Effects of English Language Proficiency on the Choice of Language Learning Strategies by Saudi English-major Undergraduates

Choudhary Z. Javid, Turki S. Al-thubaiti, Awwadh Uthman


It is reported that language learning is a creative and dynamic process and the learners are active partners in this process. This trend in language teaching motivated the researchers to investigate the learners' individual differences and the identification of language learning strategies (LLS) has become a major area of interest in this regard because it is suggested that language learners consciously or unconsciously employ different LLS. This research study investigated LLS used by Saudi English-major undergraduates by using SILL version7. Paired Samples t-test was applied to see if significant differences exist as a result of their GPA differences. The informants of this study were 240 English-major undergraduates (low GPA, 106 & high GPA, 134) enrolled at foreign languages department Taif university. Results reported that the participants with high English language proficiency use language learning strategies more frequently. The participants ranked the metacognitive strategies the highest as compared to other LLS followed by social and cognitive LLS respectively. Among the remaining three categories of LLS, compensation and affective strategies showed mixed preferences but memory strategies were assigned the least mean values by both sample groups. Considering the fact that frequency of LLS usage and English language proficiency are positively linked to each other, it is concluded that it seems necessary to teach language learning strategies explicitly so that even the weaker students should be able to enhance English language proficiency by exploiting a wide range of suitable strategies that are appropriate to different classroom activities and learners' L2 experience.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v6n1p35

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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