A Closer Look at Learning Strategies, L2 Proficiency, and Gender

Topics: Second language acquisition, Language acquisition, English language Pages: 50 (14677 words) Published: December 10, 2010
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL)

A Closer Look at Learning Strategies, L2 Proficiency, and Gender Author(s): John M. Green and Rebecca Oxford Source: TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Summer, 1995), pp. 261-297 Published by: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3587625 Accessed: 03/07/2010 01:44 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=tesol. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

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Vol. TESOLQUARTERLY 29, No. 2, Summer1995

A CloserLook at Learning Strategies, L2 Proficiency,and Gender JOHN M. GREEN SalemStateCollege REBECCA OXFORD of University Alabama

This study builds on previous research using the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). Most previous SILL research has made comparisons across the entire survey or in terms of strategy categories and has stressed proficiency level at the expense of other variables.The present largescale (N= 374) study of language learning strategy use by students at three different course levels at the University of Puerto Rico relates strategy use to gender as well as to L2 proficiency level and includes analysis of variation in the use of individual strategies on the SILL. Like previous researchers, we found greater use of learning strategies among more successful learners and higher levels of strategy use by women than by men. Our analysis, however, revealed more complex patterns of use than have appeared in previous studies. With both proficiency level and gender, only some items showed significant variation,and significant variation by proficiency level did not invariably mean more frequent strategy use by more successful students. The strategies reported as used more often by the more successful students emphasized active, naturalistic practice and were used in combination with a variety of what we term bedrock strategies,which were used frequently or moderately frequently by learners at all levels. The study's generalizability and its implications for teachers and researchers are discussed.

relationship of the use of language learning strategies to success in mastering a second or foreign language, as well as to gender and other variables, has been the focus of a growing body of research over the past decade. Much of the quantitative strategy research, however, has had the strengths and limitations of an aerial photograph: It shows prominent features of the landscape but only gives hints as to what the trees and buildings in the picture would look like up close. This is because most quantitative studies comparing The 261

strategy use by different groups of students have tended to pay more attention to overall strategy use or to the use of broad categories of strategies than to...
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