests are genre analysis, academic reading and writing, and electronic corpora. Zoe Kantaridou is a teacher of English for Academic Purposes, University of Macedonia, Greece. She holds a PhD in applied linguistics from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has experience in teaching English at various levels and to students of different disciplines in tertiary education. She has authored textbooks for EAP and business English. She has published articles in various international journals. Her research interests lie in the areas of motivation for language learning, EAP/ESP curriculum design, task-based teaching, language learning strategies, strategy-based instruction, and intercultural communication. Richard LaBontee completed his MSc in applied linguistics and second language acquisition at the University of Oxford in 2012. He then taught and undertook research at Niigata University of International and Information Studies, Japan. He has a PhD in second language acquisition from the University of Gothenburg and now works as an academic language supervisor at the university. He maintains research interests in language learning strategies and vocabulary acquisition. Ifigeneia Machili is an EAP instructor for students of economics and political science, University of Macedonia. She has an MA in TESOL from Sacramento State University and a PhD in linguistics from the University of the West of England. Her main research interests lie in learning strategies, professional and academic writing, workplace discourse, and qualitative methodologies. She has published work on learner autonomy, multilingualism at work, language use and language policy and workplace writing. Her current work includes a study on the strategies employed in integrated writing incorporating a video component.

xvi Contributors

Sanja Marinov is a PhD candidate, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia, and is a lecturer in languages for specific purposes, Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Split, Croatia. Her professional and scientific interests include designing study materials for English in tourism, data-driven learning, vocabulary learning strategies, lexical competence, and lexical development during study abroad. James Milton is Professor of Applied Linguistics, Swansea University, UK. A long-term interest in measuring lexical breadth, and establishing normative data for learning and progress, has led to extensive publications including Modelling and Assessing Vocabulary Knowledge (CUP, 2007, with Michael Daller and Jeanine Treffers-Daller), Measuring Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition (Multilingual Matters, 2009), and Dimensions of Vocabulary Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, with Tess Fitzpatrick). Lydia Mitits is a specialized teaching staff member, Department of Greek Philology, Democritus University of Thrace, where she teaches applied linguistics. She has also been a practicing EFL teacher since 1989. She has taught EFL in primary, secondary and tertiary education. She holds an MA in TEFL and a PhD in applied linguistics from Democritus University in Thrace. She has presented at international conferences and published peer reviewed research papers on multilingualism, language learning strategies, instrument adaptation, etc., in books, international journals and conference proceedings. Her main research interests lie in the fields of language learning strategies and multilingualism, language teaching methodology and multilingual language development. Maria Mitsiaki is Assistant Professor of Teaching Modern Greek (MG) as a Second Language, Department of Greek Philology (Section: Linguistics), Democritus University of Thrace (DUTh). She holds an MA and a PhD in applied linguistics and she has taught theoretical and applied linguistics as an adjunct lecturer, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and DUTh. Her scientific interests focus on several areas of applied and theoretical linguistics, more specifically on: (a) grammatical phenomena (e.g. MG phonological structure and morphological system), and (b) vocabulary issues, which are examined on the basis of lexicostatistical analyses and models of language production and comprehension. Her research is not restricted to a mere theoretical description: it is transformed into educational practice and knowledge, e.g. learning strategies, teaching scenarios, design of teaching materials, development of curricula, and elaboration of lexicographic projects. She has co-authored two books and is the author of more than 40 papers that have been published in international journals and proceedings.

Contributors xvii

Antonios Mylonopoulos is a PhD candidate in linguistics, at Democritus University of Thrace and holds an MΑ in psychopedagogy, teaching methodology, intercultural education and EdTech. He has been a practicing EFL teacher since 1990. He currently teaches English in a secondary school for minority students in Thrace, Greece. He has co-authored papers on language learning strategies and dictionary use strategies. His scientific interests lie in educational technology and educational software development. Rebecca L. Oxford is Professor Emerita and Distinguished ScholarTeacher, University of Maryland and currently teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA. She has directed language teacher education programs at the University of Maryland, the University of Alabama, and Columbia University, as well as coordinating an intensive English program at Pennsylvania State University. She has presented keynote speeches and workshops at language conferences in more than 40 countries and has published more than 250 articles and chapters on language learners, psychology, culture, and teaching methods. She has co-edited special issues on strategies in System, Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, and the International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. Among her best-known books are Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know, Language Learning Strategies around the World, and Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies: Self-regulation in Context. Iris Papadopoulou has taught EAP at the University of Macedonia since 2001. She holds an MA in theoretical and applied linguistics and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Essex, UK. She has presented at international conferences and published research papers on language learning strategies and integrated writing. She has authored two course books for students of economics developing research reading and writing, and co-authored two volumes on business English for Greek university students. Her current research interests lie in integrated writing for academic purposes and motivation to learn. Višnja Pavičić Takač is Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Osijek, Croatia. Her professional and research interests include individual differences in FL learning, language learning strategies, communicative competence, lexical development, cross-linguistic studies, and pre-service teacher education. She has been a member of a number of international and national scientific projects and has presented more than 40 papers at national and international conferences. She has more than 50 published papers and books chapters and has authored and co-authored three books and four edited volumes.

xviii Contributors

Ana Petanjak Dedić teaches English as a FL in Croatian primary and secondary schools. She holds an MA in TEFL and comparative literature from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, University of Zagreb. Her main interests lie in the fields of cognitive linguistics and language teaching. Angeliki Psaltou-Joycey (BA, Dipl. TEFL, MA, PhD) is Professor Emerita, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her research interests and publications focus on SLA, language learning strategies and styles, English/Greek as an S/FL, and multilingualism. She has authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited, books and conference proceedings. She has published her research in Greek and international journals. She is the former elected chair of the Greek Applied Linguistics Association (1998–2014) and former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Linguistics (1998–2017). She sits on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals. Vasiliki-Agathi Theodoridou is a teacher of English in the private schools’ sector. She holds a BA from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and an MA in teaching English as a foreign language from the Hellenic Open University. She has worked in the Greek primary education as a teacher both in general and minority schools; in secondary education she has worked in professional senior high schools and in the school of ΟΑΕΔ (Manpower Employment Organization). Her research interests are video games, teaching English to young learners, and teaching English to learners with dyslexia. Irina V. Tresorukova is Associate Professor of the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology, Philological Faculty, Moscow State Lomonosov University. She has taught modern Greek as an FL for more than twenty years. Her main scientific interests are focused upon research in the fields of Greek lexicology, phraseology and lexicography on aspects of the Russian theory of linguistics. She has participated in various national and world conferences and published a number of articles in journals and conference proceedings. Anna-Theodora Veliki has been an EFL teacher in primary education since 1997. She has also taught English for Specific Purposes in secondary and tertiary education. She is a graduate of the Department of English Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). She holds an MA in technology and language education and is a PhD candidate in applied linguistics at AUTh. She has been active in the research fields of strategic training, the educational use of technology, feedback strategies and online language learning. Her research papers have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

Contributors xix

Athina Vrettou is an education coordinator for EFL teachers in Northern Greece. She holds a BA in English language and literature, a BA in philosophy, pedagogy and psychology, an MA in theoretical and applied linguistics and a PhD in applied linguistics (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece). She has presented at international conferences and published papers in international refereed journals, edited collections and conference proceedings. She has had extensive teaching experience as an EFL teacher at all levels of education. Her research interests and publications revolve around language learning strategies, motivation, gender and multilingualism. Nae-Dong Yang is Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. She has integrated and taught learning strategies in EFL classrooms and for teacher training. Her research interests include language learning strategies and learner autonomy, Web-based English training and learning portfolio systems, and language assessments. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. She has published on language learning strategies, strategy instruction, language learners’ beliefs and teachers’ beliefs, etc., in book chapters, international journals, and conference proceedings.

Foreword: Strategies for Sustainable Language Learning Peter Yongqi Gu

Strategic learning makes language learning more efficient, more effective, and more pleasant than non-strategic learning. Moreover, strategic language learning encourages sustainable, lifelong learning in that it aims to empower learners to become autonomous. The benefits of strategic language learning go beyond the successful learning of language. In a rapidly changing world with exponentially growing information, the skills of self-reflection, self-management, and self-initiated learning of new knowledge are as important as, if not more important than, well established school knowledge (Perkins, 2014; Scott, 2015). In addition, the basic human skills of being openminded and collaborative are becoming more important than ever in international and intercultural communication. Learning to learn, learning to communicate, and learning to be, are crucial components of 21st century skills. In this sense, strategic language learners have a good chance of becoming proactive, self-regulated, and capable citizens of the future. Forty years of research on language learning strategies have produced many insights that are informing language learning and teaching practices around the world. We now know how successful language learners plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning to regulate their learning process. We know how successful readers, listeners, and writers make use of strategies to distinguish themselves from their less successful counterparts. We also know how learners learn vocabulary and grammar strategically to achieve desired results. On the other hand, we have come to a point where we need to go deeper than surface level explorations and go beyond the research questions that we have been asking for 40 years. Before we open up the research agenda, I think it is time to put an end to the conceptual fuzziness fallacy that has done disproportionate damage to the field. Applied linguistics should have grown out of this naivety a long time ago. Fuzziness is a natural feature of human concepts,


xxii  Foreword: Strategies for Sustainable Language Learning

and learning strategies as a construct is no fuzzier than alternative constructs such as ‘self-regulation’, ‘self-regulated learning’ (Dinsmore, 2017) or, for that matter, motivation (Murphy & Alexander, 2000), learning (Alexander et al., 2009) or any other academic concept. Instead of dumping the concept and looking for a clearly definable alternative, or starting a quixotic search for an all-inclusive or short-and-sweet definition of learning strategies, it is much more productive for researchers to work on solutions to the fuzzy nature of language learning strategies (e.g. Gu, 2012; Mizumoto & Takeuchi, 2018) and to operationalize clearly what they focus on in an empirical study. In other words, I propose that every empirical study should clearly define its construct and specify how exactly operationalization is done. At the same time, however, we should all accept the fact that other researchers might have different ontological and epistemological assumptions which inevitably lead to different conceptualizations and operationalizations of language learning strategies (Dinsmore, 2017). It is also high time that we go beyond strategy tallying and other surface level exploratory research. Besides descriptive patterns, we need more explanatory and intervention research. Accordingly, theory building is in urgent demand. Besides the skill element of strategic learning, we need to study the will, the thrill (Hattie & Donoghue, 2016), and the social construction of language learning strategies. Besides zooming in onto the learner and the self-regulatory and other processes of learning, we need to see how specific tasks of language learning are better dealt with strategically. After all, language learning requires different strategies from the learning of mathematics. The importance of the task in strategic performance can never be stressed enough. For example, our brain has learned to meticulously calculate the shape and the positioning of our hand and the strengths we expect to exert, so that the way we pick up a pen is different from the way we pick up a chair. Strategic learners do exactly the same and use strategies to learn a word differently from those in learning grammar. Furthermore, contextual demands, affordances, and constraints work together to mediate the choice and usefulness of strategic learning. More research along these lines is definitely in order. Another area that needs to be done differently is our assessment of learning strategies. So far, strategy assessment has mainly been used for research purposes. Strategy assessment is very much part and parcel of the whole process during the teaching, learning, and use of strategies. In short, a lot has been achieved in the past 40 years and a lot needs to be done in the next few decades. I am very excited about the future of research on strategic language learning, not least because of the renewed interest in and dedication to the topic as shown in this volume. This volume had its genesis in presentations given at the Second International Conference on Situating Strategy Use: Present Issues and Future Trends, held in Komotini,

Foreword: Strategies for Sustainable Language Learning  xxiii

Greece. Each chapter represents a different perspective on this important topic. Much of the research needed, mentioned in the previous paragraph, is addressed in these chapters. The authors include generations of learning strategy enthusiasts. Interestingly, these authors are mostly from Europe, North America, and Asia, which actually reflects the reality of current research efforts around the world. I am sure that incoming research efforts will be more globally representative both in this conference series and in language learning strategy research in general. References Alexander, P.A., Schallert, D.L. and Reynolds, R.E. (2009) What is learning anyway? A topographical perspective considered. Educational Psychologist 44 (3), 176–192. Dinsmore, D.L. (2017) Examining the ontological and epistemic assumptions of research on metacognition, self-regulation and self-regulated learning. Educational Psychology 37 (9), 1125–1153. See Gu, Y. (2012) Learning strategies: Prototypical core and dimensions of variation. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal 3 (4), 330–356. Hattie, J.A.C. and Donoghue, G.M. (2016) Learning strategies: A synthesis and conceptual model. npjScience of Learning 1, npjscilearn201613. See npjscilearn.2016.13. Mizumoto, A. and Takeuchi, O. (2018) Modeling a prototypical use of language learning strategies: Decision tree-based methods in multiple contexts. In R.L. Oxford and C.M. Amerstorfer (eds) Language Learning Strategies and Individual Learner Characteristics: Situating Strategy Use in Diverse Contexts (pp. 99–122). New York, NY: Bloomsbury. Murphy, P.K. and Alexander, P.A. (2000) A motivated exploration of motivation terminology. Contemporary Educational Psychology 25 (1), 3–53. See 10.1006/ceps.1999.1019. Perkins, D. (2014) Future Wise: Educating our Children for a Changing World. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Scott, C.L. (2015) The Futures of Learning 2: What Kind of Learning for the 21st Century? (UNESCO, Education Research and Foresight Working Papers Series No. 14). See

Preface Zoe Gavriilidou

The Focus, Purpose and Goals of the Book

This book presents the future of research into language learning strategies and focuses on (a) language learning strategies required for the mastery of specific skills and sub-systems of a second and/or foreign language learning, (b) diverse teaching/learning contexts and their role in successful language learning, and (c) ways of employing strategy-based instruction to promote learner autonomy. The book bears testimony to the dynamism and evolution of research in the field, as it highlights the need to bring together theory and research from language learning and language learning strategies with research on strategy instruction. We aspire to show that instructional approaches should be based on sound theory and research on strategic learning. Therefore, the book includes detailed exposition and discussion of empirical findings from relevant rigorous research, instruction interventions as well as theoretical reflections in the field. The purpose of the book is to help teachers appreciate how language learning strategies contribute to and are linked with the language learning processes so that they will take an active role in empowering their learners to become strategic and to actively engage in the learning process. It also offers ideas on how learners can approach a learning situation by using all the available resources they have at their disposal, make decisions about how to solve learning problems, implement, monitor and evaluate the solutions chosen; in other words, become autonomous learners in or outside the classroom. Our ultimate goal is to make new data and recent information on language learning strategies available to interested audiences in order to further the current thinking in the field, add new research threads, chart the future direction of work on language learning strategies and answer major questions such as: • What are the current and future trends in language learning strategy research? • What are the major gaps in language learning strategy research? • What are the theoretical tools and research methods that researchers have at their disposal in order to address language learning strategies? xxv

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• How has research in language learning strategy use in diverse contexts promoted strategy instruction and learner autonomy? Who Will Find this Book Useful

The intended readership for this book includes final-year undergraduates studying foreign or second language acquisition, graduate and postgraduate students involved in second language acquisition research, applied linguists, educational researchers, adult educators, teachers and policymakers in general. The book will be helpful to those whose interests include language learning strategies as a component of a second/foreign language acquisition process as well as anyone interested in language teaching and learning, bilingual education, or educational policies. The book is a necessary reference volume for every university and college library in the world that serves a faculty or school of education or second/foreign language teaching and it may find use as a textbook in undergraduate or graduate programs or in pre-/in-service teacher training. Why this Book is Different

This book builds upon previous research on language learning strategies and introduces other research issues that look into the future of second/foreign language education, such as language learning strategies for languages other than English, or the contribution of language learning strategies to the development of the four language learning skills and specific linguistic sub-systems. It offers the newest developments, including research and scholarly content, essential to the field of language learning strategies. In the selection of topics and contributions, the book reflects the depth of disciplinary knowledge, breadth of interdisciplinary perspective and diversity of geographic experience in the field. The contributing authors, leading experts in the field, promising young scholars, and up-and-coming researchers, who come from various contexts (a) discuss the need for a fine-tuned strategy categorization and conscious self-regulation, (b) explore language learning strategies in speaking, vocabulary and grammar learning, etc. (c) share research carried out in the US, Taiwan, the UK, Sweden, Croatia, Serbia, Russia and Greece, and (d) propose strategy instruction for the promotion of critical thinking and learner autonomy, e.g. through the use of IT in education. The originality of the volume is that it extends beyond most strategy research and theory, and forms a collection of versatile studies in very specific contexts that range from primary to tertiary education and

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include, among others, research on learning strategies for languages other than English or on their role in promoting critical thinking through video gaming. Thus, this volume offers an overview to new researchers interested in language learning strategies, as well as to experienced researchers who wish to deepen their knowledge of the field. Hopefully, readers of this book will appreciate its wide content and global perspective.

Introduction Zoe Gavriilidou and Lydia Mitits


Research in language learning strategies (LLS) has experienced an unprecedented growth in the last decade. The time when scholars in the field needed to advocate for the centrality of ‘learning how to learn’ (see for example Rubin, 1975; Stern, 1975) seems far away, indeed. Studies in fields as diverse as applied linguistics, psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, among others, have now firmly established the fundamental role of LLS in language learning. Theoretical work in all these areas has shaped LLS studies. For instance, self-regulation learning theory integrates cognitive, affective, motivational, and behavioral components as it tries to explain how individuals adjust their actions and goals to achieve desired ends under variable conditions (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Pintrich, 2000; Ryan & Deci, 2000; Zeidner et al., 2000). The theory revolves around the concept of the ‘whole self’ as each individual component constitutes an indispensable factor of learning achievement as it is learners who ‘personally activate and sustain cognitions, affects and behaviors that are systematically oriented toward attainment of learning goals’ (Schunk & Zimmerman, 2008: preface). Subscribing to this theory for L2 learning (Dickinson, 1987; Oxford, 1999; Rubin, 2001), Oxford (2011: 7) promotes her new Strategic Self-Regulation Model of language learning and argues that ‘learners actively and constructively use strategies to manage their own learning’. Learners, therefore, are challenged to be strategic and successful. On the other hand, empirical studies have largely explored the links between individual differences such as gender (Ehrman & Oxford, 1989; Green & Oxford, 1995; Kaylani, 1996; Kazamia, 2016; Lan & Oxford, 2003; Lee, 2003; Mitits & Gavriilidou, 2014; Mochizuki, 1999; Nyikos, 1990; Oxford et al., 1993; Oxford & Nyikos, 1989; Oxford et al., 1993; Peacock & Ho, 2003; Politzer, 1983; Sheorey, 1999), age (Chamot et al., 1987; Gavriilidou & Petrogiannis, 2016; Oxford & Crookall, 1989; Peacock & Ho, 2003), socioeconomic status (Butler, 2014; Grenfell & Harris, 2007; Psaltou-Joycey & Gavriilidou, 2018), educational level/proficiency (Gavriilidou & xxix

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Petrogiannis, 2016; Green & Oxford, 1995; Griffiths, 2003; Mitits et al., 2016; Peacock & Ho, 2003; Psaltou-Joycey & Kantaridou, 2009a; Vrettou, 2009; Wharton, 2000; Yang, 2007), type of school (Gavriilidou & Petrogiannis, 2016; Mitits et al., in this volume), ethnicity (Mochizuki, 1999; Politzer & McGroarty, 1985; Reid, 1987), field of specialization (Ehrman & Oxford, 1989; Oxford & Nyikos, 1989; Politzer & McGroarty, 1985), or longer-term personal learner qualities (Oxford & Armestorfer, 2018) such as motivation (MacIntyre, 1994; MacIntyre & Noels, 1996; Oxford & Nyikos, 1989; Psaltou-Joycey & Kantaridou, 2009b; Platsidou & Kantaridou, 2014; Schmidt et al., 1996), emotional traits (Gkonou, 2015, 2018), cognitive styles (Ehrman & Oxford, 1989) or personality traits (Ehrman & Oxford, 1989) and LLS. An unresolved issue, however, is the generally admitted statement that different criteria have been used to classify LLS (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990; Oxford, 2011), which causes serious inconsistencies and mismatches across taxonomies and other categorizations (Cohen, 2013) that do not permit the line between various types of LLS to be neatly drawn. Also, few studies report on reliable and valid instruments for measuring LLS. Those that do, include the research done by Gavriilidou and Mitits (2016), which proposed an adaptation protocol for the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) (Oxford, 1990), and Petrogiannis and Gavriilidou (2015) in which they tested the adapted SILL in Greek for its content validity through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. More recently, Mizumoto and Takeuchi (2018) reviewed the issues involved in questionnaire use, construction and analysis, for research into, and the practice of, LLS. Furthermore, a less addressed field is that of strategy instruction. Only a restricted number of authors (Chamot & O’Malley, 1994; Cohen et al., 1996; Cohen & Weaver, 2006; Cohen, 2014; Macaro, 2001; O’Malley & Chamot, 1990; Psaltou-Joycey & Gavriilidou, 2015; Rubin, 2001) proposed, and few empirical studies used, rigorous experimental protocols to assess the effect of such strategy instruction programs (Cohen, 1998; Papadopoulou et al., 2017; Sarafianou & Gavriilidou, 2015; Thompson & Rubin, 1996). Nowadays, the construct of strategic competence has broadened well beyond its original conceptualization and encompasses new aspects that need to be highlighted. These include, among others, language learning strategies employed during the learning of languages other than English, the effect of under-explored individual differences such as multilingualism (Mitits & Gavriilidou, 2014; Mitits & Gavriilidou, 2016), communicative language ability, typical or non-typical language development or type of school on LLS use (Gavriilidou & Petrogiannis, 2016), the investigation of specific strategies that facilitate the acquisition of different linguistic levels such as phonology, morphology, vocabulary,

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syntax, etc., or the impact of teaching methods and means such as video-mediated listening comprehension or digital supportive feedback on strategy instruction. Consistent with previous literature on LLS, and taking into consideration the research gaps mentioned above, this innovative volume aims to delineate the ongoing research and, further, to probe into less investigated issues concerning language learning strategies within an international community of scholars and practitioners. In particular, it: • offers fine-tuned strategy categorizations; • looks into how strategies can be employed in learning language skills and aspects of grammar and vocabulary; • shares data that highlight less explored learner individual characteristics such as multilingualism; • discusses results concerning language learning strategies employed during the learning of languages other than English, such as Greek as a foreign language; • reflects on some of the major themes in language teaching such as the impact of LLS instruction on learner autonomy; • explores the role of strategy use in critical thinking. A more detailed presentation of the content of the book follows. Overview of the Book

The volume brings together a number of essays devoted to different issues related to language learning strategies (LLS), an important area of research in the field of second/foreign language acquisition that is of relevance to researchers and practitioners alike. It is divided into four parts and 15 chapters. Each part discusses key issues such as the theoretical background of language learning strategies as well as the established and innovative methods of LLS investigation, assessment and instruction. Each chapter is written by one or more experts on the topic, and presents core and state-of-the-art information in the specific research area it explores, as well as empirical data. Together the chapters aim to comprehensively cover the field from alternative points of view and give readers access to the international literature and research on diverse topics of study in order to facilitate a thorough understanding of the role of learning strategies in language learning processes, creating an effective basis for the improvement of language teaching. The majority of chapters, those included in Parts 2, 3 and 4, are not only based on original research studies that can be further investigated by other scholars but also offer concrete pedagogical implications and suggestions, thus bridging the gap between theory, research and classroom practice.

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The first part of the book contains two chapters by leading scholars in the field that explore important theoretical issues related to LLS and provide a comprehensive overview of current thinking combined with new trends and insights in LLS research, such as fine-tuning strategy categorizations for TL learning and performance and self-regulation theories that can be linked to LLS. Chapter 1, by Andrew Cohen, has three foci. The first addresses fine-tuning and how language learners’ strategies (LLS) are described and categorized. The second is a brief focus on the micro-analysis of the functions of a given strategy (i.e. metacognitive, cognitive, social, or affective) and how such analysis can help identify more clearly how strategies alone, in sequences, in pairs, and in clusters actually work. The third focus, and the bulk of the chapter, is on fine-tuning strategy categorizations for TL learning and performance. In Chapter 2, Rebecca Oxford discusses components of consciousness, which are crucial for learning and for the use of LLS. She also goes beyond consciousness to offer a comprehensive view of LLS and she highlights the fact that LLS are required for self-regulation when the learner faces challenges in learning. Self-regulation theories that can be linked to LLS are also discussed. Her conclusion encourages researchers and teachers to understand theories of self-regulated learning and to pay greater attention to self-regulation as the foundational reason for LLS. Part 2 comprises chapters that explore how LLS relate to specific skills, such as speaking, as well as particular linguistic sub-systems, namely L2 vocabulary learning in multiple contexts in which LLS can be used and taught. The studies included in this part were conducted in divergent educational settings (elementary, junior high, university, adult education) in Serbia, Sweden, Croatia, Greece and the UK, with participants who spoke different first/second languages and were learning English or Greek as a second or foreign language. In Chapter 3, Bojović investigates the under-explored topic of speaking and oral communication strategies and the effects of communicative language ability and gender on the perceived use of speaking strategies. The participants were 60 undergraduate biotechnology engineering students, learning EFL at the University of Kragujevac, Serbia. The results obtained showed that the perceived overall use of EFL speaking strategies was frequent. The students’ higher levels of communicative language ability coincided with more frequently reported use of speaking strategies. The perceived use of speaking strategies was not affected by gender. Chapter 4, by LaBontee, analyzes the instrumentation processes and underlying theoretical constructs of three influential vocabulary learning strategy surveys popularized in second language acquisition research. The studies are compared in terms of their initial strategy

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item generation, classification systems for chosen strategies represented by each survey, and their reporting of instrument design and creation in relation to the data and results garnered through use of the said survey instruments. The comparative analysis of these three studies is used in conjunction with a revision of the Swedish Vocabulary Learning Strategy Survey (SVLSS). Findings indicated that past surveys have reported diverse levels of detail concerning instrument creation and development, and that a more transparent methodological design can provide more construct-valid and reliable results when interpreting collected data. In Chapter 5, Pavičić Takač and Marinov share results of a study employing narrative frames to explore EFL learners’ paths through vocabulary learning. Narrative frames were analyzed in three stages following the general principles of grounded theory (Griffiths & Oxford, 2014). The authors conclude that vocabulary learning is successful if learners employ a wide range of learning strategies, have a positive perspective of the process of learning, and are goal oriented. Theoretically, data indicate that vocabulary learning is powered by strategic action. Alexiou, Mitits and Milton’s chapter (Chapter 6) reports preliminary results on how the choice of language used with children in bilingual (Turkish L1 and Greek L2) families in Greece can potentially affect L2 learning outcomes and how teachers and parents can help bilingual learners develop both L1 and L2 through strategy instruction. In particular, instruction in vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) appears to be of utmost importance in the particular teaching/learning context. The authors stress that, as long as we continue to ignore the educational and cultural conditions, the particular classroom environment, and the availability of L2 input and output opportunities, both in school and at home, little progress can be expected. This shows the interrelatedness of the formal (the school) and informal (home) environment for vocabulary development. Alexiou, Mitits and Milton conclude that the classroom learning environments should demand different VLS from informal learning contexts. In the same vein, the availability and richness of input/ output opportunities should also determine the strategies that learners decide to use. In Chapter 7, Petanjak Dedić and Geld explore the strategic construal of particle verbs (PVs) in Croatian secondary school learners of English. The sample consisted of two groups of learners: forty-three 12-year-olds and forty-seven 14-year-olds. The analysis showed that both groups activated the following three types of meaning construal strategies: compositionality, lexical determination and topological determination. Contrary to the strategies established for older and more experienced learners from previous studies, their default strategy, irrespective of the semantic ‘heaviness’ of the lexical components of PVs, tended to

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be compositionality as they first attended to both components of the PV construction, and then addressed them individually. The third part of the book highlights the complex situated characteristics of LLS. It seeks answers to some fundamental questions regarding strategy use and its interrelation with learners’ personal characteristics and profiles and presents four different chapters that reflect the contextual diversity of language learning strategy use and allow thought-provoking approaches that broaden the strategic learning construct. In Chapter 8, Angeliki Psaltou-Joycey offers insights from Greece by focusing on research done in the country so that the rest of the scientific community working on LLS can also benefit. She shares an overview of studies in L2 learning strategies conducted within the Greek educational context. Also, she proposes plans for the strategy instruction, which leads to a discussion of the curriculum, coursebooks, and teacher involvement in the process of implementing language learning strategy instruction (LLSI). Next, she demonstrates an LLSI procedure with samples from a Teacher’s Guide, a collaborative work of Greek scholars and practitioners. She concludes that the issue of LLS is actually a mature research field in Greece, as documented by the large number of publications by Greek scholars. Chapter 9, by Papadopoulou, Machili and Kantaridou, investigates the strategies Greek university students use during video-mediated listening comprehension, with a view to identifying the components of the construct, on which rating scales could be built and which strategy instruction could aim to develop. Two hundred students completed two reading + watching-to-write tasks, accompanied by a self-report questionnaire on the strategies they employed while performing the tasks. The results showed that the video-mediated integrated writing construct was found to consist of input-focused, output-focused and non-verbal strategy categories. In Chapter 10, Gavriilidou, Tresorukova and Mylonopoulos investigate language learning strategy use by students learning Greek as a foreign language at the departments of Byzantine and modern Greek philology of the universities of Lomonosov in Moscow and St Petersburg respectively. They relate strategy use to motivation, years of studying Greek, proficiency level and knowledge of a third language as well as analysis of variation in the use of individual strategies on the standardized SILL. The results showed higher frequency of strategy use among more motivated undergraduate students with a higher proficiency level and knowledge of a third language. The strategies reported to be used most were compensation strategies. In Chapter 11, Mitits, Gavriilidou and Vrettou present a large-scale nationwide study including multilingual learners in Greek primary and secondary public and minority schools. The study reports on how the

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type of school these learners attended (mainstream and dual immersion) influenced the language learning strategies they employed and their motivational orientations to learn English. The findings show statistically significant differences between students attending minority schools and those in public schools, both in overall strategy use and in strategy categories (memory, compensation, metacognitive, affective, and social). The motivational orientations of the students do not seem to differ on the majority of items and both groups of multilingual learners appear to be in need of strategy training. The results also point towards the need to raise teacher awareness that multilingual learners have particular characteristics that seem to be influenced by the type of school they attend. A key concern threading throughout Part 4 is attention to strategy instruction. It combines theory, empirical research and classroom experience providing impetus for further research and offering readers materials and tips to develop their own teaching practices. In particular, it offers strategy instruction programs for vocabulary or morphology acquisition or the development of critical thinking and reading strategies. All the contributions to this section acknowledge the centrality of strategy instruction during language learning. The ultimate goal of this specific section is to provide resources for teacher trainers and teachers in order for them to become more strategic in their teaching. Chapter 12, by Mitsiaki and Anastassiadis-Symeonidis, explores usage-based and pedagogical issues associated with the less addressed morphological segmentation, in an attempt to draw attention to morphological gradedness, a core concept for word part analysis under strategy-based instruction. The chapter re-situates morphological segmentation, a deliberate learning strategy for L2 multi-skill learning and teaching, by placing the emphasis on the multiple functions that it serves. In Chapter 13, Yang provides an important contribution to the under-researched issue of differentiated strategy instruction for students with different proficiency levels and learning needs. A total of 74 students from two college English classes participated in this study. According to the different language levels and learning needs of the students, the study designed and implemented a self-set assignment (SSA) project with self-learning activities that led students to move from being assisted to being able to gradually take more control of the elements of language learning, including learning goals, materials and resources, learning activities, and evaluation of the learning. Students’ beliefs about autonomous learning and the self-learning activities were collected and examined by questionnaires, and their performance was evaluated via multiple assessments. The author presents caveats and suggestions for improving and refining the teaching design so as to differentiate strategy instruction and systematically enhance students’ autonomous ability in learning English.

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In Chapter 14, Theodoridou and Hatzitheodorou share the results of their case study focusing on a totally unexplored field: the use of videogaming in strategy instruction and more specifically on how to promote learners’ critical thinking and develop reading strategies through critical video-gaming. This chapter is a contribution to the still nascent field of critical applied linguistics. Results showed that video games improve reading skills and raise motivation; careful lesson design that focuses on the needs of a given context also appears to be essential. The combination of video games and strategy use, also aids the adoption of a critical reading perspective. However, proportional teaching of all strategy types is advisable in order to maintain a balance in strategy instruction. It is suggested in the chapter that activity types based on video games be adapted by the teacher in order to improve reading activities according to particular learners in distinct contexts. In the final chapter of this book, Chapter 15, Veliki and PsaltouJoycey address the effectiveness of training young EFL learners to use LLS with digital supportive feedback on the range of the strategies they employ. They also examine the development of learners’ receptive and productive vocabulary while working on a specific task, namely the cloze-test. Results based on statistical analysis proved that the students who received training increased the range of strategies they used and improved their linguistic performance in cloze-tests. The findings have pedagogical implications for the integration of strategy-based instruction into the school curricula with LLS informed educators and digital material specially designed for strategic instruction. The editors would like to thank Multilingual Matters, who believed in this project and agreed to host this book in the Second Language Acquisition series. Warm thanks also go to all the contributing authors, who trusted their texts to our hands and contributed to the quality of the volume. We would like to acknowledge Andrew Cohen, Angeliki Psaltou-Joycey, Christina Gkonou, Ernesto Macaro, Karen Newman, Lena Agathopoulou, Marina Mathioudakis, Pamela Gunning, Konstantinos Petrogiannis, Thomaï Alexiou and Zoe Gavriilidou, who kindly agreed to review chapters in this volume, for their constructive criticism on the manuscripts. Also, we would like to extend our special thanks to Peter Yongqi for writing the Foreword. Finally, we would like to thank Antonios Mylonopoulos for his invaluable help with the formatting and proofreading of the manuscript. References Butler, Y.G. (2014) Parental factors and early English education as a foreign language: A case study in Mainland China. Research Papers in Education 29 (4), 410–437. Chamot, A.U. (2018) Developing self-regulated learning in the language classroom. In I. Walker, D. Chan, M. Nagami and C. Bourguigon (eds) New Perspectives on the

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Lan, R. and Oxford, R.L. (2003) Language learning strategy profiles of elementary school students in Taiwan. IRAL 41 (4), 339–379. Lee, K.O. (2003) The relationship of school year, sex, and proficiency on the use of learning strategies in learning English of Korean junior high school students. Asian EFL Journal 5 (3), 1–36. Macaro, E. (2001) Learning Strategies in Foreign and Second Language Classrooms. London: Continuum. MacIntyre, P.D. (1994) Toward a social psychological model of strategy use. Foreign Language Annals 27, 185–195. MacIntyre, P.D. and Noels, K.A. (1996) Using social-psychological variables to predict the use of language learning strategies. Foreign Language Annals 29, 373–386. Mitits, L. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2014) Effects of gender, age, proficiency level and motivation differences on monolingual and multilingual students’ language learning strategies. In D. Koutsogiannis, D. Papadopoulou and A. Revithiadou (eds) Studies in Greek linguistics, Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Department of Linguistics (pp. 285–299). Thessaloniki: M. Triandafyllidis Institute. Mitits, L. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2016) Exploring language learning strategy transfer between Greek L2 and English FL in case of early adolescent multilinguals. International Journal of Multilingualism 13 (3), 292–314. See 10.1080/14790718.2016.1158266. Mitits, L., Psaltou-Joycey, A. and Sougari, A. (2016) Language learning strategy profiling of Greek primary/secondary school learners of English as a FL. In Z. Gavriilidou and K. Petrogiannis (eds) Language Learning Strategies in the Greek Setting: Research Outcomes of a Large-scale Project (pp. 26–41). Kavala, Greece: Saita Publications. Mizumoto, A. and Takeuchi, O. (2018) Modeling a prototypical use of language learning strategies. In R.L. Oxford and C.M. Amerstorfer (eds) Language Learning Strategies and Individual Learner Characteristics: Situating Strategy Use in Diverse Contexts (pp. 99–122). London: Bloomsbury. Mochizuki, A. (1999) Language learning strategies used by Japanese university students. RELC Journal 30 (2), 101–113. Nyikos, M. (1990) Sex-related differences in adult language learning: Socialisation and memory factors. Modern Language Journal 74 (3), 273–287. O’Malley, J.M. and Chamot, A.U. (1990) Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oxford, R.L. (1990) Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. New York, NY: Newbury House/Harper & Row, now Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle. Oxford, R.L. (1999) Relationships between second language learning strategies and language proficiency in the context of learner autonomy and self-regulation. Revista Canariade Estudios Ingleses 38, 108–126. Oxford, R.L. (2011) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education. Oxford, R.L. and Crookall, D. (1989) Research on language learning strategies: Methods, findings, and instructional issues. Modern Language Journal 73, 404–419. Oxford, R.L. and Nyikos, M. (1989) Variables affecting choice of language learning strategies by university students. The Modern Language Journal 73 (3), 291–300. Oxford, R.L. and Amerstorfer, C.M. (eds) (2018) Language Learning Strategies and Individual Learner Characteristics: Situating Strategy Use in Diverse Contexts. London: Bloomsbury. Oxford, R.L., Park-Oh, Y., Ito, S. and Sumrall, M. (1993) Japanese by satellite: Effects of motivation, language learning styles and strategies, gender, course level, and previous language learning experiences on Japanese language achievement. Foreign Language Annals 26, 359–371. Papadopoulou, I., Kantaridou, Z., Agaliotis, I. and Platsidou, M. (2017) Foreign language teachers’ strategy instruction practices in Greek secondary education. In

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Z. Gavriilidou, K. Petrogiannis, M. Platsidou and A. Psaltou-Joycey (eds) Language Learning Strategies: Theoretical Issues and Applied Perspectives (pp. 94–119). Kavala, Greece: Saita Publications. Peacock, M. and Ho, B. (2003) Student language learning strategies across eight disciplines. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 13 (2), 179–200. Petrogiannis, K. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2015) Strategy inventory for language learning: Findings of a validation study in Greece. In M. Carmo (ed.) Education Applications and Developments (pp. 223–236). Madrid: inScience Press. Pintrich, P.R. (2000) The role of goal orientation in self-regulated learning. In M. Boekaerts, P.R. Pintrich and M. Zeidner (eds) Handbook of Self-regulation (pp. 451–502). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Platsidou, M. and Kantaridou, Z. (2014) The role of attitudes and learning strategy use in predicting perceived competence in school-aged foreign language learners. Journal of Language and Literature 5 (3), 253–260. Politzer, R. (1983) An exploratory study of self-reported language learning behaviors and their relation to achievement. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 6, 54–65. Politzer, R. and McGroarty, M. (1985) An explanatory study of learning behaviors and their relationship to gains in linguistic and communicative competence. TESOL Quarterly 19 (1), 103–124. Psaltou-Joycey, A. and Kantaridou, Z. (2009a) Foreign language learning strategy profiles of university students in Greece. Journal of Applied Linguistics 25, 107–127. Psaltou-Joycey, A. and Kantaridou, Z. (2009b) Plurilingualism, language learning strategy use and learning style preferences. International Journal of Multilingualism 6 (4), 460–474. Psaltou-Joycey, A. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2015) Foreign Language Learning Strategy Instruction: A Teacher’s Guide. Kavala, Greece: Saita Publications. Psaltou-Joycey, A. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2018) Language learning strategies in Greek primary and secondary school learners. In R.L. Oxford and C.M. Amerstorfer (eds) Language Learning Strategies and Individual Learner Characteristics: Situating Strategy Use in Diverse Contexts (pp. 248–269). London: Bloomsbury. Reid, J.M. (1987) The learning style preferences of ESL students. TESOL Quarterly 21 (1), 87–111. Rubin, J. (1975) What the ‘good language learner’ can teach us. TESOL Quarterly 9 (1), 41–51. Rubin, J. (2001) Language learner self-management. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 11 (1), 25–37. Ryan, R.M. and Deci, E.L. (2000) Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology 25, 54–67. Sarafianou, A. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2015) The effect of strategy-based instruction on strategy use by upper-secondary Greek students of EFL. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching 12 (1), 21–34. Schmidt, R., Boraie, D. and Kassabgy, O. (1996) Foreign language motivation: Internal structure and external connections. In R.L. Oxford (ed.) Language Learning Motivation: Pathways to the New Century (pp. 9–70). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press. Schunk, D.H. and Zimmerman, B.J. (eds) (2008) Motivation and Self-regulated Learning: Theory, Research and Applications. New York & Oxford: Lawrence Erlbaum. Sheorey, R. (1999) An examination of language learning strategy use in the setting of an indigenized variety of English. System 27 (1), 173–190. Stern, H.H. (1975) What can we learn from the good language learner? Canadian Modern Language Review 31, 304–318. Thompson, I. and Rubin, J. (1996) Can strategy instruction improve listening comprehension? Foreign Language Annals 29 (3), 331–342.

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Vrettou, A. (2009) Language learning strategy employment of EFL Greek-speaking learners in junior high school. Journal of Applied Linguistics 25, 85–106. Wharton, G. (2000) Language learning strategy use of bilingual foreign language learners in Singapore. Language Learning 50 (2), 203–244. Yang, M.-N. (2007) Language learning strategies for junior college students in Taiwan: Investigating ethnicity and proficiency. Asian EFL Journal 9 (2), 35–57. Zeidner, M., Boekaerts, M. and Pintrich, P.R. (2000) Self-regulation: Directions and challenges for future research. In M. Boekaerts, P.R. Pintrich and M. Zeidner (eds) Handbook of Self-regulation (pp. 749–768). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Part 1: Language Learning Strategies: Where Do We Go from Here?

1 Language Learner Strategies: A Call for Fine-tuned Strategy Categorization Andrew D. Cohen

A caveat at the outset is that this chapter was originally delivered as a plenary address, which helps to explain why it is more personal in nature than it might have been had it simply been an effort at academic writing. The chapter will look at the reality of strategizing in different skill areas and across genres and will consider the value of fine-tuning how we describe and categorize language learner strategies (LLS). The point is made that a close-order analysis of strategies reveals that there is actually a continuum from more skill-like to more strategy-like behavior. In addition, it is suggested that conducting a micro-analysis of the functions of a given strategy (i.e. metacognitive, cognitive, social, or affective) can help identify more clearly the nature of strategizing – whether reflecting the use of separate strategies, or strategies used in sequences, pairs, or clusters. The bulk of the chapter is devoted to proposing areas for fine-tuned categorization of strategies for target language (TL) learning and performance – in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary learning, pronunciation, grammar learning, translation, and pragmatics. 1 Fine-tuning How We Describe and Categorize Language Learner Strategies

Defining what constitutes a strategy has been a major concern of LLS theorists. According to Oxford (2017; see also Chapter 2 in this volume), there exist at least 33 different definitions of LLS, many being similar to each other in nature. This plethora of definitions is an indication of just how reluctant experts have been to agree on one common definition for this construct. Oxford (2017: 48) offers a 3

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comprehensive definition of 116 words, intended to provide closure at the definitional level. Among other things, she includes in her definition that strategies are contextually specific thoughts and actions that can be both mental and physical; that they can be combined in clusters or chains; that they can have cognitive, emotional, and social roles to play as determined by the individual; and that their use in self-regulation is complex in nature. So, what characterizes this definition is an effort to include various approaches to LLS definition. This comprehensive definition of LLS invites us to deal with strategies in a more rigorous way than in the past. Regardless of our definition of LLS, we need to remember that the principal goal of the LLS effort from its earliest years has always been to improve language learning and use for the average learner (Macaro, 2010). One curious phenomenon I have seen over the years is that, regardless of how rigorous the definition is, the actual processes referred to as ‘strategies’ frequently take on vague labels such as ‘use a dictionary’, ‘find a mnemonic device’, or ‘look for clues in the context’. Presumably, these labels are expected to trigger in the mind of the learner a specific strategy to deploy in the given case for the given task. But there appears to be limited research as to just what the labels actually mean for learners and, in addition, there has not generally been much attention paid to what happens on a moment-by-moment basis during the use of that strategy. In addition, it seems that the labels reflect a continuum from more skill-like to more strategy-like behavior. Consequently, the time has come for LLS educators to undertake more studies that provide microlevel inspection of the functions of any given strategy. Such inspection could help identify possible avenues for strategy instruction (SI) in order to facilitate target-language (TL) learning, especially in challenging contexts. Up until now, SI interventions have tended not to be finetuned in this way. There is evidence that the use of empirically validated, rigorously detailed LLS may have a dramatic impact on language task performance, which is not necessarily the case when strategies are referred to in a vague manner (see Cohen et al., 2011). On occasion, strategy labels are followed by examples that illustrate how the strategy may be operationalized, as in a categorization of strategies for L2 listening comprehension (Vandergrift & Goh, 2012). In this categorization scheme, the authors provided a description of each strategy, followed by several examples from learners (Vandergrift & Goh, 2012: 277–284). For example, comprehension monitoring was described as ‘checking, verifying, or correcting understanding at the local level’, and was followed by two examples: Student #1: There’s one word I didn’t hear. Er … the something is … er … protects eyes, some other I can’t remember.

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Student #2: But actually, I know this meaning, but it does not make sense to me in this sentence. This is more information than is often provided along with strategies. Here we do see monitoring in action, first identifying the gaps in what they heard, and then hearing the word presumably correctly but not understanding its meaning in the context. Subsequently, the learners would presumably want strategies to fill in the gaps and also to get at the contextual meaning of words and phrases. Guidelines for conducting a 2-hour SI workshop for secondary school teachers in Greece, for example, relied primarily on strategies as they had appeared in the traditional LLS literature (see Kantaridou & Papadopoulou, 2017). What are termed affective strategies, for example, included ‘encouraging yourself – taking risks wisely, making positive statements, and rewarding yourself’. But what do these strategies actually entail at the functional level? What does ‘taking risks wisely’ actually involve and when does this strategy have an affective function? In reality, taking risks wisely involves not just the affective function but cognitive and metacognitive ones as well – moments of planning and then grappling with problematic cognitive material as well. And usually when learners are frustrated at not being able to, say, figure out what a word means in context, they may make a negative rather than a positive comment. It may be this ‘Oh, darn!’ moment – a product of the affective function at work – that, in fact, activates the metacognitive function of planning some other approach to determining what the word means. The usual vagueness around what really constitutes the strategic behavior in a given instance would explain why some decades ago there was such an effort to distinguish between something called a ‘strategy’ and something called a ‘technique’ (Stern, 1983) or a ‘tactic’ (Seliger, 1984). This effort was based on a realization that in order for learners to accomplish any given TL task, they needed to go beyond these general labels to more specific selected processes. Then there was somewhat of a backlash against such a terminological split because at times it was difficult to determine just where the cut-off was between a more general strategy and the more specific techniques or tactics (Cohen, 2007). The resolution was to refer to all consciously selected TL processes as strategies, which is all the more reason for a definitional fine-tuning such as that provided by Oxford (2017). 2 Micro-analysis of the Functions of a Given Strategy

It is proposed here that researchers pay more attention to micro-level analysis of strategies specific to a given skill area and situated within a given task, in order to determine the moment-to-moment functions that these strategies play in the learning and use of a TL. Whereas

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Oxford (2017) refers to these functions as ‘roles’, I prefer to use the more technical term ‘functions’. A close-up analysis of the functions of strategies found that metacognitive, cognitive, social, and affective functions fluctuated not only during the use of a single strategy but also when learners moved from one strategy to another in sequence, in pairs, and in clusters (Cohen & Wang, 2018b, 2018a). Such close-order research can help language educators pinpoint instances of success and failure, which can then lead to selective intervention. It seems logical that if learners know just what functions (i.e. metacognitive, cognitive, social, or affective) are being engaged at each moment that a given strategy is being deployed, they may do better at managing their own learning. Analysis of these strategy functions should, for example, help learners and teachers alike to better understand the elusive but often crucial affective function of strategies (e.g. satisfaction or frustration) and the subsequent choice of other functions that they trigger. 3 The Fine-tuned Categorization of Strategies for TL Learning and Performance

Let us now consider issues regarding the categorization of strategies and skill areas. Many of the examples offered will be drawn from my own learning of Chinese, as a way to ground my points in a given language-learning reality. It is my contention that we can only advance our theoretical concepts by continuing to work closely with empirically derived LLS data from learners. By staying in the lofty realm of theory, we avoid confronting the realities language learners face on a daily basis. So, as indicated above, we will now look at strategy categorization in different skill areas: listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary learning, pronunciation, grammar learning, translation, and TL pragmatics. 3.1 Listening

I can personally attest to the fact that strategies for listening to especially fast-paced speech can be very helpful when the language has many apparent homonyms. This is a great challenge for me currently with Chinese. There are numerous one-syllable and two-syllable words that sound the same to my ear. While asking the speaker to slow down can help a bit, even when they are reciting a text that I have in front of me, I may not necessarily recognize the words because of the four tones in Chinese. When I first started learning the language more than eight years ago, I memorized the tones for new vocabulary as I learned the words. But my personal electronic dictionary (BYKI, Transparent Language) as of October 2020 has 4,317 words (2,246 nouns, 974 verbs, 649 adjectives, 398 function words, and 50 measure words). There is no

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way for me to learn how to recognize or produce that many words with correct tones at my current age of 76. It would appear to be beneficial to know the Chinese characters because words are often built on radicals such that if you know the tone for that radical, you have a head start for knowing the tone for that word. Nonetheless, the program that I used to learn Chinese more than a decade ago, Fluenz (with its 150 hours of instruction through DVDs), used only pinyin. This writing system deploys the English alphabet but is actually divergent from English sounds both for some consonants and for certain vowels and diphthongs. Given that I am not a particularly good listener to begin with, even in English, it is a real stretch for me to comprehend what my tandem partner is saying in Chinese. This is particularly embarrassing because the topics that I write about each week are sophisticated, drawing on an extensive vocabulary and dealing with myriad issues in my life. In all fairness, I am exposed to relatively little oral Chinese. Still, I could benefit from being coached in how to listen to Chinese. I have no difficulty listening to my romance languages (French, Spanish, and Portuguese) and to Hebrew. So, I would contend that rather than general, generic strategies, I need strategies for listening to Chinese given that my native language is English. My experience with Chinese underscores how the proximity between the TL and the listeners’ L1 or dominant language can make a huge difference regarding how important it is to use strategies and in how likely these strategies are to be effective. I have noticed that I do have a slightly easier time understanding if I know that my interlocutor is referring to a specific topic. It is more difficult for me when my tandem partner’s comment is not on any one of the topics that I have written about each week. Imagine what it is like when I do not know at all what my tandem partner might be talking about, which was sometimes the case in my interactions with a tandem partner who was an architect in Shanghai accompanying his wife who was on sabbatical at the University of California, Berkeley for six months. Since he was not a teacher, he did not track what I did not know as readily as my other tandem partners over the years have. Furthermore, I did not send him my weekly topics in advance to review and correct. So, basically, I have needed to make a lot of inferences, especially when interacting with this architect. What does the LLS literature tell us about inferencing? As a strategy for coping with inferencing, we are told to look for clues from what is being heard. The assumption is that what is being heard is being heard correctly. Given my difficulties with both correctly identifying and producing Chinese pronunciation, it is likely that I am mishearing many of the syllables. Whereas strategy experts would suggest listening for affixes (e.g. Psaltou-Joycey, 2010: 202), Chinese does not tend to have many affixes since the words are so short and based on radicals. Another recommended strategy is to check

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word order, but word order in Chinese puts me into cognitive overload because information is often packed into the first part of a phrase unlike in English (see the example provided in section 3.3, Reading). A further suggested strategy is to listen for cognates, but there are few between Chinese and English, and the ones that do exist are disguised enough so that they may be unrecognizable. For example, the word for ‘salad’ in Chinese is shālā. Yet another suggested strategy is to look at the concatenation or linking together of segments. The problem with Chinese is that, given the shortness of Chinese words, there are not many segments that can provide cues for meaning. Other strategies suggested by PsaltouJoycey (2010) do work for me from time to time, such as linking what is said to an earlier exchange in the conversation, as well as attending to nonlinguistic clues such as facial expressions, gestures, and body language, since my tandem sessions are conducted by means of Skype. When in doubt, I simply say dui, ‘yes’, in response to my conversational partner’s utterance, which may be a totally inadequate response. However, given my senior status, the tandem partner does not usually pursue the matter unless my indication of having understood the message is essential to the continuation of our interaction. Since intonation is already used at the word level, when ma with a neutral tone appears at the end of the sentence, it serves as a question particle. I need to be listening for this ma in order to know whether the sentence is posing a yes/no question. Perhaps it is because my comprehension is good in at least four other non-native languages (Hebrew, Spanish, French and Portuguese) that I experience frustration at my non-comprehension in aural Chinese. Now add to the mix other variables such as a flaky audio channel during a Skype session or ambient noises, and aural comprehension can get even more challenging. So, my main point here is that it is easy to provide lists of strategies for listening, but the reality of it can be far more taxing and complex than these strategy lists may make it appear. Hence, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all set of listening strategies, it would be helpful to have access to a more specific set of strategies for coping with listening problems when the TL sound system is dramatically different from that of the L1, such as in the case of an English speaker attempting to comprehend Chinese. 3.2 Speaking

With regard to speaking strategies, it would appear that the focus has mostly been on strategies for everyday communication in a TL. An example would be a study conducted by Rosas-Maldenado (2016) on the communication strategies used by nine Chilean EFL college students in free conversation out of class with a native speaker. It is my sense that

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more work needs to be done on strategies that would help non-native speakers (NNS) give, say, a truly exceptional academic talk – one that is not just the reading aloud of a written paper. It is not accidental that, in business schools, students are instructed on how to give oral presentations to the business community in their own L1. The teacher may be an expert in drama and be referred to as a voice coach. One can only imagine how much more difficult it is to present a business pitch in a language other than the L1 – especially with an emphasis on how to be pragmatically appropriate (see section 3.9, Pragmatics). Given that there is so much to learn, a set of strategies for what to look for and how to achieve the presentation goals in the given language would most likely be beneficial. 3.3 Reading

The reading strategies literature provides a fine example of how strategies are usually presented at a fairly abstract level (i.e. more skill-like than strategy-like), often in three general groups: global strategies (e.g. reading selectively according to goals, posing and answering questions, connecting text to background knowledge, identifying the main ideas, using discourse markers to better understand inter-textual relationships, making inferences, guessing meaning from context, and summarizing), monitoring strategies (e.g. identifying reading difficulties, taking steps to repair faulty comprehension, and reflecting on information learned from the text), and support strategies (e.g. using the dictionary, taking notes, paraphrasing, mental translation, underlining, and highlighting) (Grabe & Stoller, 2011; Stoller & Komiyama, 2013). The challenge for readers is that the way the TL conveys meaning syntactically may differ dramatically from what these readers are used to when reading texts in their L1 and in other languages. For example, as mentioned above, Chinese does a good deal of front loading of material before the subject of the sentence: Wǒmen huì dédào shǐyòng Kuíběikè Dàxué de yóuyǒngchí hé jiànshēnfáng de tōngxíngzhèng. Lit. ‘We will receive to use Quebec University swimming pool and gym passes’, whereas in English it would be: ‘We will receive passes to use the Quebec University swimming pool and gym.’

So, the reader needs to recognize that the object of the verb ‘to receive’ is a heavy noun phrase consisting of nine words in Chinese. In addition, the reader needs to intuit from the context whether the noun is singular or plural. At least, benevolently for learners, Chinese verbs are always in the ‘infinitive’, rather than being inflected for person or number, or as in Hebrew and Arabic, also for gender. Hence, an

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understanding of the grammar of Chinese can play a strategic role in reading a text with comprehension. More specifically, a keen knowledge of how the grammar works in written texts can have a dramatic impact on the reader’s search for clues to the meaning of a given word ‘in context’. So just as there are more and less supportive contexts for determining the meaning of a word, there is also the issue of how to deal strategically with the context in order to use it most effectively. Thus, telling learners to deploy the strategy of ‘using context in order to figure out the meaning of a word’ may be of little benefit when the context is user-unfriendly. Determining word meaning from context is actually more skill-like, possibly calling for a host of strategies in order to be fully operationalized. Then, there is the issue of the type of text. Nowadays, much reading – especially by teenagers and young adults – involves text messages and tweets. These messages often involve a specialized type of reading since comprehension of them calls for the understanding of certain key abbreviations, an ability to infer what is not clearly stated, and an ability to get the tone of the message through the choice of certain words, phrases, and emojis. Nowadays, it is also important to understand the role of hashtags in tweets (Scott, 2015). More than ever, newspaper and magazine articles are being read online, which may impact the readers’ strategies in that they may check other sources on the internet along the way. Again, if reading is online, readers may use a complicated form of discourse synthesis where they access a series of articles on the same topic from various sources (see Segev-Miller, 2007). They may at times interrupt their reading to watch, for example, a short video that captures the essence of the article. In brief, there are clearly more clues to meaning now than in the past. The way that academic texts are accessed has also changed. While there are still those who first read the abstract of an academic article and on that basis determine what to read of the article itself and in what depth, there are those who now locate a PowerPoint on the same material by the writer, and combine what they get from the PowerPoint with elements from the article (e.g. details about the subjects and about the instruments). In other words, the traditional model of reading an academic text has most likely been replaced by other approaches, especially if the reader has numerous articles to cover. For example, it is now relatively easy to find an email address for a given author and to engage in an email exchange in order to arrive at a better understanding of just what was written in the article or reflected in the PowerPoint. Also, the author may share an unpublished article with the reader since published articles may reflect work that was completed several years earlier. The point is that strategies for reading an academic text nowadays are probably far different from what they were before the advent of the

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internet. It would be helpful to have strategy descriptions that offer details as to the actual strategy combinations used to extract meaning from specific academic texts. 3.4 Writing

Just as new strategies have been called for in order to cope with the ever changing purposes for which learners need to read communicatively, so at present effective writing calls for strategies to deal with the new forms that writing now takes as well. For example, this chapter is being written largely with the assistance of speech recognition software, Dragon Professional Individual Version 15. What this means is that writing largely consists of dictating, a departure from the more traditional approach where thoughts were written down on paper by hand, then typed laboriously on a manual or electric typewriter using correction tape or whiteout for correcting typos, then edited, and finally released for circulation. Of course, at present, most writing is done through keyboarding, but still a far cry from the use of typewriters. Nonetheless, I would venture to say that the speech recognition approach permits writers to get their texts written before the ideas slip away. This is not necessarily true when keyboarding. In either case, good writers may rely on various strategies to retain ideas before they are lost, such as by using a sometimes rigorous outline of points. A downside of using a speech recognition program such as Dragon or the program used on the iPhone when talking to Siri, is that the lack of careful scrutiny as to what is written down may at times produce embarrassing results. In May 2017 my wife and I were having breakfast at the Fripon Restaurant in the historic section of Montréal. When dictating a thank-you message to my colleague over breakfast that morning, Siri in her infinite wisdom responded to my dictation of Fripon as ‘free porn’. It is good that I caught it, but there are times when this is not the case, with embarrassing results. So, speech recognition devices call for new editing strategies that were not envisioned some years ago. Consequently, it would appear that a truly helpful set of writing strategies would be specific enough to provide genuine assistance to language learners for the actual writing task that they need to perform, rather than having the strategy set reflect a skill-like list of items such as ‘edit your writing’. In the case of my dictation in the restaurant, a strategy to apply would be ‘check each dictated word carefully before sending the message’. Sometimes there are subtle word substitutions that are difficult to detect but which, nonetheless, alter considerably the intent of the message. Just as with reading, what may be called ‘writing’ has changed, especially with the advent of frequent texting and tweeting. Likewise, producing text messages and tweets calls for specialized strategies,

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such as how to use the hashtag effectively in tweets, as mentioned above. Emojis can be used strategically to indicate the emotional tone of the message and, without them, the tone of the message may be misunderstood. I once sent a text message in Spanish to my daughterin-law which she, as a native speaker (NS), interpreted as sarcastic when that was not my intention as a non-native. I would imagine that, had I used the appropriate emoji, my text message might have worked better. Clearly, other forms of writing have strategies that would apply more specifically to them as well. For example, there are numerous strategies associated with the writing of a research article for a top-tier journal in the given field. Here are some examples: • Adhering strictly to the conventions for writing a research article, such as indicating your takeaway from studies described in your review of literature, rather than leaving it to the reader to figure this out. • Writing research questions such that the variables involved are fully defined and completely clear to the reader. • Making sure that the instrumentation is adequately documented so that the reader knows just what measures were used and is given some examples of what items and/or tasks looked like. • Returning to the research questions to answer each of them in turn, rather than leading with the data and putting the burden on the reader both to remember what the key issues were and to determine the extent to which the findings respond to these questions. Then there are the strategies associated with what to do once a draft of the article is completed: • Circulating the draft before submitting it for publication. • Welcoming and then thoroughly processing negative feedback on the article since responding to such feedback may enhance the final product. • Listing as many limitations of the study as you can possibly think of in order to steal the thunder of potential criticism from others. While the above-noted strategies for preparing a research article may be challenging to adhere to even for writers who are NSs, how much more daunting they can be for writers who are NNSs. While it may be convenient to see such specific strategies for writing a research article as beyond the scope of so-called ‘writing strategies’, the reality is that they are not. Another area of concern are strategies for dealing with grammatical niceties, such as involving modals and their use in signaling strength of claim. For instance, competent writers know how to deal with hedging. They know that they need to be wary about making claims that are not

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justified based on their study, for example. In order to do this effectively, the writer has to have control over phrases such as ‘it would appear that …’, ‘one might construe that …’, and so forth. Knowing how to use modal verbs strategically may constitute the difference between having the article accepted for publication or having it rejected. 3.5 Vocabulary

Despite the reality that learning words is complex, learners are still expected to develop at least some knowledge of many words quickly. Hence, vocabulary strategies can play a crucial role – for example, strategies for learning by rote, word analysis strategies, semantic mapping strategies, strategies for creating associations, strategies for using vocabulary in speaking and writing, strategies for guessing words from context, and strategies for accessing dictionaries (Oxford, 2017: 254–255). To date, most research seems to embrace a single method for vocabulary learning and to chart its effectiveness. For instance, the study that I conducted with Edna Aphek many years ago on the role of mnemonic devices in the learning of Hebrew by English speakers just focused on that strategic option (Cohen & Aphek, 1980, 1981). While this research paradigm makes for neat studies, usually suggesting that learners make robust use of this strategic approach to vocabulary learning, even the pedagogical implications section of the write-up does not usually provide much assistance at the operational level. For example, not every word lends itself to a mnemonic device, especially in a language with many one-syllable words that sound similar to the non-native ear. Hence learners need to cast their net more broadly. Oxford cited a study in which 6th grade EFL students used a co-sharing vocabulary learning system entitled Mywordtools to learn, practice, and share with peers their own self-constructed vocabulary strategies (Oxford, 2017: 259–260). While it is understandable that research efforts would focus on just one or several methodological approaches to strategizing about vocabulary for the sake of simplicity in research design and execution, the reality of what it is actually like in the trenches for learners belies the popular research paradigm. Consequently, books that include descriptions as to strategies actually used in vocabulary learning can be of benefit to learners. So, for example, one recent book presented case studies of six ESL students’ concrete efforts to strategize in their learning of vocabulary (Wang, 2018). The book provides comprehensive coverage of the myriad factors involved in the learning process. In addition, it gives extensive attention to vocabulary strategies for study abroad and to web-based tools for vocabulary learning. With regard to my learning and performance of Chinese vocabulary, my strategies for accessing dictionaries via mobile apps and internet

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programs are highly complex. For example, I have constructed and frequently access my own electronic dictionary of Chinese using pinyin through a software program for which technical support has now been discontinued by Transparent Language ( As indicated above, I now have over 4,300 words that I personally entered into that system, along with my pronunciation of each word. In addition, I use several online dictionaries for English to Chinese or Chinese to English, as well as two mobile-app dictionaries. I also draw on my own mental dictionary, which for Chinese is far less extensive than it is for the other languages that I speak and write. In order to write weekly in pinyin on topics in my life, I turn to Google Translate for words and phrases perhaps half the time. I have learned to make my entries relatively short since I have found it crucial to use the strategy of back-translation to verify each and every word that Google Translate produces. In addition, I check with my current tandem partner, Isobel Wang, to fine-tune my understanding of the semantics relating to vocabulary in Chinese. To my benefit, she happens to be an expert in vocabulary strategies. While my efforts to understand when and how to use Chinese vocabulary have improved, I still find writing weekly in Chinese about my life is very time-consuming and at times highly challenging. I realize that I have upped the ante by not avoiding any topic, whether it be a turgid political one or a complicated medical one. This approach has let me see just how difficult it can be to juggle the various dictionary options in order to produce a written product. I am constantly checking different sources and using back-translation to ensure that the options obtained are at least somewhat reasonable. I am relieved when they are and on occasion surprised when I have missed the mark entirely. So, I would agree with Oxford when she writes that the value of electronic dictionaries deserves intensive investigation (Oxford, 2017: 256). I would underscore the importance of collecting data on what learners actually do when they consult electronic dictionaries. Since many years ago I conducted a study that focused on the use of just one particular dictionary, the strategies used and the effectiveness of their use (Neubach & Cohen, 1988), it intrigued me to conduct a new study given that available dictionary resources have dramatically improved. So, an investigation was undertaken into how good I was at fine-tuning the meanings of Chinese words and phrases by means of mobile apps, online programs, and interactions with Wang as tutor/co-investigator (Cohen & Wang, 2019). More than nine hours of videotaped verbal report revealed the complex nature of the strategizing mobilized just for fine-tuning word meanings. Data analysis revealed that I used a host of specific strategies for managing vocabulary resources and for processing the information in the resources. While sometimes separately or in clusters, I mostly used

Language Learner Strategies: A Call for Fine-tuned Strategy Categorization  15

strategies in sequences or in pairs. Despite all the resources for finetuning vocabulary meaning at my disposal, I was only successful at finetuning 57% of the vocabulary items and was unsuccessful with 43% of the items. Whereas descriptions of vocabulary learning in the research literature are often reduced to fuzzy labels which do not lend themselves well to operationalization, it would appear that teachers and learners themselves are better served with more detailed descriptions of what strategizing about vocabulary actually entails. 3.6 Pronunciation

It would appear to be a propitious moment for investigators to collect data on strategies for the mastery of pronunciation in TLs where this is a real challenge for the given set of learners. For example, English speakers have a difficult time mastering the tones in Chinese. Especially since the learning of Chinese has gained popularity in recent years, it is not surprising that there is a literature on strategies for learning the language. But the focus is largely on the learning of Chinese characters and not on strategies for pronouncing the language, even though it can be rather perplexing for native English speakers to deal with the four mandatory tones associated with Chinese (see Jiang & Cohen, 2012). Strategy research regarding Chinese has covered many areas, but it has not yet provided a handy set of specific strategies to use in order to master tones in Chinese. An initial effort was made to obtain such information, through both survey research and the collection of verbal reports from learners engaged in a read-aloud task and a follow-up interview (Jiang & Cohen, 2018). The findings from that study fell short of providing strategy guidelines in this specific area. 3.7 Grammar

In this era of communicative language teaching, there is a tendency to play down the issue of grammar and even to relegate grammar learning to homework assignments. Yet, the reality is that learners encounter grammar forms that are problematic and may well cause them repeated difficulties, regardless of how well these forms are presented in textbooks, drilled in class, or exercised in homework assignments. Thus, it would appear that there is value in supporting students’ systematic use of strategies for learning or improving their grasp of the grammatical forms that they encounter and need in TL performance. Grammar issues may, of course, be specific to just one TL, such as the inflection of verbs in Hebrew for gender or the signaling of tense in Chinese when the verb itself is not inflected for tense. While some grammatical errors may come across as cute to the NS ear (e.g. ‘I not go to school today’), others may be particularly irksome, such as those

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that lead to pragmatic failures, as in making requests in English simply by using ‘please’ + a command (e.g. ‘Please read this’), rather than mitigating the request as NSs tend to do (‘I was wondering if you might just take a quick look at this’). Given that grammar forms are not just magically acquired, it is curious that a review of research on grammar strategies a decade ago found the area relatively unexplored (Oxford & Lee, 2007). While sociocultural theory would suggest having students work collaboratively on resolving grammar issues (see Swain, 2006), there is some evidence that students do not necessarily remember the grammar forms later on, even if they have had a successful experience working through them (McDonough & Sunitham, 2009). More recently, Oxford (2017: 243–254) revisited the issue of grammar strategy research and found that empirical studies were still lacking. One of the key contributors to this area has been Pawlak, whose work includes both macro-level surveys of the use of grammar strategies by advanced learners of English and micro-level studies with advanced learners engaged in the performance of communicative tasks, where the primary focus has been on conveying the message rather than on the use of a particular TL feature (see Pawlak, 2013). Other work in Europe included a study in which SI focusing on cognitive strategies was provided to one group of EFL learners, with a second group receiving SI focusing on memory strategies (Trendak, 2012, 2015). The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of differential SI on the ability of the learners to deal with one aspect of grammatical emphasis, namely, fronting, which was defined as moving the object, verb, or adverbial phrase to a position just before the subject. Trendak found that the group instructed in memory strategies (i.e. grouping, imagery, associating, placing the words in a context, structured reviewing, and semantic mapping) outperformed the group instructed in cognitive strategies (highlighting, repeating, translating, summarizing, and recombining), both immediately and over time. Of note is that what the researcher referred to as ‘strategies’ in this study were generally more skill-like in nature. In response to this relative dearth of research on grammar strategies, an effort was extended to create a website replete with grammar strategies. Part of the rationale was that the existence of such a website – with an emphasis on the fine-tuned labeling of such strategies – might, in fact, stimulate more research on grammar strategies. It was with the intention of helping to enhance learners’ control of Spanish grammar that such a website was designed (Cohen & Pinilla-Herrera, 2010). The goal was to provide examples of strategies that students of a given language – in this case, Spanish – found helpful in dealing with problematic grammar. For the purposes of this website, grammar strategies were defined as ‘deliberate thoughts and actions students

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consciously employed for learning and getting better control over the use of grammar structures’. The website features 72 strategies that learners had reported using successfully, including strategies from non-native Spanish teachers since they also needed to learn Spanish grammar in order to teach the language. So, rather than being a repository of Spanish grammar rules (which can be found elsewhere on the internet), this website offers suggested strategies provided by those who have ‘been there and done that’ successfully. The Grammar Strategy Website was launched in July 2009 (see http://; accessed September 2019). The content of the website includes an introduction that is meant to give general orientation to users of the site so that they can begin navigating it. Then there is a section with strategies provided by Spanish learners who have used them successfully to learn a specific grammar form. Next, there is a section where users can find strategies that match their learning styles and that can assist them in learning and using various grammar forms. Each section has a brief preamble, followed by strategy descriptions, diagrams and, in some cases, numerous examples. There was an effort to be parsimonious with the use of audio- and video-clips so that website users would not feel overloaded with them. In addition, the clips themselves are kept brief so as to maintain the flow of the website and not to have learners getting unnecessarily bogged down. There is a section accessed through a sidebar label which provides a rationale for using each type of strategy. The website also includes a glossary. Once the website was operative and students of Spanish had had an opportunity to access it, an empirical study found that there were some dramatic improvements reported by students in their ability, for example, to take grammar quizzes in Spanish (see Cohen et al., 2011). Students of Spanish could now dramatically improve their performance in areas where previously their performance had been weak. Striking examples were in the use of verb tenses and aspect. Whereas before accessing the grammar strategy options on this website, students perhaps had a hit-or-miss approach to tense usage and the ability to determine when the use of a subjunctive was necessary, upon engaging seriously with the use of the strategies on the website, they were able to refer to these strategies and consistently select appropriate tenses and aspect. One special feature of the website has been the provision of mnemonic devices to assist learners in making appropriate choices on the spot. For example, here is a report from one of the Spanish learners, Libby, on her use of an acronym for the ser-estar distinction: This strategy has assisted me both inside and outside the classroom. I was never 100% sure when I should use ser versus estar, but now I find myself going back to the acronyms not only for in-class writing and speaking, but with out-of-class compositions. (Cohen et al., 2011: 160)

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First and foremost, this grammar website project has served the function of illustrating the advantages of providing a large assortment of rigorously detailed strategies for language learning and performance. Secondly, the website showcases one way to bring technology into TL learning. Thirdly, since the strategies on the website were generated by learners themselves and not by experts, it demonstrates how we can make the learners’ voice more conspicuous in the language learning process. Finally, we would also like to think that having learners access a website such as this one may encourage them to take more responsibility for their own learning. While other efforts have been made to provide strategies for learning Spanish (e.g. Blanco-Hermida, 2017), it is important to be vigilant as to just how operationalizable the suggested strategies actually are. There is no question that work is needed on producing user-friendly resources focused on assisting learners in their strategizing with regard to other TLs, such as Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and Portuguese – just to name a few. 3.8 Translation

It is likely that TL learners regularly engage in some form of translation, sometimes involving attempts at literal translation (i.e. word-for-word representation of the original) and sometimes involving free translation (i.e. an effort to reproduce the general meaning and intention of the original). While much of the translation constitutes mental translation of the source language material, sometimes it is written down, and sometimes there is a back-and-forth between mental and written translation. More than 15 years ago (Cohen, 2002), I speculated on the relationship between the selection of translation strategies and learning style preferences (e.g. more open or closureoriented, more visual or auditory, more global or detail-oriented, more synthesizing or analytic, more random-intuitive or more concretesequential). For example, learners who prefer closure to leaving TL issues unresolved may favor translation as a possible means to eliminating uncertainties and ambiguities. Learners who prefer a more global approach to language learning may wish to translate just for the gist, while those focusing on the details may rely on word-for-word translation in an effort to understand all the specifics. Finally, learners with a bent for analysis may choose translation in order to better understand TL grammatical structures. And, of course, learners may keep their options open rather than displaying clear style preferences. In addition, there are other factors that may influence translation strategies, such as the proficiency level of the learner. For instance, beginning- and intermediate-level learners have been found to engage in translation more frequently than advanced learners do (Hawras, 1996). Another factor would be the familiarity that the learner has with the

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topic. While teachers are likely to admonish students from translating extensively, it would appear that a measured use of translation can be an effective tool in language learning and use, especially for those learners who do benefit from it. For this reason, it would seem beneficial to fine-tune our categorization of the different types of translation strategies and to familiarize learners with these options. The purpose would be to have learners use translation more openly and productively, rather than furtively. While my 2002 article covered translation strategies in all the major skill areas, reference here will only be made to translation strategies for reading and writing. With regard to reading, a study of translation strategies in reading was conducted with intermediate learners of French (Kern, 1994) and replicated with beginning, intermediate, and advanced learners of Spanish (Cohen & Hawras, 1996; Hawras, 1996). These pioneering efforts at the time revealed strategic purposes that NNSs reported having for using mental translation while reading: (1) For remembering points in the text – both for chunking material into semantic clusters and for keeping the train of thought. (2) For creating a richer network of associations by drawing on the L1 or dominant language. (3) For enhancing the familiarity of the text through converting it into a more familiar, user-friendly L1 version. (4) For clarifying grammatical roles – using translation to help analyze verb tenses and other structures. (5) For checking on comprehension – using mental translation strategically to verify that a segment of text was accurately comprehended. With regard to translation strategies in writing, some insights were obtained from a series of studies in which students wrote an essay in their L1 and translated it into the TL, at the same time that they also wrote the essay directly in the TL (Kobayashi & Rinnert, 1992 – Japanese L1 to EFL; Brooks, 1996 – English L1 to French FL; Cohen & Brooks-Carson, 2001 – English/Spanish L1 to French FL). The Cohen and Brooks-Carson study (2001) found that perhaps two-thirds of the learners were judged to write better essays when they wrote directly in the TL (albeit using mental translation from their L1 as well). Yet a full one-third of the learners were found to be more productive at essay writing when they engaged in both mental and written translation. For these learners, translation was an effective strategy for developing and organizing ideas, in order to ensure that the ideas were adequately complex and sophisticated. Learners who benefited from this strategy found that trying to think directly through the TL resulted in their thoughts being more simplistic. This subgroup of learners also found that their organization of ideas improved if they wrote the essay in

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the L1 first. Secondly, translation from the L1 was found beneficial for some learners because they could think through keywords and phrases more effectively before attempting to write them in the TL. Rather than settling for low-level vocabulary, these writers started with the L1 words and then looked for equivalent words and phrases in the TL. So, the takeaway from this research is that, contrary to popular opinion held by many TL teachers, translation can be a productive tool for writing, depending on the learners’ style preferences and depending on the task. The bottom line is that translation can be operationalized productively and does not need to be a seen as an impediment to effective language performance. When I write my weekly blog in Chinese, I write out each topic in full in English and then translate it into Chinese, consistent with my style preferences, which include being more concretesequential and closure-oriented. 3.9 Pragmatics

Pragmatics is an area for which I provided a listing of suggested strategies some years ago (Cohen, 2005, 2014). I felt that especially at the stage of the initial learning of pragmatics, learners needed to attend to the pragmatic behaviors that they would like to learn and to notice the particulars of performance in a given situation (from simple greetings to more complex speech acts like complaining and apologizing). Since pragmatic behaviors are often subtle, the learners may need to ask NSs or highly competent NNSs to verify the role of, say, a speech act in a given situation. For example, to what extent might the relative age and status of the interlocutors in the given situation have a bearing on how to make a request? The learners may discover that in that situation in that speech community, being younger may require that the request be offered more politely. Language learners may also need to learn the special role of a given speech act in a given community of practice within the speech community or the society, such as in creating solidarity (e.g. the use of cursing for the purpose of bonding; Daly et al., 2004). Strategizing about pragmatics also includes the issue of how much learners focus on the comprehension of the given speech act and how much on the production of it, and how much attention (if any) they give to the speaker’s tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures in the delivery of the given speech acts. It can be a real challenge for learners to become fully versed at both understanding the pragmatics of what they hear and read, and at producing in speaking and writing language that is pragmatically appropriate. For this reason, learners often need to compensate for what is lacking in their language proficiency by means of strategies for learning about TL pragmatics expeditiously and strategies for performing pragmatics effectively. In many cases, the main purpose of these strategies is to help cope with a lack of language proficiency.

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Nonetheless, highly proficient learners of a language can also benefit from such strategies. Among the numerous strategies for dealing with pragmatics, one is the use of visualization – as a means for retrieving the speech act material that has already been learned. A sample strategy would entail visualizing a continuum with pragmalinguistic options on it from the most minimal expression of apology in the TL (e.g. slixa ‘sorry’ in Hebrew) to the most formally apologetic (ani mitnatzel ‘I apologize’). A mnemonic device could also be used as a visualization strategy, such as a word representing the various categories for when the subjunctive in TL Spanish would be the mood of choice (e.g. WEDDING representing ‘wish’, ‘emotion’, ‘doubt’, ‘desire’, ‘impersonal’, ‘negation’, and ‘general possibility’) (see form/moods/subjunctive/wedding.html; accessed September 2019). Accessing the subjunctive mood falls within the realm of pragmatics in this case, since it involves using grammar as a vehicle for pragmatical appropriateness. So, pragmatic inappropriateness could result from the use of the indicative, which might sound too bossy, as opposed to the more mitigated-sounding subjunctive (*Quiero que lo hace ahora. *‘I want you to do it now’ rather than Quiero que lo haga ahora. ‘I would like you to do it now’). Before leaving pragmatics strategies, let us note that these strategies assume a metacognitive, cognitive, social, or affective function from moment to moment, depending on the situation. For example, the strategy of using an appropriate form of address in a request would assume a metacognitive function while learners are monitoring the appropriateness of the selected level of directness (e.g. to a stranger on an airplane or to a good friend). The same strategy would then assume a cognitive function when the learners are selecting the actual forms to use in referring to the person (‘Dr Blake’, ‘Doctor’, ‘Steve’, ‘sir’, or ‘you’), as well as in applying tone of voice, making facial expressions, or making gestures. The strategy could assume an affective function if the learners get frustrated at not knowing how to address the other person (not wanting to appear rude by simply using ‘you’), which then motivates them to engage in the social function of the strategy by asking another person for the appropriate address term to use. 4 Conclusions

The chapter has first made a case for how important it is to describe strategies in a more specific way, rather than leaving them vague for learners to somehow operationalize. Furthermore, it would help to avoid labeling strategies in a misleading way – such as by referring to a strategy as ‘metacognitive’ when it perhaps had that function for a moment but has now taken on a cognitive or social function. In other words, it seems

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rather simplistic to continue to perpetuate the myth that strategies have an immutable function, rather than accepting the reality that strategizing actually involves a complexity of interacting strategy combinations with the functions of any given strategy in that combination fluctuating from moment to moment. Thirdly, the case is made for fine-tuning how we describe and categorize language learner strategies. Examples have been presented in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary learning, pronunciation, grammar learning, translation, and pragmatics. It would seem that for too long what appear in strategy lists are perhaps suggestive of the actual strategies that learners may use, but may actually have somewhat limited value in language learning or performance. It is for this reason that a call is being made to colleagues to fine-tune such lists. The goal is to give LLS increased impact among language learners.

References Blanco-Hermida, M.T. (2017) SMART Ways for Learning SPANISH. London: Amazon. Brooks, A.W. (1996) An examination of native language processing in foreign language writing. Unpublished PhD thesis, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Cohen, A.D. (2002) Mental and written translation strategies in ESL. MinneTESOL/ WITESOL Journal 19, 1–14. Cohen, A.D. (2005) Strategies for learning and performing L2 speech acts. Intercultural Pragmatics 2 (3), 275–301. Cohen, A.D. (2007) Coming to terms with language learner strategies: Surveying the experts. In A.D. Cohen and E. Macaro (eds) Language Learner Strategies: 30 Years of Research and Practice (pp. 29–45). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cohen, A.D. (2014) Approaches to assessing pragmatic ability. In N. Ishihara and A.D. Cohen (eds) Teaching and Learning Pragmatics: Where Language and Culture Meet (pp. 264–285). Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge. Cohen, A.D. and Aphek, E. (1980) Retention of second-language vocabulary over time: Investigating the role of mnemonic associations. System 8 (3), 221–235. Cohen, A.D. and Aphek, E. (1981) Easifying second language learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 3 (2), 221–236. Cohen, A.D. and Hawras, S. (1996) Mental translation into the first language during foreign-language reading. The Language Teacher 20 (2), 6–12. Cohen, A.D. and Brooks-Carson, A. (2001) Research on direct vs. translated writing: Students’ strategies and their results. Modern Language Journal 85 (2), 169–188. Cohen, A.D. and Pinilla-Herrera, A. (2010) Communicating grammatically: Constructing a learner strategies website for Spanish. In T. Kao and Y. Lin (eds) A New Look at Language Teaching and Testing: English as a Subject and Vehicle (pp. 63–83). Taipei, Taiwan: The Language Training and Testing Center. Cohen, A.D. and Wang, I.K.-H. (2018a) Corrigendum to ‘Fluctuation in the functions of language learner strategies’. System 78, 256–265. Cohen, A.D. and Wang, I.K.-H. (2018b) Fluctuation in the functions of language learner strategies. System 74, 169–182. Cohen, A.D. and Wang, I.K.-H. (2019) Fine-tuning word meanings through mobile app and online resources: A case study of strategy use by a hyperpolyglot. System 85, 1–16. Cohen, A.D., Pinilla-Herrera, A., Thompson, J.R. and Witzig, L.E. (2011) Communicating grammatically: Evaluating a learner strategies website for Spanish grammar. CALICO Journal 29 (1), 145–172.

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Daly, N., Holmes, J., Newton, J. and Stubbe, M. (2004) Expletives as solidarity signals in FTAs on the factory floor. Journal of Pragmatics 36 (5), 945–964. Grabe, W. and Stoller, F. L. (2011) Reading in a Second Language: Moving from Theory to Practice. New York, NY: Pearson Longman. Hawras, S. (1996) Towards describing bilingual and multilingual behavior: Implications for ESL instruction. Double Plan B Paper [unpublished final course paper], English as a Second Language Department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Jiang, X. and Cohen, A.D. (2012) A critical review of research on strategies in learning Chinese as both a second and foreign language. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 2 (1), 9–43. Jiang, X. and Cohen, A.D. (2018) Learner strategies for dealing with pronunciation issues in Mandarin. System 76, 25–37. Kantaridou, Z. and Papadopoulou, I. (2017) Encouraging language learning strategies: Empowering the learner. In Z. Gavriilidou, K. Petrogenic, M. Plastid and A. PsaltouJoycey (eds) Language Learning Strategies: Theoretical Issues and Applied Perspectives (pp. 160–191). Kavala, Greece: Saita Publications. Kern, R. (1994) The role of mental translation in second language reading. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 16 (4), 441–461. Kobayashi, H. and Rinnert, C. (1992) Effects of first language on second language writing: Translation versus direct composition. Language Learning 42 (2), 183–215. Macaro, E. (2010) The relationship between strategic behaviour and language learning success. In E. Macaro (ed.) The Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition (pp. 268–299). London: Continuum. McDonough, K. and Sunitham, W. (2009) Collaborative dialogue between Thai EFL learners during self-access computer activities. TESOL Quarterly 43 (2), 231–254. Neubach, A. and Cohen, A.D. (1988) Processing strategies and problems encountered in the use of dictionaries. Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America 10, 1–19. Oxford, R.L. (2017) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies: SelfRegulation in Context. (2nd edn). New York, NY: Routledge. Oxford, R.L. and Lee, K.R. (2007) L2 grammar strategies: The second Cinderella and beyond. In A.D. Cohen and E. Macaro (eds) Language Learner Strategies: 30 Years of Research and Practice (pp. 117–139). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pawlak, M. (2013) Researching grammar learning strategies: Combining the macro- and micro-perspective. In Ł. Salski, W. Szubko-Sitarek and J. Majer (eds) Perspectives on Foreign Language Learning (pp. 191–210). Łódź, Poland: University of Łódź Press. Psaltou-Joycey, A. (2010) Language Learning Strategies in the Foreign Language Classroom. Thessaloniki, Greece: University Studio Press. Rosas-Maldenado, M. (2016) Communication strategies used by different level L2 English learners in oral interaction. Revista Signos 49 (90). Scott, K. (2015) The pragmatics of hashtags: Inference and conversational style on Twitter. Journal of Pragmatics 81, 8–20. Segev-Miller, R. (2007) Cognitive processes in discourse synthesis: The case of inter-textual processing strategies. In G. Rijlaarsdam, M. Torrance, L. van Waes and D. Galbraith (eds) Writing and Cognition: Research and Applications (pp. 231–250). Amsterdam: Elsevier. Seliger, H. (1984) Processing universals in second language acquisition. In F. Eckman, L. Bell and D. Nelson (eds) Universals of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 36–47). Rowley, MA: Newbury House. Stern, H. (1983) Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Stoller, F.L. and Komiyama, R. (2013) Making a commitment to strategy-reader training. Contemporary Foreign Languages Studies 396 (12), 46–62.

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Swain, M. (2006) Languaging, agency, and collaboration in advanced second language proficiency. In H. Byrnes (ed.) Advanced Language Learning: The Contributions of Vygotsky and Halliday (pp. 95–108). London: Continuum. Trendak, O. (2012) Exploring the role of strategic intervention in form-focused instruction. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Łódź, Poland. Trendak, O. (2015) Exploring the Role of Strategic Intervention in Form-focused Instruction. New York, NY: Springer. Vandergrift, L. and Goh, C.C.M. (2012) Teaching and Learning Second-language Listening: Metacognition in Action. New York, NY: Routledge. Wang, K.H. (2018) Learning Vocabulary Strategically in a Study Abroad Context. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

2 Consciously Keeping Watch: Self-regulation and Learning Strategies Rebecca L. Oxford

1 Introduction

The picture, The Seeing Eye (Figure 2.1), is a reminder that successful language learners consciously keep watch over their learning and, whenever needed, employ self-regulated language learning strategies (LLS) to make learning easier, more efficient, and more effective. This chapter presents important ideas about these strategies. Section 2 discusses components of consciousness, which are crucial for learning and for the use of LLS. The third second section goes beyond consciousness to offer a comprehensive view of LLS. The topic of the

Figure 2.1  The Seeing Eye

Source: From a painting by Rebecca L. Oxford.


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fourth section is the need for LLS in self-regulation when the learner faces challenges in learning. Self-regulation theories that can be linked to LLS are the theme of the fifth section. The conclusion encourages researchers and teachers to understand theories of self-regulated learning and to pay greater attention to self-regulation as the foundational reason for LLS. This chapter is not intended to define and illustrate standard LLS categories, because this has been done elsewhere (Cohen, 2014; Griffiths, 2008, 2013; Oxford, 1990, 2011) and because categories are sometimes too restrictive for a given strategy, which can take on the coloration of various categories in different learning situations (Oxford, 2017). 2 Components of Consciousness

Consciousness occurs at multiple levels and in multiple ways, starting with attention, the most basic element of consciousness (Schmidt, 1990, 1995). Three other levels are awareness, intention, and effort. Attention has three parts: ‘registering’ or detecting a sensory stimulus; being alert, i.e. generally ready; and specifically, orienting attention to the stimulus. The next aspect of consciousness is awareness, which has two parts: ‘noticing’ (e.g. being at some level aware of the situational context, the people involved, and/or the presence of a language task) and ‘understanding’, or recognizing a pattern, rule, or principle (e.g. ‘I see that this task has several steps, some of which involve new vocabulary’) but not yet intending any action. At the level of understanding, the learner might also recognize the general rule/pattern/ principle that a difficult task needs some special handling and help. This assistance typically comes from a learning strategy. The learner can generally understand the value of a learning strategy for the difficult task but is not yet intentional about it. Therefore, the third aspect of consciousness is intention, which Schmidt equated with having a purpose or goal. The learner might have an intention related to the current language learning task: to complete the task quickly and successfully, to earn a good mark, to reduce anxiety and enjoy the task, to learn something valuable for future encounters with the language, and/or to feel satisfied at having done the best possible job. A learning strategy can help make this intention become a reality, particularly if the language task or situation is challenging in some way. One final element is needed for a strategy to exist and be effective: effort, also known as control. Effort does not mean merely energy given toward a task. It does not mean flailing around this way and that, without any control. Effort, in Schmidt’s view, involves control, which I would describe as regulation: using effort in a targeted, managed way to meet the goal. Control can range from nearly spontaneous (just a little

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effort) to great control (much effort). A strategy can be engaged easily if it is well known and much practiced but still in consciousness; a strategy can be engaged with greater effort if it is newer and less familiar to the learner. Schmidt refers to effort as ‘cognitive effort’ but, in reality, it is impossible to have cognitive effort by itself. Cognition is completely intertwined with emotions and the social/cultural context. The subtle braiding of these factors makes language learning very complex. When a learner uses a strategy so often that it is no longer conscious, the strategy has become a habit, which is automatic and therefore no longer a strategy. This is an important psychological rule to remember and is therefore included in Table 2.1 in the next section. In short, to use a strategy requires attention, awareness (both noticing and understanding), intention, and targeted effort. Putting these together, we understand self-regulation of language learning from the point of view of consciousness, which I symbolize by the seeing eye. The picture of the eye does not suggest that people who can physically see are better at self-regulation than those who are visually impaired. The eye is just a symbol of the learner’s bringing together and using the four aspects of consciousness, which can be done with insight even if physical sight is absent. 3 A Comprehensive View of LLS

My Strategic Self-Regulation (S2R) Model (Oxford, 2011, 2017) shows that LLS are inextricably linked to self-regulation (Oxford, 1999). We have seen how important consciousness is to LLS. Other prototypical features of LLS are also crucial, as seen in Table 2.1. 4 LLS: The Need for Self-regulation When Learners Face Challenges

A task is a purposeful action considered necessary in order to achieve a given result for solving a problem or fulfilling a goal. See Oxford et al. (2004) for types of task characteristic. When language tasks and content are already somewhat familiar, and when learners feel emotionally, socially, and culturally comfortable, no real learning challenges might be involved. In that case, LLS might not be needed. However, learners generally require LLS when they are forced to ‘stretch’ because of difficulties caused by the nature of the language tasks, their own emotions, and other factors. For example, learners might face novel tasks, unusual social situations in class or out, new vocabulary, unexplored syntax, unknown cultural expectations, and anxieties about possibly bungling a language task. Even a language task that taps already known language content in a familiar classroom setting can become challenging. For example, a very constricting deadline for a familiar task can cause emotional stress.

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Table 2.1  Prototypical features of LLS • LLS are complex, dynamic, teachable, and learnable thoughts and actions, selected and used by learners with some degree of consciousness (see earlier). • LLS are ‘situated’ or ‘contextualized’, i.e. chosen by the learner in particular situations and for specific needs. • LLS are influenced by cultural expectations and beliefs. • LLS help learners regulate multiple aspects of their learning, such as cognitive, emotional, and social, for . . .  accomplishing language tasks and  enhancing long-term proficiency. • Appropriateness of a given strategy depends on the context, the person, and the purpose. • LLS are mentally guided by the learner but may also have observable manifestations, such as making outlines or repeatedly practicing difficult sounds in the language. • Effective language learners . . .  use LLS flexibly and creatively;  combine LLS into strategy clusters or, more sequentially, into strategy chains;  tailor their use of LLS to meet immediate learning needs. A strategy is, by definition, a conscious process. However, a strategy is transformed into a habit, which is automatic and unconscious, if it is used so often that the learner no longer thinks about it. • The category of a strategy can shift depending on how and why the learner is using the strategy. For instance, the so-called cognitive strategy of analyzing is used for breaking down a cognitive problem encountered in the language, but the same strategy is useful for unpacking an emotional or social problem in language learning. That makes the use of the analyzing strategy much more flexible than described in the past.1

The time problem can be addressed with LLS for effective planning, monitoring, and organizing. The emotions can be regulated through the use of affective (emotion related) LLS, such as deep breathing and ‘reframing’ the situation (seeing it differently by adjusting the mental frame somewhat). Based on experience as a language teacher and learner, comments from my students, and statements from researchers as reported elsewhere (Oxford, 2011), I contend that language learning occurs not just through formal tasks but also through using the language less formally (see Oxford, 2011, 2017). I see no clear or necessary delineation between LLS and ‘language use’ strategies, despite the opposite view from Cohen (2014); the ‘learning’ parts of the brain do not shut down when the learner is ‘using’ the language. For instance, when an English learner, María, is conversing with her friend Mike and is not sure whether she is speaking English correctly, learning occurs when she notices Mike’s reaction to what she says. She asks herself whether he appears to fully understand her or whether he just pretends to understand, and she looks closely at his facial expression to see if he seems puzzled, offended, or bored. Using a learning strategy such as intentionally watching for and identifying the conversation partner’s response, María figures out whether her comments are meaningful to him and, if not, she adjusts her speech using other strategies. This combination of strategies is not just aimed at staying in

Consciously Keeping Watch: Self-regulation and Learning Strategies  29

the immediate conversation and not embarrassing herself: it also heightens María’s long-term knowledge of English, of the target culture, and of cross-cultural interactions. Learning from the responses of others is just one illustration of learning by using the target language. 5 Some Theories of Self-regulation Relevant to LLS

This section deals with three theoretical models of LLS-related selfregulation: those of Vygotsky (1978, 1986), the International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential (2007), and educational psychologists and social cognition experts (e.g. Schunk & Ertmer, 2000; Zimmerman, 2000, 2008; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011). 5.1 Vygotsky’s theory of self-regulation

LLS can readily be linked to Vygotsky’s ‘cultural-historical’ theory of self-regulated learning (Oxford, 1999, 2011, 2017). Vygotsky, a famed Russian psychologist born in the days of the Russian Empire, wrote about learning, language, thought, child development, disabilities, art, play, and other subjects before he died in his thirties from tuberculosis (see Miller, 2011). The Soviet government sharply criticized his work during his short lifetime, but after his death the government honored him. His writings were translated and introduced to Western cultures in the 1970s and 1980s (see Vygotsky, 1978, 1986; for background, see Kozulin et al., 2003; Wertsch, 1985). Vygotsky explained that individuals of any age learn through receiving mediation (assistance) offered by a more capable person, books, media, and language itself, the world’s greatest semioticmediational tool. If the learner is working with a more capable person, the latter engages in dialogues with the learner and provides helpful scaffolding. The learner internalizes the most personally meaningful dialogues and transforms them into higher mental functions, such as planning, organizing, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing, which we would call learning strategies. This internalization, described in the next paragraph, requires its own strategies, strategies such as paying attention, imitating, and using assistance effectively. The internalization of the dialogues occurs in stages, moving from social speech (other-regulated learning, not internalized) through egocentric speech (talking aloud to oneself, signifying partial internalization) to inner speech (self-regulated learning, indicating full internalization). The ‘zone of proximal development’ (ZPD) is the distance between the individual’s current level of development and the potential level that can be reached with assistance of a more capable person. Two other points from Vygotsky are intriguing. First, humans inherit sociocultural artifacts and knowledge that can actually add to their

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genetic inheritance. Second, social concepts pervade emotion, sensation, perception, and all human learning. In the 1990s applied linguists (Donato & McCormick, 1994; Lantolf & Appel, 1994; Oxford, 1999; Scarcella & Oxford, 1992) began applying Vygotsky’s concepts to language learning. Interest in Vygotsky has blossomed in the language learning field. I have been especially interested in the Vygotskian concept of the internalization of dialogues, resulting in self-regulation and the development of higher (in our terms, strategic) functions. 5.2 Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment Program

We have seen that mediation is at the heart of Vygotsky’s concepts of learning and self-regulation. Mediation is also central to Reuven Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment (IE) Program. IE has helped learners of English as a foreign language, disadvantaged students, and many other individuals who wanted to learn (Burden & Williams, 1998; Garb & Kozulin, 1998; International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential, 2007). The IE program was designed to help modify mental structures (schemata), which is a good way of describing learning. A skilled teacher enables learners to use strategies (‘operations’) to make it easier to modify their mental structures (Feuerstein et al., 2006). In the IE program’s ‘abstraction’ process, mediated learning enables learners to draw out general rules and principles from tasks and then bridge to other tasks and applications. 5.3 Generalized model of self-regulated learning from social ­cognition and educational psychology

In the framework of social cognition and educational psychology, learning strategies are integral to self-regulated learning (Panadero & Alonso-Tapia, 2014; Winne & Perry, 2000; Zimmerman, 2008; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1986, 1988, 1990; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011). Some of these learning strategies include: analyzing the learning task; setting goals that are motivating and that relate well to the learning task; focusing on the task and avoiding distractions; monitoring performance, beliefs, and emotions; giving oneself feedback on task progress, completion, and success level; managing time and the learning environment; organizing, coding, and rehearsing information; using resources effectively; deciding whether and how to work with others; seeking assistance; and evaluating self-efficacy (perceived competence) after a task (Schunk & Ertmer, 2000; Zimmerman, 2008; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011). See Winne and Hadwin (2008) and Zimmerman (2008) for relationships between self-regulated learning and motivation.

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The three task phases of self-regulated learning laid out by Zimmerman and his colleagues (see Zimmerman, 2008; Zimmerman et al., 1996; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011) are forethought, performance, and self-reflection. During the forethought phase the learner employs strategies for analyzing the task requirements, organizing for the task, setting goals, and planning the strategies to use for actually doing the task. The performance phase, or doing the task, involves applying the planned strategies and regulating emotions and volition (the decision to continue the task once it has begun) by means of strategies, if needed. During the performance phase, self-monitoring strategies include identifying problems, determining whether the current task strategies are working well, and, if they are not, deciding to switch to other strategies. In the self-reflection phase, the learner uses evaluation strategies to assess how well the task was performed, which competencies were developed, which learning strategies contributed the most, and how the learner now feels about himself or herself. Learners do not always follow this logical sequence of phases. For instance, some learners jump directly into task performance, then take a moment to analyze the task and plan, return to performance, then move to self-reflection. Though the generalized self-regulated learning model described above includes three task phases, the model by Winne and Hadwin (2008) includes four phases. The first phase, task perception, includes gathering and personalizing information about the task and the environment and determining motivational states and self-efficacy. The second phase is goal setting and planning. The third phase is enacting the plan with the help of study skills and learning strategies. The fourth phase, adaptation, involves evaluating performance and, if necessary, modifying the strategy, the goal, or the plan. 5.4 Summary of theories

Vygotsky’s classic theory argues that the only way to attain selfregulation (the inner voice of self-guidance) is through mediation by another person; by a tool, such as a book; or by language itself. Mediation allows the eventual internalization of higher mental functions, such as analyzing, synthesizing, and planning, which we could view as learning strategies. Feuerstein’s IE theory, like Vygotsky’s theory, does not use the term ‘learning strategies’ but instead employs the term ‘operations’. Like Vygotsky, Feuerstein underscored the need for mediation. The IE instructor is the mediator, who teaches learners to use operations (strategies) to modify mental structures, and thus to learn. Mediation occurs in the last-mentioned view of self-regulated learning mentioned above, which comes from social cognition and educational psychology. Optimally, mediation takes the form of completely informed

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strategy instruction, which provides explicit information about the nature, use and transfer of any given strategy. The generalized model of self-regulated learning typically consists of three task phases, but sometimes four. As can be seen, the specific structures of mediation (assistance) differ in the three theories above but mediation has a crucial role in all three. All three theories emphasize that self-regulation can increase over time through mediation. All three theories involve learning strategies, which Vygotsky and Feuerstein called by other names. 6 Conclusion

This chapter began with the image of the seeing eye, symbolizing the consciousness that is essential for self-regulated LLS. The components of consciousness were identified as attention, awareness, intention, and effort (control). A comprehensive, prototypical view of LLS was presented next, implying that consciousness is necessary but not sufficient for strategic self-regulation. Some challenges that create the need for LLS were discussed, followed by an exploration of theories of self-regulated learning in relation to learning strategies. Sometimes teachers try to teach LLS without knowing the fundamental reason for doing so: to help learners expand their capability for self-regulation. I hope this essay opens the eyes of language professionals to the importance of theories of self-regulated learning. I urge teachers and researchers to work together in conducting valid, useful, and theoretically sound research on LLS and self-regulated learning. The ultimate goal is to enable students, through mediation, to keep their own eyes open, to actively observe their own learning processes, and to continue to develop as increasingly strategic, self-regulated learners. Note (1) LLS, unlike learning strategies in other fields, have been plagued by definitional problems, and that is why I conducted an intensive, content-analytic study of 33 strategy definitions (Oxford, 1990, 2011, 2017) and developed an integrated, comprehensive strategy definition, which is reflected in Table 2.1. For relatively recent discussions of issues in assessing and researching learning strategies, see Oxford (2011, 2017), Pawlak (2011), and Dörnyei and Ryan (2015).

References Burden, R. and Williams, M. (eds) (1998) Thinking Through the Curriculum. London: Routledge. Cohen, A.D. (2014) Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language (2nd edn). New York, NY: Routledge. Donato, R. and McCormick, D.E. (1994) A socio-cultural perspective on language learning strategies: The role of mediation. Modern Language Journal 78, 453–464.

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Dörnyei, Z. and Ryan, S. (2015) The Psychology of the Language Learner – Revisited. New York, NY: Routledge. Feuerstein, R., Falik, L., Rand, Y. and Feuerstein, R.S. (2006) The Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program: Creating and Enhancing Cognitive Modifiability. Jerusalem: ICELP Press. Garb, E. and Kozulin, A. (1998) ‘I think, therefore…I read’. Cognitive Approach to English Teaching: Student’s Workbook and Teacher’s Guide. Jerusalem: Academon. Griffiths, C. (ed.) (2008) Lessons from Good Language Learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Griffiths, C. (2013) The Strategy Factor in Successful Language Learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential (2007) Feuerstein Partnership: Evaluation Report – Executive Summary. See News_data.asp?id=71. Kozulin, A., Gindis, B., Ageyev, V.S. and Miller, S.M. (2003) Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lantolf, J.P. and Appel, G. (eds) (1994) Vygotskian Approaches to Second Language Research. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Miller, R. (2011) Vygotsky in Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oxford, R. L. (1990) Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. New York, NY: Newbury House/Harper & Row. Now Boston. MA: Heinle & Heinle. Oxford, R. (1999) Relationships between second language learning strategies and language proficiency in the context of learner autonomy and self-regulation. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 38, 108–126. Oxford, R.L. (2011) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies (1st edn). Harlow, Essex: Pearson Longman. Oxford, R.L. (2017) Anxious language learners can change their minds: Ideas and strategies from traditional psychology and positive psychology. In C. Gkonou, M. Daubney and J.-M. Dewaele (eds) New Insights into Language Anxiety: Theory, Research and Educational Implications (pp. 179–199). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Oxford, R.L., Cho, Y., Leung, S. and Kim, H. (2004) Effect of the presence and difficulty of task on strategy use: An exploratory study. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching 42, 1–47. Panadero, E. and Alonso-Tapia, J. (2014) How do students self-regulate? Review of Zimmerman’s cyclical model of self-regulated learning. Anales de Psicología/Annals of Psychology 30 (2). See Pawlak, M. (2011) Research into language learning strategies: Taking stock and looking ahead. In J. Arabski and A. Wojtaszek (eds) Individual Differences in SLA (pp. 17–37). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Scarcella, R.C. and Oxford, R.L. (1992) The Tapestry of Language Learning: The Individual in the Communicative Classroom. Boston, MA: Heinle/Cengage. Schmidt, R. (1990) The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics 11, 129–155. Schmidt, R. (1995) Attention and Awareness in Foreign Language Learning. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center. Schunk, D.H. and Ertmer, P.A. (2000) Self-regulation and academic learning: Self-efficacy enhancing interventions. In M. Boekaerts, P.R. Pintrich and M. Zeidner (eds) Handbook of Self-regulation (pp. 631–650). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Vygotsky, L.V. (1978) Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Vygotsky, L.S. (1986) Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT. Wertsch, J.V. (1985) Vygotsky and the Social Development of Mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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Winne, P.H. and Perry, N.E. (2000) Measuring self-regulated learning. In M. Boekaerts, P.R. Pintrich and M. Zeidner (eds) Handbook of Self-regulation (pp. 531–556). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Winne, P.H. and Hadwin, A.F. (2008) The weave of motivation and self-regulated learning. In D.H. Schunk and B.J. Zimmerman (eds) Motivation and Self-regulated Learning: Theory, Research, and Application (pp. 297–314). New York, NY: Routledge. Zimmerman, B.J. (2000) Attaining self-regulation: A social cognitive perspective. In M. Boekaerts, P.R. Pintrich and M. Zeidner (eds) Handbook of Self-regulation (pp. 13–39). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Zimmerman, B.J. (2008) Investigating self-regulation and motivation: Historical background, methodological developments, and future prospects. American Educational Research Journal 45 (1), 166–183. Zimmerman, B.J. and Martinez-Pons, M. (1986) Development of a structured interview for assessing student use of self-regulated learning strategies. American Educational Research Journal 23 (4), 614–628. Zimmerman, B.J. and Martinez-Pons, M. (1988) Construct validation of a strategy model of self-regulated learning. Journal of Educational Psychology 80, 284–290. Zimmerman, B.J. and Martinez-Pons, M. (1990) Student differences in self-regulated learning: Relating grade, sex, and giftedness to self-efficacy and strategy use. Journal of Educational Psychology 82, 51–59. Zimmerman, B.J. and Schunk, D.H. (2011) Self-regulated learning and performance: An introduction and an overview. In B.J. Zimmerman and D.H. Schunk (eds) Handbook of Self-regulation of Learning and Performance (pp. 1–12). New York, NY: Routledge. Zimmerman, B.J., Bonner, S. and Kovach, R. (1996) Developing Self-regulated Learners: Beyond Achievement to Self-efficacy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

3 Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms in a Higher Education Setting Milevica Bojović

1 Introduction

Language learning strategies are believed to play a highly important role in foreign language learning as they may help learners in mastering the forms and functions needed for reception or production in the foreign language and thus may affect language achievement (Bialystok, 1985; Bialystok & Fröhlich, 1978). Learning another language implies being able to use it in most typical situations that one could use one’s mother tongue. The ability to function in another language is generally characterized in terms of being able to speak that language (Nunan, 1999). Researchers interested in foreign language learning/second language acquisition have provided evidence that strongly indicates that learning strategies, in interaction with other variables, may affect language proficiency (Gardner & MacIntyre, 1993; Oxford, 1990). As the strategies of speaking are an element of total language learning strategies (Cohen, 2001, 2010; Oxford, 1990), it can be assumed that they also have a substantial influence on foreign language proficiency, and spoken performance in particular. In a study on social-affective strategy use (Chou, 2004) it is postulated that social-affective strategies have the potential to improve learners’ communicative competence and motivation if these techniques are seriously considered in the classroom. Studies investigating the relationship between strategy use and proficiency (Griffiths, 2010; Gunning & Oxford, 2014; Lan & Oxford, 2003) have shown that the relationship is generally held to be a significant one, particularly in oral performance (Cohen et al., 1996; Gunning & Oxford, 2014; Nakatani, 2006; Naughton, 2006). Nakatani (2006), investigating strategy use among EFL Japanese learners, has demonstrated that students scoring 37

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high on an oral test employed social-affective strategies more than students with low scores. Intervention studies (Cohen et al., 1996; Naughton, 2006) have also come up with evidence showing a significant improvement in learners’ achievement after receiving special training in strategy use relative to a control group that did not undergo the training. This chapter seeks to explore the concepts of speaking strategies and communicative language ability and to determine how biotechnology engineering students behave when they speak in English as a foreign language. It does so by examining their perceived use of speaking strategies. More specifically, it aims not only to examine the perceived use of EFL speaking strategies but also to investigate the potential effects of students’ level of communicative language ability and students’ gender on their reported use of speaking strategies. 2 Background

This section mainly focuses on defining and characterizing language learning strategies, with a particular emphasis on speaking strategies and communicative language ability in English as a foreign language. Additionally, related research and studies on these topics are presented. Finally, the role of gender and communicative language ability in the use of speaking strategies is discussed. 2.1 Language learning strategies and EFL speaking strategies

The word strategy is of Greek origin (stratēgia, meaning generalship or the art of war) and means a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim (Oxford Dictionaries Online). The term implies conscious movement toward a goal. Since the pioneering work carried out in the 1970s (Rubin, 1975; Stern, 1975) there has been agreement that language learning strategies are highly important in gaining command over second language skills (O’Malley et al., 1985: 557). There are a number of strategy definitions in the literature. To allow some insights external to the field of foreign language learning, two definitions of learning strategies from general learning are presented in this chapter. According to Weinstein and Mayer (1986), learning strategies can be defined as behaviors and thoughts in which a learner engages and which are intended to influence the learner’s encoding process. According to another definition, learning strategies are any thoughts, behaviors, beliefs or emotions that facilitate the acquisition, understanding or later transfer of new knowledge and skills (Weinstein et al., 2000: 727). One of the earliest researchers in the field of foreign/ second language learning, Rubin (1975: 43), provided a very broad definition of foreign language learning strategies as ‘techniques or devices that learners apply in order to acquire knowledge of a foreign

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language’. Language learning strategies are also referred to as learning techniques, behaviors, or actions that can lead learners to proficiency in a foreign language (Oxford & Crookall, 1989) or as deliberate cognitive steps taken by the learners to aid the acquisition, storage, and retrieval and use of new information (Ehrman & Oxford, 1989). Strategies may be used consciously but they can also become habitual and automatic with practice. According to Oxford (2017), language learning strategies: • are purposeful, situated (in real settings) mental actions, used for learners to meet learning needs, • are sometimes observable, helping learners in developing selfregulation, completing tasks in a foreign/second language, and moving forward foreign/second language proficiency, • are dynamic, complex, and fluid (they are not part of rigid categories or used only for certain functions), used consciously or at least partially consciously, • can be discussed in terms of functions (metastrategic, cognitive, emotional/affective, motivational, and social), and • can be taught, assessed, and researched. The penultimate goal of language learning strategies is to enable the learner to accomplish individual learning tasks (Richards & Lockhart, 1996), and the ultimate goal is to promote language proficiency (Tudor, 1996) so that the learner can use the language outside the classroom. For the purpose of this study, the view that foreign language learning strategies are complex, dynamic thoughts and actions, selected and used by learners in order to regulate cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of themselves for the purpose of accomplishing the language task, improving language performance or use, and/or enhancing long-term proficiency is adopted (Oxford, 2017). Two notable approaches to categorizing strategies involve: (1) categorization according to their psychological functions into memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive, affective, and social strategies (Oxford, 1990), or cognitive, metacognitive, affective or social (Cohen, 2010); and (2) categorization according to the skill area to which they relate: listening and reading strategies (receptive skills), speaking and writing strategies (productive skills), vocabulary learning, and translation strategies (Cohen, 2001; Cohen, 2010), grammar learning strategies (Oxford, 2017; Pawlak, 2009, 2018a), strategies for learning pragmatics (speech acts) (Cohen, 2005; Cohen, 2019). In the latter approach, strategies are viewed in terms of their role in listening, reading, speaking, writing, vocabulary and grammar learning, translation, speech acts. When performing language tasks in and out of the language classroom, foreign language learners can employ language

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learning strategies across language skills and subsystems (grammar and vocabulary as well as pronunciation and pragmatics) (Oxford, 2017). Developing speaking skills in a foreign language poses a major challenge, especially when the learners are not in the target language environment, due to the learners’ minimum exposure to the target language and culture; such exposure is vital for understanding how to use language appropriately in social interactions, paralinguistic elements of speech (pitch, stress, intonation), nonlinguistic elements (gesture, body language, facial expression), and cultural assumptions in verbal interactions (Shumin, 2002: 204). This challenge is not surprising, particularly if we bear in mind that, in order to engage in speaking, learners are required to accumulate different types of knowledge of a foreign language (grammar, vocabulary, morphology, phonology, pragmatics, genre types, purposes of speech acts) as well as to be able to employ these resources in real time. This means that learners are likely to encounter many problems when speaking a foreign language; these problems may be managed by using speaking strategies. Speaking strategies can be defined as actions and thoughts that learners more or less consciously employ to develop speaking skills and use those skills in real-time communication (Pawlak, 2018b: 271). Most of the research on speaking strategies to date has focused on communication strategies, which can be seen as the ways in which an individual speaker manages to compensate for the gap between what they wish to communicate and their immediately available linguistic resources (Faucette, 2001: 1), while Nakatani and Goh (2007) equate communication strategies with speaking strategies. The studies on communication strategies refer to the possible ways in which communication strategies can be conceptualized (Dörnyei & Scott, 1997; Nakatani & Goh, 2007), to the identification and description of communication strategies used in different situations (Nakahama et al., 2001), to the effects of instruction targeting communication strategies (Nakatani, 2005; Teng, 2012), or to the development of the instrument (Oral Communication Strategies Inventory – OCSI) that is to measure the strategies used to tackle the problems in speaking and listening (Nakatani, 2006). Relatively little attention has been given to investigating more broadly conceptualized strategies that can be applied to develop speaking skills and enhance speaking performance. Few available empirical studies consider the overviews of language learning strategies that treat the terms speaking strategies and communication strategies as synonymous (Cohen, 2011; Cohen, 2014) and investigate the link between performance on an oral task and the use of language learning strategies (Huang & van Naerssen, 1987). Huang & van Naerssen (1987), examining 40 English majors in an institution of tertiary education in China, revealed that the high achievers were more likely

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  41

to engage in functional practice such as using the foreign language for communication, thinking in that language, talking to oneself, or reading in order to obtain the models for speaking. Kawai’s study (2008) describes, in an open-ended questionnaire, the identification of the strategies used in in-class discussion by two proficient adult learners of English; both participants pointed to the role of adequate planning and preparation, practicing speaking on a daily basis, starting discussions with their peers and relying on stop-gap strategies when communication breakdowns occurred. In the study by Pietrzykowska (2014), the results obtained using the SILL were correlated with the results of the speaking performance in the end-of-the-year examination (particularly its components – grammatical accuracy, vocabulary use, and fluency) taken by 80 English majors, suggesting a positive contribution of cognitive and compensation strategies to the development of speaking skills. Worth mentioning is the study of Pawlak (2018b), which explores the use of speaking strategies in the performance of two types of communicationbased activities, providing evidence for the predominance of the participants planning the contribution (both in terms of content and language), monitoring their performance as the task was being executed with respect to accurate use of foreign language subsystems (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation), paying attention to what their partner was saying, and self-evaluating their success on the completion of the tasks. There was also clear evidence for frequent deployment of cooperation, asking for clarification or verification at all stages of task performance as well as circumlocution, approximation, gesticulation, reliance on the mother tongue (compensatory strategies), as the task was being performed. For the purpose of this chapter, speaking strategies are considered in their broader sense – they are not constrained to compensatory strategies (i.e. communication strategies) to be deployed only when words or expressions are lacking, but are used to practice speaking, engage in conversation, plan actions, self-evaluate and self-reward success in speaking performance: in other words, to help learners improve their speaking skills. Speaking strategies are important as they help foreign language learners ‘in negotiating meaning where either linguistic structures or sociolinguistic rules are not shared between a foreign language learner and a speaker of the target language’ (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990: 43). The concept of speaking strategies is based on the combination of language learning strategies, particularly on Oxford’s language learning strategies (1990), and skill area strategies (e.g. speaking, writing, listening, and reading). The study reported below is one of few studies (Cohen et al., 1996; Pawlak, 2018b) exploring the use of speaking strategies in the performance of speaking tasks. The emphasis was on speaking, since this area had received limited attention in the research literature.

42  Part 2: New Pathways to Language Learning Strategy Research

2.2 Communicative language ability

Communicative language ability consists of competence and capacity for implementing or executing the competence in appropriate, contextualized communicative language use, which could be modified in accordance with the specific context (Bachman, 1990). The model of communicative language ability is based on the concept of communicative competence initiated in the 1970s (Hymes, 1972) within anthropology and the sociolinguistics research context. The term communicative competence emphasizes the fact that non-native speakers need knowledge of language forms as well as sociocultural knowledge in order to use acquired forms in an appropriate manner. This concept was further developed in the 1980s (Canale, 1983; Canale & Swain, 1980; Savignon, 1983) as the synthesis of knowledge and skills needed for successful communication. It consists of: (1) grammatical competence, which refers to morphological and syntactic rules, vocabulary, semantic rules, phonologic and orthographic rules, i.e. mastery of language as a system; (2) sociolinguistic competence, which concerns social rules and conventions as the basis for appropriate understanding and usage of language in various sociocultural contexts; (3) discourse competence, which refers to knowledge and the capability of using cohesive tools and text rhetorical organization in order to create coherent language units; and (4) strategic competence, which concerns verbal and nonverbal communication strategies used in order to overcome communication breakdowns emerging as a result of inadequate competence or competences. At the same time, another component was added to this model – the component of fluency (Faerch et al., 1984). Three types of fluency were involved in this component: semantic fluency (connecting propositions and speech acts), lexical-syntactic fluency (connecting syntactic elements and words), and articulation fluency (connecting sounds as segments of speech). This model had been dominant for almost a decade until the model of communicative language ability appeared, based on empirical research (Bachman & Palmer, 1982, 1983, 1989, 1996). Communicative language ability (Bachman, 1990) involves three components: (1) linguistic competence, consisting of (a) organization elements such as grammatical competence (vocabulary, morphology, syntax, phonology/graphology) and textual competence (cohesion and rhetoric organization), and (b) pragmatic elements such as illocutionary competence (adequate usage and understanding of speech acts as well as of the functions of ideation, manipulation, heuristic function, rhetoric

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  43

function) and sociolinguistic competence (sensitivity to differences in dialects, registers, sensitivity to naturalness, ability to interpret cultural references); (2) strategic competence, referring to the interaction of series of metacognitive components such as goal setting (recognition and selection of goals, and the decision whether to achieve the goal), assessment (means of connecting language usage context and other components), and planning (decisions on how to use language competence and other components of language usage in order to achieve a targeted goal); and (3) psycho-physiological mechanisms, which are essentially neurological and psychological processes involving communication channels (auditory and visual) and means of communication (receptive and productive); in receptive language use, auditory and visual skills are employed, while in productive use neuromuscular skills (articulatory and digital) are employed. Another relevant model is a model of communication language competence within the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Council of Europe, 2001). Communication language competence refers to three basic components: (1) linguistic competence (equivalent to Bachman’s concept of grammatical competence); (2) sociolinguistic competence (equivalent to Bachman’s concept of sociolinguistic competence); and (3) pragmatic competence, consisting of discourse competence (equivalent to Bachman’s concept of textual competence) and functional competence, which considers language macrofunctions (e.g. description, narration, commentary, explanation, or instruction), microfunctions (e.g. seeking information, socializing, or structuring discourse), and message sequencing in accordance with interactional and transactional schemes. Two generic qualitative factors that determine the functional success of the learner/user are: (a) fluency, the ability to articulate, to keep going when one lands in a dead end, and (b) propositional precision, the ability to formulate thoughts and propositions so as to make one’s meaning clear. Strategic competence and nonverbal communication, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), are segments of communication language usage. The former involves the application of communicative strategies, which can be considered as the application of the metacognitive principles of pre-planning, execution, monitoring, and repair action to the different types of communicative activities such as reception, interaction, production, and mediation.

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The latter is the process of sending and receiving messages without words and sounds and involves the use of finger pointing, eye direction, paralinguistic elements (e.g. gestures, facial expressions, body posture, eye contact, proxemics), nonlinguistic elements – the use of extralinguistic speech sounds, e.g. ‘sh’ (requesting silence) or ‘ugh’ (expressing disgust), prosodic elements such as pitch, stress, intonation. From the recognition of sociocultural factors in speaking situations (Hymes, 1972) and the description of language functions, both textual and illocutionary (Halliday, 1976), an expanded conception of language proficiency emerged. In the quest to understand the nature of language proficiency and how a second/foreign language can be used successfully to communicate a variety of meanings in different social and academic contexts, building on the work of Hymes (1972) and Canale and Swaine (1980), a multicomponential model of CLA (communicative language ability) has been proposed (Bachman, 1990; Bachman & Palmer, 1996; CEFR, 2001), specifying both linguistic and nonlinguistic components of CLA underlying language use. Rather than providing a prescription for test development, the model represents the potential targets for assessment that can be adapted to a range of test purposes and contexts. The learners’ language knowledge along with their topical knowledge and personal characteristics interact with the characteristics of the language use or test-task situation (Purpura, 2008). Also, in CLA (Bachman, 1990: 100), nonverbal behavior is implicitly embedded in strategic language abilities (enhancing rhetorical effects of utterances) and textual competence (in conversation, see Jungheim, 2001), while in CEFR it is explicit as a component of communication language usage. The model of communicative language ability accepted in this study is an eclectic model consisting of the following components: grammatical competence, textual competence, functional competence, sociolinguistic competence, strategic competence, fluency, and nonverbal communicative ability. This model is used for the construction of the instrument, which is to measure learners’ speaking ability in an oral production task. 2.3 The role of gender in the use of speaking strategies

Gender has been reported to be important in language learning strategy use. In terms of general language learning strategies, several studies using the SILL with college and university students showed that females were more active strategy users than males (Chang et al., 2007; Dreyer & Oxford, 1996; Green & Oxford, 1995; Goh & Foong, 1997; Zeynali, 2012). However, several studies of gender and learning strategies showed that males outperformed females. In Wharton’s SILLbased study (2000) males reported using a greater number of strategies significantly more often than females. A rare SILL-based study focusing on a Turkish setting (Tercanlıoğlu, 2004) showed similar results.

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  45

Another, non-SILL, study (Baily, 1996) also showed that men used more strategies than women. On the other hand, other SILL studies found no significant differences between males and females (Shmais, 2003). Not only have empirical investigations of speaking strategies fallen out of favor with specialists, with most of the existing studies zooming in on the compensatory mechanisms that learners resort to when confronted with problems in conveying their messages, but there is also a paucity of research that considers the possible impact of gender on speaking strategy use. A study of oral communication strategy use among university students in Iran (Najafabadi, 2014), using the Oral Communication Strategy Inventory (OCSI) adapted from Nakatani’s OCSI (2006), revealed no significant differences between females and males in using communication strategies. Another study (Razmjoo & Ardekani, 2011), which was based on the 21-item speaking strategy inventory created by the authors, also showed no significant differences between females and males in using speaking strategies. Furthermore, in Moriam’s study (2005), in which the instrument was based on SILL (Oxford, 1990) and the Language Strategy Use Survey (Cohen & Chi, 2002), the instrument items referring to speaking strategies had been exclusively selected from the above two previously mentioned sets; this study also recorded the lack of gender differences in using speaking strategies among university students in Japan and Bangladesh. In the Serbian EFL/ESP education context, it is difficult to find studies related to gender and language speaking strategy use. 3 Research Questions

The following research questions are explored: (1) What foreign language (EFL) speaking strategies are used by the participants? (2) How frequently are the speaking strategies used? (3) Are there any differences among the students at different levels of EFL communicative ability in their perceived use of speaking strategies? (4) Are there any differences between females and males in their perceived use of EFL speaking strategies? 4 The Study 4.1 The participants

A total of 60 participants, who were biotechnology engineering students at the University of Kragujevac, Serbia, took part in the research. The study included 47 female and 13 male students, aged from 21 to 24, in the third and fourth year of a 4-year biotechnology bachelor program. All junior and senior students were exposed to compulsory academic course in English for Specific Purposes (ESP), Serbian being

46  Part 2: New Pathways to Language Learning Strategy Research

their mother tongue. At the time of the study, they had been learning English as a foreign language for an average of 10.15 years, with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 14 years. The EFL placement test was applied at the beginning of the semester, aiming to measure the students’ level of EFL proficiency before the referent courses started. The test consisted of 50 multiplechoice items, the correct answer for each item having the value of 1 and the incorrect answer the value of 0. The test score ranged from 0 to 50, with the low end indicating beginner level and the high end indicating advanced level. According to the results obtained by the EFL placement test, the participants represented four proficiency levels. There were 4 students at the lower-intermediate level, 35 students at the intermediate level, 17 students at the upper-intermediate level, and 4 students at the advanced level. 4.2 The data collection instruments

The research instruments involved the Inventory of Speaking Strategies in a Foreign Language (ISSFL), the Communication Language Ability Scale (CLAS), and a speaking task. The ISSFL instrument is a tool for measuring the perceived use of speaking strategies by non-native English speakers. It is derived from the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), Version 7.0, for measuring strategies for learning a foreign/second language (Oxford, 1989b). The instrument items relating to speaking strategies were extracted from the original SILL scale. This self-report scale consists of 20 items and is a Likert-type with choices ranging from ‘Never or almost never true of me’ (1) to ‘Always or almost always true of me’ (5). In other words, the high end of the scale indicates a high frequency of use of a reading strategy while the low end indicates a low frequency of use. All 20 items of the ISSFL instrument are presented within the results section (see section 5.1). The items were written in the participants’ mother tongue (Serbian) to avoid unnecessary miscomprehension; they were then back-translated into English by an independent language expert for linguistic validation of the instrument. The resulting instrument (ISSFL) was reviewed by four raters (two EFL university professors, one biotechnology university professor, and one psychology expert in education and experimental methodology). Each item was scrutinized for clarity and appropriateness. After some revisions in wording, the study was conducted. The instrument’s overall internal reliability was established; in this study, the instrument ISSFL used for measuring the students’ use of speaking strategies in EFL was found to be reliable and internally consistent since the Cronbach alpha coefficient is α = 0.83. This result is within the scope of the coefficient values found in the literature for SILL(on which the ISSFL is based), ranging from

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  47

0.81 to 0.94 (Lee & Oxford, 2008; Liu & Chang, 2013; Murray, 2010; Oh, 1992; Olivares-Cuhat, 2010; Oxford & Burry-Stock, 1995; Yang, 1999;Yang, 2010). For the Likert-scaled strategy-use items of the ISSFL, the following key helped to interpret the means: mean values from 3.5 to 5.0 indicate high use, from 2.5 to 3.49 indicate medium use, and from 1.0 to 2.49 indicate low use (Oxford, 1990). The CLAS instrument is used to measure students’ communicative language ability as a cumulative factor as well as individual competences. The instrument is based on various measuring solutions designed for individual competences by different authors (Bachman, 1990; Council of Europe, 2001; Jungheim, 2001; Milanovic et al., 1996). The 5-point, multi-trait scale is designed for the external assessment of the learners’ overall speaking ability as well as commenting on CLA: grammatical competence, textual competence, functional competence, sociolinguistic competence, strategic competence, fluency, and nonverbal communicative ability (see Table 3.1). The scale consists of qualitative descriptors indicating the level of each competence measured. It is a 5-point scale, ranging from 1 to 5: the low end indicates a low level and the high end indicates a high level of the measured competences. More specifically, the low end (1) indicates: there is no systematic evidence of morphologic and syntactic structure; the presence of most possible types of errors, extremely limited vocabulary (a few words or phrases, not possible to discuss any topic); non-coherent speech, absence of cohesion; no indication of an ability to choose an appropriate language form to perform a particular language function; evidence of only one register, no evidence of ability to use cultural references and to adjust speech to the context and collocutors; no evidence of ability to use communication strategies, inability to convey ideas; the speaker needs support all the time to carry on with the conversation; wrong pronunciation (very difficult to understand) and interrupted speech that disturbs communication. On the other hand, the high end (5) indicates: a complete range of morphologic and syntactic structures, no systematic errors present; extensive vocabulary (the speaker rarely searches for words, almost always uses appropriate words); coherent and well-organized speech, a variety of appropriate cohesive devices is used; there are hardly ever confusing relationships among the ideas, language functions are performed appropriately - the speaker is able to use an adequate language form to perform a particular language function; control of both formal and informal register, full control of cultural references, ability to adjust speech to context and collocutors; full control of communication strategies, the speaker is able to initiate and carry on with the conversation and react appropriately according to the change of conversational turns; no errors in pronunciation present (adequate stress and intonation), no interrupted speech. The scale is presented in Table 3.1.

48  Part 2: New Pathways to Language Learning Strategy Research

Table 3.1  Scale of communicative language ability – speaking ability Rating

Communicative language ability – speaking ability


Grammatical competence • Complete range of morphologic and syntactic structures, no systematic errors present; • Extensive vocabulary: the speaker rarely searches for words, almost always uses appropriate words; Textual competence • Excellent coherence and organization of speech; excellent cohesion – a variety of appropriate cohesive devices is used; there are hardly ever confusing relationships among the ideas; Functional competence • Language functions are performed appropriately (ideation, manipulation, rhetoric) – the speaker is able to use an adequate language form to perform a particular language function; Sociolinguistic competence • Control of both formal and informal register, full control of cultural references, ability to adjust speech to context and collocutors, no non-native but grammatical structures, the speaker is highly able to adjust speech to context and collocutors; Strategic competence • The speaker is able to initiate and carry on with the conversation, react appropriately according to the change of conversational turns, to utilize language competences to assess the context for relevant information; full control of communication strategies (no compensatory strategies present); Fluency • No errors in pronunciation, adequate stress and intonation present, no interrupted speech; Nonverbal communicative ability • Frequency and use of head nods and change in gaze direction acceptable by norms of native speakers; no linguistic problems require gestures for compensation.


Grammatical competence • Large range of morphologic and syntactic structures, control of most structures, with few error types; • Large vocabulary – seldom misses or searches for words; few lexical errors, which do not impede communication; Textual competence • Speech usually well organized, good cohesion – relationships between the utterances well marked, sometimes mistakes in use of cohesive tools; Functional competence • Language functions are mostly performed appropriately (ideation, manipulation, rhetoric) – the speaker is often able to use an adequate language form to perform a particular language function; Sociolinguistic competence • Evidence of two registers and control of either formal or informal register, speaker often uses cultural references in an appropriate way, rare non-native but grammatical structures, the speaker usually aware of the context and able to adjust speech to collocutors; Strategic competence • The speaker is able to convey main ideas in different contexts, able to carry out speech/conversation, sometimes has problems reacting according to the change of conversational turns, often to utilize language competences to assess the context for relevant information, the speaker rarely needs support to carry on with the conversation; Fluency • Speech rarely hesitant or interrupted, wrong pronunciation rare, which does not disturb communication, rarely wrong accent and stress; Nonverbal communicative ability • Frequency of head nods and change of gaze direction toward the audience approaches native speaker norms, few inappropriate uses of head nods and changes in gaze direction, few linguistic problems that require gestures for compensation. (Continued on next page)

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  49

Table 3.1  Scale of communicative language ability – speaking ability (Continued) Rating



Communicative language ability – speaking ability Grammatical competence • Large, but not complete, range of morphologic and syntactic structures, control of some structures but with many error types; • Vocabulary of moderate size – the speaker frequently misses or searches for words; Textual competence • Speech sometimes non-organized and confusing, moderate cohesion and simple cohesion tools present, relationships between the utterances generally marked, frequent confusing relationships among the ideas; speech lacks details and developing ideas; Functional competence • Language functions are sometimes performed appropriately (ideation, manipulation, rhetoric) – the speaker is sometimes unable to use an adequate language form to perform a particular language function; Sociolinguistic competence • Evidence of two registers though the use is inadequate, some evidence of ability to use cultural references, the speaker is usually able to adjust speech to context and collocutors, speaker sometimes uses non-native but grammatical structures; Strategic competence • The speaker is able to convey main ideas, there are some problems in carrying out speech/conversation, able to react according to the change of conversational turns but with problems, the speaker does not need support all the time to carry on with the conversation, use communication strategies to correct mistakes present in speech; Fluency • Sometimes wrong pronunciation, speech is sometimes hesitant or interrupted; Nonverbal communicative ability • Frequent and inappropriate head nods and changes in gaze direction toward the audience, the speaker sometimes uses gestures to solve linguistic problems but it is frequently inappropriate. Grammatical competence • Limited range of morphologic and syntactic structures, control of some structures but with many error types; • Small vocabulary – difficulty in producing speech because of vocabulary limitations; frequent inappropriate choice of words; Textual competence • Speech frequently non-organized, very little cohesion present in the speech, relationships between the utterances not adequately marked, frequent confusing relationships among the ideas; Functional competence • Language functions are performed inappropriately (ideation, manipulation, rhetoric) – the speaker lacks the ability to choose an adequate language form to perform a particular language function in a particular situation; Sociolinguistic competence • Evidence of only one register, almost no evidence of ability to use cultural references, the speaker is rarely able to adjust speech to context and collocutors, frequent non-native but grammatical structures; Strategic competence • The speaker is able to convey main ideas but in a limited context, very difficult to carry on speech/conversation, very rarely able to react according to the change of conversational turns, the speaker needs support all the time to carry on with the conversation, some evidence of ability to use communication strategies to correct mistakes; Fluency • Very often wrong pronunciation, wrong accent and stress, speech is interrupted; Nonverbal communicative ability • Limited and inappropriate head nods and changes in gaze direction toward the audience, limited and inappropriate use of gestures to solve linguistic problems; (Continued on next page)

50  Part 2: New Pathways to Language Learning Strategy Research

Table 3.1  Scale of communicative language ability – speaking ability (Continued) Rating


Communicative language ability – speaking ability Grammatical competence • No systematic evidence of morphologic and syntactic structure; errors of all types; • Extremely limited vocabulary; a few words or phrases, not possible to discuss any topic; Textual competence • Non-coherent speech, absence of cohesion (utterances completely disjointed or discourse too short to judge; Functional competence • No indication of the ability to choose an appropriate language form to perform a particular language function; Sociolinguistic competence • Evidence of only one register, no evidence of ability to use cultural references and to adjust speech to context and collocutors; Strategic competence • Inability to convey ideas, no evidence of the ability to use communication strategies to correct mistakes, the speaker needs support all the time to carry on with the conversation; Fluency • Wrong pronunciation (very difficult to understand) and interrupted speech that disturbs communication; Nonverbal communicative ability • Extremely limited and inappropriate changes of gaze direction toward the audience and collocutors, no evidence of gestures to enhance and support speech and meaning.

This CLAS instrument was used as the assessment instrument by the external examiners who assessed the participants’ speaking ability, rating them from 1 to 5, each value being given descriptors for each component of communicative language competence (Table 3.1). The external evaluation of the students’ presentations carried out by the four raters is assumed to be reliable as the inter-rater reliability coefficient is highly significant (p = 0.000) – interclass correlation (ICC) for CLAS is r = 0.81. The instrument’s overall internal reliability is established and the Cronbach alpha coefficient has a value α = 0.87, which indicates that the instrument is reliable. The following key helped to interpret the means of students’ communicative language ability: mean values from 4.5 to 5.0 indicate advanced level, from 3.5 to 4.49 indicate upperintermediate level, from 2.5 to 3.49 indicate intermediate level, from 1.50 to 2.49 indicate lower-intermediate level, and values of M ≤ 1.49 indicate beginner level. A speaking task given to the students (in the middle of their spring semester) refers to a simulated participation in a scientific conference in the field of biotechnology. All participants were asked to complete the task so that the levels of their communicative language ability could be determined. The data were collected by videotaping the students’ responses to the task during their regular class time. The students were allowed time to prepare what they would say before they began their individual recording. The students were asked to analyze and compare

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  51

the growing, production, and processing of two fruit cultures (raspberry and plum) and to give a presentation to experts in the field of pomology and food processing. This topic was based on the content that students had already covered in their English for Specific Purposes classes and it simulated authentic language exchange. The participants were provided with a list of target language words/phrases (40 for each plant) in English, which they were free to use in their presentation. This list was included to stimulate the students’ production. During the presentations, the participants’ peers played the role of the expert audience– hence the possibility for potential speaking interaction through questions and clarifications was provided. After the presentations and video-recording was finished, the four external raters assessed all 60 presentations (all the raters assessed all the presentations). Across the task, it was assumed that if the participants did not have the communicative language ability to easily complete the task, they might be expected to use a range of language speaking strategies.

4.3 Procedures

The instruments were administered to the participants by their foreign language teacher during their regular EFL classes. The EFL classes involved regular classroom activities based on content-based learning and a communicative approach. The teaching process reflected the contents, methods, tasks, and procedures typical for the biotechnology engineering profession, including the development of speaking skills through very diverse activities (e.g. descriptions, presentations, discussions, simulations, negotiations, conflict resolution, role-plays). Rather than being presented as a separate learning task, the strategies were implicitly embedded into the classroom activities. The procedure involved the following steps: the students simulated participation in a scientific conference in the field of biotechnology engineering with oral presentations on the conference’s relevant topics in the English language; the students’ oral presentations were videorecorded; having completed their oral presentations, the students were supposed to self-evaluate their use of EFL speaking strategies using ISSFL; external evaluation of the students’ filmed oral presentations was carried out by the four raters employing CLAS. 4.4 The analysis of the data

The measures of internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha), interclass correlation (inter-rater reliability coefficient), descriptive statistics (frequency analysis, mean values and standard deviation), and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for data processing. In order

52  Part 2: New Pathways to Language Learning Strategy Research

to determine whether the instruments in the study (ISSFL and CLAS) were reliable, Cronbach’s alpha as the measure of internal consistency and reliability was applied to both instruments. As the CLAS instrument was to be used for the external assessment of students’ communicative language ability, and as the four raters were included in the assessment in this study, it was necessary to establish inter-rater reliability as the degree of the agreement among the raters. Calculating the frequency, the mean and standard deviation with descriptive statistics would enhance understanding of the students’ perceived use of speaking strategies, i.e. the frequency preference of strategy use. The mean and standard deviation was also used to determine the levels of communicative language ability and its competences. In order to investigate potential differences in the perceived speaking strategy use among the students at different levels of communicative language ability and of different genders, one-way ANOVA analysis was carried out. The data obtained were analyzed using SPSS 20.00 Package for Windows. 5 Results and Discussion 5.1 The students’ perceived use of speaking strategies

Descriptive statistics, including a frequency analysis of the overall strategy use, mean value and standard deviation of the overall and individual strategy use, were employed to describe how the biotechnology engineering students perceived their use of speaking strategies. The results of the frequency analysis are shown in Table 3.2 and the means of selfreported scores for speaking strategy use are shown in Table 3.3. The results obtained by the frequency analysis reveal (Table 3.2) that the majority of students (55%) use speaking strategies in EFL frequently; less than half of the respondents (41.7%) show medium use of speaking strategies, while only 3.3% of the respondents use speaking strategies rarely. The mean value of the overall perceived use of the speaking strategies in the study is M = 3.55 (Table 3.3), which indicates the students’ frequent speaking strategy use. This result is not in accordance with the results obtained in other studies dealing with EFL learners’ use of language learning strategies (Chang & Liu, 2013; Khalil, 2005; Lee & Oxford, 2008; Table 3.2  The overall use of EFL speaking strategies – frequencies Frequency of EFL speaking strategies

Number of students


High use



Medium use



Low use Total

2 60

3.3 100

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  53

Table 3.3  The use of EFL speaking strategies by biotechnology students – self-report scores EFL speaking strategies

Possible scores



Rank usage

01 Associate new material with already known material





02 Use new English words in a sentence





03 Connect a word to a mental picture of the situation





04 Use rhymes to remember new words





05 Say new words several times





06 Try to talk like a native speaker





07 Practice sounds of English





08 Start a conversation in English





09 Make summaries of information





10 Use gestures when stuck for words





11 Make up new words when stuck





12 Try to guess what the other person will say





13 Use circumlocutions or synonyms





14 Notice my mistakes/try to do better





15 Pay attention when someone is speaking





16 Look for people to talk to in English





17 Have clear goals for improving speaking skills





18 Try to relax when feeling afraid of speaking





19 Encourage self to speak when feeling afraid





20 Give self-reward for doing well





Overall EFL speaking strategies





N = 60

Yang, 2010; Zhang & Liu, 2005), where the students’ overall use of language learning strategies was at a medium level (2.50 < M < 3.49). Eleven speaking strategies were reported as high usage strategies. Associating new material with the material the students already know (01 ‘I think of relationships between what I already know and new things I learn in English’), paying attention when someone is speaking in English, which indicates the speaker is eager to communicate in English with a potential collocutor in the audience (15 ‘I pay attention when someone is speaking English’), having clear goals for improving speaking skills in English (17 ‘I have clear goals for improving my English skills’), and trying to relax when afraid of speaking in English (18 ‘I try to relax

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whenever I feel afraid of using English’) are the four most frequently used speaking strategies (M = 4.27, M = 4.42, M = 4.53, and M = 4.18, respectively). The other speaking strategies at the high level of usage involve the following strategies: connecting the sounds of new words to a mental picture of a situation (03 ‘I connect the sound of a new English word and an image or picture of the word to help me remember the word’) (M = 3.75); saying new words in English several times (05 ‘I say new English words several times’) (M = 3.53); practicing the sounds of English (07 ‘I practice the sounds of English’) (M = 3.75 ); using gestures when stuck for words when speaking in English (10 ‘When I can’t think of a word during a conversation in English, I use gestures’) (M = 3.65); using circumlocutions or synonyms when stuck for an English word (13 ‘If I can’t think of an English word, I use a word or phrase that means the same thing’) (M = 3.93); noticing mistakes and trying to do better when speaking in English (14 ‘I notice my English mistakes and use that information to help me do better’) (M = 3.95); encouraging oneself to speak when afraid of making mistakes when speaking in English (19 ‘I encourage myself to speak English even when I am afraid of making a mistake’) (M = 3.97). Eight speaking strategies were reported as medium usage strategies, as shown in Table 3.3. The following items have mean values in the medium usage range (2.67 < M < 3.47): using new English word in a sentence (02 ‘I use new words in a sentence so I can remember them’), trying to talk like a native speaker (06 ‘I try to talk like native English speaker’), starting a conversation in English (08 ‘I start conversations in English’), make summaries of information (09 ‘I make summaries of information that I hear in English’), making up new words when stuck (11 ‘I make up new words if I do not know the right ones in English’), anticipating what other people want to say (12 ‘I try to guess what the other person will say next in English’), looking for people to talk to in English, which indicates motivation for interaction with a potential interlocutor in the simulated audience (16 ‘I look for people I can talk to in English’), and giving self-reward for doing well (20 ‘I give myself a reward or treat when I do well in English’). The least frequently used speaking strategy was using rhymes to remember new words in English (04 ‘I use rhymes to remember new English words’); the mean value was M = 2.43 (M < 2.5), indicating low strategy use. The SD data indicate (Table 3.3) that the participants behave as a homogenous group in terms of the frequency of using certain strategies – a medium to high use of the following speaking strategies is the sample characteristic behavior: associating new material with the material the students already know, using gestures when stuck for words when speaking in English, using circumlocutions or synonyms when stuck for an English word, noticing mistakes and trying to do better

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  55

when speaking in English, eagerness to communicate in English with a potential collocutor in the audience, having clear goals for improving speaking skills in English. The measure of dispersion indicates that the members of the sample behave as a heterogeneous group concerning use of the rest of the investigated speaking strategies – the values are spread out over a wider range, from low use to high use. Furthermore, the findings from ISSFL reveal (Table 3.3) that the most prominent EFL speaking strategies used by the participants involve having clear goals for improving speaking skills in English, paying attention when someone is speaking in English, association of new material with what students/learners already know, and trying to relax when feeling afraid of speaking in English. However, a high frequency of use does not have to result in successful learning; it is more a matter of how effectively these strategies are implemented. These strategies are used more frequently in this study than has been reported in previous research (Liu & Chang, 2013; Robson & Midorikawa, 2001). Moreover, the study by Robson and Midorikawa (2001), which investigated individual use of language learning strategies by 153 Japanese university students, also reported a higher frequency of use of only two strategies referring to speaking compared to the current study: saying new words several times (M = 3.98 – high use range) and giving self-reward for doing well in speaking performance (M = 3.43 – medium to high use range); the remainder of speaking strategies were used at the same level (using rhymes, M = 2.43 – low use range, and using circumlocutions and synonyms, M = 3.81 – high use range) or at a lower level (all the rest of the speaking strategies) than in current study. Students’ cultural background, educational environment, and experiences might be the variables affecting the strategy choices (Grainger, 2012; Lee, 2010; Politzer & McGroarty, 1985; Reid, 1987). Thus, more frequent use of repeating to learn new English words by Japanese learners may be ascribed to the fact that Japanese EFL/ESL learners use analytic strategies aimed at precision and accuracy (Reid, 1995). The speaking strategies used by the participants in the current study comprise both proactive and reactive ones – those intended to aid increasing proficiency and those employed when communication problem arises. 5.2 The students’ levels of communicative language ability in EFL

The results of the descriptive analysis indicate that biotechnology engineering students’ general communication language ability (CLA) in EFL is at the intermediate level since the mean value is M = 3.15 (Table 3.4). The levels of respective competences are also at intermediate levels, the highest being recorded for grammatical competence (M = 3.17) followed by textual competence (M = 3.11), strategic competence

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Table 3.4  Level of communicative language ability in formal education context Communicative language ability competences

Possible scores



Grammatical competence




Textual competence




Functional competence




Sociolinguistic competence




Strategic competence








Nonverbal communicative ability







Overall communicative ability

N = 60

(M = 3.04), and fluency (M = 3.02), the lowest being recorded for sociolinguistic competence (M = 2.83); the exception is nonverbal communicative ability, showing a tendency of decreasing mean value (M = 2.45) (Table 3.4). The results are obtained by the external raters’ assessment of students’ CLA levels using the instrument CLAS (presented in Table 3.1), who awarded each student speaking performance with a value from 1–5, having in mind the traits/descriptors for each numerical value. The results obtained (Table 3.4) imply that the biotechnology engineering students in this study are generally capable of communicating appropriately and efficiently during the performance of the given task, which was the simulation of participation at the conference; this included the oral presentation, the contents of which was in accordance with the students’ discipline (agriculture and biotechnology) and the activities of the English for Specific Purposes classroom. However, the corrections made to compensate language weaknesses are considerable, and sometimes inappropriate, and may demand a certain level of effort to understand a speaker/collocutor. The students’ oral skills, presented as overall communicative language ability in this study, manifested (M = 3.15, Table 3.4) broad but incomplete knowledge of morphology and syntax structures, vocabulary is of moderate size and the speaker frequently misses or searches for adequate words/phrases, pronunciation with errors sometimes causing miscommunication; simple cohesive tools are present and usually marked, speech contains no details, and ideas are sometimes developed in a confused way; language functions are sometimes clear, efficient and proper, though the speaker/student may occasionally lack skills to select correct language forms to perform the task rationally; the students/speakers are usually aware of the collocutors and context, they sometimes use grammatical but unnatural structures and appropriate

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  57

cultural references, and apply two registers (formal and informal) sometimes inadequately (see section 4.2, Table 3.1). Furthermore, based on the data obtained by the application of the CLAS instrument and the instrument descriptors (Table 3.1) indicating the levels of competences (elaborated in Table 3.4), the speakers/students are generally capable of communicating main ideas using available language competences and assessing the context for relevant information despite the problems present in carrying out speech and reacting to conversational turns; they did not need support all the time to go on with their speech/ conversation, though they use the strategies for correcting the errors during their speaking. Speech is usually slow and hesitant; pronunciation is sometimes incorrect and interferes with communication. However, nonverbal behavior is characterized by often and inappropriate nodding and eye direction; gestures are sometimes used to solve language problems but often inappropriately and unsuccessfully. 5.3 The effects of students’ CLA levels and gender on their EFL speaking strategy use

The results obtained from one-way ANOVA show the differences between the students at different levels of communicative language ability in the reported use of the following strategies: overall speaking strategies, associating new material with the material the students already know, starting a conversation in English, using circumlocutions or synonyms when stuck for an English word, and looking for people to talk to in English. The results, presented in Table 3.5 (Table 3.5 illustrates only those speaking strategies whose frequencies of use differed across CLA levels), indicate that the overall CLA level had a significant influence on the use of overall speaking strategies. It is important to emphasize that the beginner level of CLA (M ≤ 1.49) was not recorded among the participants in this study; hence there are no data with regard to this in Table 3.5. The students at the advanced (M ≥ 4.5) and upper-intermediate CLA levels (4.49 ≥ M ≥ 3.50) reported very high use of the overall speaking strategies (M = 4.45 and M = 3.70, respectively, both being M ≥ 3.50) compared with the use of speaking strategies by the students at lower-intermediate (2.49 ≥ M ≥ 1.5) and intermediate levels of CLA (3.49 ≥ M ≥ 2.50),whose perceived use of speaking strategies is significantly lower, indicating medium use (M = 3.29 and M = 3.49, respectively, both being 3.49 ≥ M ≥ 2.50), than that of their peers at the higher levels of CLA (F = 3.187, p < 0.05, p = 0.03). The findings also suggest that students at all levels of CLA frequently associate new material with what they already know. However, this strategy use is very high among participants at the upper-intermediate and advanced levels of CLA (M = 4.63 and M = 5.00, respectively)

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Table 3.5  Differences in EFL speaking strategy use dependent on overall CLA (Communicative Language Ability) levels Levels of overall CLA EFL speaking strategies

lowerintermediate (M)

intermediate (M)

upperintermediate (M)

advanced (M)


Associate new material with already known material






Start conversation in English






Use circumlocutions or synonyms






Look for people to talk to in English






Overall speaking strategies






N = 60  *p < 0.05  ** p < 0.01

and significantly lower among participants at the lower-intermediate and intermediate levels of CLA (M = 3.71 and M = 4.15, respectively) (F = 4.536, p < 0.05, p = 0.01). When stuck for an English word, students at the intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced levels of CLA use synonyms or circumlocutions significantly more frequently (mean values M = 3.85, M = 4.42, and M = 5.00, respectively, indicate high strategy use) than their peers at the lower-intermediate CLA level (M = 2.86, indicating medium strategy use) (F = 8.791, p < 0.01, p = 0.000). Furthermore, students at the advanced level of CLA look for people to talk to in English very frequently (M = 5.00); their peers at the intermediate and upper-intermediate CLA levels use this strategy significantly less frequently (means of M = 3.27 and M = 3.26, respectively, indicate medium strategy use); students at the lowerintermediate CLA level use this strategy even less frequently than their peers at the intermediate and upper-intermediate CLA levels (M = 2.71) (F = 2.992, p < 0.05, p = 0.04). Moreover, students at the upper-intermediate (M = 3.05) and advanced levels (M = 5.00) of CLA start a conversation in English more often (the means indicating medium and high strategy use, respectively) than the students at the lower-intermediate level (M = 2.14) and intermediate level of CLA (M = 2.48), the means indicating low strategy use (F = .4.385, p < 0.01, p = 0.008). In general, the more advanced the language learner is, the more frequent the speaking strategies use is. Possible explanations are as follows: language students might spontaneously develop new and more successful strategies as they become more advanced; also, students might respond with strategies tailored to the language classroom task

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  59

requirements; students with poorer strategies might perform worse than students with better strategies (Green & Oxford, 1995; Oxford, 1989a). This finding is not in line with the study of Pietrzykowska (2014) according to which the students who used strategies more frequently were weaker in speaking. On the other hand, according to Oxford (1996: xi), effective language learners actively associate new information with existing information in long-term memory, building increasingly intricate and differentiated mental structures, or schemata. Furthermore, trying to relax when performing speaking tasks and giving oneself rewards may help students have, and use, a wider range of morphologic and syntactic speaking structures (Cohen et al., 1996). Pietrzykowska (2014) reports that having clear goals, noticing mistakes and learning from them, translate into better oral performance; besides, lowering stress, monitoring one’s emotions, relaxing before speaking, enables the learner to choose more interesting, more sophisticated structures and avoid mistakes. On the other hand, students may use gestures or trying to guess what the other person will say next when they lack the necessary knowledge, when they lose the thread of what they wanted to say – their only goal is to survive and send the message (Pietrzykowska, 2014). Paying attention when somebody is using English, looking for people to whom students can talk in English, setting goals and planning learning time do not tell us what students actually do with such opportunities, and, when they do make use of them, which language subsystems or skills constitute students’ targets (Pietrzykowska, 2014). The speaking strategies used equally frequently across communicative ability levels are an essential part of the picture we are bringing into the focus. The findings in this study (Table 3.6) show that students of all recorded levels of CLA frequently say new words in English several times so as to remember them, practice sounds of English, notice their own mistakes while speaking and try to correct them, pay attention when someone is speaking in English, have clear goals for improving speaking skills, and try to relax when feeling anxious of speaking in English. Moreover, we should probably look at the total range of strategies selected by successful students, and not only at the ones the successful students use more frequently than their less successful counterparts. The successful performers of the speaking task in this study use all speaking strategies except one – rhyming to remember new English words, which is not used at all or used very rarely. These strategies contribute significantly to the learning process though not being in themselves facilitative enough to move the less successful students to higher levels of communicative language ability. For the complete picture, Table 3.6 illustrates those strategies that do not show statistically significant differences in use across communicative ability levels.

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Table 3.6  No differences in EFL speaking strategy use across overall CLA (­Communicative Language Ability) levels Levels of overall CLA EFL speaking strategies

lowerintermediate (M)

intermediate (M)

upperintermediate (M)

advanced (M)


Use new English words in a sentence






Connect a word to a mental picture of the situation






Use rhymes to remember new words






Say new words several times






Try to talk like a native speaker






Practice sounds of English






Make summaries of information






Use gestures when stuck for words






Make up new words when stuck






Try to guess what the other person will say






Notice my mistakes/try to do better






Pay attention when someone is speaking in English






Have clear goals for improving speaking skills






Try to relax when feeling afraid of speaking






Encourage self to speak when feeling afraid






Give self-reward for doing well






N = 60  p > 0.05

As for the role of gender in EFL speaking strategy use, one-way ANOVA showed that there were no statistically significant differences between female and male students in using both the overall and individual EFL speaking strategies (p > 0.05). This finding is in line with the results obtained in the studies by Moriam (2005), Najafabadi (2014), and Razmjoo and Ardekani (2011). However, this result is not

Speaking Strategies and Speaking Ability in ESP Classrooms  61

consistent with other research studying strategy use (Chang et al., 2007; Dreyer & Oxford, 1996; Goh & Foong, 1997; Zeynali, 2012). Green and Oxford (1995: 282) identified 14 strategies used significantly more often by females than by males, two of which are affective strategies such as rewarding oneself for doing well and noticing when one is tense or nervous, and one strategy was used significantly more often by men (watching TV or movies in English). Since the current study did not reveal statistically significant differences in the perceived use of speaking strategies between female and male students, further studies could investigate gender variations in using EFL speaking strategies across populations and disciplines. Conclusion

The study reported in this chapter is one step toward better understanding the use of EFL speaking strategies. It reveals that the participants used the overall EFL speaking strategies frequently. Moreover, the students’ communicative language ability was at an intermediate level. Also, the students at the higher levels of CLA used speaking strategies more frequently than their peers at the lowerintermediate level of CLA. There were no statistically significant differences between female and male students in the perceived use of EFL speaking strategies. The findings in the study have a number of possible implications for the classroom. EFL teachers should provide students with sufficient opportunities to practice speaking in the classroom context. In this way, the students/learners will have more chances to use speaking strategies. Teachers need to recognize that some speaking strategies may be more suited to some students than to others. Students with different levels of language proficiency are likely to use different kinds of strategies and at a different frequency. The more that teachers know about such factors, the more capable they will be of dealing with learners’ differences in the classroom. The suggested practice for language teachers would be to differentiate language instruction according to the level of students’ language proficiency (Chamot, 2009) in order to motivate students and increase the efficiency of acquiring speaking skills. This may be achieved by providing alternative paths to students’ interests and needs and by creating differentiated activities/tasks (independent tasks, teamwork, collaborative work) for students at different levels of proficiency (descriptions, quizzes, oral projects, role-plays), giving directions and providing assistance when needed and monitoring whether the work is completed. This study has several limitations that could be addressed in further research. The results of this study were based on a limited number of students; thus, they cannot be generalized to the whole student

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population in biotechnology engineering and particularly not to the engineering profession in general. Moreover, the ISSFL instrument is a self-reporting tool: it means that the participants’ responses depend on their sincerity and willingness to cooperate in the research as well as upon their awareness of the speaking strategies they use. When using Likert-scale items, participants may avoid extreme response categories and tend to take the neutral opinion (Brown, 2000), or they may tend to portray themselves in a more sociably favorable light rather than being honest (Bertram, n.d.). Possible methods to reduce social desirability bias suggest the use of social desirability scales and rating of item desirability (the latter including use of forced-choice items, the randomized response technique, the bogus pipeline, self‐administration of the questionnaire, the selection of interviewers) (Nederhof, 1985). Furthermore, this is the only instrument applied to collect the data on speaking strategy use. Another limitation of the study refers to the frequency of use of speaking strategies rather than to successful use. The repeated use of the strategy may be a sign that the learner is continuing to use a particular strategy unsuccessfully or that the learner found the given strategy useful. This study gives an indirect measure – the comparison of the frequency of use and the successful task performance. The strength of the present study is that it explores the application of speaking strategies with regard to performance of a specific speaking task, which has been rarely done by the researchers (Cohen et al., 1996; Pawlak, 2018b), and this is done in the field of English for Specific Purposes. It is wise to suppose that the use of speaking strategies is bound to be conditioned by the type of tasks and communicative goals they set. Further research into the use of speaking strategies in the performance of communicative tasks should apply multiple collection data instruments. Future studies could also investigate further the variables affecting speaking strategy choices with regard to task-related variables, disciplinary contents, or pragmatic competence. References Bachman, L.F. (1990) Fundamental Concepts in Foreign Language Testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bachman, L.F. and Palmer, A.S. (1982) The construct validation of some components of communicative proficiency. TESOL Quarterly 16 (4), 449–465. Bachman, L.F. and Palmer, A.S. (1983) Oral Interview Test of Communicative Proficiency in English. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois. Bachman, L.F. and Palmer, A.S. (1989) The construct validation of self-ratings of communicative language ability. Language Testing 6 (1), 14–29. Bachman, L.F. and Palmer, A.S. (1996) Language Testing in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Baily, C.A. (1996) Unobtrusive computerized observation of compensation strategies for writing to determine the effectiveness of strategy instruction. In R.L. Oxford (ed.) Language Learning Strategies around the World: Cross-cultural Perspectives (Tech.

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Rep. No. 13, pp. 141–150). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center. Bertram, D. (n.d.) Likert scales. CPSC 681 – Topic report. See rs/~kristina/topic-dane-likert.pdf. Bialystok, E. (1985) The compatibility of teaching and learning strategies. Applied Linguistics 6 (3), 255–262. See doi: Bialystok, E. and Fröhlich, M. (1978) Variables of classroom achievement in second language learning. Modern Language Journal 62 (7), 327–336. See doi: 10.2307/324451. Brown, J.D. (2000) What issues affect Likert-scale questionnaire formats? Shiken: JALT Testing and Evaluation SIG Newsletter 4 (1), 27–33. Canale, M. (1983) From communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy. In J.C. Richards and R.W. Schmidt (eds) Language and Communication (pp. 2–27). Harlow, Essex, UK: Longman. Canale, M. and Swain, M. (1980) Theoretical bases of the communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics 1 (1), 1–47. Chamot, A.U. (2009) The CALLA Handbook: Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach. New York, NY: Allyn & Bacon. Chang, C.Y. and Liu, S.C. (2013) Language learning strategies use and language learning motivation of Taiwanese EFL university students. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching 10 (2), 196–209. See Chang, C.-Y., Liu, S.-C. and Lee, Y.-N. (2007) A study of language learning strategies used by college EFL learners in Taiwan. See Chou, Y.-L. (2004) Promoting learners’ speaking ability by socioaffective strategies. The Internet TESL Journal 10 (9). See Cohen, A.D. (2001) Preparing teachers for style- and strategies-based instruction. Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Language Teacher Education, Minneapolis, MN, 17–19 May 2001. See Cohen, A.D. (2005) Strategies for learning and performing L2 speech acts. Intercultural Pragmatics 2 (3), 275–301. Cohen, A.D. (2010) Focus on the language learner: Style, strategies, and motivation. In N. Schmidt (ed.) An Introduction to Applied Linguistics (pp. 161–178) (2nd edn). London: Hodder Education. Cohen, A.D. (2011) Second language learner strategies. In E. Hinkel (ed.) Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning. Volume 2 (pp. 681–698). London & New York: Routledge. Cohen, A.D. (2014) Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language. London & New York: Routledge. Cohen, A.D. (2019) Strategy instruction for learning and performing target language pragmatics. In A.U. Chamot and V. Harris (eds) Learning Strategy Instruction in the Language Classroom: Issues and Implementation (pp. 140–152). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Cohen, A.D. and Chi, J.C. (2002) Language strategy use inventory and index. In R.M. Paige, A.D. Cohen, B. Kappler, J.C. Chi and J.P. Lassegard (eds) Maximizing Study Abroad (pp. 16–28). Minneapolis, MN: Center for Advanced Research for Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota. Cohen, A.D., Weaver, S.J. and Li, T. (1996) The impact of strategies-based instruction on speaking a foreign language. Research Report. Minneapolis, MN.: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota. See BasedInstruction.pdf. Council of Europe (2001) Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Strasbourg & Cambridge: Council of Europe and Cambridge University Press. See framework_en.pdf.

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Milanovic, M., Saville, N., Pollit, A. and Cook, A. (1996) Developing rating scales in CASE: Theoretical concerns and analyses. In A. Cumming and R. Berwick (eds) Validation in Language Testing (pp. 15–38, p. 32). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Moriam, Q.M. (2005) Speaking strategy use by the EFL students in Japan and Bangladesh. Journal of International Development and Cooperation 12 (1), 47–61. Murray, B. (2010) Students’ language learning strategy use and achievement in the Korean as a foreign language classroom. Foreign Language Annals 43 (4), 624–634. See doi:10.1111/j.1944-9720.2010.01105.x. Najafabadi, N.K. (2014) The use of speaking strategies in EFL by Iranian university students. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching & Research 2 (5), 11–25. Nakahama, Y., Tyler, A. and van Lier, L. (2001) Negotiation of meaning in conversation and information gap activities: A comparative discourse analysis. TESOL Quarterly 35 (3), 377–405. See doi: Nakatani, Y. (2005) The effects of awareness-raising training on oral communication strategy use. The Modern Language Journal 89 (1), 76–91. See doi: https://doi. org/10.1111/j.0026-7902.2005.00266.x. Nakatani, Y. (2006) Developing an oral communication strategy inventory. The Modern Language Journal 90 (2), 151–168. See doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2006.00390.x. Nakatani, Y. and Goh, C. (2007) A review of oral communication strategies: Focus on interactionist and psycholinguistic perspectives. In A.D. Cohen and E. Macaro (eds) Language Learner Strategies: Thirty Years of Research and Practice (pp. 207–227). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Naughton, D. (2006) Cooperative strategy training and oral interaction: Enhancing small group communication in the language classroom. The Modern Language Journal 90 (2), 169–184. See doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2006.00391.x Nederhof, A.J. (1985) Methods of coping with social desirability bias: A review. European Journal of Social Psychology 15 (3), 263–280. See doi: ejsp.2420150303. Nunan, D. (1999) Second Language Teaching and Learning. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle/ Cengage Learning. Oh, J. (1992) Learning strategies used by university EFL students in Korea. Language Teaching [Korea] 1, 3–53. Olivares-Cuhat, G. (2010) Relative importance of learning variables on L2 performance. Linguistik Online 43 (3/10), 99–116. See view/415/661. O’Malley, J.M. and Chamot, A.U. (1990) Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. O’Malley, J.M., Chamot, A.U., Stewner-Manzanares, G., Russo, R.P. and Kupper, L. (1985) Learning strategy applications with students of English as a second language. TESOL Quarterly 19 (3), 557–584. See doi:10.2307/3586278. Oxford, R.L. (1989a) Use of language learning strategies: A synthesis of studies with implications for strategy training. System 17(2), 235–247. See doi:10.1016/0346251X(89)90036-5. Oxford, R.L. (1989b) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning. See http://www.finchpark. com/arts/sille.doc. Oxford, R.L. (1990) Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. New York, NY: Newbury House. Oxford, R.L. (ed.) (1996) Language learning strategies around the world: Cross-cultural perspectives. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center. Oxford, R.L. (2017) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies: Selfregulation in Context. New York & London: Routledge.

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Oxford, R.L. and Crookall, D. (1989) Research on language learning strategies: Methods, findings, and instructional issues. The Modern Language Journal 73 (4), 404–419. See doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.1989.tb05321.x. Oxford, R.L. and Burry-Stock, J.A. (1995) Assessing the use of language learning strategies worldwide with ESL/EFL version of the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). System 23 (1), 1–23. See doi:10.1016/0346-251X(94)00047-A. Pawlak, M. (2009) Grammar learning strategies and language attainment: Seeking a relationship. Research in Language 7, 43–60. Pawlak, M. (2018a) Grammar learning strategy inventory (GLSI): Another look. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8 (2), 351–379. See doi: 10.14746/ssllt. 2018.8.2.8. Pawlak, M. (2018b) Investigating the use of speaking strategies in the performance of two communicative tasks: The importance of communicative goal. Studies in the Second Language Learning and Teaching 8 (2), 269–291. See doi: 10.14746/ssllt.2018.8.2.5. Pietrzykowska, A. (2014). The relationship between learning strategies and speaking performance. In M. Pawlak, A. Mystkowska-Wiertelak and J. Bielak (eds) Classroomoriented Research: Achievements and Challenges (pp. 55–68). Heidelberg: Springer. Politzer, R.L. and McGroarty, M. (1985) An exploratory study of learning behaviors and their relationships to gains in linguistic and communicative competence. TESOL Quarterly 19 (1), 103–123. See doi:10.2307/3586774. Purpura, J. (2008) Assessing communicative language ability: Models and their components. In E. Shohamy and N.H. Horenberg (eds) Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd edition, Volume 7: Language Testing and Assessment (pp. 53–68). New York, NY: Springer. Razmjoo, S.A. and Ardekani, S.G. (2011) A model of speaking strategies for ESL learners. The Journal of Teaching Language Skills 3 (3), 114–142. Reid, J.M. (1987) The learning style preferences of ESL students. TESOL Quarterly 21 (1), 87–111. See doi:10.2307/3586356. Reid, J.M. (1995) Learning Styles in the ESL/EFL Classroom. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle. Richards, J.C. and Lockhart, C. (1996) Reflective Teaching in Second Language Classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Robson, G. and Midorikawa, H. (2001) How reliable and valid is the Japanese version of the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL)? JALT Journal 23, 202–226. Rubin, J. (1975) What the ‘good language learner’ can teach us. TESOL Quarterly 9 (1), 41–51. Savignon, S.J. (1983) Communicative Competence: Theory and Classroom Practice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Shmais, W.A. (2003) Language learning strategy use in Palestine. TESL-EJ 7 (2), 13. See Shumin, K. (2002) Factors to consider: Developing adult EFL students’ speaking abilities. In J.C. Richards and W.A. Renandya (eds) Methodology in Language Teaching (pp. 204–211). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stern, H.H. (1975) What can we learn from the good language learner? Canadian Modern Language Review 31 (4), 304–18. Strategy. (n.d) In English Oxford Living Dictionaries. See https://en.oxforddictionaries. com/definition/strategy. Teng, H.-C. (2012) A study on the teachability of EFL communication strategies. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 46, 3566–3570. Tercanlıoğlu, L. (2004) Exploring gender effect on adult foreign language learning strategies. Issues in Educational Research 14 (2),181–193. Tudor, I. (1996) Learner-centredness as Language Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Weinstein, C.E. and Mayer, R.E. (1986) The teaching of learning strategies. In M. Wittrock (ed.) Handbook of Research on Teaching (pp. 315–327). New York, NY: Macmillan.

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Weinstein, C.E., Husman, J. and Dierking, D.R. (2000) Self-regulation interventions with a focus on learning strategies. In P.R. Pintrich and M. Boekaerts (eds) Handbook on Self-regulation (pp. 727–747). New York, NY: Academic Press. Wharton, G. (2000) Language learning strategy use of bilingual foreign language learners in Singapore. Language Learning 50 (2), 203–243. See doi: Yang, M. (2010) Language learning strategies of English as a foreign language university student in Korea. Unpublished PhD thesis, College of Graduate and Professional Studies Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Media Technology, Indiana State University. Yang, N.D. (1999) The relationship between EFL learners’ beliefs and learning strategy use. System 27 (4), 515–535. See doi:10.1016/S0346-251X(99)00048-2 Zeynali, S. (2012) Exploring the gender effects on EFL learners’ language strategies. Theory and Practice in Language Studies 2 (8), 1614–1620. See doi:10.4304/tpls.2.8.1614-1620. Zhang, X. and Liu, Y. (2005) Language learning strategies and language achievement: Across-cultural study. CELEA Journal 28 (3), 82–89.

4 Vocabulary Learning Strategy Surveys in Second Language Acquisition: Design, Context and Content Richard LaBontee

It is now time for the field [of language learning strategy research] to pay more attention not just to what a questionnaire study reveals, but also to how the questionnaire is designed, validated, and analysed. Peter Gu, 2016: 568

1 Introduction

Research into the ways that strategic learning of vocabulary by second language (L2) learners is reported can provide valuable reflective insight into learning styles, preferences, strengths, and shortcomings related to language learning. One of the most frequently used methods of data collection in this context is the survey, an instrument that holds both benefits and shortcomings for use in vocabulary learning strategy (VLS) research. Surveys can be created relatively quickly and can collect large quantities of data with relative ease and speed. The nature of the self-report data collected, however, represents what learners believe or say they do, rather than collecting an objective account of their learning behaviors. As such, great care must be taken to detail the instrumentation process for designing, evaluating, and distributing surveys. This includes being conscious of the intended audience, the context in which it is distributed, and which analysis procedures will be used in coordination with the kinds of data it collects. Furthermore, stakeholders in survey research must be aware that any survey instrument 68

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will only collect the data that it probes the participant for – whether this is what is intended to be collected or not. In order to best understand what a survey actually measures, evaluations regarding construct validity and item reliability must be performed regularly to consistently update an instrument to best serve its intended context and audience. Currently, no survey instrument has been developed to specifically collect data on learners’ VLS use in the adult, Swedish L2 learner context. In response, the Swedish Vocabulary Learning Strategy Survey (SVLSS) instrument has been developed as part of a larger project concerning strategic vocabulary acquisition by adult, beginner level Swedish L2 learners in Sweden (LaBontee, 2016, 2019a, 2019b). The aim of the present chapter is two-fold. The first aim is to disseminate the instrumentation approaches reported by three influential VLS studies (Gu & Johnson, 1996; Schmitt, 1997; Stoffer, 1995) in terms of their methods and instrument designs. This analysis is organized through a survey of the audience and context of the surveys used in these studies, and in terms of the item lists included in these instruments and their underlying theoretical constructs. The analysis also seeks to situate the SVLSS instrument alongside other VLS taxonomy used in these studies in order to facilitate updates to the taxonomy used in the SVLSS. The second aim focuses on a comparative analysis of these studies in order to discern what elements regarding design, content and theory might be considered beneficial for adaptation in revision of the SVLSS instrument. The analysis seeks to determine what relevant complicating factors may be present in the instrumentation approaches of these studies in order to avoid such complications during the instrumentation process for the SVLSS. 2 Background 2.1 Word knowledge and vocabulary learning strategies

Knowledge involved in ‘knowing a word’ in a target language (TL) represents an interrelated network of features that range from experiential sense memories associated to words, to knowledge of being able to recognize, use, and comprehend words accurately in a variety of contexts. Nation (2013) offers a vocabulary knowledge taxonomy outlining Form, Meaning and Use as head classifications for what is involved in word knowledge, with sub-categories in each that provide examples of both ‘receptive’ and ‘productive’ expressions of certain knowledge features. Vocabulary learning refers to the actions that learners take to acquire, retain and produce vocabulary knowledge. One way of describing learners’ behavior linked to vocabulary learning can be observed and explored through the intentional strategic activities that they perform while learning words in a TL, or their vocabulary learning strategies (VLS).

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Language learning strategies are the intentionally conceived, chosen and performed activities that learners use ‘for the purpose of regulating their own language learning’ (Griffiths, 2013: 13). VLS represent a subset of language learning strategies, focusing on strategic activities that are performed to facilitate vocabulary learning and development. VLS are carefully defined by Oxford (2017: 244) as being ‘… teachable, dynamic thoughts and behaviors that learners consciously select and employ in specific contexts to improve their self-regulated, autonomous L2 vocabulary development’. A range of strategic activities for learning vocabulary has been explored: for example, using association and mnemonics (Cohen, 1990), rehearsal and repetition, key-wording, phonology, orthography, part of speech, word imageability (Ellis & Beaton, 1993), sound association, paraphrasing, note-taking, and mnemonics linked to word learning tasks (Lawson & Hogben, 1996). The many types of VLS that exist have been grouped, classified and otherwise indexed in a variety of taxonomies used to organize data collection instruments and analysis in VLS research (see next section). The study of VLS has shown that strategic learning has been linked to more effective and motivated vocabulary development for L2 learners, and to more successful language learning in general. The consistent and varied use of VLS, the knowledge of VLS types, and knowledge of how to use them appropriately according to task and context, have all been shown to help support learners’ autonomy and motivate progress for TL vocabulary acquisition (Oxford, 2017). Early studies into VLS use recognized that ‘good language learners’ used more frequent and more varied VLS than ‘poorer learners’ (Ahmed, 1989). Sanaoui (1995) found that a structured approach to VLS use (i.e. consistency and confidence in VLS choice) provided adults with more successful language learning experiences than those who chose more sporadic VLS approaches. Relatedly, higher levels of academic vocabulary knowledge and proficiency have been linked to learners who use VLS more frequently and in more elaborate ways (Kojic-Sabo & Lightbown, 1999). What is more, learners who have been explicitly trained to know what VLS are and how to use them, were able to access methods of study that were not available to them before and also exhibited improvements to their overall success with vocabulary learning (Mizumoto & Takeuchi, 2008). The red thread across VLS research in SLA points towards a positive relationship between frequent and informed VLS use and success in vocabulary acquisition, as well as benefits for language learning. 2.2 Vocabulary learning strategy lists and surveys

As a function of organizing the variety of learning strategies available to the learner, theoretical frameworks have been applied to

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strategic behaviors for acquiring word knowledge, resulting in lists that have been used in both research and pedagogical contexts. Perhaps the most well known and most influential language learning strategy list used for survey research is Oxford’s (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). This list, though not created to collect learner responses to their strategic vocabulary learning behaviors, has been used as a model from which language learning strategy research has departed since. Oxford developed the SILL over a series of iterations that were populated largely through recording the LLS observed by language teachers, and that were reported used by language students (Oxford, 1990). The SILL includes 50 Likert-scale items with possible responses ranging from 1 (Never or almost never) to 5 (Always or almost always). The 50 items are divided into 6 categorical sections: 14 cognitive strategies, 9 memory strategies , 6 compensation strategies, 9 metacognitive strategies, 6 affective strategies, and 6 social strategies. Memory, cognitive and compensation strategies are labeled as ‘direct strategies’, or strategies that work with the language itself through mental processing. Metacognitive, affective and social strategies are labeled as ‘indirect strategies’, or strategies involving management, planning and evaluation of language learning. Table 4.1 outlines what elements each of the strategy categories in her model entails, as well as providing an example from each. Oxford’s categorical division of language learning strategies in the SILL has been replicated or adapted by subsequent surveys, motivating a great deal of research (see Oxford, 2011a for a related research timeline), and also inviting the criticism and creation of new, more theoretically anchored LLS conceptualizations and taxonomy (e.g.

Indirect Strategies

Direct Strategies

Table 4.1  Language learning strategy taxonomy (Oxford, 1990) Types of strategy

Elements involved



Repetition/practice Analyzing Reasoning Structuring

Using flashcards to learn English translations of Swedish words


Mental links Image/sound Reviewing Action

Using keyword technique to associate ‘smör [butter]’ + ‘smear’, to help remember ‘butter’ as a translation.


Informed guessing Overcoming limitations

Skipping unknown words and concentrating on overall meaning of a text.


Planning learning Evaluating learning

Making a schedule for studying vocabulary over a week.


Asking questions Cooperating Empathizing with others

Asking the teacher how to pronounce a new word in the target language.


Control of emotion, anxiety, motivation

Rewarding self with candy after learning a new word list

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Cohen, 1998; Macaro, 2001, 2006; O’Malley & Chamot, 1990; Oxford, 2011b, 2017, etc.). Since the popularity of Oxford’s SILL, language learning strategy research has been urged into more context-specific areas (e.g. Gu, 2010; Rose, 2012). In vocabulary acquisition, Nation (2013) pioneered a VLS taxonomy that synthesized important concepts and progress made in L2 vocabulary acquisition research (i.e. Ahmed, 1989; Cohen, 1990; Ellis & Beaton, 1993; Gu, 2003; Kojic-Sabo & Lightbown, 1999; Lawson & Hogben, 1996; Sanaoui, 1995). His taxonomy organizes VLS into classes that represent stages in the vocabulary learning process. The three main VLS classes in his model represent ‘planning’ strategies, or choosing what word knowledge to focus on and when to focus on it (often alternatively described as ‘meta-strategies’ in other research), strategically using ‘sources’ to find and acquire information about words, and strategically ‘processing’ words, or better establishing already encountered word knowledge. A fourth classification named ‘skill in use’ refers to the strategic enrichment of language proficiency and fluency through analysis (listening, reading) and production (writing, speaking) of vocabulary in the target language (Nation, 2013: 328). Table 4.2 outlines these categories alongside the types of strategy that make up each category. Other VLS item lists have been created explicitly as surveys intended for use in gathering data on learners’ reported VLS use. The VLS item lists used for those surveys constitute the material focus for the study at hand. The VLS list development methods used by Stoffer (1995), Gu and Johnson (1996), and Schmitt (1997) will be investigated with particular attention paid to instrumentation, content design, and the intended context for use. These studies will be introduced in detail in the next section. The studies were chosen for analysis as they each offer a unique VLS taxonomy with which to investigate strategy use in vocabulary acquisition, and because they have garnered relatively high citation rates in SLA research,1 establishing them as influential studies for the area. Table 4.2  ‘A taxonomy of kinds of vocabulary-learning strategies’ (Nation, 2013: 328) General class of strategies

Types of strategy

Planning: choosing what to focus on and when to focus on it

Choosing words Choosing the aspects of word knowledge Choosing strategies

Sources: finding information about words

Analyzing words Using context Consulting a reference source in L1 or L2

Processes: establishing knowledge

Noticing Retrieving Generating (creative use)

Skill in use: enriching knowledge

Gaining in coping with input through listening and speaking Gaining in coping with output through reading and writing Developing fluency across the four skills

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3 The Study: Methods and Materials

The four studies associated with the creation, presentation and distribution of the VLS lists addressed in this study are outlined below in terms of their design, item pools, VLS classification systems, and distribution to the intended audience. Following the aims stated for this study, the information presented here will be used as a means of analyzing the instrumentation methods of each survey, comparing them to one another, and then applying those findings to the instrumentation design of the SVLSS. By way of note, work performed by Fan (2003) using her vocabulary learning strategy questionnaire (VLSQ) was considered for inclusion in this comparative study but, ultimately, was excluded for reasons connected to restrictions of scope. Reflections on Fan’s instrument and research have been included in the aggregated methods and findings of the larger research project that this study is situated within, and can viewed there (see LaBontee, 2019b). 3.1 The studies

Stoffer (1995) created the 53-item, Likert-style (A ‘Never’ – E ‘Always’) Vocabulary Strategy Inventory (VOLSI) in order to gather data on what VLS English L1 speakers (N = 707) used at the university level for learning a diversity of L2’s. She sought to determine what VLS learners of various proficiencies and individual difference variables reported using, and whether or not any individual differences (e.g. gender) could act as predictors of VLS use pattern. Her instrumentation methods in designing the VOLSI for her study were not stated in great detail but seemed to include three stages. Stage one included the creation of an initial VLS item list from personal experience and consultation with experts, which was then reviewed ‘by several experts in the area of foreign L2 learning’ to add or delete items (Stoffer, 1995: 78–79). Next, pilot versions of the VOLSI were distributed in which informants did not provide any unmentioned strategies, so the initial VOLSI item list was retained, though one item was added post hoc. There was no VLS classification attempted prior to distribution of the VOLSI. Finally, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed to explore grouping of VLS items, returning eight possible factors to explain variance of strategies through which Stoffer attempted classification. The VLS categories (allowing items to be listed multiple time across categories) found were: authentic language use, creative activities, self-motivation, create mental linkages, memory strategies, visual/auditory, physical action, overcoming anxiety, and organizing words. Stoffer’s findings suggested that previous VLS instruction predicted more present use of VLS in the learners surveyed, that older learners used significantly more VLS than younger ones, and that course difficulty and learners’ levels

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of proficiency in the TL presented significant variations in reported frequency of VLS use amongst learners. In a study by Gu and Johnson (1996), the 108-item, Likert-scale (1 ‘Extremely untrue of me’ – 7 ‘Extremely true of me’) Vocabulary Learning Questionnaire 3.0 (VLQ) was designed to explore which VLS university-level Chinese L1 students used to learn English as a foreign language (EFL). The VLQ was distributed to university EFL students in Hong Kong (N = 850). Gu and Johnson sought to collect VLS data in order to determine if different contexts offer up different VLS employed by learners and, if so, to attempt profiling learners’ VLS use styles coupled with their vocabulary learning beliefs. The instrumentation process for the VLQ is not reported on in Gu and Johnson’s (1996: 648) report2; however, they do note that the VLQ ‘reflected previous quantitative and qualitative research (specifically, Ahmed, 1989; Gu, 1994; Oxford, 1990; Politzer & McGroarty, 1985) and item analyses removed redundant items from two earlier, pilot versions’. VLS classification in the VLQ 3.0 seems to have been determined a priori by the authors, including two major categories of ‘metacognitive regulation’ and ‘cognitive strategies’, which included guessing strategies, dictionary strategies, note-taking strategies, and memory strategies (rehearsal and encoding). They also included a section on vocabulary learning beliefs, as well as one for demographic questions. Gu and Johnson (1996: 655) analyzed returned VLS use data using comparison significance tests and cluster analysis, concluding that ‘learners employ a wide range of vocabulary strategies’, and ‘seldom use a single strategy’ when learning words in the EFL context. Five learner profiles were proposed from a cluster analysis of VLS use and vocabulary learning beliefs, grouping Chinese L1 EFL learners into profiles titled as: readers, active strategy users, passive strategy users, encoders, and non-encoders. Schmitt (1997) established another style of VLS taxonomy through the creation of another questionnaire designed to collect self-report data on how learners approach vocabulary acquisition in a TL. Schmitt’s work acknowledges and integrates several components used in the design of other VLS taxonomy and/or surveys. This includes the empirical grounding techniques for establishing VLS categories used by Stoffer (1995), the VLS taxonomy distinction between finding new words and consolidating already known word knowledge from Nation (1990, 2013), and the 6-category system of language learning strategy representation used by Oxford (1990). Instrumentation of the questionnaire was performed (and reported on) in two steps. First, Schmitt referred to vocabulary learning books and textbooks to provide an initial VLS list. Then, English L2 learners (Japanese L1) were asked to write reports on how they studied vocabulary. These two VLS lists were then synthesized, language teaching colleagues were asked to review the combined list and were prompted to add any VLS that they considered to be missing. The

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initial survey included 40 strategies but rose to 46 after receiving teacher feedback. A final round of conversations with teachers and students raised the final number of VLS items included on the instrument to 58. The questionnaire was presented in Japanese to a diversity of English L2 learners (N = 600) who represented a variety of ages, proficiencies and experience levels. The questionnaire asked these learners to respond YES/NO to whether or not each VLS was ‘helpful’ for them, as well as to rate their top five ‘most helpful’ VLS in each of the instrument’s two sections. The a priori organization of the questionnaire’s VLS taxonomy split vocabulary acquisition strategies into two major classifications: strategies for discovery of a new word’s meaning, and strategies for consolidating a word once it has been encountered. Discovery strategies were further divided into determination and social strategy classifications. Consolidation strategies were divided into social strategies, memory strategies, cognitive strategies, and metacognitive strategies. Schmitt (1997) found that the surveyed Japanese English L2 learners reported that guessing meaning from context and asking classmates for help were the most important VLS for discovery of a new word’s meaning. Repetition of words’ verbal and written forms, and studying a words’ spelling, represented what learners reported as the most helpful consolidation strategies. In the Swedish L2 learning environment, LaBontee (2016, 2019a) devised a survey intended to collect VLS use data reported by adult, beginner Swedish L2 learners living in Sweden. The Swedish Vocabulary Learning Strategy Survey (SVLSS) 2.0 is a Likert-scale (1 ‘Very untrue of me’ – 5 ‘Very true of me’) instrument containing 69 items that make statements of strategic behavior associated to Swedish L2 vocabulary acquisition. It is presented in English and intended for an audience of age 18+ learners from a variety of backgrounds who study beginner Swedish language. The instrumentation process for the SVLSS used a three-step process. First, an exploratory qualitative study was performed concerning which VLS the intended demographic reported using. The data collection tools used were interviews with online vocabulary learning tasks paired with think-aloud protocol. These interviews were transcribed, coded, and disseminated using a content analysis to populate an initial VLS list (LaBontee, 2016). The second step of the instrumentation process reformulated the VLS list as survey statements in the SVLSS 1.0 and was piloted three times, with the final pilot (N = 182) undertaken with the intention to perform EFA to classify a final list (LaBontee, 2019a). Six constructs were extracted: memorization strategies, depth-increasing strategies via use, depth-increasing strategies via sources, lexical information strategies, context and association strategies, and self-regulation strategies. The final step in revising the SVLSS (2.0) was a critical comparison to other influential VLS surveys, undertaken in the study at hand.

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4 Results and Discussion

The VLQ, VOLSI, and Schmitt’s taxonomy are compared here with regards to their instrumentation processes used for survey design, the item lists used, their underlying theory or taxonomy, and the contexts in which they were utilized. Considerations related to the VLS lists presented will be described in their relation to changes made to the SVLSS in terms of item list and underlying theoretical constructs. 4.1 Instrumentation processes, item lists and classification systems

Clear differences appeared concerning the way instrumentation processes were presented by the aforementioned survey-based VLS studies. Gu and Johnson (1996) neglect to provide detailed instrumentation information in their study. Stoffer (1995) offers general details, indicating that the first list she generated after consulting L2 learning experts and student informants acted as the final template for the VOLSI. Schmitt (1997) is perhaps most descriptive, offering insight into each step of VLS item population; using reference books, consulting students, and consulting colleagues led to development of a pilot trial list, and ended with further discussions to finalize the list. However, it remains unclear as to whether the categories of strategy (i.e. discovery strategies vs. consolidation strategies) used in Schmitt’s questionnaire were considered while collecting a list using a top-down method, or if the list was first populated and the categories applied afterwards in a bottom-up manner. Stoffer (1995) populated a list of VLS for her VOLSI, then extracted strategy classification through factor analysis after the fact. Gu and Johnson (1996) constructed the VLQ using predetermined strategy classifications synthesized from vocabulary acquisition research in SLA. Such a distinction between exploratory survey use (i.e. Stoffer) and confirmatory survey use (i.e. Gu & Johnson) is important – the underlying constructs intended to govern the instrument will undoubtedly influence the item pool during generation and will affect the validity of the instrument related to the data it is intended to collect. A comparison between the aforementioned instruments can be viewed in Table 4.3. As a means of determining a classification system for her item list after distribution, Stoffer (1995) performed exploratory factor analysis (EFA) on the VOLSI results to explore possible underlying constructs of the instrument. Without any a priori appointment of VLS item categories, the classifications in her 9-factor solution were extracted from commonalities amongst VOLSI items that returned factor clusters for each of the nine factors. In this way, the assortment of VLS items used in the VOLSI, and the collected data from participants, influenced and informed what constructs were designated. The nine constructs were

Vocabulary Learning Strategy Surveys in Second Language Acquisition  77

Table 4.3  Breakdown of VLS instrument contents and development Survey Total items

VOLSI (Stoffer, 1995)

VLQ (Gu & Johnson, 1996)

(Schmitt, 1997)





Likert-scale (5-point)

Likert-scale (7-point)

YES/NO Rating: Top 5 ’most helpful’ rating

Development methodology

1. ‘Items were reviewed by several experts in the area of foreign L2 learning’ 2. No informants mentioned any other potential strategies during pilot, so initial items retained. 3. One item added for validity.

Did not report on methodological details

1. Vocabulary reference books/ textbooks provide initial strategies 2. L2 Japanese learners wrote reports on how they studied vocabulary 3. Teachers asked to review list and add any missing strategies 4. Survey of initial 40 strategies returned feedback for 6 more 5. More conversations with teachers and students brought number to 58


Bottom-up exploratory factor analysis of questionnaire feedback used to determine VLS categories

VLS categories informed by previous research. Also collects learner belief data. VLS categories predetermined

Pre-determined taxonomy. Taxonomy divided between VLS for discovery of new words and VLS for consolidating a word knowledge once encountered

ultimately tied to major themes apparent in vocabulary acquisition at the time of writing (e.g. strategies for authentic language use, memory strategies, etc.). However, the initial choice of VLS list was not described or discussed. It is difficult to gauge to what extent those classifications are the result of careful item selection according to previous VLS theory, actual reflection of participant response, or simply circumstantial. Gu and Johnson’s (1996) VLQ generated its initial item list by using pre-determined VLS classifications according to relevant vocabulary acquisition behaviors for L2 learners in SLA. Notably, they distinguished between rehearsal and encoding strategies (generally labeled ‘memory strategies’ in LLS) for retaining vocabulary knowledge, described activation strategies, and provided classifications that were specific to learning vocabulary knowledge(s): dictionary strategies, note-taking strategies, strategies using background knowledge and immediate context, etc. Though they provide no specific procedure for how they generated the initial VLS item list or how they piloted the said list, the specificity with which the VLQ taxonomy is designated (beliefs, metacognitive regulation, cognitive strategies) provides the instrument with a degree of underlying construct reliability. Schmitt’s (1997) VLS taxonomy draws from the LLS taxonomy offered by Oxford’s (1990) SILL. The questionnaire classifies strategies according to Oxford’s model (memory, cognition, social, determination, metacognitive strategies), but also draws upon vocabulary acquisition

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conventions such as those used by Nation (1990) in striking a distinction between strategies that are used for discovering new word knowledge and those that are used for consolidating word knowledge after being learned. This distinction provides new insight into how VLS are theoretically organized, as it distinguishes between mental establishment of new word knowledge (i.e. guessing from context, using past experience knowledge, using sources), and rehearsal and encoding of already possessed word knowledge. This further refines what kind of strategic behavior patterns learners use in finding and improving word knowledge, providing new ways to perceive learners’ engagement with language input. Schmitt’s taxonomy, however, is self-admittedly narrowly focused on only one aspect of word knowledge, meaning, and thus lacks nuance in terms of listing learning strategies for acquiring wider (or more complex) varieties of vocabulary knowledge available to the L2 learner. The instrumentation process of the SVLSS was greatly influenced by the concepts above. The SVLSS instrument is intended for use with a particular demographic; adult, beginner, Swedish L2 learners living in Sweden, and studying at a university level. After an initial attempt to adapt Gu and Johnson’s VLQ for use in this context, it became quickly apparent through one-on-one informant feedback that adaptation of instruments from one context to the next is not an appropriate or responsible approach to data collection for a particular demographic or learning situation (LaBontee, 2019b). For example, many informants expressed concern, both verbally and in writing, about the lack of VLS represented that they use specifically in the Swedish L2 learning context (e.g. ‘I try to remember if a word is an en or ett word’).3 Without an instrument suited to specifically collect data on how adult learners in Sweden learn Swedish, or strategically acquire vocabulary, the data collected are likely to suffer from insufficient reliability for analysis. Griffiths (2013: 44), in discussing the development of surveys for LLS research, notes that ‘if strategies need to be grouped for a particular research project, the grouping should be done … according to the particular learners, situations and goals involved…’. Adapting these methodological sensibilities, the SVLSS was developed using a ‘bottom-up’ approach, modeled by surveys such as Griffiths’ (2013) English Language Learning Strategy Inventory (ELLSI) survey. A triangulation of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including a 3-step instrumentation process that moved from exploration to validation techniques, was used as described earlier. Instrumentation from the other surveys discussed here was also adapted to improve the SVLSS design process: Stoffer’s (1995) use of EFA to investigate underlying construct classification was used with pilot data collected after generating and distributing the initial item list (SVLSS 1.0). Gu and Johnson’s (1996) lack of reporting on instrumentation processes prompted a need for transparent item generation reporting

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(LaBontee, 2016) and instrument revision processing (LaBontee, 2019a). Both the VLQ and Schmitt’s (1995) taxonomy inspired the use of pre-determined VLS classifications for items listed on the SVLSS 2.0 after careful scrutiny of the theoretical underpinnings offered by the SVLSS 1.0 in comparison to instruments seeking to collect similar data sets. As a result of reflective criticism regarding early steps in instrument development, it was found that the SVLSS 1.0 seemed to possess latent issues concerning clarity, accessibility, and underlying theoretical concepts regarding strategic behavior (LaBontee, 2019a). In an attempt to address complications with the extracted VLS categories, and as a third step in the instrumentation process, the constructs underlying the VLS lists addressed in this chapter are consulted, and a new classification system is prepared for use in the SVLSS 2.0. 4.2 Survey classification and underlying construct comparison

Comparisons between major conceptual areas of VLS found in various taxonomies are used to guide and motivate continued revisions to the VLS taxonomy used to organize the SVLSS instrument. This comparative analysis uses Nation’s (2013) VLS as an anchoring scaffold for conceptualizing the major types of VLS, and also as a guide for understanding how other taxonomies are structured. Previous to the current study, LaBontee (2019a) established a 6-category VLS taxonomy to organize items in the SVLSS 1.2 through the guidance of EFA. The taxonomy planned for use in the SVLSS 2.0 is based on issues with the SVLSS 1.2 item list confronted in LaBontee (2019a) and has been developed to include categories of strategy for: improving known word knowledge (rehearsal and encoding), productive activation, establishing new word knowledge (sources and contexts), and self-regulation. Table 4.4 provides an illustration of how Nation’s VLS model, alongside the SVLSS 1.2, the SVLSS 2.0, the VOLSI (Stoffer, 1995), the VLQ 3.0 (Gu & Johnson, 1996), and Schmitt’s (1997) taxonomy, compare with regards to their classification systems. The 6-construct model for the SVLSS 1.2 was arrived at through a ‘bottom-up’ process, allowing interpretations of collected data to inform a classification process for VLS items represented by the instrument. However, this model only provided a preliminary organization of a VLS taxonomy based on adult, Swedish L2 learners’ responses to the instrument, and requires further refinement. The redesign process moving from the SVLSS 1.2 model to the 2.0 model resulted in major reorganization of the item pool in several regards. Individually itemized additions to the item list with regards to the VLS surveys discussed here can be viewed in Appendix A. An overview of the item pool reorganization is presented in Table 4.5, but much of the analysis will focus on the overarching taxonomical representations that VLS items are grouped into for these instruments.

Self-regulation & reflection


Depth increasing strategies (via sources)




Depth increasing strategies (via use)

(Context & association based strategies)



Memorization strategies

(Lexical information strategies)




Overcome anxiety

Beliefs about vocabulary learning

Selective attention

Using linguistic cue/immediate context Metacognitive strategies

Social strategies

Note-taking strategies Using background knowledge/ wider context

Determination strategies

Social strategies

Cognitive strategies

Memory strategies


Dictionary strategies

Activation strategies

Memory strategies: Encoding

Memory strategies: Rehearsal



Creative activities

Authentic language use

Create mental linkages Visual/auditory Physical action Organize words



Processes: Noticing, retrieving, generating Sources: Finding information about words

Skill in use: Enriching Knowledge Planning: What to focus on and when

Table 4.4  VLS taxonomy comparison chart

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12 12



Depth increasing strategies (via use)

Depth increasing strategies (via sources)

Self-regulation & reflection





(Context & association based strategies)

(Lexical information strategies)

Memorization strategies


VLQ, Nation: Rehearsal & encoding distinction

→ Beliefs, learning styles deleted VOLSI: 4 items VLQ: 2 items

VLQ: 4 items

Schmitt: Establishing new word knowledge distinction Schmitt: 1 item VLQ: 3 items VOLSI: 2 items

Nation: Generating/skill in use VOLSI: 2 items

VLQ: 3 items Schmitt: 3 items VOLSI: 1 item

EFA results (all categories) VLQ, Nation: Rehearsal & encoding distinction

Influences →

Table 4.5  Overview of SVLSS 1.2 and SVLSS 2.0 classification system


Strategic self-regulation

Strategies for establishing new word knowledge (contexts)

Strategies for establishing new word knowledge (sources)

Productive activation strategies

Strategies for improving word knowledge (encoding)

Strategies for improving word knowledge (rehearsal)









Items Vocabulary Learning Strategy Surveys in Second Language Acquisition  81

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The SVLSS 1.2 ‘memorization strategies’ classification did not establish any categorical differences between rehearsal strategies (e.g. repeating a word out loud) and encoding strategies (e.g. linking a word to a physical action). These strategies are performed to improve retention of already acquired vocabulary knowledge, though they approach this goal through separate cognitive routes worthy of distinction. Following the work of Gu and Johnson (1996), a distinction is made between the VLS categories of ‘rehearsal strategies’ (activities that include repetition of lexical input) and ‘encoding strategies’ (activities that include network-building between lexical knowledge and other phonetic, visual, experiential, etc., knowledge). However, this division is treated as a sub-categorization of a larger classification concerning ‘strategies to improve known word knowledge’ (i.e. behaviors performed to improve retention and future recall of any kind of word knowledge). In the SVLSS 1.2, encoding strategies were primarily represented through two classes: VLS that use lexical information to aid in retention (e.g. focusing on spelling to retain the meaning of the word) and VLS that use context to aid in retention (e.g. spatially remembering where a word was last seen in order to remember it). Problematically, the ‘lexical information strategy’ classification was focused on strategies that specifically use lexical information to operationalize strategic learning although this classification is perhaps more referential to the specific learning context a strategy is used in, rather than a wholly separate dimension of strategy use (e.g. establishing new word knowledge, improving already attained word knowledge). With such ambiguity, the ‘lexical information strategy’ class may ostensibly include strategies used to improve known word knowledge, strategies used to establish new word knowledge, productive activation strategies, or even strategic self-regulation. This conceptual overlap does not facilitate an appropriate assimilation into the new VLS taxonomy, leading to the ‘lexical information strategies’ classification being dropped from the model. Strategies in this group were re-visited with regards to their core conceptual strategic activities and placed into categories that offered best fit. Following this sensibility, ‘context and association strategy’, ‘memorization strategy’ and ‘lexical information strategy’ classifications were seen as largely comprised of encoding and rehearsal strategies and are therefore synthesized into these categories in the SVLSS 2.0. Another theoretical issue with the SVLSS 1.2 taxonomy was observed through the lens of Schmitt’s (1997) ‘discovery vs. consolidation strategies’ distinction. Discovery strategies represent strategic activities performed to find and acquire new word knowledge. Consolidation strategies are activities performed to better retain and later use that knowledge (e.g. strategies for improving word knowledge, above). The

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SVLSS 1.2 VLS taxonomy does not accommodate this distinction. In Schmitt’s taxonomy, determination strategies (guessing word meaning from context, looking words up in a dictionary, etc.) and social strategies (asking the teacher for word knowledge, communicative approaches) are used to represent sub-categories of discovery strategies. The VLQ (Gu & Johnson, 1996) includes an expanded repertoire of VLS classifications that perform strategic ‘discovery’ operations to establish new word knowledge: dictionary strategies, note-taking strategies, strategies for using background knowledge and wider context, and strategies for using linguistic cues and the immediate context. The SVLSS 1.2 includes ‘depth increasing strategies via sources’ which seem to overlap in part with the VLQ’s dictionary and note-taking strategies, and Schmitt’s determination and social strategies, in the sense that they all include VLS that are used to establish new word knowledge through accessing a variety of sources. In an attempt to extend this concept to the SVLSS 2.0, the ‘depth increasing strategies via sources’ classification was conceptually refocused as ‘strategies for establishing new word knowledge’, abandoning the conceptual vagueness of ‘word depth’ in this context. Furthermore, a distinction was drawn between strategies that use contextual information to guess or intuit new word knowledge, and strategies that source new word knowledge in direct (looking up via dictionaries, asking others) or indirect (media-based input, listening to native speakers) ways. The ‘strategies for establishing new word knowledge’ VLS category was thus sub-divided into ‘context-based’ and ‘source-based’ distinctions in the SVLSS 2.0. Every VLS list or taxonomy explored here has included some kind of VLS classification that encompasses productive use of vocabulary as a strategy. Nation (2013) refers to this strategic behavior as generating (or creatively using) knowledge, which uses and develops learners’ linguistic skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening). This process, in turn, enriches the learners’ already established vocabulary knowledge through its use. The VOLSI (Stoffer, 1995) includes a category for ‘authentic language use’ strategies and ‘creative activity’ strategies. The VLQ (Gu & Johnson, 1996) includes ‘activation strategies’, and Schmitt’s (1997) taxonomy indirectly hints at creative production through his ‘consolidation’ sub-category, social strategies. The SVLSS 1.2 also included a category representing VLS for creative use of language, called ‘depth increasing strategies via use’. The ‘depth increasing’ term was used in the SVLSS 1.2 to represent the concept of word knowledge in reference to Henriksen’s (1999) dimension of lexical knowledge that describes word depth as constructional vocabulary knowledge, lexicon networking, meaning potentials, and schematic domains of words. However, after further scrutiny, this categorization seems too linked to specific types of word knowledge, rather than a conceptual type of VLS, much like the ‘lexical information’ strategy category discussed earlier.

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As the new model seeks to classify strategies into groups that follow vocabulary learning processes (see Nation’s (2013) word knowledge and VLS models), the ‘depth increasing strategies via use’ category is inappropriate for inclusion in the SVLSS 2.0 VLS taxonomy. To address this issue, the SVLSS 1.2 category regarding word depth was assimilated into a new category, ‘productive activation strategies’, which focuses on creative generation of language using vocabulary knowledge to better improve and enrich said knowledge (e.g. ‘I compose creative work using Swedish words I want to learn better.’). This classification is intended to reflect a synthesis of the language production VLS categories presented earlier in this passage. A final VLS classification that is represented by all taxonomies surveyed here deals with ‘self-regulative’ strategies, often referred to as ‘metacognitive strategies’. A metacognitive strategy in vocabulary learning is performed to plan learning in advance, to choose what to focus on and when, and/or to strategically regulate one’s own motivation or interest in learning TL vocabulary. The VOLSI (Stoffer, 1995) includes categories of ‘self-motivation’ strategies and strategies for ‘overcoming anxiety’. The VLQ (Gu & Johnson, 1996) represents ‘selective attention’ strategies and ‘self-initiation’ strategies. Schmitt’s (1997) taxonomy provides a section of assorted ‘metacognitive’ strategies concerning language interest, self-assessment, and avoidance. The SVLSS 1.2 model grouped together VLS that contained selfregulative strategies (e.g. being willing to make mistakes), planning strategies (e.g. determining which strategies to use to find new words), and reflective strategies (e.g. reflecting on personal learning style before/after studying), which were largely a product of the bottom-up content analysis performed on learner interview data. The ‘reflective strategies’ sub-group was found to be theoretically problematic. Reflection on one’s own learning process and experience can be a helpful and powerful exercise for learners to better understand themselves and their language learning process. However, reflection is not inherently strategic in that it does not necessitate the inclusion of clearly stated (in this case, vocabulary-related) goals that drive the said reflections. That said, all ‘reflective strategies’ were abandoned in the SVLSS 2.0 in order to focus attention on strategic self-regulation in terms of planning and controlling one’s own motivation, affect, and interest in Swedish L2 vocabulary learning. The considerations discussed here are reported in order to transparently express the ways other VLS taxonomies influenced the final version of the SVLSS 2.0 VLS model. This model was adopted in order to facilitate a broad coverage of strategic vocabulary learning methods that is both aware of other VLS representation used in research, as well as attentive to the specific learning context for the adult, beginner Swedish L2 language learner demographic.

Vocabulary Learning Strategy Surveys in Second Language Acquisition  85

5 Conclusions

This study has reviewed the instrumentation processes used in three well-cited VLS survey studies in order to help inform the redesign of a new instrument: the SVLSS 2.0. In evaluating the reported design methodology and intended context for those studies, it was found that each provided a varying level of description for their instrument. With regards to instrumentation transparency, perhaps the most significant element to reveal to one’s audience is whether or not an instrument has been created with underlying theoretical constructs (i.e. VLS classifications) planned before data collection, or that have been designated after analysis of the instrument using collected data. This distinction can indicate whether an instrument is intended for use in exploratory or confirmatory research and can affect validity related to item representation for the data intended to be collected. Paying service to this, the SVLSS design explicitly frames its method as using a bottom-up, exploratory methodology that makes use of a data-driven approach (interviews, learning tasks, item list generation, and piloting) throughout its development process. The item lists provided by the VOLSI (Stoffer, 1995), VLQ (Gu & Johnson, 1996) and Schmitt’s (1997) taxonomies cover varying over­ lapping and interrelated renderings of VLS classifications. The VOLSI provides highly nuanced VLS classifications (e.g. physical action strat­ egies, visual/auditory strategies), that seem to represent mostly encoding, productive and self-regulatory strategies. Stoffer, however, does not report on where her original item list was derived from. The VLQ, while not reporting on where the original item list used was derived, provides a comprehensive representation of VLS classifications that was established prior to the creation of the instrument. That classification system spans rehearsal and encoding strategies, strategies used in active production, a variety of nuanced strategy classes related to establishing new word knowledge (e.g. dictionary, note-taking strategies), and selfregulation, and couples these VLS categories with a section regarding learners’ vocabulary learning beliefs. Schmitt’s (1997) VLS taxonomy uses Oxford’s (1990) model as a template but distinguishes between strategies used for word knowledge discovery and strategies used for word knowledge consolidation. Schmitt’s report takes care to detail much of his instrumentation process, including mention of where the original item list was generated from, though without reporting on why discrete items were ultimately included or discarded. As a means to improve the SVLSS 2.0 VLS classification system, the above instruments were compared to the SVLSS 1.2. The SVLSS 1.2 extracted an EFA-based 6-construct VLS model that endeavored to represent VLS based on data collected from the target demographic (LaBontee, 2016) in an attempt to maintain design transparency and

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to explore item list representativeness. As a means of strengthening the underlying theoretical constructs governing the SVLSS, version 2.0 adopted a 4-construct model that synthesized VLS classification systems from Nation’s (2013) taxonomy, the VLQ, the VOLSI, and Schmitt’s (1997) taxonomy. From Gu and Johnson’s VLQ (1996), a distinction between rehearsal and encoding strategies was integrated under the ‘strategies for improving word knowledge’ heading for strategies intended to improve word knowledge retention for later recall. Schmitt’s discovery-vs-consolidation strategy distinction was also partly adopted in order to better organize the SVLSS VLS taxonomy into two larger sections: strategies for improving word knowledge, and strategies for establishing word knowledge. Reviewing VLS categories regarding creative use and productive activation of vocabulary knowledge, which appear in all taxonomies surveyed, helped to reconceptualize the ‘depth increasing strategies via use’ category used in the SVLSS 1.2 into the ‘productive activation strategies’ category adopted by the SVLSS 2.0. Additionally, after a review of how self-regulative strategies are conceived of and represented by other VLS taxonomies, ‘reflective strategies’ were removed from the SVLSS 2.0 ‘strategic selfregulation’ section. As a means of suitably adapting conventions from the surveyed VLS taxonomies, items were added and deleted from the SVLSS 1.2 to 2.0 item list during this taxonomical reorganization.4 Though some issues present in survey instrumentation methodology are highlighted here, it should be noted that a great deal of effort was put into the creation of all the instruments reviewed and, as such, they have served as valuable research tools, up and through today. However, it is through looking critically at design and development methodologies for data collection instruments across specific contexts that informed refinement of instrument design can occur, and transparency connected to the interpretation of findings can be facilitated. Notes (1) Fan, 2003: cited 486 times according to Google Scholar as of June 25, 2018. Schmitt, 1997: cited 1126 times according to Google Scholar as of June 25, 2018. Gu & Johnson, 1996: cited 1001 times according to Google Scholar as of June 25, 2018. Stoffer, 1995: citation data unavailable, but often referenced in discussions of VLS taxonomy history (see Gu, 2010; Schmitt, 1997; Tseng et al., 2006). (2) It must be noted that during the publishing process for this chapter Gu (2018) published an article both updating certain features of the VLQ instrument and reporting on a new set of detailed validation measures related to its use with EFL learners. (3) Swedish nouns are marked definite largely through addition of an article suffix on head nouns and marked indefinite through use of an article preceding the noun. The indefinite article is en for common nouns and ett for neuter nouns (e.g. en apelsin [an orange], ett äpple [an apple]). This distinction is taught very early on in Swedish language courses. (4) For other changes to the item list related to wording, user feedback, and EFA results, see LaBontee (2019a, 2019b).

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References Ahmed, M.O. (1989) Vocabulary learning strategies. In P. Meara (ed.) Beyond Words (pp. 3–14). London: CILT. Cohen, A.D. (1990) Language Learning. New York, NY: Newbury House. Cohen, A.D. (1998) Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language. Harlow, Essex: Longman. Ellis, N. and Beaton, A. (1993) Factors affecting the learning of foreign language vocabulary: Imagery keyword mediators and phonological short-term memory. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 46 A (3), 533–558. Fan, M. (2003) Frequency of use, perceived usefulness, and actual usefulness of second language vocabulary strategies: A study of Hong Kong learners. The Modern Language Journal 87 (2), 222–241. Griffiths, C. (2003) 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. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Auckland. Griffiths, C. (2013) The Strategy Factor in Successful Language Learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Gu, Y. (1994) Vocabulary learning strategies of good and poor Chinese EFL learners. Paper presented at TESOL ‘94, Baltimore. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 370 411). Gu, Y. (2003) Vocabulary learning in a second language: Person, task, context and strategies. TESL-EJ 7 (2) Gu, Y. (2010) Learning strategies for vocabulary development. Reflections on English Language Teaching 9 (2), 105–118. Gu, Y. (2016) Questionnaires in language teaching research. Language Teaching Research 20 (5), 567–570. Gu, Y. (2018) Validation of an online questionnaire of vocabulary learning strategies for ESL learners. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8 (2), 325–350. Gu, Y. and Johnson, R. (1996) Vocabulary learning strategies and language learning outcomes. Language Learning 46, 643–679. Henriksen, B. (1999) Three dimensions of vocabulary development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 21, 303–317. Kojic-Sabo, I. and Lightbown, P.M. (1999) Students’ approaches to vocabulary learning and their relationship to success. The Modern Language Journal 83 (2), 176–192. LaBontee, R. (2016) Investigating reported vocabulary learning strategy use in Swedish second language learning: From interviews to questionnaires. Paper presented at the International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (Sarajevo, 12–14 May). LaBontee, R. (2019a) Questionnaire instrumentation for strategic vocabulary learning in the Swedish as a second language learning context. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 9 (2), 313–350. LaBontee, R. (2019b) Vocabulary Learning Strategies in the Swedish Second Language Context. Gothenburg: Göteborgstudier i nordisk språkvetenskap. Lawson, M.J. and Hogben, D. (1996) The vocabulary-learning strategies of foreignlanguage students. Language Learning 46 (1), 101–135. Macaro, E. (2001) Learning Strategies in Foreign and Second Language Classrooms. London: Continuum. Macaro, E. (2006) Strategies for language learning and for language use: Revising the theoretical framework. The Modern Language Journal 90 (3), 320–337. Mizumoto, A. and Takeuchi, O. (2008) Exploring the driving forces behind TOEIC scores: Focusing on vocabulary learning strategies, motivation, and study time. JACET Journal 46, 17–32.

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Nation, I.S.P. (1990) Teaching and Learning Vocabulary. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle. Nation, I.S.P. (2013) Learning Vocabulary in another Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. O’Malley, J.M. and Chamot, A.U. (1990) Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oxford, R.L. (1990) Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle. Oxford, R.L. (2011a) Strategies for learning a second or foreign language. Language Teaching 44 (2), 167–180. Oxford, R.L. (2011b) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Longman. Oxford, R.L. (2017) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies: Selfregulation in Context (2nd edn). Abingdon: Routledge. Politzer, R.L. and McGroarty, M. (1985) An exploratory study of learning behaviors and their relationship to gains in linguistic and communicative competence. TESOL Quarterly 19, 103–123. Rose, H. (2012) Language learning strategy research: Where do we go from here? Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal 3 (2), 137–148. Sanaoui, R. (1995) Adult learners’ approaches to learning vocabulary in second languages. The Modern Language Journal 79, 15–28. Schmitt, N. (1997) Vocabulary learning strategies. In N. Schmitt. and M. McCarthy (eds) Vocabulary. Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy (pp. 199–227). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stoffer, I. (1995) University foreign language students’ choice of vocabulary learning strategies as related to individual difference variables. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Alabama. Tseng, W., Dörnyei, Z. and Schmitt, N. (2006) A new approach to assessing strategic learning: The case of self-regulation in vocabulary acquisition. Applied Linguistics 27 (1), 78–102.

5 Exploring EFL Learners’ Paths through Vocabulary Learning Using Narrative Frames Višnja Pavičić Takač and Sanja Marinov

1 Introduction

The last 40 years have seen an abundance of applied linguistic studies focusing on the learner as a critical factor in second language acquisition. Among other learner characteristics and individual differences, ample attention has been paid to language learning strategies (LLS), i.e. ‘actions chosen by learners (either deliberately or automatically) for the purpose of learning or regulating the learning of language’ (Griffiths, 2015: 426). Research on general LLS has instigated studies focusing on particular subsets of LLS that are employed in specific language learning tasks, such as vocabulary learning. Vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) are defined as ‘specific strategies utilized in the isolated task of learning vocabulary in the target language’ (Pavičić Takač, 2008: 52). Although research on both LLS and VLS has yielded valuable insights into what learners actually do to cope with language learning, much criticism has been voiced against it, principally for having a weak theoretical anchorage, which has led to a plethora of definitions, classifications and instruments. This, in turn, has made research results inconclusive, contradictory, and difficult to compare. An array of unresolved issues includes questions such as whether strategies manifest inside or outside a learner’s mind; consist of knowledge, intention, action, or all three; should be organized into frameworks, hierarchies, or clusters; are used across all learning situations, tasks, and contexts; are integral or additive to language processing (Macaro, 2006: 325). The debate about the exact nature of LLS and the ways they should be researched reached its climax with a proposal for the construct of LLS to be replaced with the construct of self-regulation (Dörnyei, 2005), which was immediately applied in the 89

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development of SRCvoc, i.e. an instrument for a quantitative study of self-regulated vocabulary learning (Tseng et al., 2006). SRCvoc conceptualizes self-regulated vocabulary learning as consisting of five facets: (1) commitment control, which helps to preserve learners’ focus on goals; (2) metacognitive control, which manages concentration and prevents procrastination; (3) satiation control, which helps to eliminate boredom and stimulates interest in the task; (4) emotion control, which is activated when negative emotional states or moods arise; and (5) environmental control, which serves to eliminate adverse environmental impacts. This approach shifted the focus of research from studying specific learning behaviors to studying a trait, i.e. students’ aptitude for choosing and using their own strategic systems of learning. LLS are thus seen as outcomes of these efforts. In the present study we approach the analysis of the collected data without adhering to any prior beliefs or constraints originating from the known theoretical frameworks and constructs. Rather than suggesting a specific theory, we set out to identify factors playing a role in vocabulary learning from participants’ views expressed in the stories/narratives about their vocabulary learning. In addition, we compare individual learners’ stories in order to gain a deeper insight into the relationship between task achievement and learners’ characteristics and features of their behavior. 2 Learning Strategies and Self-regulated Learning

LLS involve activating cognition, metacognition, motivation, emotions, and behavior with the purpose of more successful learning (Weinstein et al., 2011) and are thus one of the means of self-regulation (Winne, 1995). In defining self-regulated learning, it is, therefore, important to distinguish between self-regulating processes (e.g. perception of self-efficacy) and strategies we apply to use these processes to our benefit (e.g. goal setting) (Zimmerman, 1990). Furthermore, if self-regulated learning is defined as ‘selective use of specific processes that must be personally adapted to each learning task’ (Zimmerman, 2002: 66) it is evident that self-regulation cannot be reduced to aptitude only but should also be measured as an event, i.e. ‘a temporal entity with a discernible beginning and an end’ (Zimmerman, 2008: 169) and is governed more by a situation in which one responds to particular requirements of a learning task (Collett, 2014). Notwithstanding the stirring that Dörnyei’s initial revolutionary proposal provoked (Rose, 2012), the idea of incorporating the concept of self-regulation into the LLS research has gradually entered the field. While some researchers have kept the traditional focus on studying which LLS language learners use and how this relates to other variables pertaining to language learning (e.g. Gu, 2018), there are those who

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have embraced self-regulation but explored approaches and models alternative to the one initially proposed by Dörnyei. Thus, Ranalli (2012) applies the COPES model of self-regulated learning (Winnie & Hadwin, 1998), which regards self-regulation as an event. The acronym stands for conditions (resources available for completion of a task – external or internal to the learner); operations (cognitive processes that transform information) that result in products, which are then compared to standards (the optimal end state of the current phase in operation). This model, based on information processing theory, presents self-regulation in terms of feedback loops: the comparison against standards yields evaluations which may require adaptations to be made to other components of the process (e.g. redefining the task, manipulating conditions, revising goals and standards, refining products). Finally, there are researchers who believe that such a new direction is and should be complementary to strategy research and that the two are not mutually excluding, with self-regulation measuring the initial force and the strategy research measuring its outcomes (Gao, 2007), and who have indeed integrated notions of self-regulation into existing paradigms of strategies (Oxford, 2011, 2017). Drawing on the work of educational psychologists in the field of self-regulated learning, Oxford (2017) emphasizes that strategies are critical in most theories of self-regulation and that, at the same time, self-regulation is the major purpose of LLS use. Prompted by an interest in the extent to which the current LLS research has responded to recent developments, Rose et al. (2018) performed a meta-analysis to define the direction in which the research is headed. They identified three main directions: (i) LLS research is abandoned in favor of self-regulation – the studies using the ideas of Tseng et al.’s (2006) seminal study are mostly validation or adaptation studies of this work, which means the potential of this approach has not yet been fully exploited; (ii) self-regulation is acknowledged within existing conceptualizations of LLS – illustrated by successful adaptations of existing instruments that now provide psychometrically-sound measures of LLS; and (iii) LLS research is reconceptualized – studies linked to theory from both self-regulation and LLS research. Criticism that concerns equally LLS and VLS as well as selfregulation research, is the predominance of questionnaires, i.e. quantitative research in both fields. The literature abounds in calls for more qualitative approaches to provide richer data in order to fully understand the complexities of the researched phenomena. The dominance of quantitative approaches to LLS research and a lack of qualitative, in-depth measures were also confirmed by Rose et al.’s metaanalysis (2018). Admitting the justifiable concerns about defining the right approach to measuring LLS, Ranalli believes that L2 researchers will continue to

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show interest in specific learning behaviors because ‘they are the raw material of learner agency and a key to understanding achievement, or the lack thereof’ (Ranalli, 2012: 373). Rose et al. emphasize the appeal of the moment in which ‘researchers are not bound by a single learner strategy framework nor a single self-regulation framework, and are able to freely explore the notion of strategic learning from a variety of epistemological perspectives’ (Rose et al., 2018: 159). Considering the gaps articulated in the literature on LLS and VLS research, but also taking advantage of the space that has been opened for more innovative approaches and instruments, we embarked on a data-driven exploration of the paths through learning of English as a foreign language (EFL), focusing on the specific domain of vocabulary learning. The present study is based on the premise that vocabulary is often given a central place in foreign language learning. Indeed, we start learning a foreign language by learning basic words and, regardless of the language proficiency we acquire, we can never claim to have fully mastered the target language vocabulary. Therefore, learning vocabulary is a lifelong process that requires learners’ active engagement from the early beginning. 3 The Study 3.1 Aims

The present study was conducted as part of a larger study investigating EFL vocabulary learning at primary school level. The aim of the study is to explore learners’ approaches to vocabulary learning. Specifically, it seeks answers to the following research questions: (1) What is the difference between successful and unsuccessful learners in terms of their approach to vocabulary learning? (2) How does this study address the controversy between learning strategy vs. self-regulation? (3) What are the benefits and challenges of employing narrative frames to study approaches to vocabulary learning, specifically for the given age group? 3.2 Participants

The sample included 86 Croatian primary school learners (49% males), aged from11 to 14 (M = 13.06, SD = 1.4), and with from four to seven years of EFL learning experience (M = 6.4, SD = .87). Their self-regulated capacity for vocabulary leaning, measured by SRCvoc, ranged between 2.85 and 5.5 (M = 3.95, SD = .63), and their vocabulary size, measured by X-Lex ranged between 750 and 4900 (M = 2862.21, SD = 1040.47).

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Instruments and tools

The main instrument used in the study to elicit data on learners’ approaches to vocabulary learning was a narrative frame written in the participants’ first language (i.e. Croatian). Narrative frames have been used in many studies on language teaching and learning (for a review see Barkhuizen, 2014), but not, to our best knowledge, in strategy research and not with participants of this age group (11–14). A narrative frame (Barkhuizen, 2014; Barkhuizen et al., 2014) is a written story template consisting of incomplete sentences and blank spaces which learners complete to create a coherent story based on their own experiences and thoughts. The anchor points, functioning as sentence starters, transitions or time and place references, provide guidance and support in terms of both the structure and content of what is to be written. For an example of a completed narrative frame see Appendix B. According to Barkhuizen (2014: 21–22), for narrative frames to be effective they must have seven design and three administration features. The design features include the following: (1) Purpose: Refers to the data it aims to elicit and the research question it targets. The purpose of the narrative frame has to be clear to both the researcher and the respondent. As stated above, the purpose of our narrative frame was to capture EFL learners’ experiences and perceptions of vocabulary learning. (2) Topic: It must be clearly defined and emanate from the title or instructions. The title of our narrative frame was ‘A story about how I learn English words’. Participants were given written and oral instructions explaining the topic. (3) Experience: The narrative frame must capture the actual experience of the respondents. It may refer to the past, present or future, but it must be about their lives. Our narrative frame targeted learners’ experience in learning English and was designed to elicit examples of actions or feelings they experienced in the past, are experiencing in the present, or imagine they might experience in the future. (4) Reflection: The narrative frame should invite the respondents to interpret the experiences they have described, which usually elicits emotions or beliefs. Our frame explicitly did so by including wordings such as ‘It is because…’, ‘For me, …’ or ‘I believe…’. (5) Spatial and temporal dimension: The narrative frame should be embedded in a particular context, i.e. the generated story must be set in a particular place and time. Our narrative frame starts with the past, moves to the present and concludes with future learning situations. It also includes frames referring to both in-class and athome learning. (6) Coherence: The narrative frame should generate a coherent story, not a list of facts or answers to questions. In our narrative frame,

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this was ensured by careful selection, formulation, and placement of anchor points. (7) Formatting: The narrative frame should be formatted like an incomplete story, consisting of paragraphs and not like a list of prompts one below the other. Our narrative frame had five clearly marked paragraphs with a total of 15 anchor points distributed logically across the space producing a prose form. The three administration features are the following: (1) Instructions: The instructions should be clear and detailed and include both written and oral. In agreement with the participants’ teachers, we opted for simple written and more detailed oral instructions due to the participants’ age. (2) Trialing: The narrative frame should be trialed prior to its administration. We decided to trial the draft with a focus group of participants as similar as possible to the target participants in terms of age, proficiency level and language learning experience. During the trial, participants were invited to comment on all aspects of the frame, including the content and formulation of the anchor points, as well as the technical details, such as the length of writing space and formatting. All constructive comments are reflected in the final version of the frame. (3) Language: The choice of the language depends on the number of factors but, given the age of our respondents and the fact that they share the first language with the researchers, the most practicable solution was to use Croatian. In addition to the narrative frames, participants were administered X-Lex (Meara & Milton, 2003), which measures receptive knowledge of the most frequent 5000 lemmatized vocabulary items, and SRCvoc (Tseng et al., 2006), which measures EFL learners’ innate capacity (i.e. their underlying trait) to self-regulate their vocabulary learning. These measures were the main instruments in the aforementioned larger study. However, in the present study, the results on these measures were used only as additional sources of information or criteria for participant grouping and comparison. 3.3 Data collection procedure

In order to avoid potential influence of questionnaire items on responses given in the narrative frame, participants were first asked to complete the narrative frames. This was followed by the X-Lex and the SRCvoc. All three instruments were administered to participants during their regular English classes, which helped them to focus on EFL learning as the general topic of the study. On average, it took participants 40 minutes to complete the instruments.

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3.4 Data analysis

In the analysis, the abbreviated version of grounded theory was used (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). Unlike the full version of grounded theory, which assumes that the analysis unfolds concurrently with collecting more data, the abbreviated version entails applying the general principles of grounded theory as a method of analysis of the original set of data. This approach was selected because it allows for an analysis to be driven by the data, without formulating any hypothesis or preconceived categories, and allows for keeping an open mind to various theoretical directions indicated by data interpretation. Following the principles of grounded theory in the analysis of the collected data provides a safeguard against biases that are inevitably brought into the research. In the present study, this meant refraining from (prematurely) taking any of the three positions (i-iii) described in section 2 (cf. Rose et al., 2018). The aim was to gain fresh insight into the existing knowledge of learners’ approaches to vocabulary learning. Accordingly, the analysis unfolded in three stages. The first stage, open coding, aimed at organizing raw data into meaningful categories as well as initial identification of concepts. It involved two steps. First, we individually read all narrative frames as full stories and gave labels to observed phenomena. All incidents were coded separately, as one frame may have induced multiple incidents. Then, we collaboratively re-read all frames, reiterating the labeling process, sequentially comparing narrative frames to each other and going back to the whole story whenever necessary until agreement on coding was reached. We attempted to use codes that reflect actions rather than topics, to avoid premature adoption of existing theoretical concepts. Thus, whenever possible, the initial codes included verbs such as: ask, consult, feel, memorize, repeat, study, use, write, etc. The aim of the following stages was to delineate and refine the data. In the second stage, axial coding, categories emerging from the data were identified. Here, we read and compared all responses for one anchor point to detect similarities and differences. In order to facilitate the process, the narrative frames were converted into a corpus via SketchEngine ( and corpus analytic tools were applied. During the final stage of coding, the core concepts, i.e. the central phenomena of the study, were identified. 4 Results 4.1 Coding

In the open coding stage, we looked at the raw data and assigned a simple, transparent code to all observed phenomena. An example of a completed and coded narrative frame can be found in Appendix B. In the provided examples, participants’ own words are in italics.

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The analysis revealed that participants’ perception of the task (i.e. vocabulary learning) played an important role. Participants mainly described the task in terms of being either easy or difficult, but some attached a positive or negative emotion to it (e.g. good, fun, interesting, boring, odd). Task perception was also open to change in either direction: an initially positive perception became (at least to some degree) negative, or vice versa. A positive change was most commonly attributed to an auspicious language learning experience, exposure to media, the teacher (as illustrated in example 1), significant others (parents or siblings), or the learners’ talent for language learning. A negative change, on the other hand, was perceived to be caused by the negative transfer of other foreign languages, increased complexity and amount of vocabulary to be learnt (see example 2), lack of capacity for language learning, or lack of effort invested in vocabulary learning. (1) When I first started learning English, I found learning vocabulary a bit difficult. And I didn’t know many words. Now I find vocabulary learning a bit easier because I listen to the teacher. (2) When I first started learning English, I found learning vocabulary easy because those were basic words. Now I find vocabulary learning more difficult because words are now longer and more complex. In explaining their success or failure in vocabulary learning, participants made external and internal, as well as positive and negative attributions. Positive external attributions included the learning context (‘good classes’, ‘a good teacher’, exposure to English through media or games), favorable learning environment (e.g. ‘learning in a silent room’, ‘listening to soothing music’, being supported by family), or the inherent characteristics of words that facilitate learning (e.g. easy spelling or pronunciation, cognates). Seeing themselves as focused, diligent, interested, or as mature learners willing to invest effort in learning, were identified as positive internal attributions. Participants assigned their problems to the opposites of the above-mentioned attributes. These included inherent characteristics of vocabulary (e.g. complex, long or ‘boring’ words, difficult spelling or pronunciation), environment (e.g. noise in a study room), classes (e.g. focus on grammar rather than vocabulary), infrequent encounters with lexical items, negative influence of other languages, or, again, themselves – their lack of self-confidence or effort, no focus, or poor time management skills. A great number of entries are references to steps, actions and techniques that learners employ in vocabulary learning which actually correspond to the types of vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) found in the literature (cf. Oxford, 1990; Pavičić Takač, 2008; Schmitt, 1997). These include resource management strategies, which are usually metacognitive or social in nature. According to Schmitt (1997),

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metacognitive strategies are those used in incidental learning through media (e.g. ‘I learn words by watching videos on YouTube’ or through exposing oneself to songs, computer games, reading, films and TV programs in English), whereas social strategies include asking for help, being tested by someone or learning with peers. Also, participants listed determination strategies, i.e. those used to discover the meaning of an unknown word (e.g. guessing from context, using dictionaries), and memory strategies (e.g. writing down lexical items to remember them, creating associations, grouping, multiple repetition, using words in context). Predictably, many examples belong to the category of strategies of formal learning that are characteristically applied in a classroom learning situation (e.g. using flash cards, creating word lists with translations, testing oneself with lists of words). Participants described using a combination of different VLS (examples 3–5) and adjusting them to task requirements (example 6) or the learning context (example 7). (3) When I have a lot of words to learn I make flash cards and ask somebody to test me, what I don’t know I revise. (4) … I take a piece of paper, write down the word and its translation and stick it on the wall. Every time I go by, I read the word. (5) Usually I write words down on a paper, repeat them out loud and then underline those I don’t know and try to memorize them. (6) When I encounter an unknown word when I read or listen, I will guess what the word means from the text. If not that, I will ask somebody to explain it to me, but I prefer discovering the meaning myself. If this does not help me then I go to Google and to the translator, although it is not always accurate, at least I try, if it is not accurate, then I try to discover it myself. (7) When we learn new words at school, we write them down in the notebook along with their meaning and the teacher practices their pronunciation with us. When I learn words at home, I read them a few times along with their meaning and I copy them on a paper and write down their translation and the other way round. Although participants mostly described specific concrete steps that they took in vocabulary learning, sometimes the responses were vague. For example, ‘I try to remember’ was interpreted as indicating an unidentifiable memory strategy employed to retrieve a lexical item in production. This points to the difficulty of eliciting elusive mental strategies, especially from participants as young as in our study who may not be aware of or may be unable to pinpoint and formulate the strategies they use. Such cases were still coded as strategies because they integrate the element of intention. Interestingly, we found 50 statements that said that participants ‘never learn vocabulary’. To interpret the meaning of this statement, we

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re-examined the context of each individual story in which it appeared. It transpired that it was used in the literal sense only several times (i.e. it exposed a lazy and uninterested learner) but that in most cases it revealed learners who wanted to emphasize their view of themselves as learners who easily pick up language and have no need to consciously and methodically study vocabulary (example 8). (8) When we learn new words at school I either know or remember them all. When I learn words at home, I don’t learn them, I know them. Reflecting on the process of learning vocabulary evoked both positive (example 9) and negative (example 10) emotional reactions, or interesting mixtures of feelings arising in response to the complexity of the task (see example 11). (9) When we learn new words at school, I like it because I enrich my vocabulary and I love English. (10) When we learn new words at school, I feel bad because I know that, again, I won’t be able to learn them. (11) I try to learn all the words, it is not very fun, but when I learn with my friend, for example, it’s not a problem at all! I love English! As expected, some of the phenomena were induced by the frames themselves. Thus, the frame ‘When I cannot think of a word when I want to say or write something in English’ generated a number of compensation strategies (Oxford, 1996), such as asking for help, guessing from context, using a synonym, or just ignoring the word, or strategies for discovering a word’s meaning, such as using a dictionary (Schmitt, 1997). The frame ‘When learning words, I believe I should’ prompted participants to demonstrate awareness of task requirements, their own strengths and weaknesses, and of the role of VLS. It is perhaps this awareness that instigates goal setting, which was in this frame realized in terms of a promise to oneself (promise to invest more effort into vocabulary learning, read more, study harder, etc.). After analysis of all individual events in the narrative frames, in the axial coding stage we set out to sort them into larger coherent categories. This was facilitated by the application of corpus analytic tools: not only did it help to further refine the codes but it also made the overarching themes more salient. A snapshot of corpus output can be found in Figure 5.1. As ensuing from the description of the results of the open coding, in the axial coding several prominent themes emerged. These were: vocabulary learning strategies, task perception, attribution of success, attribution of problem, effort investment, emotional involvement, and goal. In Table 5.1 they are listed according to the frequency of their

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Figure 5.1  A snapshot of corpus output (sorted by the node, i.e. the codes)

occurrence in the narrative frames. These themes were subsumed under the following three main categories: (1) goals, (2) vocabulary learning strategies and (3) affect. Goals seem to have occurred quite infrequently in the narrative frames, but this is only because the number in the table refers to their explicit formulations. Actually, goals were repeatedly implied in other statements, such as those expressing the need for increased effort investment. Thus, goals were recognized as one of the three main categories. The narrative frames also pointed to a link between effort investment and VLS, which suggests that intention and consciousness are important dimensions of vocabulary learning. Finally, affect encompassed themes where emotions were identified as the underlying element. It has to be stressed that this category does not include affective learning strategies as defined in the literature (e.g. Oxford, 1996) but refers to emotions connected with task perception, positive and negative attributions and general emotional involvement. Given their frequent occurrence, it can be concluded that emotions are a vital driving force in learning. Table 5.1  Frequency of themes found in narrative frames Theme

Occurrence (f )

Vocabulary learning strategies


Task perception


Attribution of success


Attribution of problem


Effort investment


Emotional involvement




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Finally, in the selective coding, we attempted to theoretically integrate the previously identified categories into a core concept. One of the main categories emerging from the data are concrete LLS that learners employ in vocabulary learning. They depend on how learners perceive the task and their own success and involvement in learning. According to the interplay of these factors, learners may formulate or adapt their goals. Based on the nature and dimensions, as well as the relationship of the identified categories, it seems plausible to deduce that vocabulary learning is powered by strategic action. 4.2 Successful vs. unsuccessful vocabulary learners

Participants were put into two groups according to their vocabulary size, i.e. their results on the X-Lex. To answer the second research question (how this study addresses the controversy between learning strategy vs. self-regulation), 30% of highest scorers were compared to 30% of low-scorers on X-Lex. Given the participants’ age range, the cut point was set separately for the two age groups (11-year-olds and 14-year-olds). Thus, successful 11-year-olds scored 2800 or more, and the unsuccessful 2150 or less. The successful 14-year-olds scored 4100 or more and the unsuccessful 2800 or less. We conducted a cross-case analysis of the narrative frames with the purpose of detecting similarities and differences between individual successful and unsuccessful learners. The results are summarized in Table 5.2. Table 5.2  Characteristics of successful and unsuccessful learners Successful learners

Unsuccessful learners

Higher level of self-regulation

Moderate level of self-regulation

Vocabulary learning easy

Vocabulary learning difficult

Positive emotions

Negative emotions

Positive perception of self

Negative perception of self

Mastery-oriented goals

Performance-oriented goals

Aware of benefits of VLS

Unaware of specific/alternative VLS

Deep learning VLS

Shallow VLS

No need to study

Problems in vocabulary learning


Lack of effort

Successful learners are those who are generally more strategic, are aware of the task requirements and have a positive attitude (example 12). Unsuccessful learners seem to be the exact opposite: they lack awareness of the task, do not invest enough effort, and are negatively inclined. (12) When I first started learning English, I found learning vocabulary fun, I was curious, I wanted to learn all the words. Now I find vocabulary

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learning ok, I still want to learn as many words as possible. It is because I love English, I have a great English teacher and I like singing songs in English. When we learn new words at school, I am always excited! Interestingly, levels of self-regulation do not exhibit such dramatic inverses. The boxplot in Figure 5.2 further illustrates this issue: regardless of the level of self-regulation, the variability in vocabulary size is great. Among learners who reported high levels on SRCvoc there was roughly an equal number of learners whose mean score on X-Lex was above the group average and those whose mean score was below the group average. Even more intriguingly, among low scorers on selfregulation, there were more participants who had high scores on the vocabulary test. So, self-regulation measured by SRCvoc does not seem to account for variation in task achievement.

Figure 5.2  SRCvoc for groups of cases, with means and standard errors for the whole sample

5 Discussion

In this chapter we report on the study using narrative frames to collect data about 86 Croatian EFL learners’ approaches to vocabulary learning. The data were analyzed by means of the abbreviated

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grounded theory, which was complemented by quantitative frequency calculations. The key principles of the abbreviated grounded theory include identification of interrelated phenomena and categorizing and re-categorizing them into sets that are not defined prior to the analysis and are not necessarily mutually exclusive (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The grounded theory approach also allows for a quite broad preliminary research question, which should only guide the researcher in identification of the focal phenomenon but should not (if possible) make any assumptions about it. Further research questions may be generated as the data are analyzed. The ones that surfaced during our analysis will be discussed in this section in more detail. To summarize, the topics emerging from the data were the following (in descending frequency order): (1) vocabulary learning strategies, (2) task perception, (3) attribution of success, (4) attribution of problem, (5) effort investment, (6) emotional involvement, and (7) goal. These topics correspond to occurrences in narrative frames that share key characteristics with one another and as such represent descriptive concepts. At the next level of analysis, the seven topics were abstracted into (1) goals, (2) vocabulary learning strategies and (3) affect. Finally, a theoretical integration of the identified categories led to the conclusion that foreign language vocabulary learning is largely powered by strategic action. Strategic action is defined as learners’ active and wholesome engagement entailing identification of both short- and long-term goals of learning, one’s own interests, and the ways and methods of accomplishing them. Learners engage in learning not only cognitively but also emotionally, experientially and perceptually. In other words, in addition to learners’ cognitive abilities, motivation and interest, experience with and perception of the task at hand as well as of themselves as learners affect their learning path and task achievement. The distinction between successful and unsuccessful learners (as categorized by their results on the X-Lex) in the analysis was pedagogically motivated, i.e. the aim was to seek understanding of particular learners’ needs. There seem to be quite distinctive opposing surface characteristics of the two learner groups. Although this distinction may appear crude, because there are learners who have both groups’ characteristics, it captures the essence of the two subgroups. After all, these characteristics emanate from the narrative frames by 30% of the most successful and the most unsuccessful learners. One of the distinctive characteristics relates to learners’ emotional perception of vocabulary learning. Successful learners typically have positive emotions (see example 12) and describe vocabulary learning as fun, interesting, easy and something they have no need to worry about. Unsuccessful learners perceive vocabulary learning as difficult, boring, time-consuming and an activity that makes them angry and nauseous. These negative feelings are connected with their lack of interest in

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learning vocabulary or language in general, their inability to focus or unwillingness to study (e.g. I don’t feel like it). Unquestionably, good learners may experience negative emotions just as weak learners may experience positive emotions, but evidence of these was extremely rare in the narrative frames. For example, successful learners sporadically refer to vocabulary learning as boring, but it implies lack of challenge that the English classes set for them. It transpired from the narrative frames that those learners have good vocabulary knowledge because they play computer games and are exposed to English in the media. If successful learners find vocabulary learning difficult, they mostly mean that it has become more difficult because the vocabulary they learn has become more complex, or that there are too many words to be learnt at once. But their overall perception is still positive. Occasional positive emotions in weak learners’ narrative frames seem to reflect a favorable learning atmosphere in class, an affirmative teacherlearner relationship, or an inclination to English. Another characteristic that distinguishes successful from unsuccessful learners is their use of VLS. Before discussing this finding, let us note that despite keeping an open mind during the analysis in line with grounded theory, the majority of responses in the narrative frames were associated with the VLS as identified in previous research (e.g. Schmitt, 2008). Although researchers’ bias can never be completely excluded, in this case the finding was reinforced by the participants’ own wording, which matched the known VLS labels (see examples 5 and 13). The comparison of VLS used by successful learners with those used by unsuccessful learners led us to conclude that good learners use what we tentatively termed deep VLS. Their VLS are elaborate and complex (i.e. consist of several steps or are a combination of several VLS), and often entail development of depth of vocabulary knowledge (e.g. using words in sentences or connecting words with their synonyms). This is illustrated in example 13. Deep VLS reflect two attributes: (i) they revolve around the meaning and (ii) they imply that the underlying purpose of vocabulary learning is using language to communicate. Deep VLS users have adopted mastery-oriented goals (example 14). In contrast, shallow VLS reflect attempts to store unconnected vocabulary items, most frequently in the form of rote learning of lists of words and their translations (example 16). Unsuccessful learners utilize these VLS to learn vocabulary for the exam, i.e. they have set performance-oriented goals. Their descriptions are often vague or general (examples 14 and 15). (13) When I learn words at home, I learn its definition and translation and I associate it with a song. I try to memorize words by connecting them into sentences because it is easier when they are related to each other. (14) In the future I will try to do my best and learn even more words because when you know words you can speak [English] better.

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(15) I try to memorize words by reading them. (16) When I learn words at home, I write them on the paper, translate them into Croatian and somebody tests me. I try to memorize words again by translating them into Croatian. Next, successful learners have a positive perception of themselves as language learners. This stems from their positive learning experiences, which bolstered their confidence, as seen in participants’ references to the beginnings of their English learning. Unsuccessful learners lack confidence, do not believe they can succeed, seem to be aware of their lack of background knowledge and, because they are convinced that they will fail, they refrain from trying (see example 10). The present findings have revealed some typical characteristics of young adolescents as vocabulary learners. First, regardless of how successful they are, they seem to rely on external help, typically the teacher, but whereas better learners seem to seek occasional guidance, weaker ones need more substantial concrete assistance with learning. This is related to another significant observation: the teacher plays a key role in how young adolescents perceive the task of vocabulary learning. For example, one set of narrative frames completed by learners taught by the same teacher brought to light the importance of spelling and pronunciation. In another set of narrative frames completed by a different subgroup of learners, using words in sentences surfaced as one of the most important aspects of vocabulary knowledge. What this shows is that learners focus on whatever aspects the teacher sets as important and are guided by task demands in their selection of VLS. However, their adaptation of VLS to task demands appears to be limited. Learners cling to the same set of VLS either because they are indeed effective in the given context or learners perceive them as effective. It is the latter case that requires intervention in terms of VLS repertoire expansion. The present findings emphasize specific features of learning English in Croatia to which learners in many other countries can surely relate. Given the omnipresence of English in the media, as well as in general linguistic landscapes in Croatia, learning English differs from the learning of any other foreign language in that it has some characteristics of the second language learning context. Learners may not always be sure as to how to utilize this advantage, which definitely requires the teacher’s intervention. We turn now to the question of how this study sits in the learning strategy vs. self-regulation controversy. Although our analysis was undertaken with no preconception of any particular theory, the data seem to indicate theoretical categories as conceptualized in the COPES model of self-regulated learning developed by Winne and Hadwin (1998) and promoted by Ranalli (2012). Our data have shown that learners operate

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constrained by specific task conditions (resources, teaching and social environment) and cognitive conditions (self-efficacy judgements, domain knowledge, task knowledge and knowledge of tactics or strategies). These influence the operations, i.e. the processes and strategies they adopt in learning. For example, a high level of self-efficacy may result in seemingly little usage of strategies or little effort investment, as illustrated in example 8. Moreover, learners with teaching and/or a social environment conducive to learning may be encouraged to invest more in task execution. The conditions can also shape the standards, i.e. greater domain or task knowledge may lead to setting more ambitious goals. Learners’ evaluations of proper products (whether actual grades or their perception of language/vocabulary proficiency), their conditions (how easy or interesting the task is or how good they are at handling it) and operations, generate a number of attributions, either external or internal. Finally, the evaluation leads to adaptations or promises for the future, which begins a new cycle of goal-setting and planning, a phenomenon recognized and described in some other models of self-regulation such as, for example, Zimmerman’s cyclical model of self-regulated learning (Zimmerman & Moyan, 2009). Having said that, we strongly believe that not only do learning strategies play an important role in this cycle but they can and should be the focal point in their own right in future studies because selfregulation theories (at least the one underlying SRCvoc) do not adequately address the process of foreign language vocabulary learning. As for the methodology employed, we confirmed most of the advantages of narrative frames listed by Barkhuizen (2014). Narrative frames are an effective instrument for collecting data that is adaptable to different groups of learners including, as we have shown, early adolescents. The provided scaffolding guides participants in formulating their perceptions without imposing answers and it maintains the necessary flexibility. Thus, narrative frames elicit predominantly learner-centric data. Additionally, although narrative frames primarily yield qualitative data, they can be quantified in order to illustrate patterns, and similarities and differences across cases. For example, learner characteristics (e.g. age) and their actions (e.g. those taken in vocabulary learning) can be integrated to establish groups of learners sharing common properties and exhibiting similar behavior. Conclusions can be drawn within a particular cohort of learners (such as successful vs. unsuccessful learners in our study) which might not be known in advance. Narrative frames provide the context for an individual story but also create the context of a particular learner group, which both guides and facilitates the interpretation. For researchers, one of the benefits of narrative frames is the potential for recruiting a larger sample, which may open many avenues of analysis, such as comparisons of different groups of participants and arriving at generalizable conclusions. Also, narrative frames provide context that not only facilitates a more in-depth interpretation of the

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actual experiences of each individual but also of the whole group, if the context or some of the experiences is shared. 6 Pedagogical Implications

The study has important pedagogical implications. First, the findings highlight several longstanding principles of vocabulary teaching. It is a fact that vocabulary learning can be overwhelming. This holds primarily for unsuccessful learners, but the feeling may be shared by successful learners too, especially when the learning load increases. Therefore, vocabulary work in a language classroom should be systematic: it should be judiciously paced and spaced, whereby attention should be given to learning more about the words than learning large numbers of words. This becomes particularly important as words with difficulty-inducing inherent features (such as length, spelling, or pronunciation) and more complex lexical items (such as phraseological units) enter the syllabus. Such lexical items require more elaborate presentation strategies and structured follow-up work which must include frequent opportunities for usage, in particular in personalized contexts because connecting words with the learners’ own experience, feelings or opinions, and learning vocabulary through topics they are genuinely interested in, seem to be some of the facilitating practices in vocabulary learning. The distinction between successful and unsuccessful learners in the present study obviously mirrors the earliest motivation to explore good language learners’ approaches to language learning (e.g. Rubin, 1975). The main pedagogical purpose of these studies was to produce a description of efficient strategies that weak learners could adopt to improve their learning. But the question of what efficient strategies are or, more generally, what strategic action may entail, no matter how intriguing, still seems impossible to answer. The main reason is that there are a large number of factors, such as second vs. foreign language context, types of treatment, outcome measures, learners’ age and proficiency level, that affect strategy instruction (cf. Plonsky, 2011). However, the question may also have been too narrowly understood. Since learning strategies are highly individual, strategy instruction should focus on guiding learners in discovering strategies that best suit them. The present findings indicate that the whole person is involved in learning, and therefore instruction cannot and should not target only learning strategies but also learners’ motivation, interest, will to learn and arousing positive emotions. Strategy instruction is the most effective with serious and motivated learners who are ready to take every opportunity to learn and who are open to embracing new learning strategies. Unsuccessful learners, on the other hand, may not be sufficiently motivated to adopt new strategies because their own learning experience does not give them enough confidence and readiness to test

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them. One way of dealing with this problem is to ensure that strategy instruction includes feedback that has a motivational and affective component and underscores learners’ progress. This could, hopefully, lead to overcoming initial barriers and gaining positive experience in strategy use (Oxford, 1990). One aspect where the teacher may be able to intervene successfully is by addressing learners’ boredom. Teachers should, among other things, create learning tasks that match learners’ ability and ambition and which prevent under- and over-challenge by tapping the cause of the boredom. It is important to offer learners some choice as to what and how they would like to work on vocabulary but without creating an additional load. Learners will more readily engage in vocabulary learning tasks that cognitively activate them, whose content they find personally useful, as well as those that are authentic in that they offer opportunities for hands-on experiences and cooperation. For adolescents, this inevitably includes technology-based and game-like activities. Learners in general, but especially those with performance-oriented goals, utilize VLS that are helpful in passing an exam. This is why the way in which vocabulary is tested plays an important role. Whether learners’ adoption of performance-oriented goals is a consequence of teaching and testing methods, or is rooted in the learners’ view that vocabulary development is based on memorizing lists of words and their translations, is an important question. Whereas the former requires modification of teaching practices, the latter calls for transformation of learners’ underlying beliefs and attitudes. As we have seen, in this age group the teacher sets the rules of engagement. This means that the teacher is highly responsible not only for learners’ linguistic growth but also for the development of their skills, strategies, interest and motivation for language learning. The teacher should design vocabulary lessons that address and nurture the learner as a whole person. 7 Limitations of the Study

Barkhuizen (2014) has enumerated limitations of narrative frames, which our study surely shares, at least to a certain extent. Some of the struggles that respondents might have been going through while completing the frame have remained hidden from us. For example, they may have felt overly limited by the frames and frustrated by the fact that they cannot detail their experience. In an informal talk following the completion of the frames, participants did not express any particular problems but there were a few cases of incomplete frames or misinterpreted prompts evident in grammatical incongruence between the prompt and response. However, we believe that learners at this young age are still quite dependent on structure and guidance and that the

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form of the narrative frame had a facilitating rather than a hampering role. Finally, the greatest challenge for the researcher during the process of coding is finding an adequate response to the danger of subjective interpretation of responses, especially implicit or implied thoughts or intentions, of imposing researchers’ concepts on responses, and of interpreting the narrative texts in ways not intended by participants. We hope to have mitigated both by conducting individual analysis followed by close inspection of codes, constantly referring back to the data as sources of information. Another limitation is the fact that narrative frames elicit retrospective data. Learning involves cognitive and metacognitive processes of which participants might not be aware, or which they might not be able to accurately describe. The time interval between the task and the report may influence the results as participants might not be able to remember or interpret the details of their own experiences. Finally, self-regulated vocabulary learning as measured by SRCvoc did not explain the variability in vocabulary size scores in the present study, which contradicts Tseng et al.’s (2006) view of self-regulation in which self-regulation is the key trait that enables learners to manage their vocabulary learning. This finding, however, has to be viewed with precaution, because only one dimension of vocabulary knowledge as an indicator of task achievement was measured. Self-regulation theories (at least the one underlying SRCvoc) do not explain all aspects and dimensions of vocabulary learning: they may explain antecedents of learners’ actions (i.e. learners’ ability to self-regulate) but they do not account for the outcomes of those actions. This view is supported by the results of a study in which the results of canonical correlation analyses showed that ‘the constructs of vocabulary learning strategies and selfregulated vocabulary learning contain both different and overlapping dimensions, indicating that the two constructs are compatible rather than opposing constructs’ (Pavičić Takač, 2018: 341). 8 Future Research

The findings of our study open up possibilities for future research. First and foremost, and in line with grounded theory, the next step would be collecting more data, providing insight into learners’ experiences that could be used to generate population models serving as a basis for improving formal instruction. Potential strands of future studies are defined by the need to further explore questions raised by the present findings. One such strand might focus on elucidating the role of emotions in vocabulary learning and, more importantly, the dynamics of their interaction with other factors, such as task effect. Future studies should also look beyond general and simplified conceptualizations of the task of vocabulary learning and

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take into account its incredible complexity whose mastering requires, in addition to a set of skills and strategies, motivation, effort and perseverance. How learners deal with emotions and their fluctuation as a function of task modifications may have an important pedagogical bearing and should not be overlooked by researchers. Our results echo the suggestion previously voiced in the literature: there is a need to explore the ways in which learners combine individual learning strategies in their attempt to learn vocabulary. For example, since participants in our study often reported using Google Translate to discover a word’s meaning, a follow-up study could delve into how exactly learners go about using this – or any similar – resource and what other learning strategies they subsequently employ. In fact, the abundance of available learning applications, websites and technologybased tools demands a more systematic focus in future research. We believe that narrative frames are well suited for triangulation and can be implemented to elicit a complementary contribution, which is especially opportune in the fields of LLS and self-regulation, typically constrained by the use of questionnaires. For example, future studies might use narrative frames as a starting point for a more in-depth interview of learners’ approaches to vocabulary learning. By referring back to their narrative frames, learners could elaborate their ideas and give additional explanations or information, especially in cases where their descriptions were vague. Alternatively, future research might endeavor to focus on refining or adapting the present narrative frame in terms of content (e.g. targeted topics may include other areas of language learning) and formatting (i.e. wording and opportunities to add unframed topics). Also, a new, more fine-tuned narrative frame could be designed to address a particular aspect of vocabulary learning, such as the use of VLS or emotions aroused by different steps in vocabulary learning. Finally, since the nature of the relationship between self-regulated learning and LLS has been addressed in only a considerably low number of studies so far (cf. Gao, 2007; Pavičić Takač, 2018; Ranalli, 2012; Rose, 2012), it obviously warrants further research. Exploring the explanatory potential of the COPES model might be an exciting approach. 9 Conclusion

Narrative frames as the main research instrument in the present study pulled together different experiences, standpoints and understandings of vocabulary learning which were analyzed following the general principles of grounded theory. Several conclusions emerge from the analysis. Our findings revealed that learners engage in vocabulary learning as whole persons, i.e. they activate their cognitive, conative and affective faculties. In other words, triggered by a vocabulary learning situation, they set

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their minds, will and hearts in motion. Thus, if learners employ a wide range of learning strategies, are aware of the need to invest effort in learning, cherish a perception of themselves as highly self-efficient learners, and if they experience positive emotions in the process, their vocabulary learning is successful. Conversely, vocabulary learning is unsuccessful if learners do not adapt or are not aware of their learning strategies, and if they have a negative or false perception of vocabulary learning and themselves as learners. In other words, a precondition for successful vocabulary learning is taking strategic action. Although Tseng et al. (2006) have suggested that LLS as specific actions and behaviors should be discussed exclusively in a pedagogic and not a research context, our study has shown that VLS have an enormous value for learners and are, therefore, a construct worth investigating. Hence, our conclusions seem to correspond to Ranalli’s (2012), who has proposed that self-regulation and learning strategies are mutually compatible constructs and that learners’ approaches to learning should be explored from different perspectives, which should include LLS as a research construct. References Barkhuizen, G. (2014) Revisiting narrative frames: An instrument for investigating language teaching and learning. System 47, 12–27. Barkhuizen, G., Benson, P. and Chik, A. (2014) Narrative Inquiry in Language Teaching and Learning Research. New York, NY: Routledge. Collett, P. (2014) Researching self-regulated learning and foreign language learning. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal 5 (4), 430–442. Corbin, J.M. and Strauss, A. (2008) Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. London: Sage. Dörnyei, Z. (2005) Psychology of the Language Learner: Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition. London & New York: Lawrence Erlbaum. Gao, X. (2007) Has language learning strategy research come to an end? A response to Tseng et al. (2006). Applied Linguistics 28 (4), 615–620. Griffiths, C. (2015) What have we learnt from ‘good language learners’? ELT Journal 69 (4), 425–433. Griffiths, C. and Oxford, R. (2014) The twenty-first century landscape of language learning strategies: Introduction to this special issue. System 43, 1–10. Gu, Y. (2018) Validation of an online questionnaire of vocabulary learning strategies for ESL learners. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8 (2), 325–350. Macaro, E. (2006) Strategies for language learning and for language use: Revising the theoretical framework. The Modern Language Journal 90 (3), 320–337. Meara, P. and Milton, J. (2003) X_Lex. The Swansea Levels Test. Newbury: Express. Oxford, R. (1990) Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle. Oxford, R. (1996) Employing a questionnaire to assess the use of language learning strategies. Applied Language Learning 7 (1 & 2), 25–45. Oxford, R. (2011) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies. Harlow, Essex: Pearson ESL. Oxford, R. (2017) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies: Self-regulation in Context (2nd edn). New York, NY: Routledge.

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Pavičić Takač, V. (2008) Vocabulary Learning Strategies and Foreign Language Acquisition. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Pavičić Takač, V. (2018) Odnos strategija učenja vokabulara i samoreguliranoga učenja [The relationship between vocabulary learning strategies and self-regulated learning]. In D. Smajić, I. Krumes and N. Mance (eds) U jezik uronjeni: Zbornik posvećen IreniVodopiji (pp. 341–352). Osijek: Fakultet za odgojne i obrazovne znanosti. Plonsky, L. (2011) The effectiveness of second language strategy instruction: A metaanalysis. Language Learning 61, 993–1038. Ranalli, J. (2012) Alternative models of self-regulation and implications for L2 strategy research. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal 3 (4), 357–376. Rose, H. (2012) Reconceptualizing strategic learning in the face of self-regulation: Throwing language learning strategies out with the bathwater. Applied Linguistics 33 (1), 92–98. Rose, H., Briggs, J.G., Boggs, J.A., Sergio, L. and Ivanova-Slavianskaia, N. (2018) A systematic review of language learner strategy research in the face of self-regulation. System 72, 151–163. Rubin, J. (1975) What the ‘Good Language Learner’ can teach us. TESOL Quarterly 9 (1), 41–51. Schmitt, N. (1997) Vocabulary learning strategies. In N. Schmitt and M. McCarthy (eds) Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition, Pedagogy (pp. 198–227). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sketch Engine language corpus management and query system. (n.d.). Retrieved from Strauss, A.L. and Corbin, J. (1998) Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques (2nd edn). London: Sage. Tseng, W., Dörnyei, Z. and Schmitt, N. (2006) A new approach to assessing strategic learning: The case of self-regulation in vocabulary acquisition. Applied Linguistics 27 (1), 78–102. Weinstein, C.E., Acee, T.W. and Jung, J. (2011) Self-regulation and learning strategies. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. Special Issue: Self-Regulated Learning (126), 45–53. Winne, P.H. (1995) Inherent details in self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist 30 (4), 173–187. Winne, P.H. and Hadwin, A.F. (1998) Studying as self-regulated learning. In D.J. Hacker, J. Dunlosky and A.C. Graesser (eds) Metacognition in Educational Theory and Practice (pp. 277–304). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Zimmerman, B.J. (1990) Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: An overview. Educational Psychologist 25 (1), 3–17. Zimmerman, B.J. (2002) Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview. Theory into Practice 41 (2), 64–70. Zimmerman, B.J. (2008) Investigating self-regulation and motivation: Historical background, methodological developments, and future prospects. American Educational Research Journal 45 (1), 166–183. Zimmerman B.J. and Moylan A.R. (2009) Self-regulation: Where metacognition and motivation intersect. In D.J. Hacker, J. Dunlosky and A.C. Graesser (eds) Handbook of Metacognition in Education (pp. 299–315). New York, NY: Routledge.

6 The Language of the Home in Learning L2 Vocabulary Thomaϊ Alexiou, Lydia Mitits and James Milton

1 Introduction

In a situation where a linguistic community whose first language is not the official language or the language of school instruction and the wider national community around them, it is the parents within that community who have to make a decision about how they are going to handle the language of the home with respect to their children. They can decide to communicate with them in their first language (L1), with the hope of retaining the cultural, family and ethnic bonds associated with the language, or they may try to use the language of formal education and the wider community (L2), aspiring to enhance their children’s performance at school and thus their future prospects and careers. Primary school children with an L1 other than the official language of the education system are often characterized as having low vocabulary knowledge (García, 1991, 2000; Nagy, 1997; Verhoeven, 1990), which in turn leads to a limited academic capacity and challenges in secondary education (Carlo et al., 2004). This chapter reports the results of a study that attempts to measure the impact of the choice of L1 or L2 in the home environment on the vocabulary knowledge of the learners concerned. It also proposes the incorporation of vocabulary learning strategies into classroom practices in order to help teachers enhance their students’ L2 word knowledge and also instruct them how to advise parents to enrich their children’s L1 vocabulary at home. 2 Background

In the light of recent trends in migration across Europe, at a national level, governments have been developing initiatives on this issue as an aspect of deliberate educational policy. In Germany, for 112

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example, a proposal was made that suggested a more active promotion of the speaking of German both inside and outside the home among linguistic minorities (BBC News Europe, 8 December 2014). A similar proposal was made in the UK by David Blunkett, the UK Home Secretary at the time, who suggested that English being spoken in all homes would help promote social and cultural unity (Observer, 15 September 2002).

2.1 Language of the home and L2 vocabulary development

There are arguments in the literature to support the view that speaking L2 in the home might help young learners’ L2 development, but there are also arguments against it. For example, statistical learning theories of learning suggest that learners tend to learn the aspects of language that they are most exposed to. For instance, the acquisition of vocabulary items has been linked to frequency: namely, learners tend to learn more frequently occurring words before less frequently occurring ones (Ellis, 1997). It naturally follows that if children receive high exposure to the L2 in the home then they should be able to learn more because such exposure helps promote learning. Interactionist theories suggest that learning occurs through meaningful interaction (Long, 1996; MacWhinney & Bates, 1989). It can be argued that a lot more meaningful interaction occurs in the home than in a foreign language classroom, which provides further support for the positive influence of L2 use in the home and its acquisition. Other theories, however, suggest that prevalent exposure to the L2 in the home, at the expense of the L1, may not help overall development in either language. Cummins’ common underlying proficiency hypothesis (Cummins, 2000) proposes that being proficient in the L1 is a precondition for becoming proficient in the L2. According to Cummins, in the course of learning one language a child acquires a set of skills and implicit metalinguistic knowledge (common underlying proficiency – CUP) that can be drawn upon when using another language. He also argues that ‘conceptual knowledge developed in one language helps to make input in the other language comprehensible’ (Cummins, 2000: 39). It can be seen that the CUP provides the base for the development of both the L1 and the L2. This concept underpins Cummins’ developmental interdependence hypothesis (Cummins, 1979), which suggests that a child’s L2 competence is dependent in part on the level of competence he/she has already attained in the L1. Promoting the development of the L1 at home, therefore, through literature and extensive use, may actually help the development of the L2 rather than inhibit it.

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2.2 Turkish L1 speaking children in the UK and Greece

There is recent research evidence that suggests promoting the L1 rather than the L2 at home can help a learner develop the L2. Ongun and Daller (2015) investigated English L2 school children, Turkish heritage speakers, with the aim of testing Cummins’ developmental interdependence hypothesis. One hypothesis they posed was that the Turkish and English vocabulary knowledge of these speakers should be related and, if Cummins’ postulations are correct, they should be positively correlated, supporting the conclusion that developing a large L1 Turkish vocabulary should aid the development of a large L2 English vocabulary. A second related hypothesis was that the language of the parents, and the language they promote the use of at home, should influence both the Turkish and English vocabulary knowledge and the general bilingual profile of the children. The study involved 100 children of Turkish immigrants to the UK aged 7–11, who were given vocabulary size tests X-Lex (Meara & Milton, 2003) designed to estimate the number of words out of the most frequent 5000 words that learners knew in each language. Additionally, both the learners and their parents completed the Language and Social Background Questionnaire (LSBQ) (Luk & Bialystok, 2013), a language dominance assessment tool designed to create a metric to indicate to what degree English and Turkish were used in the home and outside the school environment. Ongun and Daller report a moderate correlation between Turkish vocabulary size (MS 4337) and English vocabulary size (MS 4328), thus suggesting that learners who develop a larger L1 lexicon also tend to develop a larger L2 lexicon, which is in line with Cummins’ ideas. The two language mean sizes are highly correlated, leading to the assumption that these learners are likely balanced bilinguals who have lexicons of equivalent size and equivalent proficiency in both languages (Ongun & Daller, 2015). The mean score of 4300 – 4400 provides a measure of where primary school age Turkish/English bilinguals are in terms of their Turkish vocabulary size. This becomes a useful point of comparison against which we can compare the levels of competence for the L1 Turkish and L2 Greek bilinguals who are the focus of the present study. The language dominance questionnaire in Ongun and Daller’s study also suggests the way the language of the home interacts with vocabulary size in both English and Turkish. It appears that their learners fell into two groups: the one that was Turkish dominant at home, and the one that was English dominant. The Turkish dominant group displayed higher vocabulary scores in both English and Turkish, which supports Cummins’ common underlying proficiency theory. Developing a larger Turkish vocabulary is creating a repository of underlying concepts that make it easier for these learners to learn English vocabulary. However, it is not clear whether learners who benefit in this way are strictly comparable to monolingual native speakers.

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In Thrace, Greece, there are Turkish L1 speakers who appear equivalent to the Turkish L1 speakers in the UK (the participants in Ongun and Daller’s study). Both groups of learners learn Turkish as their L1 and then begin to acquire their L2, the language of the wider community and education, when they start school. There are potential differences in the use of the L2 in the general environment and also apparent differences between the two groups, such as the accessibility of Turkish speaking media and a different attitude to the L2 (English and Greek respectively). In the UK the parents may have wanted to retain the Turkish language and culture and were prepared to support this with books and classes to support the language of the home, but there was also a clear parental expectation and peer pressure for these learners to integrate into the English-speaking educational system and do well (Ongun & Daller, 2015). The language learning environment in Thrace appears rather different. Thrace is characterized by a separate education for the Muslim minority, who are predominantly Turkish speaking. However, there is also a Roma community speaking Romani as well as a Pomak community who speak a Slavic dialect related to Bulgarian. These communities are generally rural and the parents are generally not the high socio-economic status professionals Ongun and Daller examined. These learners may have very limited exposure to the Greek language before they start school. The schools they attend can be described as dual-immersion schools (Baker & Prys Jones, 1998), whose societal and educational aims are language maintenance, pluralism and enrichment, while the aim in language outcome is bilingualism and biliteracy. The curriculum in the primary schools for the Muslim minority children is divided in two: half of the subjects are taught in Greek by teachers with L1 Greek and half in Turkish by L1 Turkish-speaking teachers. English is taught as a foreign language whereas Arabic is taught as part of religious education. Nonetheless, a generally accepted characteristic of the particular schools is an evident low academic achievement of their learners, noted by educational policy-makers, parents and teachers (Papadopoulos, 2005). 2.3 Vocabulary learning strategies and their role in language learning

Vocabulary is one of the most important components of second language learning as it plays a crucial role in language acquisition. However, learning the L2 vocabulary is not an easy task. In order to successfully acquire a second language, the learner must master a large vocabulary (Nation, 1990, 2001). Researchers investigating Language Learning Strategies (LLS) have singled out Vocabulary Learning Strategies (VLS) (Gu, 1994; Schmitt, 1997) as a means of facilitating

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vocabulary learning. Gu and Johnson (1996) divide VLS into strategies for metacognitive regulation and cognitive strategies. Those strategies include: contextual guessing strategies, note-taking strategies, dictionary strategies, rehearsal strategies, and encoding strategies (Gu, 2003). Research has shown that VLS are strongly linked to successful vocabulary learning (Macaro, 2006; Oxford, 2011; Schmitt & Schmitt, 1995). More precisely, studies show the benefits of using VLS for the enlargement of vocabulary size (Gu & Johnson, 1996), and retention and overall language proficiency (Fan, 2003). Moreover, there is research evidence supporting that learner training in the use of such strategies improves vocabulary learning (Nation, 2001). Explicit teaching of VLS raises the level of learner independence, which further enhances language learning success (Benson, 2001). Fan and Nyikos (2007) note that VLS instruction should be integrated into a course and should form an important part in the design of learning/ teaching materials. Research suggests (Beck et al., 2005; Brett et al., 1996; Coyne et al., 2004; Penno et al., 2002) that learners should be provided with rich vocabulary instruction in the form of VLS, such as questioning, clarifying, repeating, providing examples and definitions that, we may add, a bilingual child developing their L2 can understand. Explicit teaching of VLS should be a crucial part of educational programs and syllabi, although this must be sensitive to the learners’ needs and characteristics. At this point, it is necessary to elaborate on the relationship between learning context and VLS. Gu (2003: 2) defines learning context as ‘the socio-cultural-political environment where learning takes place’ and it ‘can include the teachers, the peers, the classroom climate or ethos, the family support, the social, cultural tradition of learning, the curriculum, and the availability of input and output opportunities’. The studies (e.g. Oxford, 1990; Schmitt, 1997) conducted in the field of VLS focus on the degree to which LLS and VLS are linked to the classroom context in particular, and consideration of the language of the home does not generally fall within the ambit of language learning strategy study. The role of increasing exposure outside the classroom and through language use in the home environment with the use of VLS available to parents has not been investigated. Moreover, VLS instruction in bilingual educational contexts, where both teachers and parents are aligned in an attempt to offer the bilingual children abundant vocabulary input and formal and informal exposure opportunities, has yet to be studied. 3 The Study

The impetus for this study comes from Ongun and Daller’s study of Turkish students in UK schools. Their study was based on the hypothesis that vocabulary scores in Turkish and English will be related, and that the language of the parents will have an influence on the children’s

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bilingual profile. 100 Turkish-English bilinguals in UK primary school (aged 7–11) participated in the study along with their parents, all of whom are immigrants from Turkey who possess university qualifications. The students took X-Lex in both English and Turkish and they also completed the LSBQ (Luk & Bialystok, 2013). Ongun and Daller found moderate correlation between Turkish vocabulary size and English vocabulary size, which implies that developing the size of the L1 lexicon impacts the development of the L2 lexicon. Their results compelled us to replicate this in Thrace, Greece. We have an analogous set of learners in Greece. These learners have Turkish-speaking parents and enter school where one of the languages of instruction is Greek. To replicate Ongun and Daller’s study, these learners took X-Lex in both Greek and Turkish and they also completed the LSBQ (Luk & Bialystok, 2013). The broad aim is to investigate the feasibility of testing language knowledge in Greek and Turkish among primary age learners in a Turkish L1 speaking community within Greece where education is carried out at least in part through the medium of Greek. More precisely, we aim to investigate whether the language testing tools used by Ongun and Daller (2015) can be used or adapted to fit a possibly different environment. Our further consideration is whether Cummins’ CUP can be applicable in this Turkish L1 community through an observable mix of language dominance. The more specific research aims are: • to measure the Greek L1 vocabulary size in a monolingual Greekspeaking area so as to provide a basis of comparison with Greek L2 learners in the L1 Turkish speaking community; • to measure the Turkish L1 vocabulary size of learners in the Turkishspeaking community; • to measure the Greek L2 vocabulary size of learners in the Turkishspeaking community where the education system is conducted in part through the medium of Greek; • to consider whether these tests are valid and offer useful data for a full study; • to consider whether there is evidence that a range of language dominance is observable allowing Cummins’ CUP ideas to be meaningfully examined. 3.1 The participants

The participants in our study included: • L1 Turkish and L2 Greek-speaking children (N = 35), aged 6–8, in years 1, 2 and 3 at a minority primary school in Thrace (a dualimmersion school);

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• monolingual Greek-speaking children (N = 52), aged 6–8, in years 1, 2 and 3 at a mainstream primary school in Thessaloniki. 3.2 The tests

Two tests of vocabulary size were used and those were Yes/No tests of the most 5000 most frequent words in Turkish and English, based on Meara and Milton’s (2003) X-Lex test. All L1 Turkish learners took the Turkish vocabulary size test (Ongun & Daller, 2015) used in Ongun and Daller’s study. All learners additionally, that is both L1 Turkish and L1 Greek learners, took the analogous Greek vocabulary size test (Alexiou & Milton, 2008). These are paper and pen tests that are designed to provide an estimate of the knowledge of the most frequent 5000 words in each language. A principled sample of 100 words is taken from across the 5000-word range and the learners have to indicate, Yes or No, whether they know the meaning of each word. A further 20 false words are also tested and the responses to these allow for over-estimation and guesswork to be factored in to the estimate of size. These tests produce a score, out of 5000, of the number of words a learner knows. These types of test are generally considered to be able to deliver reliable and valid estimates of vocabulary size (for example, David, 2008; Milton, 2006; Richards et al., 2008). The scores that the tests produce are considered good indicators of overall language level and ability. In English these have been linked with CEFR levels and the scores at each CEFR level are given in Table 6.1. 3.3 Expected results

It is expected that the L1 Turkish speakers of primary school age should score, on average, more than 4000. Learners of this age should have good knowledge of most of the most frequent 5000 words and this was observed in Ongun and Daller’s (2015) data. There are no comparable normalized scores for native speakers of Greek on this kind Table 6.1  Mean EFL vocabulary size scores and the CEFR (adapted from Meara & Milton, 2003) CEF level



. 05). Our fourth hypothesis stated that there would be differences in strategic construal between 12-year-old and 14-year-old participants, including differences with respect to the semantic nature of the verb. However, as can be seen in Table 7.3, no statistically significant differences were found between the younger and older participants (F = .67, p > .05). In both groups of participants, the most frequent type of answer was compositionality, followed by lexical and topological determination, respectively. Furthermore, we wished to see if there were any differences between the two groups in relation to the semantic nature of the verb. Results presented in Table 7.4 show that there was no significant difference in strategic construal between the younger and older participants with respect to the semantic nature of the verb (Finteraction = .37, p > .05 for heavy verbs, Finteraction = 1.05, p > .05 for light verbs). Therefore, we can conclude that our fourth hypothesis was not confirmed. Let us briefly summarize the findings: (a) Compositionality is by far the most frequent type of answer in the whole sample. This also proved to be true irrespective of the Table 7.4  The interaction of age and the semantic nature of the verb Types of answer





Heavy verbs

Light verbs



































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participants’ age, i.e. it occurs as the most frequent answer in both groups of participants. Furthermore, compositionality is not affected by the semantic nature of the verb, i.e. it is equally frequent with particle verbs containing both semantically light and heavy verbs. (b) Topological determination occurs more frequently with PVs composed of semantically light verbs, whereas lexical determination is more frequent with PVs containing semantically heavy verbs. (c) There are no statistically significant differences in strategic construal between the 12-year-old and the 14-year-old participants, including differences with respect to the semantic nature of the verb. Considering the findings from previous research on the topic, the fact that topological determination occurred more often with PVs containing semantically light verbs whereas lexical determination occurred more frequently with semantically heavy verbs was expected. As explained earlier, semantically light verbs are schematic and delexicalized and learners tend to find their meaning imprecise and vague. Therefore, they tend to rely on the meaning of the particles, which are salient and omnipresent in language and thus more informative than semantically vague verbs. In the case of particle verbs composed of semantically heavy verbs, the situation is different. The learners’ attention is directed to the meaning of the verb since its meaning is more precise and ‘concrete’. What we did not expect was the high occurrence of compositional determination, which was prevalent in the whole sample irrespective of the semantic nature of the verb. The results suggest that our participants’ primary strategy was attending to both components of PV constructions in their strategic construal. In other words, they apply a ‘bottom-up’ approach in their meaning construal; in constructing the meaning of the PV composite whole, they first analyze both components individually. This is in accordance with earlier claims that less proficient users tend to use a ‘bottom-up’ approach, whereas more proficient ones alternate between ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ processing (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990). In sum, the results of our research suggest that compositionality, i.e. attending to both components in PV constructions, was a default strategy of the secondary school learners who constituted our sample. Furthermore, there were no statistically significant differences in strategic construal between the 12-year-old and 14-year-old participants, which is, in fact, not too surprising. It is reasonable to conclude that their age difference, and consequently their cognitive maturity and L2 proficiency, at this level and context of education, was not substantial enough to result in differences in strategic thinking about linguistic meaning. In other words, in solving language tasks of this complexity

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and level of abstraction, these two groups activated the same strategies. In sum, even though our participants showed they could think abstractly, and they successfully made sense of the PV constructions in question by combining both components and describing their semantic contribution, their knowledge and entrenchment of both schematic and concrete linguistic units are still not at the level at which the semantic salience of one of the two may play a more significant role in meaning construction. 5 Conclusion

The assumption that learners from the age group 12–14 are able to recognize the cognitive motivation underlying the meaning of English particle verbs, i.e. non-arbitrariness of meaning in relation to form, was confirmed. The participants’ answers reflect the rich mental imagery evoked in the process of strategic meaning construal, and the images described range from very concrete to quite abstract. This is in accordance with Langacker’s definition of construal as well as Geld’s construct of strategic construal, both of which imply subjective and dynamic ability to construct meaning. As already explained, the process of meaning construction in L2 is influenced by a number of language-external and language-internal factors, or, in other words, it is dependent on the learners’ experience in the broadest possible sense (as shown in Figure 7.2). Their knowledge of the world and the languages they speak activate strategic triggers (such as, for example, a difference in the semantic nature of verbs and the role of particles in PVs) that induce particular strategic performance evident in the ways they solve language tasks. Furthermore, the results obtained suggest that, although younger learners employ qualitatively the same strategies as older learners from previous studies, their primary strategy seems to be compositionality, i.e. attending to both components of particle verbs in analyzing and construing the meaning of the composite whole. At the theoretical and exploratory level, the findings of this study may serve as a starting point for investigating the role of a multitude factors that are potential strategic triggers as well as types of tasks that may constitute adequate instruments for investigating meaning construal strategies. At a practical level, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn from this particular study, as well as other studies investigating strategic meaning construal, may serve as guidance in teaching practice. Instead of teaching particle verbs organized in large groups or lists and advising learners to simply learn them by heart, we suggest an alternative approach. Learners should be encouraged to actively participate in the learning process. By asking the right questions, teachers can easily trigger learners’ strategic thinking, encourage ways of exploring cognitive motivation in linguistic meaning, and thus substitute rote learning with deeper processing and retention of language input.

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References Dagut, M. and Laufer, B. (1985) Avoidance of phrasal verbs: A case for contrastive analysis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 7 (1), 73–80. Geld, R. (2009) From topology to verbal aspect: Strategic construal of in and out in English particle verbs. Unpublished PhD thesis, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. Geld, R. (2014) Investigating meaning construal in the language of the blind: A cognitive linguistic perspective. Suvremena lingvistika 40 (77), 27–59. Geld, R. and Letica Krevelj, S. (2011) Centrality of space in the strategic construal of up in English particle verbs. In M. Brdar, M. Omazić, V. Pavičić Takač, T. Gradečak-Erdeljić and G. Buljan (eds) Space and Time in Language (pp. 145–167). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Geld, R. and Maldonado, R. (2011) Strategic construal of in and out in English particle verbs (PVs). Language Value 3 (1), 76-113. Geld, R. and Stanojević, M.M. (2016) Topologically biased construal in offline processing: The case of up and down in the language of the blind. Suvremena lingvistika 42 (81), 1–25. Geld, R. and Stanojević, M.M. (2018) Strateško konstruiranje značenja riječju i slikom: Konceptualna motivacija u ovladavanju jezikom [Strategic meaning construal using words and images: Conceptual motivation in second language learning]. Zagreb: Srednja Europa. Hulstijn, J.H. and Marchena, E. (1989) Avoidance: Grammatical or semantic causes? Studies in Second Language Acquisition 11, 241–255. Langacker, R.W. (1987) Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Vol. 1: Theoretical Prerequisites. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Laufer, B. and Eliasson, S. (1993) What causes avoidance in L2 learning? L1-L2 difference, L1-L2 similarity, or L2 complexity? Studies in Second Language Acquisition 15, 35–48. Liao, Y.D. and Fukuya, Y.J. (2004) Avoidance of phrasal verbs: The case of Chinese learners of English. Language Learning 54 (2), 193–226. McInerney, D.M. (2006) Developmental Psychology for Teachers: An Applied Approach. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. O’Malley, M.J. and Chamot, A.U. (1990) Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Talmy, L. (2000) Toward a Cognitive Semantics. Volume 1: Concept Structuring Systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

8 Situating Language Learning Strategy Use and Instruction: The Greek Context Angeliki Psaltou-Joycey

1 Introduction

In order to understand how language learning strategies (LLS) function and how they influence L2 learners’ educational outcomes, it is necessary to take into account the specific contexts in which they are implemented. Hence, sets of strategies should not be applied simply because they have been effective elsewhere. Instead it is better to look at learners as agents who have their own goals, motives, and intentions in a specific learning environment. Teachers should work out what is suitable for their learners within particular sociocultural and educational contexts, given the existing interplay between context and learners. It is a dynamic process with active, agentive learners who interact with the environment in which they are, with their teachers acting as mediators, and into which strategy use is incorporated. Therefore, my chapter will center around strategy research, L2 learners, their teachers, and language learning strategy instruction (LLSI) within the Greek educational context. More specifically, I will first overview studies on L2 learning strategies which, following the trends of the past 30 years, have primarily focused on individual learner characteristics providing nevertheless useful strategic profiles of Greek L2 learners of various age and proficiency level groups. I will then discuss my concern and plans for the much neglected area of LLSI, which will automatically lead to a discussion of the curriculum, textbooks, and teacher involvement in the process of LLSI implementation. My contention is that, for strategy instruction to be successful, teachers should be helped to develop strategy awareness in order to identify strategies in activities, make decisions about which strategies to teach, and practice them explicitly with learners. This last part will be accompanied by examples from Foreign 145

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Language Learning Strategy Instruction: A Teacher’s Guide (PsaltouJoycey, 2015), a collaborative work of Greek scholars and practitioners, on how to implement explicit LLSI in the classroom. Moreover, I will demonstrate how to convert existing textbook activities into strategy instruction materials. 2 Evolution of the Field in Greece

I would like to start this overview by reflecting on my personal involvement with language learning strategies. Nearly 30 years ago, I introduced a semester-long compulsory elective in the undergraduate program of the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, entitled ‘Strategies of Language Learning and Communication’, which was then the first and only such course in tertiary education in Greece. Originally, it evolved out of my initial interest in L1 strategies of child language acquisition, but I soon directed its content exclusively towards L2 learning and communication strategies, having been inspired by three influential books that helped me understand better the field and what it entailed. The books in question were: (1) Wenden and Rubin’s (1987) Learning Strategies in Language Learning; (2) O’ Malley and Chamot’s (1990) Learning Strategies in Second Language Learning; and (3) Oxford’s (1990) Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. The course attracted a considerable number of 3rd- and 4th-year students who were being trained to become teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) upon their graduation. This pioneering decision to make prospective teachers aware of L2 strategies, I think, played its part in boosting relevant research in the following years in Greece, given that a considerable number of conference papers, research articles, MA dissertations, and PhD theses ensued concerning various aspects of the strategy concept. These studies have focused on learner strategic profiles according to their individual characteristics, on strategies used for the acquisition of the main language skills, on learning English or Greek as a foreign language, or on LLSI. They make up a considerable body of research that has taken place in the Greek context and which can provide useful information to interested bodies, thus contributing to the enhancement of teaching languages, development of curricula, and teacher training programs. It is not possible, of course, to refer to all of these studies, but I think that the 18 PhD theses written in the last 17 years (since 2003), each one having included LLS in its body of research to a considerable extent, gives an idea of the research that has taken place and the range of

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areas it has covered. These PhD studies are briefly described in the next subsection. 2.1 PhD studies in Greece

The studies can be divided into four areas: individual learner differences, direct strategy instruction overall in the L2 lesson, instruction of a small number of strategies in specific L2 language skill areas, and design of curricula with the incorporation of learning strategies. The sections below follow this content division. 2.1.1 Learners’ individual differences

Learners’ individual differences, such as age, gender, proficiency level, educational level, motivation, foreign language anxiety, L1 background, culture, length of time in Greece, have been investigated as factors affecting frequency of strategy use. The data in the theses that deal with these topics were collected mainly by using self-report questionnaires such as Oxford’s (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), modified and translated into Greek. Besides questionnaires, many studies have used data collected through interviews. Furthermore, the main foreign languages involved in the research have been English and Greek. The studies are as follows, in chronological order: Kazamia (2003) investigated the relationship between L2 frequency of learning strategy use and tolerance of ambiguity, gender and proficiency level of Greek adult learners of English. Kantaridou (2004) investigated the effect of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) syllabi, level of English and involvement in learning on students’ motivation, strategy use, and performance in EAP. Papanis (2008) looked at the learning strategies that primary school Muslim pupils in Thrace use when they learn English as a foreign language (EFL). Factors affecting such use were the learners’ school attainment, the location of the school, and the learners’ age and gender. Vrettou (2011) studied the language learning strategy use of EFL Greek-speaking 6th-graders in primary school in relation to their language proficiency level, motivation to learn English, and gender. Karras (2012) examined foreign language anxiety and affective language learning strategies and their correlation in a Greek university context. Mitits (2013) looked at differences in LLS use between monolingual (L1 Greek) and multilingual (L1 non-Greek) early adolescent EFL learners and the effect that gender, age, language proficiency level, multilingualism, and motivation to learn English have on the frequency and type of LLS. Sykara (2017) investigated, on the one hand, the relation between motivation and LLS and, on the other, the effect that type of language program, language proficiency, and length of time in Greece of adult learners of Greek as an L2, have on motivation and LLS.

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The above studies cover the whole age span of foreign language learners: primary school, secondary school, university students, and adult learners (state officials and the general public). All the studies have noted that individual differences affect the types of strategies that are selected and used by learners, with proficiency level and motivation being the most powerful variables. 2.1.2 Direct strategy instruction overall

Two studies examined the increase in frequency of strategy use in the general proficiency level of two different age and cultural groups after the implementation of a strategy instruction program in EFL classes. Papanis (2008) examined the effect of a strategy instruction program on Muslim primary school students learning English as a foreign language. Sarafianou (2013) studied the effects of direct and integrated strategy instruction on Greek students of upper secondary school. The results in both studies showed that learners greatly benefited from LLSI, not only in the overall use of strategies but also in the use of specific categories, such as, for example, metacognitive and cognitive. 2.1.3 Direct strategy instruction in language skill areas

A number of studies have examined the results of direct strategy instruction of a small number of strategies in specific skill areas: namely, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, writing, and vocabulary, at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Kantaridou (2004) applied both implicit and explicit strategy instruction for the development of the reading skill of university students attending EAP courses. For the development of reading, she talked about the usefulness of taking notes and of vocabulary organization explicitly in separate sections of the teaching material and practiced them implicitly during the lesson. Papagianni (2004) investigated the improvement of reading ability in Greek of primary school pupils from intercultural schools after the implementation of strategies of self-guidance and self-regulation with the support of the teacher and parents and the cooperation of both adult groups with the pupils. Ralli (2011) set out to investigate whether the use of the educational software Dafne, supported by teachers who offered direct strategy instruction of cognitive and metacognitive strategies, can improve comprehension and production of written language in 3rd grade primary school pupils in their L1 Greek. Xirofotou (2012) investigated the effect of instruction in written mediation strategies on Greek lower secondary school EFL students for the development of their written mediation skill. Rizouli (2013) investigated the effect of instruction in two strategies, namely, summary and the rhetorical organization of text structure through graphic representations, on the reading comprehension of English texts by university students studying EAP. Manoli (2013) investigated the effectiveness of implementing direct instruction

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in the strategies of predicting text content, using semantic maps prior to text reading, skimming, scanning, and contextual guessing in the reading performance of primary EFL learners. Tsiriotakis’ (2013) study examined the effects of explicit strategy-based writing instruction on enhancing primary school students’ writing skill in short story writing and in expository essay in English as a foreign language, and on reducing their anxiety levels. Charalampopoulou (2015) aimed at investigating the effect of instruction in listening comprehension strategies on learners preparing for various exams to obtain a B2 level certificate of proficiency in English. In conclusion, the above studies have focused on a small, specific number of strategies for the development of a language skill, a procedure that allowed for more in-depth practice, enabling learners to become consciously aware of the strategies they were using. 2.1.4 External factors

Factors external to the learner, such as curricula, syllabi, or teaching methods, have also attracted researchers. Specifically, Agorastos (2003) proposed a model of a strategy-based curriculum that leads to a syllabus integrating strategies for the teaching of foreign languages. Zaga (2004) investigated the teaching of Greek as an L2 in state schools through content and language integrated learning procedures. Stathopoulou (2013) developed a model for mediation strategy descriptors which can be used for the promotion of written mediation in foreign language learning. These studies show that the strategy factor has permeated aspects of developing modern models of teaching languages. Research interest in language learning strategies in Greece has culminated in a 3-year largescale national project, called THALES. 2.2 The THALES project

Finally, I would like to refer to a large-scale Greek project, the THALES project, which took place from 2012 to 2015 as part of the National Strategic Reference Frame and was co-funded by the European Social Fund and national resources. The project involved four universities – Democritus University of Thrace as the coordinating university, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Macedonia of Thessaloniki, and Hellenic Open University – under the scientific supervision of Professor Zoe Gavriilidou. The project exemplified current strategy research in Greece. Its aims were to: (a) shorten, translate, simplify and culturally adapt Oxford’s (1990) SILL, version 7.0 (ESL/EFL) in Greek and Turkish and to administer the resulting inventory to school-aged students (the three upper grades of primary and the three grades of lower secondary schools);

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(b) profile LLS use by the population attending Greek state mainstream and minority primary and secondary schools when learning English as a foreign language; (c) identify the factors related to students’ choice of language learning strategies; (d) construct and validate an instrument based on the SILL for profiling EFL teachers’ LLS promotion in class; (e) draw the teachers’ strategic profile; and (f) provide language teachers and educational policy makers with a guide containing activities that promote strategic teaching. Data were collected from 4932 students of primary and lower secondary education, with both Greek and Turkish L1 background, and 92 EFL teachers who taught those students (Karousou et al., 2017). Results showed that teachers make higher use of all strategy categories when they teach, whereas students make medium use (Psaltou-Joycey et al., 2017). My personal answer to the obvious question ‘Why, then, even though teachers promote strategies, do students not use them equally frequently?’ will be given later when I discuss teacher contribution. The aims of the project and the research outcomes provide a good example of situating language learning strategy use and instruction in a specific context. I now turn to external factors affecting language learning strategy use. 3 External Factors

It should be pointed out that strategies are not a panacea for every learning problem. They are not a pill that one can take to become a successful language learner. Applying strategies indiscriminately to a group of learners does not guarantee facilitation of learning. We should always start from the learners’ needs, i.e. their aims for learning a L2, their maturity level, their L2 proficiency level. We should also look at external parameters which make the possibility of using some strategies more feasible than others, i.e. the curriculum, the textbook, the teacher, which will be discussed in the sections that follow. 3.1 The national curriculum in the Greek educational context

Changes from teacher- to learner-centeredness, efforts towards attaining lifelong learning skills, promotion of abilities to function adequately in information and communication technology, are some of the main challenges in today’s educational systems and the curricula they form. Effort is made to offer students equal learning opportunities, consistent with their linguistic and cognitive development, so that they

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can cope adequately in the fast developing multicultural and multilingual societies of their time. In line with the global changes in political, social, technological and cultural policies in recent decades, the Greek State has reviewed the national curriculum for primary and secondary education (Pedagogical Institute, 2003: 3733). As the educational system is highly centralized, the Ministry of Education assigned specification of the objectives and methods of its implementation to the Institute of Pedagogical Policy. As a result, A Cross-thematic Curriculum Framework for Compulsory Education was developed in 2003 in order to help educationalists synthesize knowledge from different disciplines in order to help learners combine information on a subject from a variety of sources. The framework allowed the formation of separate curricula for individual school subjects. Specifically, in the curriculum for English we read (Pedagogical Institute, 2003: 355): In the frame of literacy, multilingualism and multiculturalism, students of primary and secondary schools should gradually develop the following: • Receptive and productive language skills • Comprehension and production of continuous and cohesive oral and written speech • Comprehension and use of linguistic and cognitive concepts • Production of speech acts • Use of learning and communication strategies (emphasis added) • Skills for concurrent use of the L1 and the L2 • Skills for developing multicultural awareness

In particular, with regard to learning and communication strategies, and the objectives for students of the 4th, 5th and 6th grades in primary education and for those of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades in lower secondary education, the curriculum encourages educators to help students develop autonomy in learning (‘learn how to learn’) so that they will be able to pursue lifelong learning through English which also entails knowledge in the use of modern technological tools. Moreover, it highlights the use of the following strategies: cooperating and empathizing with others, using resources in the foreign language to obtain information on other subjects, making predictions and hypotheses, using their metacognition to understand and interpret concepts, make decisions and apply them to solve learning problems, and seek opportunities to improve their language proficiency. More recently, however, a new version of the curriculum, common for all languages taught in state schools in Greece, has added more innovations to the earlier A Cross-thematic Curriculum Framework

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for Compulsory Education (2003). The Integrated Foreign Languages Curriculum (2011–2014) offers a more comprehensible and systematic layout of foreign language teaching across languages and educational levels (Dendrinos et al., 2013). Specifically, the new proposal follows the proficiency levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Council of Europe, 2001) addressing specific ‘can do’ statements for each level; it emphasizes the communicative dimension of a foreign language; makes use of multimodality in the presentation and practice of language phenomena; makes mediation and differentiated instruction focal points in teaching; and promotes experiential learning and cross-curricular themes (Anastasiadou, 2015). Both versions view language as a means of communication, and they complement each other in their respective goals. Promotion and use of learning and communication strategies is encouraged in both curricula. 3.2 Coursebooks

In this part, I will report on whether the English coursebooks, currently in use in Greek primary and secondary schools, have incorporated LLS and, if so, to what extent LLSI has been integrated into EFL classes. As textbooks (a) provide readily available materials for learning and practicing the foreign language, and (b) are the main source on which language teachers base their instruction, it is useful to find out to what extent they follow the national curriculum with regard to LLS, in order to enhance selection of appropriate strategies for successful language learning. The coursebooks currently in use in Greek state schools for compulsory education are ( (a) The Magic Book (MB) series for 3rd grade, primary education (8–9 years old) (b) English coursebooks for 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, primary education (10–12 years old) (c) The Think Teen! English coursebook series for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, lower secondary education (13–15 years old) (a): The MB series does not make direct reference to language learning strategies. There is, however, indirect promotion of strategies in the teacher’s book in the form of comments about the ‘why’ or ‘what’ of a particular procedure and what the expected learning outcome will be. Teachers are instructed, for example, to ‘encourage pair and/or group-work during the activities’ (1, 2, 3 and 4 from MB 1, TB, p. 9, and 5 from MB 2, TB, p. 85) because ‘social skills are also developed along with cognitive and linguistic ones’ or to ‘Begin the lesson by drawing the words taught in the previous lesson and asking them to recall the

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vocabulary items together with their initials/sounds, e.g. “t” for tiger, “h” for hare, “k” for kite, etc.)’, as ‘this helps recycle previously taught material and consolidate new knowledge (of letters and vocabulary items)’ (MB 1, p. 9). The instruction is addressed to teachers, who act as mediators between strategies and learners. What is needed, therefore, for the approach to become more apparent to them is more explicit elaboration of the LLS that are implemented and how they should make learners aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it. The strategy categories mainly promoted through the activities the learners are called to participate in are memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive and social. Affective strategies are evidenced in the form of laughter, music, and rewarding, as cartoons, music, and colorful pictures can be found on each page, intending to create a relaxing, non-threatening classroom atmosphere. Individual strategies that are frequently used in the activities are: repetition, structured reviewing, employing action, using mechanical techniques, practicing, overviewing and linking with known material, self-evaluation, cooperation with peers through games, developing cultural understanding. (b) & (c): Following the philosophy of the national curriculum for foreign language teaching and learning, all coursebooks for upper primary and lower secondary grades make explicit reference to learning strategies, and advise learners to use them to develop their language skills: reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary and project work. The instructions in the teacher books (TB), lead to explicit teacher training in order to raise in teachers an awareness of what strategies their students already know and use, what they will accomplish by adopting particular strategies, and why the books have taken a particular line of teaching. However, this type of training is only at the level of consciousness-raising and familiarization, without instructing teachers on how to actualize use of strategies in on-the-spot language tasks. More emphasis is required on the practical aspects of strategy implementation. Throughout the pupil books (PB), LLS have been incorporated as useful tips, strategy and self-assessment corners, and students are given the opportunity to read about several strategies and to evaluate their use. Overall, there is an attempt to help learners at both educational levels to become autonomous during their learning process and beyond. Helping teachers recognize which strategy is promoted in a language task is a good starting point for them if they decide to introduce strategy awareness to learners so that they understand what the use of strategies can offer. For instance, when 2nd-grade secondary learners are given prelistening questions before listening to a text, if teachers want to promote LLSI, they can comment that pre-listening questions help towards activation of learners’ background knowledge on the topic which facilitates comprehension of the text.

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In the coursebooks there is also a progression of skill development and consequently of strategies recommended, according to grade and level. That is why, although there is repetition of lists of strategy use for the same skill development, e.g. vocabulary knowledge, the lists are formed according to level. So, from a list of vocabulary strategies in the 4th-grade primary PB, (p. 9), we move to a more elaborate list in the 1st-grade secondary, advanced (PB, p. 62) Overall, the main strategies promoted in primary school are: guessing from context, using background knowledge, using resources, translating, repeating, rote-memorization, self-evaluation, asking for help, cooperating with others, and developing cultural understanding. They belong to the memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive, and social categories (Oxford, 1990). What is missing from the textbooks is explicit reference to affective strategies, a finding which parallels minimum use of the category by Greek EFL teachers (PsaltouJoycey et al., 2017). However, considering that young learners have to cope with a new foreign language environment where they need emotional support, use of affective strategies is imperative, especially as research findings have shown that young learners favor affective strategy use more than do older ones (Magogwe & Oliver, 2007; Platsidou & Kantaridou, 2014; Psaltou-Joycey et al., 2014; Psaltou-Joycey & Sougari, 2010). One of my recommendations to primary teachers, therefore, is that they should make explicit reference to affective strategies to build up their learners’ confidence in and motivation for the foreign language from an early age. In the secondary school books for the three grades from 13-year-olds to 15-year-olds, we find explicit recommendations for using learning and communication strategies so that learners develop their linguistic awareness and ‘learn how to learn’ (Psaltou-Joycey, 2014). Again, the books promote memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive, and social strategies as they did in the primary level. The strategy of guessing from context has a central role at this educational level, too, thus making it a main strategy at both levels. As for individual strategies from the five categories, many of them become more demanding linguistically and cognitively. So, besides the strategies already promoted in the primary level, we find: paraphrasing, using synonyms, recognizing and using formulas and patterns, making inferences from tables, graphs, or diagrams, making associations with Greek words, using dictionaries, making notes, summarizing, planning, self-monitoring (Psaltou-Joycey, 2019). Again, there is a total absence of an explicit statement of affective strategies in the textbooks. However, as research for young adolescents in the Greek context has provided mixed results for this category, ranging between first and fifth position in the learners’ preferences within the low use of the category (Agathopoulou, 2016; Mitits, 2013; Platsidou &

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Sipitanou, 2015; Psaltou-Joycey & Gavriilidou, 2018; Vrettou, 2009), we should look more carefully at the affective domain of this age group and its interplay with strategies. 3.3 The EFL teachers

I now turn to teachers. Their perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and motivation toward language teaching, as well as their age, gender, academic qualifications, teaching experience, and school type are factors which affect teacher adoption of particular teaching approaches, guide preferences in certain classroom practices, and control selection of tasks and teaching materials. Of course, sometimes teachers’ reluctance to change their teaching routine and respond positively to new challenges, even when they are well informed, may be due to (a) their satisfaction with the teaching approach they have adopted so far, (b) the time-tabling of the foreign language in the school program and (c) an inflexible curriculum. Now, with regard to the implementation of strategies in lessons, I am not saying that teachers do not use them. Strategies are promoted by teachers, as recent research has shown (Psaltou-Joycey et al., 2018), but usually this is done implicitly and it is this which I am arguing should change. Distinguishing between implicit/indirect and explicit/ direct integration of strategies in foreign language lessons is of vital importance. In implicit strategy use the teacher directs learners to the use of a particular strategy through tasks and activities found in the textbook or prepared by the teacher without informing them of the specific benefits of its deployment; in explicit use learners go through several stages of training in the use of the specific strategy (or a series of strategies) and become aware of its function and contribution to the learning process so that they may, eventually, be able to implement it by themselves in a variety of other contexts (Grenfell & Harris, 1999; Nguyen & Gu, 2013; Plonsky, 2011). Should they become able to manage their learning, learners’ motivation and levels of self-efficacy will increase (Dörnyei, 2001; Pintrich, 1999). The following excerpts (slightly adapted) from recent research about how Greek teachers view strategies, what strategies they promote, or what limitations they think the system imposes (Vrettou et al., 2016: 80–82; Psaltou-Joycey, 2020: 180) are revealing: (a) “Teaching of strategies is of primary importance and it should not be considered a luxury.” (b) “It is very important for learners to know why they learn something and how to learn it in the best possible way.” (c) “Learners’ needs and learning strategies differ according to the education level.”

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(d) “I encourage my students to participate in collaborative research projects.” (e) “I often use role-play, sketches, songs or pantomime as a follow-up of a particular lesson.” The teachers’ role, therefore, is central when instructing learners which strategies to use and how to implement them for the best possible learning outcomes. The key agent in every successful LLSI program is the teacher, who must acquire the knowledge, understanding, and skill to guide learners towards adopting appropriate strategies for a particular task and inform them about strategy use in an explicit way, integrated into the ordinary lesson (Rubin et al., 2007). Training teachers how to deliver lessons with the strategy component attached to the lesson is the only way forward if we want to create learners who can consciously select, apply, and evaluate the learning strategies they use, a step which eventually will help them become ‘more aware of their individual needs, take more responsibility of their own language learning, and enhance their use of the target language out of class’ (Cohen, 1998: 70). As this is ‘a gradual, recursive, and longitudinal process’ (Macaro, 2001: 266), teachers must make sure they continuously make strategies and their value explicit as part of the lesson. However, Any relationship between strategy instruction (its objectives, procedures, materials, frequency, and duration) and its outcomes can only legitimately be understood in reference to contexts in which they occur and to those individuals and cultures represented in those contexts. (Oxford, 2017: 309)

Also, strategy instruction should be directly related to the problems that learners are seeking to solve. The description of Foreign Language Learning Strategy Instruction: A Teacher’s Guide (Psaltou-Joycey, 2015), together with explicit exam­ ples of LLSI that follow in the next section, will hopefully assist those teachers who are willing to implement strategy instruction in their classes. 3.4 A teacher’s guide

With this framework in mind, the THALES program included as one of its objectives the creation of a Teacher’s Guide for LLSI, of which I had the honor of being its planner, advisor, and, finally, its editor, thus responding to the tripartite entirety of the LLS research: the learner, the teacher, and the LLSI (Psaltou-Joycey, 2015). The guide was the outcome of collaborative work between university academic staff, university teachers and state school teachers.

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The Guide is intended primarily for use by practicing EFL teachers in Greek schools, but it can easily serve as a valuable guide in other educational contexts. It is suggested that it may complement the main coursebooks by offering extra activities, following the learners’ education and proficiency levels but without being tied to the syllabus of each grade. The materials are presented along with step-by-step guidance on how teachers can sensitize their learners towards the employment of strategies in order to increase their language proficiency, learning awareness, and self-regulation. Each activity is accompanied by extensive instructions on how it could be approached by applying explicit LLSI, following the widely accepted stages of such instruction, namely, preparation, modeling, practice/scaffolding, evaluation, and expansion/ transfer. Many activities in the Guide are linked with corresponding texts or activities in the Pupils’ books as the following example will show. The latter move suggests that coursebook materials can be easily adapted to comply with explicit LLSI, once the language teacher has developed strategy awareness and knows which strategy they intend to promote each time. FILL IN THE GAP (Thomaϊ Alexiou, pp. 82–84 in the Guide) Main strategy: guessing intelligently (compensation) Assisting strategies: using background knowledge, using selective attention (metacognitive), analyzing and reasoning (cognitive), cooperating (social) Language level: A2 Skills practiced: reading, speaking and writing Time of activity: 10–12 min Description

It is a fill-the-gap activity, which aims at learners’ production of written language and the development of guesswork strategies. Based on the text used in the textbook for the sixth graders (6th Grade of the Primary School, textbook, Unit 4, Lesson 2, p. 43 – see section 3.2 above) the teacher picks out highly infrequent words and asks learners to guess them while reading the text. As learners have never been taught the specific words, this activity will require analytic skills, such as analyzing expressions, using induction, and guessing parts from whole. Preparation

The teacher asks learners to read through the excerpts and think of the missing words, which are provided at the top of the text in a random order. S/he asks learners to make predictions about the missing words and their meaning while s/he encourages them to guess the specific genre of the list of words. S/he explains that learners will need to guess the missing words

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and how important it is to make inferences and guess the meaning of the words they do not know. The teacher explains that it is very important to try and guess words. S/he also suggests that learners can activate their background knowledge even in L1 (anything they know about the topic ‘airplanes’) and advises learners to cooperate with each other. Example

lightweight, orbit, engine, seaplanes, cargo, speed These planes carry passengers and __________. Their speed is just below the speed of sound (350–750 MPH). Their __________ is very powerful and they can travel very quickly with many people and goods. 760 MPH is the __________ of sound. These planes can fly up to five times the speed of sound (760–3500 MPH). They have a special engine and they are designed with __________ materials. Do you know why? To have less drag. Most of the early planes can fly at 100–350 MPH. Examples of this kind of plane are the two- and four-seater passenger planes that can land on water. Rockets fly at speeds 5 to 10 times the speed of sound (3500–7000 MPH) as they __________. They have a very powerful engine in order to travel at this speed. Modeling

In order for learners to understand the game, the teacher can model it by providing an example, e.g. ‘Boeings are planes that travel very fast’ at the beginning. Practice/Scaffolding

The teacher has prepared the text and removed the unknown words. S/he can divide the class into groups and ask them to guess where each word goes and what it means. Some brainstorming may also be necessary at this point to help learners with the most difficult words (e.g. cargo, orbit). Evaluation

After the activity, the teacher asks the learners whether they found the activity interesting and whether it was challenging for them to guess the missing words and understand their meaning. Then s/he asks learners the criteria that led them to make their specific guesses. The teacher encourages learners to discover and share the clues that led them to their guesses. Expansion/Transfer

The teacher suggests that learners complete a story by defining the highlighted words (the teacher can highlight important words in

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advance) with the aid of the context. Pictures are also provided and learners are asked to match the pictures to their close synonym. Another activity from the Teacher’s Guide shows that the use of clusters of LLS is required for accomplishing most activities in the classroom (some parts have been omitted). JUDGING DRESSING (Edgar Joycey: pp. 98–103 in the Guide) Main strategies: using background knowledge (metacognitive); cooperating with peers (social) Assisting strategies: associating/elaborating, using mechanical techniques − realia, cards, cut-outs (memory) Language level: A2 Skills practiced: speaking and listening Time of activity: 20 min Description

The teacher organizes a cooperative activity where learners change items of clothing to decide on the best outfit for a doll/model/silhouette. The activity engages learners’ personal views, and demands personal judgements be made, so, besides increasing motivation, it creates success in language learning in a naturalistic manner. Preparation

The teacher invites learners to talk about their favorite clothes (brainstorming) and also shows pictures of items of clothing or children dressed up, and checks whether the learners know the English for the items along with adjectives to describe them (colors, sizes, shapes, etc.). Then s/he explains that using their own background knowledge in a topic plays a significant role in helping people learning a language because they feel (a) more involved and motivated, given that their knowledge is seen as valuable, and (b) their learning is facilitated because they are able to make associations between old and new knowledge. She also explains that they are going to do the activity in pairs, as cooperating with peers makes the task more enjoyable and realistic but also increases their self-confidence. Afterwards the teacher gives more details about to procedure. Modeling

The teacher models the activity with only 2–3 items, using visual forms. Practice/Scaffolding

The learners, in pairs, are given a silhouette or picture of a body and smaller cut-outs of the clothes items, such as the ones illustrated in Figure 8.1, and the teacher tells them to try different ‘clothes’ for a

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Figure 8.1  Articles of children’s clothing

designated occasion until they decide upon the best outfit. They will tell their teacher of their decision and will describe the picture to their classmates. Evaluation

After the activity, the teacher asks whether the learners liked using their background knowledge to understand and learn new vocabulary and whether they found working in pairs better than working on their own or not and why. Expansion/Transfer

The activity could be expanded to e.g. making lists of clothing for a particular occasion (a party, a wedding, seaside holiday). Teachers may transfer the activity – and the strategies associated with it – to understanding a reading/listening text. 4 Summary

In this chapter, I have tried to present how the field of LLS has developed in the Greek educational context by highlighting the main areas of interest and by expressing my personal views on certain issues. There is a considerable body of research on all aspects, and the curriculum as well as the EFL coursebooks currently used in schools favor promotion and teaching of strategies. Moreover, teachers seem to be aware of strategies and are willing to incorporate them into the

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ordinary lesson, relating them to the problems that learners are seeking to solve, provided that certain conditions corroborate. However, what they need more than anything is a well planned, consistent LLSI program that has clear objectives, and is continuously used. Additionally, there must be constant feedback, exchange of ideas among teachers during training, and strong determination supported by cooperating colleagues and the school administration in the school context (Rubin, 2010). References Agathopoulou, E. (2016) Factors affecting language learning strategy use by learners of English at Greek secondary schools: Proficiency and motivation. In Z. Gavriilidou and K. Petrogiannis (eds) Language Learning Strategies in the Greek Setting: Research Outcomes of a Large-scale Project (pp. 58–75). Kavala, Greece: Saita Publications. See Agorastos, G. (2003) Learning strategies for the formation of a curriculum for the teaching of a second and foreign language: The case of Greek as a second language. Unpublished PhD thesis [in Greek], Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Programme of the Language and Communication Sciences in the New Economic Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Anastasiadou, A. (2015) EFL curriculum design: The case of the Greek state school reality in the last two decades (1997–2014). International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature 4 (2), 112–119. See doi:10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.2p.112. Charalampopoulou, E. (2015) Listening comprehension in language proficiency tests: A study of the impact of explicit strategy instruction on candidates’ performance in listening tests. Unpublished PhD thesis, School of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Philosophy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Cohen, A.D. (1998) Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language. London & New York: Longman. Council of Europe (2001) Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dendrinos, B., Zouganelli, K. and Karavas, E. (2013) Foreign Language Leaning in Greek Schools: European Survey on Language Competences. Athens: Papadopoulos Printing Communication Ltd. See Session%2003%3A%20FL%20teaching//learning%20in%20Greece/ESLC_EN.pdf (Retrieved 13th June 2013). Dörnyei, Z. (2001) Motivational Strategies in the Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Grenfell, N. and Harris, V. (1999) Modern Languages and Learning Strategies: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge. Institute of Pedagogical Policy (2011–2014) A Unified Language Curriculum for Foreign Languages: New School (21st Century School) – New Curriculum, Horizontal Act: MIS: 295450. Athens: Pedagogical Institute. Kantaridou, Z. (2004) Motivation and involvement in learning English for academic purposes. Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Karousou, A., Petrogiannis, K. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2017) Methodological issues concerning the THALES research project on language learning strategies. In Z. Gavriilidou, K. Petrogiannis, M. Platsidou and A. Psaltou-Joycey (eds) Language Learning Strategies: Theoretical Issues and Applied Perspectives (pp. 41–56). Kavala, Greece: Saita Publications. Karras, I. (2012) Foreign language anxiety and the use of affective language learning strategies among Greek university students in an ESP/EAP context. Unpublished PhD

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thesis, Department of Language and Linguistics, School of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Philosophy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Kazamia, V. (2003) Language learning strategies of Greek adult learners of English. Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, School of Education, The Language Centre, University of Leeds, UK. Macaro, E. (2001) Learning Strategies in Second and Foreign Language Classrooms. London: Continuum. Magogwe, J.M. and Oliver, R. (2007) The relationship between language learning strategies, proficiency, age, and self-efficacy beliefs: A study of language learners in Botswana. System 35, 338–352. Manoli, P. (2013) Developing reading strategies in elementary EFL classrooms. Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Early Childhood Education, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Thessaly, Greece. Mitits, L. (2013) Language learning strategy use by early adolescent monolingual EFL and multilingual EFL/L2 Greek learners in the Greek educational context. Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Greek, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. Nguyen, L.T.C. and Gu, P.Y. (2013) Strategy-based instruction: A learner-focused approach to developing learner autonomy. Language Teaching Research 17 (1), 9–30. O’Malley, J.M. and Chamot, A.U. (1990) Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oxford, R.L. (1990) Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle. Oxford, R.L. (2017) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies: Selfregulation in Context. New York, NY: Routledge. Papagianni, A. (2004) The program of verbal self-instruction and self-regulation for the development of reading ability of foreign students of an intercultural school. Unpublished PhD thesis [in Greek], Department of Special Education and Psychology, School of Primary Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Papanis, A. (2008) Learning strategies of Muslim pupils learning English as a foreign language. Unpublished PhD thesis [in Greek], School of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. Pedagogical Institute (2003) A Cross-thematic Curriculum Framework for Compulsory Education. Government Gazette issue B, no 303/13-03-03, pp. 3733–4068, especially p. 3733. [In Greek.] Pintrich, P.R. (1999) The role of motivation in promoting and sustaining self-regulated listening learning. International Journal of Educational Research 31, 459–470. Platsidou, M. and Kantaridou, Z. (2014) The role of attitudes and learning strategy use in predicting perceived competence in school-aged foreign language learners. Journal of Language and Literature 5 (3), 253–260. See DOI: 10.7813/jll.2014/5–3/43. Platsidou, M. and Sipitanou, A. (2015) Exploring relationships with grade level, gender and language proficiency in the foreign language learning strategy use of children and early adolescents. International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning 4 (1), 83–96. Plonsky, L. (2011) The effectiveness of second language strategy instruction: A metaanalysis. Language Learning 61 (4), 993–1038. Psaltou-Joycey, A. (2014) Language learning SI: The English language coursebooks in the Greek state schools. Journal of Applied Linguistics 29, 6–23. Psaltou-Joycey, A. (ed.) (2015) Foreign Language Learning Strategy Instruction: A Teacher’s Guide. Kavala, Greece: Saita Publications. See http://www.saitabooks_eu/2015/ ebook.162.html. Psaltou-Joycey, A. (2019) Guidelines and materials for integrating language learning strategy instruction into the language lesson. In A.U. Chamot and V. Harris (eds) Learning Strategy Instruction in the Language Classroom: Issues and Implementation (pp. 171–183). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

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Psaltou-Joycey, A. (2020) Language learning strategies and good language teachers. In C. Griffiths and Z. Tajjedin (eds) Lessons from Good Language Teachers (pp. 175–186). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Psaltou-Joycey, A. and Sougari, A.M. (2010) Greek young learners’ perceptions about foreign language learning and teaching. In A. Psaltou-Joycey and M. Matthaioudakis (eds) Advances in Research on Language Acquisition and Teaching: Selected Papers (pp. 387–401). Thessaloniki, Greece: Greek Applied Linguistics Association. Psaltou-Joycey, A. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2018) Language learning strategies in Greek primary and secondary school learners: How individual characteristics affect strategy use. In R.L. Oxford and C.M. Amerstorfer (eds) Language Learning Strategies and Individual Learner Characteristics (pp. 167–187). London: Bloomsbury. Psaltou-Joycey, A., Sougari, A.M., Agathopoulou, E. and Alexiou Th. (2014) The role of age, gender and L1 strategies in the L2 strategies of primary school children in Greece. In G. Kotzoglou, and E. Vlachou (eds) Selected Papers of the 11th International Conference on Greek Linguistics (pp. 1436–1448). Rhodes: Department of Mediterranean Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Aegean, Greece. Psaltou-Joycey, A., Agathopoulou, E., Petrogiannis K. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2017) Teachers’ and learners’ reported language learning strategy use: How do they match? In Z. Gavriilidou, K. Petrogiannis, M. Platsidou and A. Psaltou-Joycey (eds) Language Learning Strategies: Theoretical Issues and Applied Perspectives (pp. 71–93). Kavala, Greece: Saita Publications. Psaltou-Joycey, A., Agathopoulou, E., Joycey, E., Sougari, A-M., Kazamia, V., Petrogiannis, K. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2018) Promotion of language learning strategies by Greek EFL teachers through classroom instruction practices. Language Learning Journal 46 (5), 557–568. Ralli, M. (2011) The integration of the computer as a cognitive tool in the teaching of cognitive and metacognitive writing strategies to primary school students with or without disorders in writing production. Unpublished PhD thesis [in Greek], School of Primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Crete, Greece. Rizouli, T. (2013) The impact of the cognitive strategies of summarising and discourse structure graphic organisers on text comprehension and strategy use: A strategy training programme for Greek university students of English as a foreign language. Unpublished doctoral thesis [in Greek], University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. Rubin, J. (2010) Language teacher education: Challenges in promoting a learner-centered perspective. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 61, 29–42. Rubin, J., Chamot, A.U., Harris, V. and Anderson, N. (2007) Intervening in the use of strategies. In A.D. Cohen and E. Marcaro (eds) Language Learner Strategies: Thirty Years of Research and Practice (pp. 141–160). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sarafianou, A. (2013) Language learning strategies: The effect of explicit and integrated strategy instruction within the framework of an intervention program on Greek upper secondary school EFL students. Unpublished PhD thesis [in Greek], Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece. Stathopoulou, M. (2013) Task dependent interlinguistic mediation performance as translanguaging practice: The use of KPG data for an empirically based study. Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of English Studies, School of Philosophy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Sykara, G. (2017) Motivation and learning strategies of students of Greek as a second language. Unpublished PhD thesis [in Greek], School of Philology, Faculty of Philosophy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Tsiriotakis, I. (2013) Writing difficulties and feelings of anxiety during the acquisition of English as a foreign language. Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Crete, Greece. Vrettou, A. (2009) Language learning strategy employment of EFL Greek-speaking learners in junior high school. Journal of Applied Linguistics 25, 85–106.

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Vrettou, A. (2011) Patterns of language learning strategy use by Greek-speaking young learners of English. Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Vrettou, A., Psaltou-Joycey, A. and Gavriilidou, Z. (2016) Researching the promotion of strategic learning by EFL teachers. Research Papers in Language Teaching and Learning 7 (1), 46–73. Wenden, A. and J. Rubin (eds) (1987) Learner Strategies in Language Learning. London: Prentice Hall. Xirofotou, E. (2012) Developing strategies through instruction in Greek EFL classrooms: The case of the mediation task for the KPG B2 level exams. Unpublished PhD thesis, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Zaga, E. (2004) The contribution of specialty courses to language education: The teaching of Modern Greek as a second language with emphasis on the content subjects of the syllabus. Unpublished PhD thesis [in Greek], Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Programme of the Language and Communication Sciences in the New Economic Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

9 Task-specific Strategy Use in Video-mediated Integrated Writing: The Greek EAP Context Iris Papadopoulou, Ifigeneia Machili and Zoe Kantaridou

1 Introduction

Integrated writing tasks from a reading and a listening source are increasingly used in academic skills assessment (i.e. TOEFL iBT and IELTS) because of their authenticity and increased validity. They reflect the types of writing required in academic institutions where students produce writing based on sources they have been assigned to read and lectures they have attended. Reading and listening integrated writing tasks are challenging both for test-takers and for assessors because they involve three language learning modalities: reading, listening, and writing. Rather than merely understanding sources and accurately producing content information, these tasks entail simultaneous coordination of the different modalities and integration of the content information relevant to the task prompt. There are two trends in the literature in the effort to define the construct of integrated writing, one in terms of the written product, in identifying differences from the independent writing task (Guo et al., 2013), and the other examining the processes that students follow when composing integrated writing tasks (Esmaeili, 2002; Plakans, 2009). Studies investigating the types of strategies employed in such tasks have provided some important insight into the validity of the construct (e.g. Knoch & Sitajalabhorn, 2013; Yang & Plakans, 2012). Now, when it comes to including visual material in integrated task assessment, the situation is even more complicated. Non-verbal aspects of communication are sometimes treated as separate from, or subordinate to, the verbal component and are believed to complicate an already complex listening concept because there are


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considerable differences in the way different people perceive and make use of visual information (Buck, 2001). While acknowledging concerns regarding the construct validity of video-mediated integrated writing tasks (Feak & Salehzadeh, 2001), this chapter endorses the view that ‘paradoxically the validity of listening tests that do not take into account that most people both hear and see in most communicative situations is just as contentious’ (Progosh, 1996: 35). The video can provide authentic, culture-rich content for EFL teaching and assessment. It includes linguistic input rich in sociolinguistic context, non-verbal cues that lower the affective filter (Gruba, 2006) and, in particular, for the millennial generation onwards, it involves a familiar modality that promotes learner autonomy. Thus, in this chapter, we identify the strategies test-takers use when performing the video-mediated integrated task in the Greek higher education English for Academic Purposes (EAP) context, in order to delineate the components of the construct. The chapter will proceed from a review of the literature that relates to integrated writing, the strategies involved and the use of the video in foreign language learning and assessment, to the research procedure and a presentation and discussion of the research findings. 2 Background 2.1 Integrated writing construct

For many years in most widely used L2 proficiency assessment tests, writing was (and still is) tested independent of other language skills, contrary to recent developments in teaching and assessment theory (Wagner, 2010). However, in the academic world, assignments usually depend on more than one modality, as, for instance, in the case of writing research papers, whereby students engage in both research reading and writing. Further to this, in most academic assignments students are required to engage critically with information in multiple sources so as to use it in a meaningful and appropriate way in their own writing (Cumming, 2013), which needs to be coherent, with adequate referencing to sources. It follows that academic integrated writing tasks require not merely the integration of modalities (e.g. listening, reading, and writing), but integration of sources and skills. Along these lines, including integrated writing tasks in language certification presents a number of advantages. First, because of their authenticity, they have more predictive validity (Yang & Plakans, 2012) as they measure examinees’ performance on the type of academic writing tasks they will be required to perform in their studies. Second, a positive washback effect is observed on EFL and EAP instruction (Weigle, 2004; Yang & Plakans, 2012) due to the authenticity of

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integrated writing tasks. Teaching material that builds the necessary skills for such writing assessment actually prepares students for the academic assignments they will be required to produce in their studies. Third, there is greater test fairness (Weir, 2005) as attention is shifted away from examinees’ background knowledge and creativity (Plakans & Gebril, 2017) to thinking critically and creating a coherent text around reading and listening stimuli that is ‘content responsible’ (Leki & Carson, 1997), i.e. that uses the source information in a meaningful and appropriate way. Finally, integrated writing tasks are more aligned with the multiliteracies pedagogy according to which education needs to accommodate the ‘multi-modal realities of the new media’ (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009: 13). The advantages above render the definition of the construct of integrated writing for assessment highly important. Yet, until recently, the construct definitions in language testing were more implicit than explicit and specified in detail, mostly derived from the type of tasks employed (Taylor & Geranpayeh, 2011), in relation to skill (Plakans, 2009), content, or sources, e.g. video, written texts, graphs, still visuals (Cumming et al., 2005). Knoch and Sitajalabhorn (2013) adopt a concept analytic approach in an effort to provide a definition for the integrated task construct. They try to identify features present in the different definitions, as well as the tasks considered as integrated, and propose the following: selecting ideas from source texts, synthesizing these into a coherent input, transforming the language used, reorganizing ideas, finding and establishing connections, both between ideas in the sources and in the written output. Research has attempted to define the construct either by looking at the product of writing and identifying the features that distinguish integrated writing tasks from independent writing (for instance, Cumming et al., 2005), or by examining the processes or strategies used by students in composing a response to integrated writing tasks (Esmaeili, 2002; Yang & Plakans, 2012). When examining the processes used by higher L2 proficiency students, the processes observed included the ones proposed in Spivey’s (1997) L1 discourse synthesis framework, of organizing, selecting, and connecting information derived from the sources. Organizing involves using knowledge about general text organization (e.g. discourse cues and patterns) in order to understand the linguistic input, understand how chunks of meaning from different sources interrelate and to form the structure of the written product, reconfiguring input content according to the task requirements (Spivey, 1990). Selecting involves making judgements of relevance in identifying significant information from the source texts. Cognitive strategies of applying attention to the text and the lecture are deployed in the process

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of note-taking according to the task goals (e.g. Brown & Day, 1983). The process of selecting information differs according to reader fluency (Kennedy, 1985), as fluent readers employ selective attention while notetaking, whilst not-so-fluent readers attempt to extract information by re-reading the source texts uncritically. Connecting, finally, involves linking selected source information with previous knowledge and finally elaborating a combination of these concepts from an integral perspective. However, not all tasks demand background knowledge for content elaboration. In the integrated reading-and-listening-to-write task, test-takers are required to construct a response on the basis only of the information contained in the two stimuli, reading passage and listening input, and not from experience nor including their opinion. Integrated writing tasks engage learners in both reading and listening comprehension-related strategies (e.g. cognitive ones, like inferring from contextual clues and making connections between background knowledge and texts; metacognitive ones, such as monitoring progress) and writing-related strategizing (e.g. planning, revising, monitoring) (Grabe, 2001). Effective performance at integrated tasks requires more than effective performance at reading, listening and writing separately. The dialectic relationship between the (reading and listening) stimuli is described from a constructivist perspective (Yang, 2009: 17), according to which readers actively participate in the creation of meaning and knowledge by organizing, selecting and connecting (Spivey, 1990, 1997; Spivey & King, 1989).The three processes (Yang & Plakans, 2012) of selecting, organizing and connecting are coordinated by self-regulation: learners need to be aware of task goals, plan how to tackle the task, select from their strategy repertoire, monitor and evaluate their task performance: in other words, they must exercise metacognitive control. Yang and Plakans (2012) propose the following taxonomy for strategies in their Strategy Inventory for Integrated Writing (SIIW). (1) The category of discourse synthesis strategies including organizing, selecting and connecting (Spivey, 1990, 1997; Spivey & King, 1989) as defined above. (2) The metacognitive category: monitoring, when writers identify goals, make informed decisions and create plans, and evaluating when writers re-examine what they have written by reconsidering the task requirement, what and how they have written (and so on). (3) Test-wiseness strategies (Cohen & Upton, 2007), i.e. compensation strategies found to be used as tricks when taking a writing test. Examples of test-wiseness strategies are: verbatim language use – copying exact phrases from sources instead of paraphrasing them – and relying on a memorized template.

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2.2 Video-mediated comprehension in EFL teaching and assessment

While the concept of integrated writing is still debated as to whether it involves skills, texts, or sources, when it comes to including visuals in integrated tasks, the construct is even more elusive. In principle, the inclusion of non-verbal elements in listening tests is justified on authenticity grounds, if, that is, one wants to assess listening ability in a communicative framework (Wagner, 2007); in most instances of spoken communication, with the exception of, for instance, talking on the phone and listening to the radio, the listener can see the speaker and make use of paralinguistic information. The significance of visual input in decoding spoken communication has been highlighted for quite some time. For Kellerman, for instance (1992), kinesic behavior (gestures and facial expressions) is ‘co-verbal’, an intricate part of human communication, alongside the verbal component. Prosodic information, like syllable stress, is often accompanied by kinesic behavior that can help the listener better comprehend the spoken input (Kellerman, 1992). In fact, Burgoon (1994) highlights the fact that, when there is conflict between verbal and non-verbal cues, the latter outweigh the former in interpretation. Furthermore, the use of video has had a positive influence on attitudes and affect, as learners have been observed to prefer it, due to their familiarity with it (Progosh, 1996; Wagner, 2010). Concerning the impact of video-mediated listening tasks, views are conflicting: some researchers find a positive influence (Wagner, 2010), while others find no significant differences between video-enriched and audio-only listening (Gruba, 1993) or even a negative impact (Ginther, 2002). The argument in favor of including visuals and video in teaching and assessing listening comprehension in general, and listening and reading integrated writing in particular, is founded on theoretical and pedagogical grounds. First, EFL literature has long shown that the use of visuals in teaching EFL is beneficial because it increases student motivation (Oxford et al., 1993), facilitates mental processing because it mirrors real-life communication (Salomon, 1984), provides context for authentic discourse (Tomalin, 1987), and enhances cross-cultural awareness (Kramsch, 1993). Visual or paralinguistic information is considered by Vandergrift (2007) a part of L2 learners’ compensatory mechanism, along with world and cultural knowledge. Second, using video in teaching is more aligned with the dynamics of the knowledge economy and the multiliteracies pedagogy (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009), according to which human cognition is contextual and education needs to accommodate the ‘multimodal realities of the new media and broader changes in the communications environment’ (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009: 13). Thus, there is indeed a strong case for including video in teaching. Similarly, one could make a case for using video in language assessment, for both theory-related reasons, by providing authentic

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communication input that includes non-verbal aspects, and pedagogyrelated reasons, where assessment mode mirrors teaching mode (Wagner, 2007). On the other hand, some researchers have expressed reservations with regard to the use of video in testing. For one, it is a more expensive assessment option, especially in high-stakes exams, one that also brings a host of other parameters into the rating process, which will need to be addressed in the rating rubric. Video engages more modalities on the part of the test-taker and, while these may facilitate comprehension for some, for others they may complicate it (e.g. Buck, 2001). Skepticism also derives from the diversity of genres (e.g. lecture, public speech, or conversation between two interlocutors) and visual elements implicated in a visualmediated listening task, e.g. slides accompanying a lecture (Ginther, 2002). Ginther (2002) distinguishes two broad types of visuals: context visuals, such as photos that provide context to the communication event, the setting to a dialogue, and content visuals, such as graphs or photos that accompany the verbal input. In the TOEFL iBT, context visuals (photographs of speakers and communication setting) accompany dialogues, short conversations, and academic discussions, while content visuals (photographs or diagrams) accompany mini-talks. Construct validity concerns often lead researchers to omit non-verbal elements from the definitions of the construct of L2 listening ability out of a belief that such inclusion would complicate the concept, since there are significant differences in the way different people make use of visual information (Buck, 2001; Gruba, 1993). Some researchers have found the visual input to even be distracting for listeners (Suvorov, 2009), while Ockey (2007) observed variation in the degree of test-taker engagement with the visual medium. For Wagner (2007), however, the fact that the visual aspect produces variety in test-takers’ performance in fact enhances construct validity. In this light, we attempt to contribute to the discussion on the definition and validity of the video-mediated integrated writing construct by delineating the strategies used in one such task and looking into their predictive validity in relation to performance. We adapt the Yang and Plakans (2012) inventory (SIIW) for a video-mediated integrated task for Greek EAP students and then we propose an additional instrument to cover the specifics of video input. The following research questions are explored: RQ1:  Does the internal structure of the Greek version of the SIIW instrument correspond to that of Yang and Plakans? RQ2: What is the nature of strategy use in a video-mediated integrated task (SIVMIT)? RQ3:  Can the strategies used predict the students’ academic performance?

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3 The Study

The present study is part of a larger project that involved strategy instruction intervention organized around Spivey’s (1997) constructivist model of synthesis writing as composed of organizing, selecting and connecting components, supplemented by Plakans’ (2009) metacognitive and verbatim language use dimensions. 3.1 Participants

The participants were 143 Greek EAP students, 69 male and 74 female students, from three departments: Accounting and Finance (42%), Business Administration (16.8%) and Economics (41.2%). They were in the 4th semester EAP course, which is focused on public speaking. In terms of their proficiency in EFL, as revealed in their TOEFL ITP scores, the majority was of an upper-intermediate level of competence (45.5%), followed by 37.1% advanced level students (see Table 9.1). 3.2 Instruments

Three instruments were used in the present study: (1) Strategy Inventory for Integrated Writing (SIIW) adapted from Yang and Plakans (2012). We used 22 of the final inventory in the Yang and Plakans (2012) study reflecting the monitoring, organizing, connecting, evaluating, selecting and test-wiseness scales. The reliability of the emergent factors appears in Table 9.2. (2) Strategy Inventory for Video-mediated Integrated Tasks (SIVMIT). It consists of 12 statements: items 5, 6, 7, 8 reflect the visual rather than simply the auditory input of the listening part, and items 2, 9, 11, 21, 24, 25, 26, and 27 intend to better capture the steps involved in the process of synthesizing. The reliability of the emergent factors Table 9.1  Participants’ demographic characteristics Gender


CERF level


69 (48.3%)


74 (51.7%)


60 (42.0%)

Bus. Admin.

24 (16.8%)


59 (41.2%)


25 (17.5%)


65 (45.5%)


47 (32.9%)


6 (4.2%)

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Table 9.2  Principal component analysis for the SIIW items F1




1. I wrote down keywords from what I heard in the lecture.


3. I tried to understand the relationship between the ideas of the reading passage and lecture.


10. I wrote down main ideas and important points from the reading passage.


12. I searched for connections among sentences.


13. I tried to understand the content according to how information is organized in each paragraph.


14. I tried to understand the organization of the reading passage or the lecture.


15. I summarized ideas from the lecture in my mind.


16. I searched for connections among paragraphs.


17. I planned to copy good sentences from the reading or lecture in my writing. 20. I double checked to see if my writing met the task requirements.

.737 .629

22. I wrote some phrases based on a writing template I had memorized before the test.


23. I copied the sentences from the reading passage and revised them.


28. I reread what I had written to see if I was using correct English (e.g. grammar or spelling).


29. I checked if I used the same phrases or sentences as the authors.


30. I revised the sentences to make my writing clearer.


31. I checked if I used examples to support my main ideas.


32. I reread my essay and changed the content that didn’t express what I meant.


33. I checked if I had connected the ideas from the lecture to the ideas from the reading passage.


34. I made changes in phrases to ensure I didn’t copy the exact phrases.


Variance explained %





Cronbach a






3.78 (.75)

3.46 (.73)

2.65 (.79)

4.21 (.66)

appears in Table 9.3. (For the Greek version of the two inventories please contact the authors). (3) The external criterion against which the predictive validity of the instruments was determined was the TOEFL ITP (paper-based). It consists of three sections, Reading Comprehension, Structure and Written Expression and Listening Comprehension, and it was used as an objective and reliable measure of the students’ current academic language performance.

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Table 9.3  Principal component analysis for the SIVMIT items F1 2. As I was watching the speech, I noted its main ideas.

F2 .438

5. As I was watching the speech, I noted down as much as I could.


6. As I was watching the speech, I observed the speaker’s body language to understand him/her better.


7. As I was watching the speech, I observed the tone and color in the speaker’s voice to understand him/her better.


8. As I was watching the speech, I observed the visual aids the speaker used to understand him/her better.


9. As I was watching the speech in the video, I looked for relations among its main ideas.


21. I tried to express the relation between the reading passage and the speech in one introductory/topic sentence.


24. To be brief, I avoided the ideas that were repeated.


26. I organized/structured my writing in my own way combining information from both sources at the same time.


27. I linked the subordinate/less important ideas from the reading text and the speech in my writing.


Variance explained %



Cronbach a




3.23 (.85)

3.97 (.55)

3.3 Procedure

The two inventories were checked by four researchers/EAP instructors for content validity. They were translated into Greek to ensure comprehension by the students and to facilitate their response. Translation accuracy was checked through back translation. The inventories were piloted with five volunteering students, who were later excluded from the procedure, and minor adjustments were made to enhance readability. The two inventories were merged into one questionnaire to facilitate administration but will be dealt with separately in our analysis. The questionnaire was subdivided into three sections, following the original Yang and Plakans (2012) inventory, before, while and after writing. It was filled in immediately upon completion of a video-mediated integrated task of the compare-and-contrast type. Students were allowed 10 minutes to read a text of approximately 500 words, related to their studies (on economic growth), and then they watched an excerpt (approximately 8 minutes long) from a TEDx talk on steady-state economy, which cast doubt on three of the five aspects discussed in the reading passage. Students were asked to write a 200-word text presenting the points of contrast along the lines of the TOEFL iBT (computerbased) test writing task.

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The students completed the same task and strategy inventories before and after a seven-session strategy instruction period (seven 90-minute sessions), in the spring semester of 2017. The instruction covered training in integrating content from different sources, selecting, organizing and connecting ideas and content, as well as monitoring and evaluating their performance while writing. Students were familiarized with the non-verbal and paralinguistic features both prior and during the strategy instruction intervention as part of their public speaking course. 3.4 Data analysis

Data were analyzed using SPSS 24. The construct validity of the inventories was checked by principal component analysis with varimax rotation. Cronbach alpha tests were used to check their internal structure. Correlations were run for the factors produced and their predictive validity was checked against the students’ academic language performance measured in TOEFL ITP scores. 4 Results and Discussion 4.1 Principal component analysis: SIIW

Principal component analysis on the SIIW items revealed four factors with eigenvalues great than 1 explaining 56.3% of the total variance. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure and Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity indicated appropriateness of sampling adequacy. Three items (nos 4, 18 and 19) were excluded from the analysis as they had double or low loadings (< .40). Table 9.2 presents the rotated matrix with the item loadings on each factor, the variance explained and their Cronbach α scores as indicators of reliability. The reliability of the internal consistency of the first two factors was quite good (F1: a = .877, F2: a = .785), while for the last two factors it was barely acceptable. Factor 1 was called ‘self-regulating’, as it consisted of monitoring and evaluating strategies both in the process and after the completion of writing including checking the written product for clarity, appropriate language, argument support, adequate connection of video to text, and plagiarism. Two items (29, 34) involved checking the language of the written product for proximity to the original phrasing of the sources. Factor 2 featured mainly ‘organizing’ strategies activated at the comprehension stage. It indicates students’ efforts to comprehend the input from multiple sources (print, audio and visual) by decoding their internal cohesive structure. Factor 3 indicated the ‘test-wiseness’ aspect of the Yang and Plakans items. Strategies in this factor included copy-pasting phrases and ideas from the reading passage, and verbatim language use practices.

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The emergence of this factor is rather expected because test-wiseness strategies are considered part of the learners’ developmental processes, given their lower levels of language competence (Pecorari, 2003). In addition, it is a factor related to the particular educational and cultural context as Greek secondary education encourages rote learning and memorization as opposed to more critical, content-responsible integrated writing (Flouris & Pasias, 2003). Factor 4 included ‘connecting’ strategies, which facilitate the synthesis of ideas, such as focused note-taking of keywords and main ideas from sources, and observing the relationship between source text and lecture. To check the robustness of the internal consistency of the inventory in its Greek version, principal component analysis was run both in the pre- and the post-intervention data. Although the loadings slightly differed, the items loaded on exactly the same factors and explained a similar percentage of variance. Their reliability was also similar as indicated by the Cronbach – test of internal consistency. Table 9.2 presents the rotated matrix for the post-intervention data. In relation to RQ1, in terms of the construct structure, our analysis confirmed to an extent Yang and Plakans’ (2012) findings. Factor 1, ‘selfregulating’ strategies, corresponds to their monitoring and evaluating factors. In fact, in the second-order analysis that Yang and Plakans (2012) performed, these two factors were subsumed under one latent variable: selfregulatory strategy use. Our next three factors, F2, F3, and F4, correspond to their respective factors of organizing, test-wiseness, and connecting. 4.2 Principal component analysis: SIVMIT

Principal component analysis on the SIVMIT items revealed two factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 explaining 46.3% of the total variance. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure and Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity indicated appropriateness of sampling adequacy. Two items (nos 11 and 25) were excluded from the analysis as they had double or low loadings (< .40). Table 9.3 presents the rotated matrix with the item loadings on each factor, the variance explained and their Cronbach α scores as indicators of reliability. The reliability of the internal consistency of the first factor was quite good (F1: α = .726) while for the second, it was acceptable (F2: α = .633). Of the second inventory, which was intended to reflect the videomediated aspect of the listening comprehension, the first factor, ‘video input comprehension’, involved primarily monitoring strategies of observing paralinguistic aspects of communication, speaker tone, body language and visual aids. The second, ‘composing output’, primarily consisted of note-taking for main ideas in the video, their relations, and using a topic sentence to highlight the connection between the two sources, linking main and subordinate ideas.

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In relation to RQ2, we could say that the SIVMIT inventory involved metacognitive strategies of using visual clues to understand oral communication, and cognitive strategies of selecting ideas and establishing connections for synthesis writing, at the output stage. Thus, SIVMIT contributes towards the description of the strategies that learners use when performing the video-mediated integrated task by specifying both the video-specific features and their integration in their writing output. 4.3 Correlations

Pearson correlations were run to check the correlation among the factors of the two inventories (see Table 9.4). The four factors of the SIIW significantly correlate with each other except for ‘test-wiseness’ (SIIW3), which does not correlate with SIIW1 and SIIW4. This is rather to be expected as ‘test-wiseness’ strategies are compensating strategies and are not really compatible with higher-order metacognitive and cognitive strategies, such that SIIW1 and SIIW4 are respectively. SIVMIT1, ‘video input comprehension’, correlates with SIIW2, as they both refer to input comprehension from video and reading respectively. SIVMIT2, ‘composing output’, displays the highest correlation with all factors except SIIW3. This strengthens the affinity of the factors of the two inventories and their related components. 4.4 Regression analysis

To check the predictive validity of the strategy inventories, linear regression analysis with stepwise method was performed with the compound variables computed for each factor as independent variables (predictors) and the students’ TOEFL ITP scores as dependent variable. The model was significant (F (3,142)12.197, p = .000, adjusted r2 = .191). Three integrated writing factors: SIIW3-‘test-wiseness’ (b = –.375, t = –4.761, p = .000), SIVMIT2-‘composing output’ (b = .221, t = 2.599, p = .010) and SIIW2-‘organizing’ (b = .188, t = 2.127, p = .035) predict Table 9.4  Correlations among the factors of the two inventories SIIW1

































* *

*Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).



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19.1% of the students’ academic language performance as measured by the TOEFL ITP scores. We can see that the standardized beta coefficient for the test-wiseness factor is negative, although it is relatively higher than the other two and significant. This means that the more students depend on copying from texts and using set phrases in their writing, the worse their predicted general academic performance will be. Thus, in relation to RQ3, we can conclude that the higher-order metacognitive strategies of ‘composing output’ and ‘organizing’ used in integrated tasks, positively and significantly predict the students’ current academic language performance, while test-wiseness compensating strategies negatively do so. Returning to the main objective of the study, the identification of the video-mediated integrated writing construct, our findings delineate the following six factors: (1) ‘Self-regulating’ strategies that pay attention to the organization of the input sources in order to construct meaning. (2) ‘Organizing’ strategies that involve highlighting learners’ attempts to understand the way source information is organized. (3) ‘Test-wiseness’ strategies that learners use to compensate for their lack of knowledge in integrated writing. (4) ‘Connecting’ strategies aiming at synthesizing source information. (5) ‘Video input comprehension’ strategies related to the paralinguistic aspects of the visual input. (6) ‘Composing output’ strategies, focusing mainly on the integration of the source information into the final output/writing product. These are corroborated in the literature, in Knoch and Sitajalabhorn’s (2013) concept analysis that identifies the features of selecting ideas from source texts, synthesizing these into a coherent input, transforming the language used, reorganizing ideas, finding and establishing connections, both between ideas in the sources and actively establishing connections in the written output. 5 Conclusion

The present study attempted to investigate the video-mediated integrated construct for the first time in the Greek academic context. In an effort to delineate the dimensions of the concept of video-mediated integrated writing, it tested an adaptation of the Yang and Plakans’ (2012) SIIW on a population of Greek EAP students from the University of Macedonia. It also put forward a new instrument (SIVMIT) for measuring strategies at play while taking a video-mediated listening and writing integrating task in the academic context. From a pedagogical point of view, the strategies found to be key components of the processes that students employ while composing

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integrated writing tasks can be taught through explicit strategy instruction in order to enhance student performance. In fact, other publications produced from the same project (e.g. Machili et al., 2020) find that strategy instruction improves performance on the integrated writing task. It is thus suggested that EAP teachers could incorporate such tasks in the classroom to help students acquire the competence required to tackle complicated tasks and better prepare them for the actual demands of the academic environment and their future professional settings. This can be achieved by means of explicit strategy instruction based on the components revealed by the present study. Regarding the limitations of the study, we should note that questionnaire items on the SIVMIT could have been informed by qualitative means through students’ reports of the strategies they used rather than teacher intuition from experience only. Further research into the video-mediated integrated writing construct is needed to replicate the study and compare the results. Note (1) The present study was partially funded by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), TOEFL® English-language Researcher/Practitioner Grant program.

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Wagner, E. (2010) The effect of the use of video texts on ESL listening test-taker performance. Language Testing 27 (4), 493–513. Weigle, S.C. (2004) Integrating reading and writing in a competency test for non-native speakers of English. Assessing Writing 9 (1), 27–55. Weir, C.J. (2005) Language Testing and Validation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Yang, H.C. (2009) Exploring the complexity of second language writers’ strategy use and performance on an integrated writing test through structural equation modeling and qualitative approaches. PhD thesis, University of Texas at Austin. Yang, H.C. and Plakans, L. (2012) Second language writers’ strategy use and performance on an integrated reading-listening-writing task. TESOL Quarterly 46 (1), 80–103.

10 Understanding Language Learning Strategies in Context: The Case of Russian Students Learning Greek as a Foreign Language Zoe Gavriilidou, Irina Tresorukova and Antonios Mylonopoulos

1 Introduction

Learning a foreign language is a lengthy and strenuous endeavor. Yet, it can be facilitated by purposeful actions that are complex, dynamic, generally used consciously and aim at aiding the learner to successfully meet their learning-oriented needs, known as language learning strategies (LLS) (Oxford & Amerstorfer, 2018). Another characteristic of LLS is that they are always context dependent and are employed in a specific sociocultural situation. We will all probably agree that both the learning needs and the context will differ if you are, for example, a Spanish-speaking immigrant in the US learning English or a Russianspeaking university student majoring in Greek Language and Literature. We would also agree that both these learners would benefit from a systematic strategic instruction by their teachers in order to become successful language learners. A lot of research has been done in the field of LLS and the factors influencing their use. The present study explores the uninvestigated aspect of learning Greek as a foreign language (GFL) and examines different variables involved in that process. To this end, the study investigates GFL learners’ strategies and explores how the differences in training, motivation, proficiency, years of study, and academic level impact on the selection and use of particular strategies by Russian students learning GFL. It is argued that an 181

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understanding of such parameters affecting frequency of strategy use in this specific setting might help to tailor teaching strategies for the needs of students learning GFL. The chapter begins by reviewing the literature on the effects of cultural background, motivation, proficiency, academic level, and multilingualism on LLS use. There follows a detailed description of adopted methodology together with a report on the results of the study. A discussion of the results in the light of previous research in the field is then given and the chapter ends with the conclusions and the limitations of the study. 2 Literature Review 2.1 Cultural background

Despite the proliferation of recent studies in language learning strategies, cultural background is one variable that has not received enough attention in the literature. Even though the notion that there are general traits attributable to specific ethnic groups should be treated with caution, Oxford (1996) points out the need to investigate language learning strategies in various learning contexts in order to gain a crosscultural perspective, since the cultural values of the learner’s society can be expected to have a strong influence on the choice and acceptability of language learning strategies. Chamot (2005) exemplified this point by saying that cultures that value individual competition and whose educational systems are organized around competitive tasks are more likely to promote strategies that allow learners to work alone rather than social strategies that call for collaboration with others. In line with these findings, several studies have shown that there seems to be a difference between strategies used by Asian students and students from other cultural backgrounds, such as students from a Hispanic background (Politzer & McGroarty, 1985; Reid, 1987). Other SILL studies also reported different language learning strategy preferences by students in different cultural contexts. One such study by Griffiths and Parr (2000) reported that European students used language learning strategies significantly more frequently than students of other nationalities, especially strategies related to vocabulary, reading, interaction with others, and tolerance of ambiguity. They also reported that European students studied at a significantly higher level than students of a different national origin. Generally, it must be noted, however, that there are very few studies that explore how learners approach second/foreign languages other than English. Politzer (1983) examined the language learning strategies of students of French, Spanish, and German. He discovered that the students of Spanish engaged in fewer strategies than those of the other

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two languages. Chamot et al. (1987) found that students of Russian reported greater strategy use than students of Spanish. As for the learners of Greek as a foreign language, there are no studies examining how cultural background affects their strategic profiles. 2.2 Motivation

Different researchers have used different methods of collecting data relevant to the issue of motivation to learn a language. Dörnyei and Ushioda (2010) point out that motivation interacts with numerous internal, social, and contextual factors. Nonetheless, a vast majority of studies has reported positive correlation between strategy use and what the researchers define as motivation (Agathopoulou, 2016; MacIntyre, 1994; MacIntyre & Noels, 1996; Mitits & Gavriilidou, 2014; Oxford & Nyikos, 1989; Schmidt et al., 1996; Wharton, 2000). More motivated students tend to use more strategies than less motivated students and having a particular reason for studying a language appears to be important in the choice of strategies. In their survey of 1200 students studying various languages at university, Oxford and Nyikos (1989) examined the different language learning strategies the students reported using and found that motivation as a factor influencing language learning strategy use was highlighted as the most significant variable in their choice of strategies. Another study by Ehrman and Oxford (1989) discovered that career choice had a major effect on the reported language learning strategy use, a finding which they interpreted as a possible result of underlying motivation. Moreover, Psaltou-Joycey (2003) found that motivation to learn English, related to high aspirations with respect to proficiency level as well as the enjoyment of learning the particular language, was higher in university students majoring in English. Schmidt and Watanabe (2001) investigated motivation by collecting data from more than 2000 university students in Hawaii. They found evidence that motivation affected strategy use, particularly cognitive and metacognitive strategies, while the least affected strategy type was social strategies. No data are available on how motivation affects language learning strategy use of students learning GFL. 2.3 Proficiency

In general, language learning proficiency level has shown a strong correlation with language learners’ choice of strategies (Chamot, 2004; Oxford & Nyikos, 1989). More proficient language learners tend to use a greater variety and often a greater number of learning strategies (Anderson, 2005; Bruen, 2001; Chamot & El-Dinary, 1999; Green & Oxford, 1995; O’Malley & Chamot, 1990; Wharton, 2000). Takeuchi (2003) showed that the learners participating in his study reported

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shifting their strategy use as they advanced to higher proficiency levels. It has been documented that, depending on their proficiency level, language learners differ with regard to the number and range of strategies they use, how they apply them to the task, and how appropriate these strategies are to the given task (Chamot, 2004). Yet, some studies have produced different results, showing curvilinear (Hong-Nam & Leavell, 2006; Kazamia, 2003), low (Erhman & Oxford, 1995) and even negative correlations (Gardner et al., 1997) between the learner’s proficiency level and the number and selection of strategies. These diverse findings can be attributed to the interrelation of proficiency level with other factors, such as different learning contexts, research methodology, the number of participants, and the way in which proficiency level is measured. In addition, the fact that the results of some studies (Hong-Nam & Leavell, 2007) have revealed that students at lower levels of proficiency use more strategies more frequently than their higher proficiency level counterparts can be given a different explanation: namely, it is possible that more proficient learners have already established what strategies are more successful for them and are content with the way they learn, while less proficient learners are still in the process of discovering how to learn more efficiently and, as a result, use more strategies more often (Psaltou-Joycey, 2010: 91). 2.4 Years of study and academic level

A factor closely linked with proficiency level is the number of years learners dedicate to studying a second or foreign language and how this correlates with their academic level (undergraduate, postgraduate, etc.). In previous research (Bialystok, 1981; Chamot et al., 1987; Politzer, 1983; Tyacke & Mendelsohn, 1986), it was supported that a greater number of, and more sophisticated, strategies are employed by students learning a foreign language for a longer period. Furthermore, in a study involving university students studying English as a foreign language (Oxford & Nyikos, 1989), it was found that the students who learned English for a longer period, and were therefore considered more experienced language learners, showed a greater use of strategies for ‘functional practice’ and ‘conversational input elicitation’. Years of study also proved to have significant impact in Gavriilidou & Petrogiannis’ study (2016). The authors found that, compared with students attending secondary schools in Greece and thus learning GFL for more years, students of elementary schools demonstrated higher mean scores in all six types of language learning strategy. This result seems to be at variance with the previous research on the impact of age or educational level on language learning strategy use cited above. This incongruence in results may be attributed to the fact that the effect of age on language learning strategies interrelates with other factors such as level

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of proficiency, culture, beliefs or attitudes in a rather complex manner. Furthermore, as far as the Greek context is concerned, Mitits (2015) maintains that students attending secondary school in Greece achieve their EFL related goals by the age of 13 or 14 (when they are usually examined for the B2 level certificate in English) and subsequently tend to lose interest in English as a school subject. Surprisingly, however, a search of the literature has brought into light a scarcity of comparative studies investigating language learning strategy use among undergraduate and postgraduate students. Taking into consideration the data on the effect of proficiency and the years of study on strategy use, it would seem reasonable to expect differences in strategy use in accordance with academic level (undergraduate vs. postgraduate). Entering a postgraduate course is a commitment to more intensive studying and greater focusing on achieving learning outcomes. Thus, we could expect that, as they begin postgraduate studies, as they mature and take more responsibility for their learning, students are more likely to use a larger number of, and more elaborated, language learning strategies. 2.5 Knowledge of a third language

There is little evidence of a relation between bilingual learners (those who use at least two languages in their daily communication) and/or plurilingual learners (those who speak/study at least two foreign languages) and LLS. Earlier research (Klein, 1995; Thomas, 1988; Zobl, 1992) suggested that bilinguals have an advantage, particularly in terms of employing advanced metacognitive and cognitive skills, lexical knowledge, and a less conservative approach to learning (Wharton, 2000). A study that provided evidence for the increased metalinguistic awareness by multilinguals was conducted by Jessner (1999), who investigated how previous linguistic knowledge can guide learners while developing a third linguistic system. Other studies of multilingual learners (e.g. Cenoz, 2001; De Angelis, 2007; Dewaele, 1998) have come to similar conclusions. Kemp (2007) reported that the number and the frequency of grammar strategies used by participants, as well as the number of grammar learning strategies that they reported using, were proportional to the number of languages they knew. Psaltou-Joycey and Kantaridou (2009a) investigated the possible relations between degrees of plurilingualism and strategy use. The results of the study indicated that the trilingual students used more strategies more frequently than bilinguals, especially those strategies that promoted metalinguistic awareness, and that more advanced trilinguals made more frequent use of strategies, which mainly belonged to the cognitive and metacognitive categories. Sung (2011) investigated the influence of the number of

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foreign languages studied on the frequency of the strategy categories used and found a positive correlation. Participants who had previously studied one foreign language used cognitive, metacognitive, affective and social strategies less frequently than those who had studied two or more languages. Finally, Mitits’ comparative study (2015), which investigated differences between monolingual and multilingual learners learning EFL, found a significant positive correlation between multilingualism and the frequency and selection of learning strategies. 2.6 The Russian context: The language program at the Byzantine and modern Greek philology departments at Lomonosov and St Petersburg State universities

The Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology of the University of Lomonosov was founded in 1995, initially as part of the Department of Classical Studies of the Faculty of Philology at Lomonosov University, where modern Greek language has been taught since 1960. The establishment of the new department addressed the pressing demands of the labor market (break-up of the USSR and subsequent expansion of economic, religious and other relations) as well as the absence of a relevant specialization in the educational system and lack of scientific research in Russian tertiary education (Tresorukova, 2018). The courses included in the curriculum focus on the Greek civilization from ancient times to the present. The mandatory subjects include the study of ancient Greek (6 hours per week for the first three years of studies) and the study of modern Greek (on average 6 hours per week throughout the whole duration of studies). At the beginner’s level, modern Greek is taught as a foreign language, using teaching methods written exclusively in Greek and published in Greece. At middle and advanced level, textbooks of Greek secondary education are introduced, aiming at a wider scope of study (Tresorukova, 2018). The program aims at the acquisition of modern Greek at an advanced level (C2 level, in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference), in order to provide graduates with adequate skills for employment opportunities, which require knowledge of the Greek language. The distinctive feature of the teaching of modern Greek lies in the fact that it is studied as a foreign language, along with the study of its grammar and syntax, only in the first two years of studies, whereas from the third year onwards the material used is intended for students learning modern Greek as a mother tongue, with all the respective aspects and potential difficulties this entails (Tresorukova, 2018). The study of foreign languages is mandatory throughout the curriculum, and depends on the scientific as well as the geographical focus of the course being taken: Latin is studied for two years (4 hours per week), aiming at the development of reading and translation skills of

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original texts of Roman literature as well as commentary on Byzantine texts. German as a foreign language is introduced in the second year (4 hours per week for four semesters). The study of the Italian language starts in the third year (4 hours per week for four semesters). French and Bulgarian (or any other Balkan language) are mandatory in the first year of postgraduate studies (4 hours per week for four semesters per language). English is not included in the curriculum as, according to statistics, the majority of students have studied it at school (levels B1-B2). The objective of foreign language study is to enable the students and graduates to read and understand the reference texts that are relevant to their studies and to participate in symposia and conferences according to their scientific interests. The Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of the Faculty of Philology of St Petersburg State University, was established in 1995 and it was the first department of modern Greek philology in the former USSR. First-year students attend an intensive course on ancient Greek (14 hours per week). In the second year, there is an equally intensive course on modern Greek, where – among other things – students memorize literary passages of high aesthetic value, while at the same time they study the evolution of the Greek language from late antiquity to the medieval Byzantine era. The department’s curriculum also includes courses on Slavonic ecclesiastical language, lectures on Greek history, the history of Greek language, modern Greek dialectology, and Greek literature (Eloeva et al., 2018). What is common to both academic departments is that they employ the same instructional techniques, engage students in activities that prioritize memorization, emphasize metalanguage use and structural teaching of grammar, adopt submersion methods in foreign language teaching and do not promote active learning or academic skills. 2.7 Aims and hypotheses

The main aim of the study was to investigate the LLS of Russian GFL learners. First, the strategic profile of Russian students learning Greek was analyzed, overall and by strategy category. In the light of previous studies on LLS use (e.g. Gavriilidou & Petrogiannis, 2016), the participants in our study were presumed to report medium LLS use. Our second aim was to examine motivation related differences in the participants’ LLS use when learning Greek. More highly motivated learners were expected to achieve better results. Our third aim was to analyze the effects of self-reported proficiency, years of study, academic level and knowledge of a third language, on strategy use of Russian L1 students learning GFL. It was expected that multilingual, postgraduate students with higher levels of proficiency, studying Greek for a longer period of time, would report a higher LLS use.

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Our final aim was to investigate whether there were any differences in strategy use between students at the two universities. Given that similarities in the teaching methods and curricula (as is the case with the two Russian universities) are frequently reported to result in the choice of similar LLS of different groups (Oxford, 1990; Politzer, 1983), no statistically significant differences in LLS use were expected between the two university groups. 3 Methods 3.1 Participants

Ninety-six Russian students of Byzantine and modern Greek philology, ranging from 18 to 24 years of age, participated in the study. Thirty-two of them were learning Greek at the Moscow State University of Lomonosov in Moscow (N = 32) and 64 were learning Greek at the State University of St Petersburg (N = 64). Eighty of the participants were female (N = 80) and 12 were male (N = 12). Finally, 49 were undergraduate students, while 47 were postgraduate. 3.2 Instrumentation

The instrument used to collect data was the adapted and shortened Greek version of SILL (Petrogiannis & Gavriilidou, 2015) after being adapted for Russian students learning Greek. It had three parts: Part A consisted of 29 items designed to capture the students’ strategy use for FL learning. They described a wide range of strategies that students are expected to use in the Greek educational context: (1) memory (4 items), (2) cognitive (7 items), (3) compensation (3 items), (4) metacognitive (7 items), (5) affective (3 items) and (6) social (5 items). Respondents were asked to indicate how often they used each of the strategies listed, using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (Never or almost never) to 5 (Always or almost always). Parts B and C included questions concerning demographic information, the student’s perceived proficiency level in relation to their classmates (5-point, from low to very good), their motivation to learn Greek in terms of perceived importance of the language (3-point, not so important to very important) and their reasons for learning the language (16 items and an open question). Students’ motivation and proficiency were calculated based on their respective answers in Parts C and B. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the overall instrument was .78, suggesting a good degree of internal consistency. The value of the alpha coefficient (i) for memory strategies was .56; (ii) for cognitive strategies was .71; (iii) for compensation strategies .43; (iv) for metacognitive strategies .83; (v) for affective strategies .52; and (vi) for social strategies .70.

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Descriptive statistics were used for investigating the strategic profile of Russian students learning GFL. Five different one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) were used to investigate the effects of motivation, years of study, academic level, proficiency, knowledge of a third language, place of study, on strategy use. ‘Within-variable’ differences were checked using the post-hoc Bonferroni test. Results were considered statistically significant at the .005 level. For ease of analysis and in consonance with Oxford (1990), the five original ratings were collapsed into three categories, with a mean score of more than 3.5 on all the SILL items indicating ‘high use’ of a given strategy, 2.5-3.4 indicating ‘medium use’ and less than 2.4 indicating ‘low use’ of a strategy. To calculate the cut-off of each category, the median, i.e. the number that was exactly in the middle of the data, at the same distance from the highest and lowest value in the dataset, was calculated according to the formula: (highest point in Likert scale minus lowest point in Likert scale)/the number of the levels used. We also confirmed that the cut-off points of 2.5 and 3.5 are very close to the empirical first and third quartiles of the data for each LLS respectively. 4 Results 4.1 Descriptives

The mean frequency of overall strategy use for the whole sample was found to reflect ‘medium use’ of strategies (M = 3.41, SD = .38). The means for memory (M = 3.59, SD = .52), compensation (M = 3.84, SD = .63) and metacognitive strategies (M = 3.59, SD = .53) fell within the range of ‘high use’, while cognitive (M = 3.12, SD = .72), affective (M = 3.13, SD = .81) and social strategies (M = 3.18, SD = .38) reflected the ‘medium frequency range’. 4.2 Motivation

One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that mean scores of students with high motivation, reporting ‘very important to learn Greek’, outscored students reporting ‘simply important’ to learn Greek in overall strategy use (F = 24.23; p < .001) as well as in cognitive (F = 27.93; p < .001), metacognitive (F = 13.13; p < .001) and social strategies (F = 40.36, p < .001). Descriptive statistics for motivation are presented in Table 10.1. 4.3 Years of study

One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that mean scores in memory (F = 4.46; p < .001), cognitive (F = 11.12; p < .001),

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Table 10.1  Means (SD) for strategy use according to motivation Motivation: Mean (SD) Strategies

Important (SD)

Very Important (SD)



3.62 (.47)

3.55 (.54)



2.60 (.59)

3.39 (.69)



4.02 (.67)

3.89 (.47)



3.30 (.60)

3.70 (.44)



3.00 (.66)

3.21 (.91)



2.48 (.64)

3.49 (.74)



3.17 (.36)

3.56 (.34)


Table 10.2  Means (SD) for strategy use according to years of study Years of study: Mean (SD) Postgraduate 1

Postgraduate 2


3.92 (.52) 3.37 (.62) 3.14 (.35) 3.62 (.67)

3.60 (.37)

3.75 (.50)


3.24 (.69) 3.32 (.81) 3.28 (.99) 3.50 (.03)

2.67 (.83)

4.33 (.18)



3.84 (.73) 3.77 (.47) 3.50 (.45) 3.61 (.63)

4.04 (.67)

3.57 (.40)



3.62 (.26) 3.69 (.56) 3.77 (.67) 4.12 (.11)

3.40 (.10)

3.57 (.20)



3.22 (.48) 3.31 (.80) 4.12 (.48) 2.95 (.68)

2.82 (.82)

3.00 (.66)



3.59 (.50) 2.82 (.73) 3.58 (.53) 3.51 (.50)

2.88 (.93)

3.54 (.90)



3.57 (.27) 3.37 (.22) 3.60 (.21) 3.54 (.12)

3.23 (.46)

3.66 (.24)



1st Year

Memory Cognitive

2nd Year

3rd Year

4th Year

metacognitive (F = 3.13, p < .005), affective (F = 6.10; p < .001) and social strategies categories (F = 3.80; p < .005) present statistically significant differences according to years of study. Descriptive data for years of study are presented in Table 10.2. The Bonferroni post-hoc test showed the following significant differences. In memory strategies, students attending the first year of studies reported using significantly more memory strategies than students attending the third year (MD = .79; p < .001). In cognitive strategies, second-year postgraduate students reported using significantly more cognitive strategies than their first-year counterparts (MD = .1.83; p < .001). Finally, in affective strategies, third-year students reported using more affective strategies than first-year postgraduate students (MD = 1.30; p < .001). 4.4 Academic level

One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that mean scores in overall strategy use (F = 9.36; p < .003) and metacognitive (F = 9.57,

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Table 10.3  Means (SD) for strategy use according to academic level Level of studies: Mean (SD) Strategies

Undergraduate (SD)

Postgraduate (SD)



3.55 (.61)

3.62 (.39)



3.31 (.27)

2.90 (.97)



3.71 (.59)

3.97 (.66)



3.75 (.38)

3.43 (.60)



3.41 (.72)

2.84 (.80)



3.38 (.65)

2.98 (.95)



3.52 (.24)

3.29 (.46)