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Teaching strategy use for oral communication tasks to ESL learners

By Wendy Yuen-Kwan Lam

Abstract

This thesis investigates the effects of strategy training on ESL learners' strategy use and performance on oral communication tasks. Research into the teaching and learning of speaking in the ESL context is relatively neglected and strategy training is unheard of in very many L2 oral classrooms. A review of strategy research pertaining to the speaking skill has identified unresolved issues, leaving many unanswered questions.\ud \ud To address these issues, this study has adopted a quasi-experimental design and an interventionist study has been implemented in the junior ESL classroom in Hong Kong.\ud The study has identified two major categories of strategies (i. e. direct and indirect) for learners' use in group discussion tasks. Three intact groups were involved in the\ud intervention: one received training in the use of direct strategies, one in indirect strategies, and one had no strategy instruction. A multi-method approach (i. e. task ratings, questionnaires, observations and stimulated recall interviews) has been used to assess the impact of the intervention on students' strategy use and task performance.\ud \ud The findings show that that it may be useful to teach ESL students in the use of direct and indirect strategies for oral communications tasks. Direct strategy use may be related to language improvement whereas indirect strategy use may be related to task effectiveness and language improvement. It may be desirable to help low-proficiency students to develop strategic competence to compensate for their lack of linguistic competence. Last but not least, it may be desirable to adopt a systematic, eclectic approach to assessing the impact of strategy training and to incorporate the stimulated recall methodology to the\ud teaching and research of the speaking skill as a unique avenue to students' thoughts and learning processes

Publisher: School of Education (Leeds)
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:829

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