Communicating and learning strategies in English as a foreign language with particular reference to the Greek learner of English
The aim of the research reported in this thesis is to investigate the 'ways and means' that non-native speakers (and in particular, Greek learners of English) as well as native speakers of English make use of to communicate and solve problems of unhearings, mishearings, misunderstandings and lack of shared knowledge as they negotiate meanings in order to do a problem solving task. A number of taped conversations were discoursally analysed. It was found that all participants have used similar communicating/ learning strategies to organize and manage interaction in English. These strategies are distinguished into two categories: the constitutive features and the regulative features of communication. The former are made up of the overall interaction structure strategy, topic development strategy and the minimal communicating strategy. The latter are made up of strategies that regulate interaction organization and management when crises in communication arise. Participants use similar strategies to communicate because the cognitive processes that language users rely on to communicate and learn through language seem to be similar. Actually they seem to be part of the 'knowledge and experience' language users develop when mothers/adults interact with them to help them mature cognitively/perceptually/socially/linguistically in order to become competent members of the society. L2 learners seem to have transferred this 'knowledge and experience' from L1 to L2 communication. The findings suggest that processes and strategies should make up the category of communication universals. They may also lead to 'learn-as-you-communicate' developments in ELT where learners may actively use their knowledge and experience' as processes and strategies to communicate and learn, inside or outside the classroom. Exploitation of processes and strategies may also influence syllabus design, teaching materials, teacher/ learner roles and classroom methodology in an EFL situation in particular.