Language Learning Strategy Use and Instruction for the Iranian Junior High School EFL Learners: A Mixed Methods Approach

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

Shiraz University

Abstract

In order to confirm the effectiveness of language learning strategies in the
Iranian context in junior high schools, this study was designed to examine the
patterns of strategy use, the effects of strategy instruction on the students’ strategy
use, and the relationship between the participants’ strategy use and their English
achievement. To achieve this objective, 57 junior high school participants studying
in 2 intact classes of the same school took part in the study. Each class was
randomly assigned to either the control or experimental groups. The experimental
group received instruction on using strategies which were related to vocabulary and
grammar and were considered to be appropriate for their level. Due to practicality
reasons only 6 strategies were selected form Oxford’s taxonomy (1990). Gunning’s
Children’s SILL (1997, adapted from Oxford, 1990) was applied before and after
strategy instruction. An EFL teacher-made achievement test was also conducted
after the treatment. The results revealed that affective category was the most used
category by the learners, followed by metacognitive, compensatory, memory, and
social categories. Also, the cognitive category was the least used category. The
difference between the control and experimental groups in terms of strategy use
appeared to be significant, indicating the effectiveness of strategy instruction. The
results also showed a significant positive relationship between the participants’
strategy use and achievement.

Keywords