Sarah Khan, Mia Victori
April 7, 2011
This study sought to explore differences in strategy use across three oral communication tasks. Twenty-two intermediate level university students carried out three tasks in pairs at three different time periods. After each task, which varied in terms of cognitive, interactional and learner factors (Robinson, International Review of Applied Linguistics 43: 1–32, 2005), they filled in a 37-item strategy questionnaire. Factor analysis grouped strategies into four categories: ‘evaluating and affective’, ‘conversation-flow maintenance’, ‘compensation’ and ‘planning and overmonitoring’. Significant differences were only found for compensation strategies and a few individual strategies across the three tasks. In a qualitative analysis of four case studies, reported strategy use on the questionnaires was compared to strategy use observed in the task performances and stimulated recall sessions. 86% of the strategies reported were confirmed in this way. As for the extent of strategy use reported on the questionnaires, there were consistencies (41%) and discrepancies (38%) with the qualitative data, as well as 21% strategies which were not confirmed. Implications for both research and pedagogy are discussed in light of the results.