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Xiaoyu Pei PhD Defense: 'Language Learning Strategies Used by Higher Level Students in Target Language Learning Environment and EFL/Foreign Language Environment'

Committee: Mark James (chair), Elly van Gelderen, and Aya Matsuda.  ::  ABSTRACT: Language learning strategy (LLS) has been long considered as one of the most important variables which impact language performance. Learning context, as a major effect on strategy choices, has not been paid much attention compared to other individual variables in LLS research. For the purpose of highlighting contextual influence in LLS research, the present study investigated LLSs used by higher level students in target language environment (TLE) and EFL/foreign language environment (E/FLE). In order to achieve the goals, a total of 44 enrolled doctoral students (19 in the United State and 25 in China) were recruited as participants. A background survey, a questionnaire - Language Strategy Use Inventory (the LSUI), and semi-structured interviews were deployed to gather data. The findings first showed that higher level students used a wide repertoire of LLSs to facilitate their language learning in each learning environment. Second, the findings identified specific contextual factors which influence the LLS use of higher level students within each learning environment, which included access to target language, participation in an academic environment, access to target language learning sources, experience as a teaching associate/research assistant, exposure to diverse accents and dialects of the target language, lack of feedback on errors, experience in target language classes, and beliefs about social reaction to learning the target language. Third, the findings also showed that students reported some specific LLSs to be most useful in each learning environment. In addition, pedagogical implications were offered.

Attend via Zoom:

Sheila Luna
Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, 12 p.m.