A Case Study of Seven Taiwanese English as a Foreign Language Freshman Non-English Majors’ Perceptions about Learning Five Communication Strategies
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The purpose of this study was to identify what were Taiwanese University English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ perceptions about learning communication strategies. This study collected qualitative data about students’ beliefs and attitudes as they learned communication strategies. The research question guiding the study was: What are Taiwanese University EFL learners’ perceptions about learning communication strategies? Twenty-four university students were trained for 10 weeks to use strategies in Faerch and Kasper’s (1983a) taxonomy, and seven volunteers were interviewed. None of the students majored in English but were enrolled in a required Basic English course in a Freshman English Non-Majors’ (FENM) program in Agriculture College at Tunghai University. In the middle and at the end of the training period, participants were interviewed and videotaped for 90 minutes. The results were displayed clearly with details in Chapter four. In Chapter five, significant themes associated with topic avoidance (1.), message abandonment (2.), meaning replacement (3.), interlanguage (4.), and cooperation (5.) strategies, mentioned by seven participants were revealed through the constant method of analysis. They were comprehension, politeness, intentionality, native language, face-saving (losing-face), interlanguage system, time-saving, and keywords. Chapter six includes a summary of this study, further discussions for the important issues mentioned by previous studies of this field and by participants of this research, and at the end, several important issues recommended as topics for further studies. The issues suggested to readers for future researches were variables in the learners and trainers, students’ acceptance level of non-native like language, training pedagogies, the relationship between English proficiency and using strategy, the correlation between gender and strategy, communication strategy in a working situation, and examples through the interlanguage strategy.
About the Author
Grace Hui Chin Lin holds a Master of Science Degree in TESOL from University of Southern California and a Philosophy Doctoral Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A&M University, College Station. Dr. Lin's research and teaching interests are English as Second/Foreign/International Language, Multicultural Studies, and Sociolinguistics.