The Impact of Teaching Methods on Language Learning Strategies Employed by Learners in a Foreign Language Context
Language learning strategies (LLS) have been the focus of research since the mid-1970s up to the present; however, teaching them has not received the same attention. The present study is an attempt to bridge this gap by investigating how they could be taught. The overall aim of the study is to investigate the frequency of LLS and the impact of teaching methods on students' choices of their strategies. It also highlights the role of English proficiency level in choosing the LLS. A total of 140 students, 70 as a treatment group and 70 as a control group, and ten teachers from the University of Nizwa participated in this study which used a mixed methods approach. The researcher conducted a questionnaire to find out the frequency use of LLS employed by the university students and follow up interviews were done with teachers and learners to probe the perceptions of teachers and students of LLS and to find out the impact of teaching methods on students' choices. Students' diaries and the researcher's own observations were used to collect the data and to complement other tools. The collected data were analyzed qualitatively by the Grounded Theory approach and quantitatively via descriptive statistics, independent-sample-t-test, and one-way ANOVA. According to the findings, the students participated in the study were 'medium' users of strategies and that the teaching methods have a significant impact on the LLS which can be taught within cognitive and sociocultural theories, based on a clearly designed model. The study also showed that language proficiency has a correlation with the choice of learning strategies. Students' dairies and interviews illustrated that they benefited from the group work, the scaffolding received and from the learning strategies instruction. Moreover, teachers who participated in the study showed positive attitudes towards LLS. Practical recommendations and suggestions for future research are also made.
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