Tapping ESL learners' problems and strategies in oral communication tasks: Insights from stimulated recall

Yuen Kwan Wendy LAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Understanding English as a Second Language (ESL) learners' problems and strategy use for oral communication tasks is important in order to help learners in oral language development. Nonetheless, these problems and strategies are normally inaccessible to the teachers, as learners' thought processes are hidden in the 'black box of their minds. This renders it difficult to help learners develop second language (L2) oral skills. This paper reports on findings from a study that attempted to employ stimulated recall (SR) as a research method to tap the learners' thoughts in action when they were trying to cope with L2 group discussions. An analysis of the mental processes of two students was conducted. It was found that the students reported using different strategies to resolve the problems of 'what to say' and 'how to say it' during on line speech processing. In addition, the more articulate learner could identify metacognirive strategies fur planning ideas and monitoring group interaction. This paper argues that SR may be an appropriate and effective means to investigate learners' problems and strategies for L2 oral tasks. SR may also be usefully incorporated into the teaching of oral skills,whereby the teacher can explore learner strategies. Copyright © 2007 Macquarie University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-71
JournalProspect
Volume22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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communication
language
say
planning conception
group interaction
teacher
group discussion
research method
student
monitoring
Teaching

Citation

Lam, W. Y. K. (2007). Tapping ESL learners' problems and strategies in oral communication tasks: Insights from stimulated recall. Prospect, 22(1), 56-71.