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Title: How do they communicate? : a comparative study of the communication strategies in English of some Malaysian and British university undergraduates
Author: Ibrahim, Rohani
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 7611
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1990
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This dissertation concerns aspects of Communication Strategies in the interim speech of second language learners. Communication strategies can be defined as attempts made by inventive learners to circumvent their linguistic inadequacies in the language they are learning when their limited command of target language structures makes it difficult for them to say what they mean. This study is innovative in that it uses both controlled elicitation tasks and uncontrolled, spontaneous natural speech of learners of English. The study is based on 15 hours of video-taped recordings of the communicative sessions of 150 Malaysian subjects at the University of Malaya, Malaysia, covering three proficiency levels -- Poor, Intermediate and Fluent groups of English learners at the university. These video-taped sessions are comprised of communication activities where the language that is generated is for the communication of ideas and the exchange of real information rather than for the performance of structured drills. Hence the data has most of the attributes of authentic natural speech. Analysis of the CSs is based on relevant parts of the taped data containing instances of strategic behaviour, which were transcribed along with any significant contextual information. Linguistic, contextual and pausological (hesitation and pause phenomenon to indicate communicative difficulties) clues are used to locate and identify strategic behaviour. The strategies are analysed and classified according to viable taxonomic criteria. They are then compared across proficiency levels in terms of their range, frequency of occurrence, and popularity. A rating coeffficient showing quantity of language produced as a function of time is worked out to ensure the comparability of the data across the three proficiency levels. The findings of the study appear to support some of the conclusions of earlier studies that used elicited data of a more restricted nature. However, there are also areas of differences. Some new communication strategies have been identified, a revised version of some earlier taxonomies has been proposed, and some important pedagogic implications of some level trends in strategy use have been suggested. Apart from investigating the possibility of including CS in the instruction and practice of L2, the findings of this study contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of the second language acquisition process, the effective utilization of strategic behaviour in second language pedagogy, the role of strategic competence in communicative competence, the interrelation of the linguistic and communicative abilities of the Malaysian learners of English and finally, the comparison of native speakers and non-native speakers' use of the Communication Strategies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available