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Developing Strategic Competence through Task-Based Language Teaching: A Comparison of Implicit and Explicit Instruction

Alahmed, Khalid (2017) Developing Strategic Competence through Task-Based Language Teaching: A Comparison of Implicit and Explicit Instruction. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Speakers, native and non-native alike, frequently encounter difficulties expressing their intended meaning or attaining a desired communicative goal. To overcome such communication difficulties and achieve the desired communicative goal, speakers employ a variety of Communication Strategies (CSs). For example, circumlocution, clarification requests, gestures, conversation gambits and hesitation devices. Learners who successfully achieve their communication goals through the use of CSs are said to be strategically competent. Research has established that CSs can be effectively taught through explicit instruction. However, the impact of implicit instruction on the development of CSs has not been investigated to date. It is believed that implicit instruction may outperform explicit instruction in enabling learners to acquire the procedural knowledge which is the final step on the learning continuum. The acquired implicit knowledge can be accessed in time pressure situations, stored in mind, retained for longer periods and used more automatically. This study set out to assess the differential impact of explicit and implicit instruction on the use of CSs among pre-intermediate Arabic learners of English as a second language. The total number of learners was fifty-two learners enrolled in two English language centres in the United Kingdom. The learners in each centre were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: implicit instruction (n=18), explicit instruction (n=18), and no instruction (n=16). Both implicit and explicit conditions received strategy instruction in a TBLT format. In the implicit condition, learners were exposed to video examples of two speakers doing similar tasks but no instruction focusing on CSs was provided. In explicit instruction, learners were exposed to the same video examples and instruction focusing on CSs was provided. The third condition served as a control group which was only exposed to pre- and post-tests. Development of CSs was measured through observation of task completion, followed by stimulated recall interviews and completion of a self-report questionnaire. The results suggest that both explicit and implicit strategy instruction has a positive impact on developing participants’ use of CSs and on supporting task completion. The results showed that explicit instruction was beneficial for developing meaning-negotiation, positive self-solving, non-verbal and time-gaining CSs, whereas implicit instruction showed to be effective for developing positive self-solving and time-gaining CSs. Further, learners who received implicit instruction made greater gains in the use of meaning-negotiation strategies from pre-test to delayed post-test than learners who received explicit instruction.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.739940
Depositing User: Mr Khalid Alahmed
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 16:15
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20205

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