Is strategic competence teachable?

Yuen Kwan Wendy LAM

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Research into the teaching and learning of speaking in the ESL context is relatively neglected. There have been a few studies only that addressed the need to incorporate the development of strategic competence into the L2 oral classroom (e.g. Cohen 1998; Dornyei 1995; Konishi & Tarone 2004). This paper will report findings from a strategy interventionist study conducted in the secondary English oral classroom in Hong Kong. Based on a psycholinguistic model of speech processing, eight strategies were identified and introduced to the treatment class in the study. A data collection method comprising stimulated recall interviews and observations that aimed to investigate respectively the learning process (i.e. covert thoughts) and the learning product (i.e. overt speech) was employed. A comparison of the findings between the treatment class and the control class which was not exposed to any strategies-based instruction supports the view that not all strategies are equal and that some are more teachable than the others. Specifically, ‘Resourcing’ seems to function as a ‘bedrock strategy’ for young L2 speakers. Moreover, it might be desirable to match the cognitive/linguistic demands of strategy use with the learners’ proficiency level in order to enhance the development of strategic competence.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


Lam, W. (2004, December). Is strategic competence teachable? Paper presented at the International Language in Education Conference 2004: The Way Forward in Language Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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