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Learner application of strategies in a strategies-focused ESL listening curriculum

Johnson Jr., Jeffrey P. (2003) Learner application of strategies in a strategies-focused ESL listening curriculum. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis presents a study of language learning strategy use in a working ESL listening curriculum that incorporates explicit strategy training. The main goal of this study was to investigate listening strategy use in a regular classroom setting as opposed to a controlled experiment. Thus, strategy training was not prescribed as a treatment for experimental purposes, but rather already existed as part of the normal classroom routine. Specifically, this study sought to answer: 1) whether students would use those strategies they learned about; 2) whether there would be a difference in frequency of strategy use between authentic texts and those created specifically for language instruction; 3) whether those who typically use strategies would perceive them to be easier than those who didn't; and 4) whether those who typically use strategies would perform better on listening comprehension exercises. Participants were those students who the host institution placed in two sections of its high-intermediate ESL listening course, and as such constituted a naturally occurring classroom group. Data on learning strategy use was elicited through written retrospective reports students wrote in six three-question surveys that accompanied classroom listening exercises. Key findings were that learners do not consistently report that they use those strategies for which they receive explicit training; learners do not report the use of social and affective strategies; students report significantly less strategy use on authentic exercises than they do on exercises from the course materials; those who typically use strategies found exercises to be easier, overall, than those who didn't typically use them; and that there was no reliable relationship between strategy use and performance on multiple choice comprehension questions. The study confirms Donato & McCormick's (1994) claim that instruction in "encapsulated" strategies will not necessarily lead to strategy use and concludes that literature on language learning strategies tends to neglect the external variables such as input complexity and social context that inherently exist in a natural classroom language learning setting.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Johnson Jr., Jeffrey P.jpj16@pitt.eduJPJ16
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJuffs, Alanjuffs@pitt.eduJUFFS
Committee MemberMcCormick, Dawn Emccormic@pitt.eduMCCORMIC
Committee MemberMasullo, Pascualpascual@pitt.eduPASCUAL
Date: 25 September 2003
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 23 April 2003
Approval Date: 25 September 2003
Submission Date: 24 April 2003
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: applied linguistics; english as a second language; language learning strategies; listening; second language learning
Other ID:, etd-04242003-184502
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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