EFL learners in Vietnam: an investigation of writing strategies

Nguyen, Thi Ngoc
Bitchener, John
Turner, Elizabeth
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Master of Arts in Applied Language Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

Research into second language strategies has started as a result of the shift of focus, from teachers and teaching to learners and learning which has taken place in the field of education over the last few decades. Strategies used by good language learners have been revealed, strategies used by successful and less successful language learners have been compared, and factors influencing the use of learning strategies have also been investigated. As an attempt to contribute to gaining more insights into language learning strategy, this research aims to investigate the writing strategies used by successful and less successful English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learners and the relationship between strategy use and the learners’ success. A multi-method approach combining both qualitative and quantitative approaches was used to answer the research questions. This approach was achieved by means of method triangulation which consisted of structured questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and learning diaries. Nine female adult native Vietnamese students, who were in their second year of a four-year Bachelor program at Hanoi University in Vietnam, participated in the study. Questionnaires were administered at the beginning of the data collection phase. Guidelines for diary writing were then provided to the participants. Semi-structured interviews which served as the primary method of data collection were finally conducted with each of the participants. Findings from the study showed that the successful writers not only used strategies more frequently but also used more metacognitive, memory, compensation, and cognitive strategies than the less successful writers. The study also found some strategies which were most and least frequently used by both the successful and less successful writers.

Learning strategies , Writing strategies , EFL context , SLA , Small scale study , Mixed method
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