EURASIAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED LINGUISTICS

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Investigating Second Language Learning Strategies using Think Aloud Protocols: Evidence from Jordanian EFL Learners

Alaa Al-Maani
Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages. Al al-Bayt University. Mafraq. Jordan
Bara'ah AlAbabneh
Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages. Al al-Bayt University. Mafraq. Jordan
Bassil Mashaqba
Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts. The Hashemite University. Zarqa. Jordan
Anas Huneety
Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts. The Hashemite University. Zarqa. Jordan
Keywords: Language Learning Strategies, Proficiency Levels, Think-Aloud Protocols. ,

Abstract

Language learning strategies (is more) assist learners to develop cognitive or behavioral competences to make the language learning process more self-directed and effective. In the current educational contexts, think-aloud methods are used to provide insights into the cognitive processes of individuals as they engage in enhancement of skills and tasks or problem-solving activities. This study aimed at identifying the type and frequency of LLSs used by intermediate and advanced Jordanian EFL learners and investigating whether there were any qualitative differences in the behaviour of participants while using think-aloud protocols in completing their tasks. A qualitative research design was followed, by sampling 70 senior university students of Al al-Bayt University, Jordan. The Oxford Quick Placement Test was used to further classify them into intermediate (36 students) and advanced (34 students) groups. For major tasks of the study, 20 students were randomly selected from each of these two groups. These groups were assigned think-aloud tasks in reading, writing and listening to investigate the LLSs they used. The results revealed a diverse range of LLSs employed by the participants across various tasks, except for social strategies, as the tasks did not involve any social interaction or communication. It was also revealed that participants were active strategic learners and were aware of their cognitive processes. The study would help EFL learners in general, and Jordanian ones in particular, gain a deeper insight into the actual use of LLSs when dealing with language tasks, which can make a positive impact on their performance.