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ESL learners leading group discussion : an exploratory study Coward, Barbara E. 1990

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ESL LEARNERS LEADING GROUP DISCUSSION: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY by BARBARA E. COWARD B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Language Education We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June, 1990 © Barbara E. Coward, 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of L a n g u a g e E d u c a t i o n The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 D a t e J u n e , 1990 ABSTRACT Recent r e s e a r c h i n second language a c q u i s i t i o n makes a s t r o n g argument f o r the importance of promoting language l e a r n i n g tasks i n the classroom which a l l o w students t o engage i n a u t h e n t i c i n f o r m a t i o n exchange f o r which the main focus i s meaning. The c u r r e n t emphasis on language l e a r n i n g through meaningful use has h i g h l i g h t e d the r o l e of n e g o t i a t i o n of comprehensible i n p u t i n second language l e a r n i n g . T h i s has l e d to a p s y c h o l o l i n g u i s t i c r a t i o n a l e f o r advocating group work i n the classroom. D i s c u s s i o n on a t o p i c a l i s s u e p r o v i d e s a s p e c i f i c and n a t u r a l groupwork ta s k f o r ESL l e a r n e r s t o use language i n a p roblem-solving and decision-making context. As w e l l , t h i s type of t a s k p r o v i d e s a p r o d u c t i v e context i n which t o study the processes of e f f e c t i v e language use and the s t r a t e g i e s of competent language u s e r s . The r e s e a r c h r e p o r t e d here i s e x p l o r a t o r y ; t h i s document r e p o r t s on a case-study of e i g h t a d u l t l e a r n e r s e n r o l l e d i n an E n g l i s h f o r Academic Purposes d i s c u s s i o n course. T h e i r performance i n d i s c u s s i o n l e a d e r s h i p was ranked g l o b a l l y by i n s t r u c t o r and c l a s s peers u s i n g a l e a d e r s h i p c r i t e r i a c h e c k l i s t . These two s u b j e c t i v e rankings c o r r e l a t e d h i g h l y and were used as a c e n t r a l i n d i c a t o r of l e a d e r e f f e c t i v e n e s s . The study i n v e s t i g a t e d the q u e s t i o n : how might we b e t t e r understand a number of v a r i a b l e s which r e l a t e t o these g l o b a l rankings? T h i s was e x p l o r e d through o b j e c t i v e measures of d i s c o u r s e , s e l f - r e p o r t e d l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s , an i n t e g r a t i o n index and a l e a r n i n g s t y l e p r e f e r e n c e i i measure, which were analysed s t a t i s t i c a l l y f o r c o r r e l a t i o n . D i s c o u r s e v a r i a b l e s were measured on data c o l l e c t e d d u r i n g the group d i s c u s s i o n s . S t r a t e g y use, i n t e g r a t i v e m o t i v a t i o n and l e a r n i n g s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y were determined by a n a l y s i n g what the students r e p o r t e d i n a s e m i - s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w . R e s u l t s showed t h a t the g l o b a l r a n k i n g c o r r e l a t e d p o s i t i v e l y w i t h the o b j e c t i v e d i s c o u r s e measures and l e a r n i n g s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y , but not w i t h l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g y use nor w i t h i n t e g r a t i v e m o t i v a t i o n . Q u a l i t a t i v e examination of two hig h a c h i e v e r s was conducted. These two d e t a i l e d cases r e i n f o r c e d some aspects of q u a n t i t a t i v e f i n d i n g s , but a l s o shed l i g h t on p o s s i b l e i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s between h i g h a c h i e v e r s . The f i n d i n g s from both q u a n t i t a t i v e and q u a l i t a t i v e data are r e p o r t e d together w i t h t h e i r i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r f u t u r e work i n t h i s area. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i LIST OF TABLES v i INTRODUCTION 1 A. Background to the research question 1 B. The focus of the research 6 1. LITERATURE REVIEW 10 A. Introduction 10 B. LI research on group process 11 C. Group work and nature of tasks 14 D. The "good language learner" 16 E. Strategy taxonomies i n ESL 22 F. Strategy t r a i n i n g : educational psychology . . . . 25 G. Strategy use i n ESL 27 H. Learner variables: a f f e c t , motivation, culture, learning s t y l e 32 I. Summary 38 2. RESEARCH DESIGN AND PROCEDURES 41 A. Overall design 41 B. Description of students . . 44 C. Classroom context and task 45 D. Key constructs 47 E. Instrumentation and class procedures 58 F. Data processing and analysis 60 G. Summary 61 3. STATISTICAL FINDINGS 62 A. Construction of global ranking and objective discourse measure 62 B. Results and research questions 65 C. Summary 67 4. QUALITATIVE FINDINGS 70 A. Introduction 70 B. P r o f i l e s of students 72 C. Global rankings : positive c o r r e l a t i o n 74 D. Global ranking and discourse measures: po s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n 76 E. Global ranking and learning strategies : no c o r r e l a t i o n 87 F. Integration with culture : no c o r r e l a t i o n ; learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y : positive trend 94 G. The "X" variable : resourcefulness 96 H. Summary 98 i v 5. DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY . . 99 A. Processes of e f f e c t i v e language use 100 B. Strategies of competent language users 102 C. Learner factors 105 D. Limitations of the study I l l E. Summary 118 6. CONCLUSION 120 BIBLIOGRAPHY 126 APPENDIX A - LEADERSHIP TASKS 135 APPENDIX B - LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES 136 APPENDIX C - SPEAKING IN GROUPS 138 APPENDIX D - DISCUSSION GAMBITS 139 APPENDIX E - TRANSCRIPT . 144 APPENDIX F - LEARNING STRATEGY DEFINITIONS 145 APPENDIX G - STUDENT INTERVIEW 147 v LIST OF TABLES I. Student Characteristics 45 I I . Summary of Correlations 69 I I I . Two leaders : Discourse measures 76 IV. Two leaders : Learning strategy use .87 V. Two leaders : Integration 94 v i INTRODUCTION Background to the research question The course i n which t h i s study was undertaken formed one component of an English for Academic Purposes program r e l a t i n g second language education concerns, p a r t i c u l a r l y the development of academic o r a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n s k i l l s , to the demands of non-ESL d i s c i p l i n e s . The perspective on group discussion and leadership by communications theory which i s integrated into t h i s course, tends to emphasize broadly defined and applied task requirements, while second language development theory has t r a d i t i o n a l l y examined a variety of discrete language learning factors. It was the researcher's viewpoint that i t was important to explore the possible connections between these two d i f f e r i n g perspectives, as each has much to o f f e r to an understanding of how e f f e c t i v e leaders behave and use language i n group contexts. Recent research i n second language ac q u i s i t i o n (SLA) has focused on the concept of comprehensible input being central i n the language learning process. Studies have examined t a l k between native and non-native speakers (NS-NNS) inside and outside the second-language classroom, and the interlanguage between exclusively non-native speakers i n order to i d e n t i f y ways i n which language i s made more understandable to the learner (Long 1983 , Long and Porter 1985). In addition, group work has long been advocated as a productive a c t i v i t y for second language acq u i s i t i o n . Major pedagogical arguments for 1 i n t e r a c t i v e work include : the increase i n amount of practice, q u a l i t y of student talk , opportunity for i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g i n s t r u c t i o n , improved emotional climate i n the classroom and heightened student motivation (Long and Porter, 207-208). More recently, independent psycholinguistic evidence has emerged for group work as a key classroom strategy for promoting the negotiation of comprehensible input, e s p e c i a l l y i n tasks where learners engage i n an active process to convey meaning and manipulate input. Other researchers have supported the assignment of two-way group-work tasks requiring authentic information exchange and use of problem-solving and decision-making s k i l l s (Doughty and Pica 1986). In summary, an increasingly strong argument i s being made for group work as a promising a c t i v i t y for learners to negotiate meaning, p a r t i c u l a r l y when language tasks are c a r e f u l l y designed and are made i n s t r i n s i c a l l y interesting. In addition, there has been growing interest i n the role of learning strategies i n the language ac q u i s i t i o n process. O r i g i n a l l y investigated as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the "good language learner" (GLL) (Rubin 1975, Stern 1975, Naiman et a l . 1978), current work i n t h i s area has been concerned with the cognitive processes which learners apply to the learning task. However, research has been fraught with problems of methodology and framework, and agreement on taxonomies and constructs for d i f f e r e n t learning strategies has not been reached. In an e f f o r t to firmly establish the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of cognitive psychology findings to language learning, researchers 2 such as O'Malley and colleagues (1985, 1987) and Anita Wenden (1985, 1986) have endeavoured to demonstrate the measureable benefits of learning strategy i n s t r u c t i o n i n ESL classes. Their convictions about the e f f i c a c y of strategy t r a i n i n g are based on experimental findings, and on the propositions that mentally active learners are better learners, and that strategies can be taught. Two further claims, that learning strategies transfer to new tasks, and that academic learning i s more e f f e c t i v e with learning strategies, are key to t h e i r construct of language learning, though not yet proven. (1987, 240) One l i m i t a t i o n on e a r l i e r work by O'Malley and colleagues (1985) as well as GLL studies has been t h e i r attention to strategy use s o l e l y for developing proficiency i n the language code. Later research by Chamot and O'Malley (1987) attempted to overcome t h i s deficiency by proposing an i n s t r u c t i o n a l method, CALLA, which combines English language development with content-based ESL and with i n s t r u c t i o n i n special learner strategies useful for remembering important concepts (229). The goal of such an approach i s to meet the demands.of academic curriculum, where students must " l i s t e n and read to acquire new information, speak and write to express t h e i r understanding of new concepts... and apply e f f e c t i v e strategies for learning to a l l areas of the curriculum" (228). In t h i s context, strategies are to serve as extra support i n learning academic language and content together, a d i s t i n c t i o n the researchers draw between strategy use i n the ESL and non-ESL classroom. 3 Many researchers i n cognitive psychology have been concerned with the t r a n s f e r a b i l i t y of cognitive s k i l l s , and with the key ro l e metacognition, or control over cognitive processes, plays i n e f f e c t i v e i n t e l l e c t u a l functioning. ESL researchers concerned with learning strategy use also give importance to t h i s executive function, yet have f a i l e d to f i n d much evidence of metacognition i n ESL classrooms. One feasible explanation i s that the content, organization and teacher r o l e i n t y p i c a l ESL classes demand the demonstration of cognitive s k i l l s only (for example, learning sequences or study s k i l l s ) , and r e s t r i c t the expression and, hence, development of metacognitive strategies. Recent findings by Wong-Fillmore (TEAL conference, March 1988) seem to support suspicions that many ESL classrooms impede the development of higher-level thinking s k i l l s by generating d i l u t e d content. Typical university subject-area classrooms, on the other hand, demand the use of important metacognitive s k i l l s - planning ahead, monitoring, estimating, re v i s i n g , s e l f - t e s t i n g - i n summary, the knowledge of how to learn. When ESL students perform below predicted academic a b i l i t i e s i n t h i s environment, a lack of apppropriate learning strategies, p a r t i c u l a r l y metacognitive ones, may be implicated. Further research i n ESL has looked at language learning from a broader perspective than simple code ac q u i s i t i o n . Recent research by Bernard Mohan (1986) distinguishes learning language from learning through language and proposes an organizational framework for language and thinking s k i l l s across the curriculum. He suggests that students instructed i n 4 understanding the interplay between the general (theoretical) and p a r t i c u l a r (practical) aspects of any educational a c t i v i t y w i l l be able to analyse other a c t i v i t i e s and achieve a transfer of learning. Both approaches are concerned with learners being able to i d e n t i f y the underlying structures of knowledge, then apply them to new learning situations. S t i l l other studies have investigated learner variables believed to have an important influence on the language learning process. This includes research on cognitive s t y l e , a f f e c t , motivation and acculturation, as well as age and l e v e l of education. Attitude and adaptability are consistently mentioned as s i g n i f i c a n t factors i n language acq u i s i t i o n . The capacity for learners to a l t e r t h e i r learning s t y l e to compensate for differences i n task and s i t u a t i o n has also been i d e n t i f i e d as a promising indicator for success i n the learning process. Taken as a whole, these areas of SLA research r e f l e c t an important s h i f t i n focus to the learner's r o l e and potential i n the learning process, and as a r e s u l t , individual differences i n a c q u i s i t i o n are receiving increased attention. ESL researchers have argued that such v a r i a t i o n may be related to a wide range of variables that have been the subject of theorizing, debate and some empirical testing. Research on teacher behaviour, in t e r a c t i o n between teacher and student, and learner outcomes and learner behaviours has been undertaken to investigate t h i s network of factors, r e s u l t i n g i n models of a c q u i s i t i o n (Bialystok 1978, Krashen 1982) on which there i s no current consensual agreement. Within the learner's contribution to the 5 a c q u i s i t i o n p r o c e s s , many dimensions have been e x p l o r e d -language p r o d u c t i o n , input generation, and i n t e r a c t i o n between l e a r n e r s . The r o l e of l e a r n e r v a r i a b l e s such as c o g n i t i v e s t y l e and a f f e c t i v e f a c t o r s (Gardner 1973, Schumann 1978, Beebe 1983) has a l s o been e x p l o r e d . The focus of the r e s e a r c h Given t h i s heightened i n t e r e s t i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l v a r i a b l e s i n language l e a r n i n g , i n l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s and i n group work as a c e n t r a l classroom s t r a t e g y f o r the n e g o t i a t i o n of comprehensible i n p u t , an o r a l c l a s s c e n t r e d on d i s c u s s i o n of c o n t r o v e r s i a l t o p i c s appeared t o be a n a t u r a l environment i n which t o examine v a r i a b l e s r e l a t e d t o language-task performance. T h i s r e s e a r c h was motivated by the w r i t e r ' s i n f o r m a l o b s e r v a t i o n s of an advanced d i s c u s s i o n c l a s s taught f o r s i x co n s e c u t i v e semesters. In these c l a s s e s , some l e a r n e r s , based on g l o b a l measures, performed more competently i n a complex, academic language t a s k i n v o l v i n g the management of group i n t e r a c t i o n . In c o n t r a s t t o "good language l e a r n e r " r e s e a r c h and work by O'Malley e t a l . f o c u s i n g on the l e a r n e r u s i n g s t r a t e g i e s mainly t o l e a r n language, the w r i t e r was p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h how the students used s t r a t e g i e s t o achieve the task, u s i n g the t a r g e t language t o l e a r n about a t o p i c . An u n d e r l y i n g assumption was t h a t i t i s impossible t o separate the l e a r n i n g of language, t a s k r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and content i n the observed a c t i v i t y . Since measures f o r oracy have y e t t o be c l e a r l y e s t a b l i s h e d i n SLA re s e a r c h , a g l o b a l r a n k i n g based on a 6 c h e c k l i s t o f performance c r i t e r i a f o r n a t i v e speakers was used as the c e n t r a l i n d i c a t o r t o which other v a r i a b l e s were subsequently r e l a t e d . The i n s t r u c t o r ' s c a s u a l o b s e r v a t i o n of the l e a r n e r s who were g l o b a l l y ranked as more competent suggested a number of i n t e r e s t i n g q u a l i t i e s i n t h e i r performance. The l e a r n e r s appeared t o pay a t t e n t i o n t o teacher m o d e l l i n g , a c t i v e l y i n c o r p o r a t e d l e a r n e d d i s c o u r s e i n t o i n t e r v e n t i o n s , s t u d i e d and a p p l i e d t h e o r e t i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n s of c o n v e r s a t i o n a l management, and were a b l e t o analyse t h e i r l e a r n i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h c r i t i c a l detachment. The weaker students, i n c o n t r a s t , seemed confused about the source of t h e i r problems, c o u l d not s e l f -analyse v e r y e f f e c t i v e l y , and appeared i n c o n s i s t e n t i n a p p l y i n g techniques and i n a t t e n t i v e t o the e f f e c t i v e s t r a t e g i c behaviour of t h e i r peers. What appeared, on the s u r f a c e , t o separate these two groups were an a b i l i t y t o c o n t r o l t h e i r own l e a r n i n g process and a p l a n f u l n e s s i n l e a r n i n g the new task . T h i s competence appeared t o be r e f l e c t e d i n teacher and peer ra n k i n g . In a d d i t i o n , the tea c h e r noted t h a t these students appeared t o a d j u s t t o demands of the l e a r n i n g context more e a s i l y , and were g e n e r a l l y a c c u l t u r a t i n g more r e a d i l y . A number of questions f o r r e s e a r c h r e l a t e d t o l i n g u i s t i c , p s y c h o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l v a r i a b l e s were r a i s e d : l.Was the g l o b a l r a n k i n g r e l a t e d to o b j e c t i v e d i s c o u r s e  management a b i l i t y ? S p e c i f i c a l l y , d i d those students  h i g h l y r a t e d as l e a d e r s demonstrate b e t t e r d i s c u s s i o n 7 management a b i l i t i e s which were expressed i n  measureable d i s c o u r s e p a t t e r n s ? 2. Was g l o b a l r a n k i n g r e l a t e d t o p a r t i c u l a r l e a r n i n g  s t r a t e g y use? Did the most h i g h l y r a t e d l e a d e r s show  g r e a t e r s t r a t e g y use and/or more metacognitive a b i l i t y ? 3. Did the g l o b a l r a n k i n g i n the ta s k r e l a t e t o l e a r n e r s '  i n t e g r a t i v e motivation? 4. D i d the g l o b a l r a n k i n g i n the ta s k r e l a t e t o a f l e x i b i l i t y  i n l e a r n i n g s t y l e ? To e x p l o r e these q u e s t i o n s , the w r i t e r s t u d i e d the performance i n d i s c u s s i o n of e i g h t a d u l t ESL l e a r n e r s through o b s e r v a t i o n i n an E n g l i s h f o r Academic Purposes programme and analysed i n t e r v i e w s examining both s t r a t e g y use i n academic o r a l tasks and l e a r n e r f a c t o r s . Using the g l o b a l assessment by peers and t e a c h e r as a c e n t r a l i n d i c a t o r , d i s c u s s i o n was then examined l i n g u i s t i c a l l y by a n a l y s i n g i n t e r a c t i o n i n t o broad d i s c o u r s e sequences. S t r a t e g y use was determined by a n a l y s i n g what students r e p o r t e d i n a se m i - s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w about the accomplishment of the d i s c u s s i o n t a s k and about t h e i r general p r a c t i c e o u t s i d e the classroom. Information was a l s o gathered i n t h i s i n t e r v i e w r e g a r d i n g such l e a r n e r f a c t o r s as l e a r n i n g s t y l e p r e f e r e n c e and i n t e g r a t i v e m o t i v a t i o n . The l e a r n e r ' s e d u c a t i o n a l and general b i o g r a p h i c a l background was a l s o e x p l o r e d . In g e n e r a l , t h e r e i s a dearth of l i t e r a t u r e a d d r e s s i n g the i s s u e of u n i v e r s a l l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s and l e a r n e r f a c t o r s 8 w i t h i n the context of ESL, without the SLA. b i a s towards code l e a r n i n g . T h i s study was c a r r i e d out as an e x p l o r a t o r y e f f o r t towards c l o s i n g the gap between the concerns of r e c e n t ESL r e s e a r c h on l e a r n e r v a r i a b l e s and s t r a t e g i e s and the o b v i o u s l y germane s t u d i e s of r e l a t e d d i s c i p l i n e s . I t a l s o hoped to shed some l i g h t on the l e a r n i n g process and i n d i v i d u a l l e a r n e r d i f f e r e n c e s by l i s t e n i n g t o the l e a r n e r s themselves t a l k e x t e n s i v e l y about t h e i r experiences. The c h o i c e of the o b s e r v a t i o n task, d i s c u s s i o n l e a d e r s h i p , attempted t o compensate f o r some of the weaknesses p e r c e i v e d i n o t h e r l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g y r e s e a r c h where data has been c o l l e c t e d on narrow language-l e a r n i n g t a s k s . Leadership i n v o l v e s the a p p l i c a t i o n of general t h i n k i n g s k i l l s , and corresponds more c l o s e l y t o the demands of the academic environment i n which ESL students must e v e n t u a l l y perform. The approach of t h i s study suggested t h a t o b s e r v a t i o n of v a r i o u s students performing t h i s assignment, then t a l k i n g about t h e i r p r e p a r a t i o n f o r i t , combined w i t h data on other l e a r n e r dimensions, might r e v e a l some s i g n i f i c a n t i n s i g h t s i n t o e f f e c t i v e language use i n a group context. 9 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW I n t r o d u c t i o n Research i n second language l e a r n i n g and a c q u i s i t i o n has examined an e x t e n s i v e range of v a r i a b l e s b e l i e v e d t o be s i g n i f i c a n t i n the l e a r n i n g and t e a c h i n g p r o c e s s . The i n c r e a s i n g focus on the l e a r n e r ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n has been expressed i n s t u d i e s i n f e r r i n g l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s from l e a r n e r s ' behaviour i n v e r b a l i n t e r a c t i o n , and i n r e s e a r c h c o n s i d e r i n g such l e a r n e r f a c t o r s as p e r s o n a l i t y and c o g n i t i v e a b i l i t i e s . S t u d i e s on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between l e a r n e r s ' p r o d u c t i v i t y i n classrooms and t a r g e t language p r o f i c i e n c y have found t h a t p r o d u c t i o n appears co n t i n g e n t on v a r i o u s s i t u a t i o n a l f a c t o r s such as group s t r u c t u r e and ta s k (Chaudron 1988, 117). A d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between l e a r n e r s ' i n i t i a t i o n s and input g e n e r a t i o n and development i n p r o f i c i e n c y has not been c o n c l u s i v e l y supported by other r e s e a r c h . However, a number of re c e n t s t u d i e s examining the i n t e r a c t i v e d i s c o u r s e between l e a r n e r s engaged i n L2 l e a r n i n g tasks has r e v e a l e d some pro m i s i n g f i n d i n g s r e l a t i n g the n e g o t i a t i o n o f meaning among l e a r n e r s t o t a r g e t language a c q u i s i t i o n . F u r t h e r , though s t i l l i n e a r l y stages of development, r e s e a r c h i n t o the use of l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s and l e a r n e r f a c t o r s have p r o v i d e d a f r u i t f u l area f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n of s p e c i f i c l e a r n i n g behaviours a s s o c i a t e d w i t h language l e a r n i n g . 10 T h i s chapter s e l e c t i v e l y reviews r e l a t e d branches of r e s e a r c h which i n d i v i d u a l l y i n f l u e n c e d the conceptual framework of the p r e s e n t study. I t i n c l u d e s LI work on group process and p r a c t i c e , l i t e r a t u r e on group work i n SLA, the "good language l e a r n e r " (GLL), s t r a t e g y taxonomies, s t r a t e g y t r a i n i n g i n LI s i t u a t i o n s and i n ESL, and p s y c h o - s o c i a l l e a r n e r v a r i a b l e s . Although these areas of r e s e a r c h do not form a coherent continuum, c e r t a i n connections, such as the development of l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s out of the good language l e a r n e r l i t e r a t u r e , are obvious, w h i l e other l i n k s are not e x p l i c i t l y mentioned i n the l i t e r a t u r e i t s e l f . L I r e s e a r c h on group process The concept of e f f e c t i v e l e a d e r s h i p upon which the observed t a s k of t h i s study i s based f i n d s i t s o r i g i n s i n l i t e r a t u r e on communication w i t h i n s m a l l groups, and on group process and p r a c t i c e . Research i n psychology, s o c i o l o g y and speech communications over the l a s t f o r t y years has added g r e a t l y t o the understanding of small group d i s c u s s i o n s . In i t s e a r l i e s t days i n North America, the f i e l d of speech was h i s t o r i c a l l y s eparated from departments of E n g l i s h due t o i t s emergence from r h e t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n and the s c i e n t i f i c study of speech behaviour. D i a l e c t i c , or open.enquiry i n search of t r u t h , was seen as forming the foundation f o r s m a l l group d i s c u s s i o n c ourses, and communications s k i l l s were p e r c e i v e d as p a r t of the f a b r i c of a democratic s o c i e t y . 11 During the f o r t i e s and f i f t i e s , speech, sociology and psychology departments concerned themselves with the dynamics of work groups, and leadership s t y l e was a major focus. The s i x t i e s saw a renewed interest by psychologists i n group therapy, i n which group dynamics and the role of the leader were researched. During the seventies, a s h i f t to the theories and practices associated with human work groups helped to shape research investigating the s p e c i f i c communications behaviours that occur during small group discussions (Cragan and Wright 1986, 8). Claims were made that small group discussion, i n which a few people engage i n face-to-face interaction with a common purpose, tended to produce more and better solutions to problems than individuals working alone, generating more ideas i n general, and more discussion solutions i n p a r t i c u l a r (Shaw 1976, 71-81). Researchers i n t h i s area have often followed a t r a i t approach to leadership, finding a composite of desirable features that generally distinguish leaders from non-leaders. Psychologist Ralph S t o g d i l l (1948), surveying 124 studies on personality t r a i t s , concluded that c e r t a i n general categories for leaders could be confirmed. These included : i n t e l l i g e n c e , scholarship, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and dependability, a c t i v i t y and s o c i a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and socio-economic status. Others have found that fluency of speech, confidence i n tone, co-operativeness, knowledge of the task, and frequency of communication marked leaders from non-leaders. S t i l l other studies suggested that leaders tend to show more mental a g i l i t y 12 i n performing problem-solving tasks (Cragan and Wright 1986, 127). In general, small group communications research findings seem to suggest that leaders are more s e l f - a s s e r t i v e , and persistent than other members (S t o g d i l l 1974). Studies from a l l s o c i a l science d i s c i p l i n e s support the claim that leaders need to communicate well and often, set a good work pattern, and know when to be leader. Further research has examined the s t y l i s t i c v a r i a t i o n found among leaders. White and Lippett (1968) i d e n t i f i e d three d i f f e r e n t types - autocratic, democratic and l a i s s e z - f a i r e -whose d i v e r s i t y i n practice was found to influence i n t e r a c t i o n within groups. Functional approaches to a leader's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y have i d e n t i f i e d a number of communications behaviours that have to be performed i n the task, regardless of the type of group. These include : contributing ideas, seeking ideas, evaluating ideas, seeking idea evaluation, v i s u a l i z i n g abstract ideas, and generalizing from s p e c i f i c ideas. In addition, goal-setting, agenda-making, c l a r i f y i n g and summarizing, regulating p a r t i c i p a t i o n , climate-making, i n s t i g a t i n g group s e l f - a n a l y s i s , and resolving c o n f l i c t have been mentioned (Cragan and Wright 1986, 140-144). Many of the aspects of group communication researched by soci o l o g i s t s looking at normal functioning groups have also been the focus of studies i n psychological counseling. Research on short-term groups (Dies 1983) has provided guidelines for leadership based on the necessary development of group cohesion, 13 group norms and t r u s t . Key q u a l i t i e s i d e n t i f i e d i n c l u d e : the use of s t r u c t u r e i n the e a r l y stages of groupwork, a c t i v e l e a d e r s h i p t o encourage members to assume i n c r e a s e d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and v a l i d a t i o n of members' c o n t r i b u t i o n s through p o s i t i v e reinforcement. T h i s r e s e a r c h has a l s o y i e l d e d c o n s i d e r a b l e evidence f o r the important r o l e of a l e a d e r ' s i n t e r p e r s o n a l s k i l l s , genuineness, empathy, and a b i l i t y t o n e g o t i a t e a n o n - c o n f r o n t a t i o n a l atmosphere (Dies 1983). Group work and nature of tasks SLA r e s e a r c h e r s have long e s t a b l i s h e d a s o l i d pedagogical r a t i o n a l e f o r s m a l l group work i n ESL classrooms. Besides p r o v i d i n g such b e n e f i t s as i n c r e a s e d p r a c t i c e and improved q u a l i t y of t a l k , i t i s claimed t h a t group work "adjusts to the k i n d of v a r i a b i l i t y i n s p e c i f i c second language a b i l i t i e s as w e l l as other i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s such as student's age, c o g n i t i v e or developmental s t a g e . . . p e r s o n a l i t y , c o g n i t i v e s t y l e , c u l t u r a l background...prior language l e a r n i n g experience" (Long and P o r t e r 1985, 210). Studies of non-native speakers working to g e t h e r i n groups have focused on the n e g o t i a t i o n process they undertake to communicate t h e i r meaning, r e s u l t i n g i n p s y c h o l o l i n g u i s t i c evidence f o r t h i s k i n d of a c t i v i t y . Long and P o r t e r c i t e s e v e r a l s t u d i e s on group work which conclude the f o l l o w i n g : q u a n t i t y of p r a c t i c e i s i n c r e a s e d ; range of language f u n c t i o n s p r a c t i c e d i s wider; accuracy of student p r o d u c t i o n i s not compromised; frequency of o t h e r - c o r r e c t i o n and completions by students i s higher; more n e g o t i a t i o n f o r meaning i s 14 accomplished; type of task i s s i g n i f i c a n t (221-222). Doughty and Pica (1986) investigated further the importance of task type and p a r t i c i p a t i o n pattern on the conversational adjustments observed i n group work. Tasks studied required information exchanges by a l l participants, and three p a r t i c i p a t i o n patterns - teacher-fronted, small group and dyad -were examined. Results revealed that compulsory information exchange and group interaction generated more modification. Other research on makeup of small groups reviewed by Long and Porter (1985) found that adjustment of t a l k was optimal when a l l participants were non-native speakers, varied i n proficiency le v e l s and had d i f f e r e n t L i ' s . Varonis and Gass (1985) have argued that increased meaning-negotiating exchanges between exclusively non-native speakers res u l t from learners f e e l i n g more at ease i n indicating non-comprehension, and thus i n int e r a c t i n g to c l a r i f y meaning. Rulon and McCreary (1986), i n a comparison between teacher-fronted and group work negotiation for meaning, found that peer groups produced target language speech that was equal i n quantity and complexity to teacher-led classes. They also revealed that peer groups produced s i g n i f i c a n t l y more confirmation and c l a r i f i c a t i o n checks of lesson content. Taken together, these results increasingly support the claim that group work provides students with "opportunities to produce the target language and to modify interaction [which makes] input comprehensible to learners and to lead ultimately to successful classroom second language acquisition" (Doughty and 15 P i c a 1986, 322). The "good language l e a r n e r " C u r r e n t i n t e r e s t i n the r o l e of l e a r n e r s ' s t r a t e g i e s i n SLA r e f l e c t s a development from p r i o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the "good language l e a r n e r " (GLL). These seminal r e s e a r c h e f f o r t s attempted t o s k e t c h a p r o f i l e of the s u c c e s s f u l language l e a r n e r based on the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of s p e c i f i c q u a l i t i e s and behaviours, or s t r a t e g i e s , e i t h e r observed o r s e l f - r e p o r t e d by l e a r n e r s . Joan Rubin's e a r l i e s t work (1975) was marked by a l a c k of focus, and by a l e v e l of g e n e r a l i t y common i n t h i s f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n o f l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g y r e s e a r c h . Rubin compiled the f o l l o w i n g l i s t of s t r a t e g i e s ; the good language l e a r n e r : 1. Is a w i l l i n g and a c c u r a t e guesser. 2. Has a s t r o n g d r i v e to communicate, or t o l e a r n from communication. 3. Is o f t e n not i n h i b i t e d . 4. Focuses on form as w e l l as communication. 5. P r a c t i c e s c o n s t a n t l y . 6. Monitors h i s own speech and the speech of o t h e r s . 7. Attends t o meaning (45-47). Rubin acknowledged t h a t v a r i a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s (of even s u c c e s s f u l l e a r n e r s ) would occur a c c o r d i n g t o : the task, the l e a r n i n g stage, age, c o n t e x t , i n d i v i d u a l s t y l e , and c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e a r n i n g s t y l e s . 16 H.H. Stern's (1975) endeavour to i d e n t i f y learning strategies believed to be used by the "good language learner" shares the same ar b i t r a r i n e s s as Rubin's inventory. Stern claimed the learner faced three major learning problems : 1) the discrepancy between f i r s t and target languages; 2) the code/communication dilemma (form-function dichotomy); and 3) the choice between r a t i o n a l and i n t u i t i v e learning. The resolution of these three dilemmas, he claimed, separated the good from the poor learner. Ten proposed learning features, based on Stern's review of relevant l i t e r a t u r e and his own teaching and learning experience, were: 1. A personal learning s t y l e or p o s i t i v e learning strategy (planning strategy) 2. An active approach to the learning task (active strategy) 3. A tolerant and outgoing approach to the target language and empathy with i t s speakers (empathic strategy) 4. Technical know-how about how to tackle a language (formal strategy) 5. Strategies of experimentation and planning (experimental strategy) 6. Constantly searching for meaning (semantic strategy) 7. Willingness to practice (practice strategy) 8. Willingness to use the language i n r e a l communication (communication strategy) 9. Self-monitoring and c r i t i c a l s e n s i t i v i t y to language use (monitoring strategy) 17 10. Developing the second language more and more as a separate reference system and learning to think i n i t ( i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n strategy) (316). Although an important contribution to the GLL l i t e r a t u r e , Stern's inventory lacked a defined framework, and f a i l e d to separate language-specific learner behaviours from communication strategies, or from such aspects as global p r a c t i c i n g . Tentative suggestions were made by Stern about sp e c i a l strategy t r a i n i n g , but without comment as to which strategies might be teacheable and to which group of students. In addition, Stern avoided making connections between the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of good language learning and learning i n general, a l i n k i n fact suggested only by l a t e r researchers. In t h i s vein, work by Bialystok and F r o h l i c h (1978), studying the e f f e c t s of learning strategy use, aptitude, field-independence and attitude on learner achievement, concluded that strategy use appeared s i g n i f i c a n t i n predicting performance, thus supporting the general proposition of teaching the strategies of "good" language learners to less successful ones, although methodology was not s p e c i f i e d . Joan Rubin (1975, 1981) refined her o r i g i n a l understanding of learning strategies by proposing two exclusive categories : strategies which contribute d i r e c t l y to learning (eg. c l a r i f i c a t i o n , deductive reasoning, practice),and those which contribute i n d i r e c t l y to learning (eg. creating opportunities for p r a c t i c e ) . Basing her new framework on psychological processes i d e n t i f i e d i n general learning theory (monitoring, 18 c l a r i f i c a t i o n / memorization e t c . ) , Rubin c o l l e c t e d data on strategies through observation and student s e l f - r e p o r t s . She concluded that inferencing, both inductive and deductive, was one of the most c r i t i c a l processes i n successful language learning, and encouraged further research to e m p i r i c a l l y investigate the e f f e c t of d i f f e r e n t i a l teaching on learning strategies. In contrast, Bialystok (1979) i d e n t i f i e d "functional p r a c t i c e " as the most important contributing strategy to learner success, while inferencing seemed to have no e f f e c t on achievement. Work by Naiman, Frohlich, Stern and Todesco (1978) set out to "test" the hypothetical model of the GLL by observing classroom behaviour and interviewing students extensively about the kind of strategies and behaviours they used i n various language learning s i t u a t i o n s . The interview r e s u l t s corroborated the inventories proposed by Rubin and Stern; however, the authors consolidated Stern's c h e c k l i s t into f i v e more generalized categories : an active task approach, r e a l i z a t i o n of the sytematicity of a language, awareness of language as a means of communication and i n t e r a c t i o n , management of a f f e c t i v e demands, and monitoring of performance. Learner c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that might influence the use of strategies -cognitive factors, such as i n t e l l i g e n c e and language aptitude, personality factors and cognitive s t y l e , and attitudes and motivation - were investigated. Findings on these variables suggested that attitude to learning the language, persistence and willingness to adapt to varied learning situations over 19 prolonged periods of time were more c r u c i a l than was aptitude (99). Suggestions for further research by Naiman et a l . pointed to the need to : a) revise strategy inventories for accuracy and r e l a t e them to a language learning model; b) devise studies to confirm or r e j e c t the strategy inventory; c) design a program to te s t the t e a c h a b i l i t y of i d e n t i f i e d strategies; and d) investigate teachers' perceptions (and biases) regarding learners and learners' processes (101). Naiman et a l . ' s main contributions to the work on the successful language learner were : f i r s t wide-scale t e s t i n g of hypotheses, and workable suggestions for further research and a p p l i c a t i o n i n teaching as well as according an important r o l e to attitude and a d a p t a b i l i t y . Several l a t e r pieces of research on the GLL should be b r i e f l y mentioned. M. B. Wesche (1979) used classroom observation and in-depth interviews to i d e n t i f y and define the learning behaviours c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of highly successful adult students i n an intensive language program. Key findings confirmed Naiman et a l . ' s research r e s u l t s and were also consistent with the observations of Stern (1975) and Rubin (1975). The best learners a) consciously exposed themselves to the target language, b) seemed i n s i g h t f u l about ways of learning the language, and c) were characterized by a high l e v e l of personal i n i t i a t i v e . In a large-scale study of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between selected learner c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and L2 learning i n French, A. Anglejan and Claude Renaud (1985) p a r t i a l l y corroborated findings of 20 other studies when they discovered that more successful learners had a higher degree of non-verbal reasoning a b i l i t y , tended to use the target language outside the classroom, and were generally better educated. Identifying key personality variables (extroversion/intro-version and hi/low tolerance of ambiguity) and strategies based on Stern and Rubin, Mary Ann Reiss (1985) administered two questionnaires to 98 students investigating the following strategies : guessing, motivation to communicate, attending to form, p r a c t i c i n g , monitoring, attending to meaning and mnemonics. Although findings confirmed r e s u l t s by other researchers that the good language learner has a higher than average tolerance for ambiguity, they challenged the claim that lack of i n h i b i t i o n i s a r e q u i s i t e to successful learning. The p r i o r i t y of strategy use by e f f e c t i v e students was found to be : monitoring, attending to form and meaning, guessing, p r a c t i c i n g , motivation to communicate and mnemonics. P o l i t z e r (1983) cautioned against the search for a d e f i n i t i v e l i s t of learning strategies that would predict e f f e c t i v e student outcomes. He noted that variables such as teaching method as well as student c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s could influence learners' achievements s i g n i f i c a n t l y , regardless of stategies employed. Further research by P o l i t z e r and McGroarty (1985) investigated the r e l a t i o n s h i p between "good" learning behaviours and second language gains, finding that some behaviours presumed to be associated generally with more e f f e c t i v e learning led to 21 advances i n only c e r t a i n kinds of p r o f i c i e n c i e s . They concluded that the a c q u i s i t i o n of communicative competence might d i f f e r from strategies needed for developing l i n g u i s t i c competence, and hence cautioned against any blanket p r e s c r i p t i o n of good learning behaviours. In t h i s section of the l i t e r a t u r e review, an attempt has been made to outline the main concerns and findings of a body of research on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the GLL. Its goal was to i d e n t i f y key q u a l i t i e s i n terms of language learning behaviours or s t r a t e g i e s , and other important associated learner variables (personality, learning s t y l e e t c . ) . At lea s t two c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s - active engagement i n the learning process, and monitoring or self-evaluation - emerge i n several of the studies. While much was discovered about how learners operate i n the formal learning environment, t h i s research lacked a well-developed d e f i n i t i o n a l framework, and agreement on which strategies or categories are most important for learning a language. Strategy taxonomies i n ESL Another focus i n research on ESL learning strategies attempted to r e f i n e taxonomies of strategies, i d e n t i f y the most important strategies and investigate t h e i r t e a c h a b i l i t y . As ea r l y as 1972, Selinker had proposed f i v e c e n t r a l processes which included strategies of second language learning and second language communication, though no cl e a r d i s t i n c t i o n for the two categories was made. Later e f f o r t s t r i e d to c l a r i f y t h i s 22 d i s t i n c t i o n and define categories more p r e c i s e l y . In Bialystok's (1978) model of second language learning, four categories of learning strategies were proposed : inferencing (the use of information from several sources to comprehend), monitoring (examining and correcting one's response), formal p r a c t i c i n g (actions to increase e x p l i c i t knowledge), and functional p r a c t i c i n g (increasing exposure to the language). She hypothesized that strategy choice and use depended on the type of knowledge implicated by the learning task. Further work by Bialystok (1979), t e s t i n g her e a r l i e r hypotheses, indicated that functional p r a c t i c i n g was the most important strategy related to achievement, that motivation, not aptitude, determined strategy use, and that strategies appeared to be teachable. Tarone (1980) i d e n t i f i e d a taxonomy of communication strategies including : topic avoidance, message abandonment, approximation, word-coinage, circumlocution, l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n , language switching, appeal for assistance, mime, s e l f - c o r r e c t i o n , restructuring. Though important, t h i s taxonomy lacks organization and hierarchy; some strategies operate on the language, while others are directed to the co-conversant. As well, these techniques emphasize understanding language information rather than learning information through language use. In t h i s area of communicative strategies, Horowitz and Horowitz (1979) claimed that the use of empathic strategies, the process of taking the perspective of another person, helped communication by reducing ambiguity. 23 F r o h l i c h and Paribakht (1984) reported on three studies on techniques employed by successful language learners. The authors i d e n t i f i e d f i v e main strategies : active task approach, awareness of the language as a system, awareness of language as a means of communication, management of a f f e c t i v e demands, and monitoring the L2 performance. Interestingly, one study suggests that a l l adult speakers, native and non-native a l i k e , share a "strategic competence", an a b i l i t y to use the same strategies when faced with communication problems. Other findings indicated that strategies can be combined i n many d i f f e r e n t and unique ways, and that there i s a complex interplay of learner and s i t u a t i o n a l factors. David Carver (1984), following e a r l y e f f o r t s to i d e n t i f y learning strategies, proposed a systematic, teacher-guided approach to the development of s e l f - d i r e c t i o n i n language learning. He proposed a h i e r a r c h i c a l sequence i n which learning s t y l e , work habits and plans for learning c o l l e c t i v e l y generate s p e c i f i c learning strategies such as coping with r u l e s , r e c e i v i n g performance, producing performance, and organizing learning. Carver argued that heightening the r o l e of conscious planning, through i n s t r u c t i o n , could r e s u l t i n more e f f e c t i v e , s a t i s f y i n g and conscious use of s p e c i f i c strategies. This section of the l i t e r a t u r e review has attempted to b r i e f l y survey the major work done i n the e a r l y phase of SLA strategy research on taxonomies, and on i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and t e a c h a b i l i t y of key strategies. This l a t t e r emphasis on strategy i n s t r u c t i o n has received most attention i n the f i e l d of 24 general educational psychology which w i l l be discussed next. Strategy t r a i n i n g : educational psychology E f f o r t s i n educational psychology to understand the processes of e f f e c t i v e learning have led to many LI projects i n v e s t i g a t i n g the ef f e c t s of strategy t r a i n i n g on learner outcomes. Results generally point to performance improvement i n areas such as reading comprehension and problem-solving. These re s u l t s form the fundamental theory underlying SLA research i n learning strategies. Some of the t h e o r e t i c a l issues and major findings from pertinent LI studies are b r i e f l y reviewed here. The importance of the control or executive function i n cognitive a c t i v i t i e s i s repeatedly mentioned i n cognitive psychology l i t e r a t u r e , implying that a ce n t r a l strategy or strategies for self-management of learning may be the key to e f f e c t i v e i n t e l l e c t u a l functioning. Cognitive psychologists neither agree on whether t h i s executive, or metacognitive, capacity emerges only a f t e r extensive development of knowledge and s k i l l s i n one p a r t i c u l a r domain, nor on how s i g n i f i c t i t i s i n successful learning. Nisbet and Shucksmith (1986) r e f e r to the importance of metacognition i n learning by d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g strategies from s k i l l s . S k i l l s , unlike strategies, are not r e a d i l y modified to s u i t context, cannot be transferred across tasks, and e a s i l y degenerate to simple sequences or techniques (20). In contrast, general learning strategies, for example, planning ahead, monitoring, estimating, r e v i s i o n and s e l f - t e s t i n g , show purpose 25 and can t r a n s f e r to attack new problems. Basing his conclusions on empirical research on populations of c h i l d r e n i n learning d i f f i c u l t y and on p o s i t i v e r e s u l t s of strategy t r a i n i n g , Donald Meichenbaum (1985) also argues that metacognitive s k i l l s , such as s e l f - i n t e r r o g a t i o n , self-checking and analysis of tasks, are key i n cognitive t r a i n i n g . C l a i r e Weinstein and colleagues (1978, 1979) reported on a number of LI studies investigating the covert processes underlying the use of cognitive strategies and the procedures required to enhance an individual's strategy r e p e r t o i r e . In 1975, she found evidence that a generalizable learning strategy program could be developed and implemented to give the learner a "set of h e u r i s t i c procedures that [could] be used to maximize a c q u i s i t i o n , retention and r e t r i e v a l outcomes of learning tasks" (48). Results of l a t e r work indicated that more successful learners used meaningful elaboration strategies i n preference to more rote or s u p e r f i c i a l ones. Further, Weinstein (1985) found that strategy t r a i n i n g i n high school and community college settings l e d to s i g n i f i c a n t increases i n performance on a v a r i e t y of tasks, for example, gains i n general comprehension i n Nelson-Denny reading t e s t s . Work by Donald Dansereau and colleagues (1978, 1979) focused on developing t r a i n i n g curriculum for learning s t r a t e g i e s . They i d e n t i f i e d two major kinds of strategies :l)primary strategies or d i r e c t operations by learners on materials, such as the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of procedures i n an experiment; and 2)support strategies or techniques operating on the i n d i v i d u a l to maintain 26 a suitable i n t e r n a l psychological climate, for example, monitoring, dealing with f r u s t r a t i o n , and concentration management (4). He and his team were successful i n t r a i n i n g students i n three classes of support strategies : 1)"imaging" to emphasize constructive thought; 2)coping with i n t e r n a l and external d i s t r a c t i o n ; and 3)monitoring study behaviour to locate d e f i c i e n c i e s i n meeting task demands (25). An additional strategy, networking, a method of mentally organizing study materials, was also found to be useful. Further research (1985) into strategy t r a i n i n g for learning and applying information i n c o l l e g e - l e v e l science textbooks indicated that performance on selected text-processing improved, and was possibly applicable to a v a r i e t y of i n s t r u c t i o n a l environments. Primary and support strategy use led to 30-40% improvement i n performance compared with students using t h e i r own learning methods. Dansereau, however, noted that long-range e f f e c t s of such t r a i n i n g have yet to be proven. In summary, strategy t r a i n i n g i n general education has led to i n t e r e s t i n g findings, i n d i c a t i n g at l e a s t short-term performance improvement. The key r o l e of metacognitive or executive strategies has also been strongly argued. Strategy use i n ESL A new generation of work on learning strategies i n ESL draws heavily on the conceptualization offered by the cognitive psychology research just discussed. This approach has acknowledged a framework of strategies, both cognitive and 27 metacognitive, adopted an information-processing model for learning, and assigned a p i v o t a l r o l e to metacognition. Like e f f o r t s i n general education, t h i s research i s concerned with i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of key strategies and the e f f e c t s of t r a i n i n g to improve learning. Research i n the l a s t few years by InterAmerica Research Associates has generated the most precise description of learning strategies by ESL students to date. O'Malley, Chamot, Stewner-Manzanares, Kupper and Russo (1985a) and O'Malley et a l . (1985b) i d e n t i f i e d three d i s t i n c t categories of learning strategies : 1^Metacognitive strategies : a c t i v i t i e s involving thinking about and planning for the learning process, monitoring and self-evaluation. 2^Cognitive strategies : techniques for d i r e c t manipulation or transformation of learning material. 3)Socio-affective strategies : i n t e r a c t i o n a l procedures used to enhance learning. (See Appendix F f o r f u l l d e f i n i t i o n s ) Findings showed that, although students at beginning and intermediate l e v e l s of p r o f i c i e n c y used a v a r i e t y of learning s t r a t e g i e s , a) more f a m i l i a r ones , such as r e p e t i t i o n and note-taking, were favoured and were applied more to di s c r e t e language tasks l i k e vocabulary and pronunciation, and b) cognitive strategies were used f a r more regul a r l y than metacognitive ones (40). The researchers noted that lack of executive functioning might be l i m i t e d not by student a b i l i t y , but by the way 28 classroom a c t i v i t i e s were organized pedagogically. This suggests the necessity for instructors to consciously include conceptually complex language a c t i v i t i e s . In a second stage of investigation, the researchers looked at the e f f e c t s of t r a i n i n g i n learning strategies. Results indicated gains i n o r a l p r o f i c i e n c y and l i s t e n i n g s k i l l s , but these improvements showed v a r i a t i o n according to a number of other factors : task d i f f i c u l t y , cue use, choice of strategy to be taught, and c u l t u r a l background. The most i n t r i g u i n g suggestion emerging from t h e i r research i s that there may not be any learning strategies s p e c i f i c to the learning of a language. There appears to be a great s i m i l a r i t y between strategies described by ESL students and ones discussed i n cognitive psychology l i t e r a t u r e regarding reading comprehension and problem-solving. O'Malley and colleagues indicate two important d i r e c t i o n s for further development : 1) the increasing of teachers' consciousness of t h e i r students' learning strategies and p o t e n t i a l for introducing strategy use i n the curriculum; and 2) the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the most e f f e c t i v e strategies for enhancing student learning and retention at a l l p r o f i c i e n c y l e v e l s . In l a t e r e f f o r t s on strategy teaching curiculum, Chamot and O'Malley (1987) designed an i n s t r u c t i o n a l program, Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA), aimed at preparing ESL students for mainstream content-area i n s t r u c t i o n . In b r i e f , the approach i n s t r u c t s students i n the use of p a r t i c u l a r learner strategies that a s s i s t i n the comprehension and retention of 29 language s k i l l s and content concepts. As students move into higher school grades and into community colleges, the need for communicative competence i s replaced by the need for academic competence. Consequently, the CALLA model i s comprised of : a) a curriculum r e l a t e d to mainstream content areas, b) English language curriculum related to content subjects, and c) i n s t r u c t i o n i n use of s p e c i f i c learning strategies that support the learning of language and content. Chamot and O'Malley apply Anderson's (1981) d i s t i n c t i o n between declarative knowledge (what we know about a given topic) and procedural knowledge (what we know how to do) to the CALLA model, suggesting that learning strategies are declarative knowledge which may become procedural through practice (253). The researchers indicate that metacognitive strategies such as s e l e c t i v e attention, s e l f -monitoring and self-evaluation are p a r t i c u l a r l y powerful learning tools because they can be applied to a v a r i e t y of learning a c t i v i t i e s . In research examining what prompts the learner to use strategies and the sign i f i c a n c e of strategies, Anita Wenden (1985, 1986) outlines four strategy categories : cognitive (eg. se l e c t i v e l i s t e n i n g , inductive referencing); communicative (eg.invention when faced with a l i n g u i s t i c gap); global practice (using s o c i a l resources to develop f a c i l i t y ) ; and metacognitive (overseeing, regulating, s e l f - d i r e c t i n g of language learning) (4-5). She c i t e s several studies supporting the claim that e f f e c t i v e learners use metacognitive stategies i n p a r t i c u l a r . Maintaining that learner strategies are the key to learner 30 autonomy, hence strategy t r a i n i n g should be integrated with language t r a i n i n g , Wenden (1986c) has developed a sequence of eight modules. These permit teachers to discover the b e l i e f s of t h e i r students about the learning process, give opportunities to the students to think about the learning process, and expose learners to alternate ways of learning. On the effectiveness of informed t r a i n i n g , which incorporates both metacognitive and cognitive tasks, Wenden (1986b) notes that, by learning why strategy use i s h e l p f u l , students tended to "use strategies more frequently and more e f f e c t i v e l y " (316), leading to an a b i l i t y to regulate t h e i r own learning. By c l o s e l y examining the many aspects of language learning which learners themselves were able to consider, and s e l f - r e p o r t i n g on conditions which prompted learners to use strategies, Wenden's research has contributed i n s i g h t into the important r o l e of metacognition i n ESL learners. F i n a l l y , i n an a r t i c l e addressing the issues of e f f e c t of teaching strategies on learning, the compatibility of teaching and learning strategies, and the p o s s i b i l i t y of teaching learning strategies, E l l e n Bialystok (1985) posits a d e f i n i t i o n of learning strategies which opposes the unconscious/conscious d u a l i t y of Krashen's (1982) Monitor model. For her, learning strategies are " a c t i v i t i e s undertaken by the learners, whether consciously or not which have the e f f e c t of promoting the learner's a b i l i t y e i t h e r to analyse the l i n g u i s t i c knowledge...or to improve the control of procedures for se l e c t i n g and applying that knowledge" (258). This 31 conceptualization of learning, comprised of knowledge analysis and control of application, i s a departure from e a r l i e r views i n ESL, which focused almost exclusively on the learning of the language. The control component corresponds to the executive or metacognitive function i n educational psychology research. Other new elements introduced by Bialystok here are the dimensions of teacher/student compatibility of learning s t r a t e g i e s . Bialystok theorizes that extreme incongruity between i n s t r u c t o r strategies and student a b i l i t i e s w i l l d e b i l i t a t e not f a c i l i t a t e greater learning. She notes that learner performance, the spontaneous use of acquired s k i l l s , may well l a g competence because of b i o l o g i c a l , e x p e r i e n t i a l or educational constraints, features over which teachers have l i t t l e c o n t r o l . However, Bialystok emphasizes the importance of the teacher's r o l e i n modifying and expanding learners' strategies through i n t e n t i o n a l e f f o r t s i n the classroom. Learner var i a b l e s ; a f f e c t , motivation, culture, learning s t y l e A number of the "good learner" and learning strategy studies have recognized the intervening influence of cognitive and personality factors on the process of language learning. The following selected review of l i t e r a t u r e looks at research i n v e s t i g a t i n g aspects pertinent to the present study : attitude, motivation, cognitive styles and c u l t u r a l d i s c o n t i n u i t y . In a comprehensive overview of the concept of r i s k - t a k i n g i n learning, L e s l i e M. Beebe (1983) reviews the importance of t h i s learner variable i n the findings of social-psychology and 32 ESL research. Risk-taking, "the s i t u a t i o n i n which an in d i v i d u a l has to make decision involving choice between altern a t i v e s of d i f f e r e n t d e s i r a b i l i t y , where the outcome i s uncertain and there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of f a i l u r e " (39), appears to e x i s t d i f f e r e n t i a l l y i n high and low achiever groups, among older adults, i n situations where degrees of s k i l l or p r i o r experience vary, and i n various s o c i a l settings. Psychology and ESL studies a l i k e have been inconclusive i n determining an optimum l e v e l of ri s k - t a k i n g because of the e f f e c t of such intervening variables as motivation, self-esteem and the learning s i t u a t i o n . While Beebe highlights strategies i d e n t i f i e d by Rubin (1975) and Naiman et a l . (1978) which could f a l l under the des c r i p t i o n of ri s k - t a k i n g , others have equally i d e n t i f i e d successful learning by introverted, even reserved students. In examining the i n d i v i d u a l differences of b i l i n g u a l students i n a b i l i t y to learn a language, L i l y Wong-Fillmore (1983) found that there i s no single way to d i f f e r e n t i a t e the good from the poor learner. Variables i n the language learning s e t t i n g , according to Fillmore, appear to s i g n i f i c a n t l y influence the process. Contrary to previous findings by Swain and Burnaby that s o c i a b i l i t y and talkativeness are important c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , i f not predictors of good language learning, Fillmore discovered both good learners who were quiet, studious and work-oriented, and ones who were i n d i f f e r e n t as scholars (162). Some learners described by Fillmore as poor were also shy, but lacked the attentiveness so evident i n the successful 33 students. She concludes that learner variables, such as learning or s o c i a l s t y l e may be less p r e d i c t i v e of success i n language learning than previously believed. Further r e l a t e d to the importance of extroversion i n language learning a b i l i t y , Muriel S a v i l l e - T r o i k e (1984) suggests that the development of s o c i a l language s k i l l s may even i n t e r f e r e with academic achievement. Following Schumann's (1978) i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the key ro l e of a f f e c t i v e factors i n language a c q u i s i t i o n , Kathleen Bailey (1983) examined several d i a r i e s of language learners to understand better the e f f e c t of competitiveness and anxiety. These s e l f - r e p o r t s generally suggested that, depending on the severity, learner anxiety i n formal i n s t i t u t i o n a l settings could e i t h e r f a c i l i t a t e or d e b i l i t a t e the learning process. As with r i s k - t a k i n g , then, i t seems d i f f i c u l t to assess the optimal l e v e l of t h i s personal f a c t . The separation of language from culture has been increasingly challenged within work examining c u l t u r a l competence and i t s r o l e i n language learning. Work by Halliday (1978) acknowledged the s i g n i f i c a n t connection between language use and s o c i a l factors, and writers such as H a l l (1959) have alluded to the c u l t u r a l language of behaviour which prescribes our attitudes towards learning i n general, and the d i f f i c u l t y i n "learning to learn d i f f e r e n t l y . " Brown (1987) has questioned whether personality factors conducive to language learning are learnable i n the adult years, e s p e c i a l l y c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y . 3 4 John Schumann, i n his seminal work on acculturation (1978) suggested that t h i s was the major causal variable i n SLA, where learners expressing great s o c i a l and psychological distance from the target culture experience the most d i f f i c u l t y i n learning the target language. Work by R.C. Gardner (1973, 1979, 1985) concluded that the t r u l y successful student had to be motivated to become integrated with the other language community, and needed to experience support from his/her own c u l t u r a l group for t h i s integration. Pearson (1988) further claimed that, because of the complex r e l a t i o n s h i p between personality factors and approaches to language learning, "culture-shock" would l i k e l y i n h i b i t languge a c q u i s i t i o n . The e f f e c t of c u l t u r a l d i s c o n t i n u i t y has been the focus of a number of studies. Muriel S a v i l l e - T r o i k e (1979) investigated the importance of divergent c u l t u r a l values on the a c q u i s i t i o n of language, maintaining that c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c attitudes and motivation can i n t e r f e r e s u b s t a n t i a l l y with academic achievement. For example, t r a i t s valued i n Western s o c i e t i e s such as independence and s e l f - r e l i a n c e , put the more passive or shy learner at a disadvantage. These values are deeply imbedded i n educational practices and hence handicap students f a m i l i a r with d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l approaches. S a v i l l e - T r o i k e suggests that acknowledgment of the r e a l differences between groups of people, and development of respect for c u l t u r a l v a r i a t i o n can h a l t the breakdown of communication and learning (145). Research by Cathie Jordan (1983) investigated the impact of c u l t u r a l d i s c o n t i n u i t y i n an ethnographic study of Hawaian 35 f a m i l i e s , where she discovered a number of i n t e r e s t i n g "teaching" modes operative i n intra-family communication. T r a d i t i o n a l learning patterns, such as extensive adult modelling, r o l e switching, continuous feedback and covert rehearsal were found to influence greatly the learning behaviours, a b i l i t i e s and expectations of learners within the formal i n s t r u c t i o n a l s e t t i n g . Jordan concluded that modifying pedagogy to incorporate these patterns would improve learner outcomes. C u l t u r a l differences provided a focus i n Charlene Sato's (1981) study of turn-taking i n u n i v e r s i t y ESL classes. She noted that Asians took f a r fewer opportunities to speak than did non-Asians, i n turn, promoting f a r less student-teacher i n t e r a c t i o n , and i t i s suggested that t h i s clash i n ethnic educational s t y l e might have an impact on learner outcomes. While other studies on ethnic minorities have i l l u s t r a t e d d i f f e r e n t i a l c u l t u r a l expectations for p a r t i c i p a t i o n , more recent research (Duff 1986 and Kocher and Potter 1985) has i d e n t i f i e d further factors, such as age, personality variables and proportion of an ethnic group i n the classroom, which could influence degree of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Learning s t y l e preference i s another learner variable believed to have an important e f f e c t on a student's a b i l i t y to cope i n the academic environment. Joy Reid (1987) reported on r e s u l t s of a questionnaire, showing differences i n cognitive s t y l e between native-speaking and ESL students. She found that factors such as l e v e l of education, age, language background, 36 length of time studying English and length of time i n the country had some impact on choice of learning s t y l e . I f , as Reid points out, ESL learners appear to employ d i f f e r e n t strategies because of cognitive and a f f e c t i v e s t y l e v a r i a t i o n , the implications for pedagogy may be s i g n i f i c a n t . Some learners were found to modify or extend t h e i r styles to compensate for changes i n the academic environment. The extent to which a l l learners could be taught to adjust cognitive s t y l e , however, i s s t i l l unclear. Reviewing previous work on native speakers' learning s t y l e , Reid notes evidence to show that students taught i n preferred s t y l e s score higher and perform better. Reid proposes, minimally, that ESL learners be exposed to the concept of learning s t y l e s , learn to assess t h e i r own preferences and be encouraged to d i v e r s i f y them. In t h i s b r i e f review of selected research on learner variables i n language a c q u i s i t i o n , some of the main issues and d i f f i c u l t i e s have been raised. Contrary findings, for example, on factors such as extroversion and anxiety, and on the m o d i f l a b i l i t y of cognitive s t y l e , indicate that the r o l e of personal variables i s complex and s y n e r g i s t i c . The impact of culture clash or a l i e n a t i o n , however, seems to be indisputable. The influence of c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c attitudes or patterns established within the family or first-language school s e t t i n g demands two possible, though not mutually exclusive, responses: 1) acknowledgment and accomodation of diverse c u l t u r a l learning st y l e s i n the classroom, and 2) gradual a s s i m i l a t i o n by students of the expectations, s t y l e and attitudes of the target academic 37 environment. Nevertheless, understanding how a l l learner variables impinge on the learning process i s necessary to any proposal f o r adjustment of pedagogical approach. Summary The l a s t two decades of ESL research into factors s i g n i f i c a n t to language learning have experienced a major s h i f t to the learner's contribution i n the a c q u i s i t i o n process. Increased attention has been given to the negotiation of comprehensible input through i n t e r a c t i v e group work, emphasizing the importance of task construction and p a r t i c i p a t i o n pattern i n the classroom. Research on learning strategies has progressed from i d e n t i f y i n g the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the "good language learner", to defining s p e c i f i c strategies which appear s i g n i f i c a n t i n second language learning, to t r a i n i n g learners how to use strategies i n t h e i r language learning endeavours. Though seminal i n i t s nature, the e a r l i e s t l i t e r a t u r e on the GLL suffered from overgeneralization and lack of d e f i n i t i o n a l coherence. Contradictory findings on which strategies were most important emerged. At least two s i g n i f i c a n t a t t r i b u t e s , however, active engagement i n the learning process and s e l f -evaluation, were i d e n t i f i e d i n several of the studies. Important as well was the v a l i d a t i o n by many researchers of task observation and s e l f - r e p o r t i n g as e f f e c t i v e methods for gaining i n s i g h t into the process of learning and the conditions which prompt students to make learning choices. 38 Further work on strategy taxonomies attempted to r e f i n e e x i s t i n g categories and generally investigate t h e i r t e a c h a b i l i t y . The consensus was that learners could p o t e n t i a l l y be instructed i n strategy use, although which ones and for what learning situations was a matter of debate. Based on research i n cognitive psychology esta b l i s h i n g the fact that achievement can be connected to the use of appropriate learning strategies, l a t e r ESL researchers have explored t h i s association i n second language learning settings. This has led to the promotion of t r i p a r t i t e models of e x p l i c i t learning strategy t r a i n i n g incorporated into content and language teaching. The r o l e of metacognition i n the process has been highlighted by several researchers. Though there appears to be evidence for the claims that learners can acquire strategies that are e f f e c t i v e i n second language learning, the conditions, both i n t e r n a l and external, i n which such an a c q u i s i t i o n i s made possible have not yet been c l e a r l y understood. The claim for transfer of strategies from one a c t i v i t y or s e t t i n g to another has also not been strongly established. In addition, researchers have i d e n t i f i e d a number of important learner variables, both s o c i o - a f f e c t i v e and educational, which can a f f e c t the performance of learners. Motivation or attitude, c u l t u r a l bias, previous educational experience as well as the mitigating influences of task, s e t t i n g , scope and q u a l i t y of teacher i n s t r u c t i o n a l l have a bearing on the behaviour of learners i n a language-learning 39 context. This body of research c o l l e c t i v e l y suggests that the study of the r o l e of learning strategies and learner factors i n the language learning s e t t i n g i s exceedingly complex and dynamic, and implies c a r e f u l planning by researchers and instructors a l i k e . This study was undertaken i n an attempt to examine the association of a number of variables raised by the l i t e r a t u r e discussed. I t sought to discover the connection between global ranking of the performance of a complex, group-oriented task and s p e c i f i c discourse measures, self-reported learning strategy use, integrative motivation and learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y . Previous educational experience and the general l i f e experience of learners was also explored. 40 CHAPTER 2 RESEARCH DESIGN AND PROCEDURES Overall design This paper reports on an exploratory case study of eight adult ESL students i n which a q u a l i t a t i v e approach has been combined with some s t a t i s t i c a l analysis of data. The goal of the study was to examine a complex, i n t e r a c t i v e task, leadership of group discussion, and to explore some possible components rela t e d to the performance of t h i s task. Data was c o l l e c t e d i n classroom observation of the task and through extensive interviews with the subjects, two methods supported by previous research on s i m i l a r tasks. Each performance as leader i n a group discussion was ranked according to global, subjective measures by i n s t r u c t o r and class peers. This global ranking was then r e l a t e d to a number of l i n g u i s t i c , psychological and s o c i a l v a r i a b l e s ; s p e c i f i c a l l y these were : seven discourse measures, three forms of self-reported strategy use, an integration index and a learning s t y l e measure. Groups of measures were tested for r e l i a b i l i t y . A l l quantitative data were then subjected to c o r r e l a t i o n a l t ests (Spearman's and Kendall's) to determine the s i g n i f i c a n c e of association. These r e s u l t s were augmented by q u a l i t a t i v e findings on two subjects which were gathered i n the interview protocol and from anecdotal commentary by other i n s t r u c t o r s . 41 TASK COMPONENTS PERFORMANCE AS LEADER OF DISCUSSION LINGUISTIC: discourse measures PSYCHOLOGICAL : learning strategies SOCIAL : integration & learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y In the debate over the quantitative versus q u a l i t a t i v e approach i n classroom research, some argue that the l a t t e r i s appropriate mainly for generating relevant categories and hypotheses, that must then be tested q u a n t i t a t i v e l y i n order to discover the extent of that relevance (Chaudron 1986). Others have questioned the v a l i d i t y of single case studies for v a l i d a t i n g c e r t a i n aspects of behaviour, and have c r i t i c i z e d d e s c r i p t i v e models of classroom processes such as Naiman et a l . ' s (1978) for lacking the power to i n f e r c a u s a l i t y . On the other hand, the process-oriented q u a l i t a t i v e approach can contribute c e r t a i n perceptions about learning which are i n v i s i b l e to the co n t r o l l e d "objective" quantitative paradigm. These perceptions are s i g n i f i c a n t i n and of themselves, not simply as an adjunct to, or screening device for quantitative research. The discovery process can be important where the scope of variables i s not known, or has not yet been f u l l y understood through objective data. Proponents of the personal diary, for example, have viewed i t as an e f f e c t i v e instrument for gathering insights into i n d i v i d u a l processes l a r g e l y inaccessible to the researcher i n observation. Defended as the t r a d i t i o n a l t o o l of s o c i a l science research, diary studies which are systematic, i t i s argued, can reveal patterns, s i g n i f i c a n t 42 events and important personal variables (Bailey and Ochner 1983). Likewise, t h i s writer believed that, although quantitative measures of discourse might o f f e r one view into the task observed, other more extensive and q u a l i t a t i v e sources of information would be equally v a l i d i n both the search for emerging patterns or explanation of lack thereof. DESIGN COMPONENTS OF STUDY QUALITATIVE DATA INSTRUMENT QUANTITATIVE DATA Observation: Discussion leadership of group Observational notes of task behaviour *~ Comments of peers Global ranking by in s t r u c t o r & peers -» Discourse coded and analysed(7measures) Interview Learner comments on educational exper- *~ ience, l i f e s i t u a t i o n , general approach to learning Comments on l i f e experience (student) Comments on learning approach, competence (other instructors) Anecdotal Self-report: learning strategies Integration index Learning s t y l e preference 43 Description of students The students studied were enrolled i n various courses i n an English for Academic Purposes program at a lower Mainland community college i n the summer of 1987. The majority were taking reading and writing courses as well as the discussion and p a r t i c i p a t i o n class i n which observations were made. The o r a l course aimed at developing students' a b i l i t y to communicate about academic subjects. This goal was pursued through a curriculum strongly oriented to practice of academically suited tasks, such as giving presentations and taking part i n t u t o r i a l s and discussion. The o r a l p r o f i c i e n c y of the students was judged as advanced according to assessment procedures used by the ESL f a c u l t y at the college to place students at appropriate l e v e l s . While a number of the students had previously taken ESL o r a l courses at t h i s college, some were f i r s t - t i m e enrollees with considerable informal experience and a b i l i t i e s i n speaking. Ages ranged from 19 to 56. Fourteen n a t i o n a l i t i e s were represented i n the c l a s s . The gender d i s t r i b u t i o n was 6 males to 14 females. Data was c o l l e c t e d on eight students from t h i s group, whose ages ranged from 23 to 56. Students were from Poland, Laos, Iran, C h i l e , China, Japan, Lebanon and Mexico. They represented a d i v e r s i t y of occupational backgrounds : public school and u n i v e r s i t y teachers, a nursing ins t r u c t o r , a chemist, and an accountant. None were engaged i n t h e i r accustomed work at the time of t h e i r ESL study, but these former occupations reveal a richness i n educational t r a i n i n g and career experience. A 44 number were m u l t i l i n g u a l , and some considered themselves r e l a t i v e l y p r o f i c i e n t at learning languages. Four had come to Canada as refugees, two as foreign students, one as a v i s i t i n g scholar, and one as a landed immigrant. TABLE I STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS  Age Country Status Education Former Now Mikela 28 Dao 32 Parvin 44 Carlos 49 L i n 32 Satomi 23 Mustafa 24 Maria 56 Poland Laos Iran Chile China Japan Lebanon Mexico refugee refugee refugee Master's teaching nursing refugee teaching v i s i t i n g master's scholar student v i s a student v i s a high school high school Occupation student home teacher church work nurs ing nurse's aide science j a n i t o r teacher u n i v e r s i t y student teacher landed accoun-immigrant tant student student account-ing same same baker Classroom context and task The discussion and p a r t i c i p a t i o n class i n which the eight students were enrolled required the f u l f i l l m e n t of a number of assignments f o r mastery of the course, a l l of which were designed to allow the student to practice communicative a c t i v i t i e s i n authentic academic si t u a t i o n s . For example, students i n t h i s course are asked to give informational and persuasive presentations, and to report and comment on current 45 events or discoveries published i n various media formats. The assignment taped and analysed for the purpose of the research was leadership of a discussion group, the communication by a leader which p o s i t i v e l y influences the group to move i n the d i r e c t i o n of i t s goals. Research arguing pedagogical and psycholinguistic rationale for such group-oriented i n t e r a c t i v e tasks has been discussed previously i n Chapter 1. Because of the high demands on the speakers and the u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of the l i n g u i s t i c s i t u a t i o n , discussion groups provide a good source of data on how well learners perform under pressure i n dynamic communication conditions. The task i s also s i m i l a r i n nature to t u t o r i a l - t y p e a c t i v i t i e s required of ESL students i n mainstream academic courses. I t has been found i n the d e l i v e r y of t h i s course that, i f properly followed up by c o l l e c t i v e c r i t i q u e s , productive strategies r e l a t e d to discussion leadership can be improved. Each student can use the insights generated to c l a r i f y the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the theory of e f f e c t i v e communication and leadership and t h e i r own p r a c t i c e . In i t s most e f f e c t i v e form, the c o l l e c t i v e analysis can motivate changes i n the future behaviour of i n d i v i d u a l students, e s p e c i a l l y r e l a t e d to such metacognitive strategies as planning and monitoring. In t h i s way, the practice i s matched against a t h e o r e t i c a l model e x p l i c i t l y , and can contribute to the development of "task-learning competence". The discussion task f u l f i l l s another important condition recently i d e n t i f i e d by research on the integration of language learning and content learning (Mohan 1986). The organization of 46 the discussion class was aimed at r e f l e c t i n g t h i s concern to use language to learn about something; thus, i n t r u s i o n of language teaching per se (in s t r u c t i o n of vocabulary, correction of pronunciation etc.) has been kept to a minimum, while exchange of ideas about the topic i s made prominent. In terms of language demands on the student, t h i s task requires that the discussion leader and participants be la r g e l y concerned with what Widdowson (1980) c a l l s the conceptual and creative functions of language, i n which fluency not accuracy becomes the dominant goal. The discussion, then, becomes an authentic exchange of information and views, not a set-up rehearsal for some future communicative s i t u a t i o n . Key constructs LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS : SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE MEASURES The main concept underlying the task of discussion leadership i s leadership effectiveness. Though not s c i e n t i f i c a l l y defined, t h i s a b i l i t y can be seen to comprise q u a l i t i e s and r e s p o n s i - b i l i t i e s considered by NS theory on group process and pra c t i c e as es s e n t i a l to the task of guiding productive group i n t e r a c t i o n . Pertinent l i t e r a t u r e informing t h i s approach was reviewed i n the f i r s t section of Chapter 1. These key c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were used as a framework fo r both i n s t r u c t i n g students i n the task (see Appendices A and B: Leadership tasks and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ) , and for the leadership c r i t e r i a c h e c k l i s t used by instr u c t o r and peers for the global ranking measure of the task: 4 7 LEADERSHIP CRITERIA CHECKLIST Use these to assess how well leaders carry out t h e i r task. Remember the hand-outs on leadership r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and r o l e s . Either during discussion or r i g h t a f t e r the discussion ednds, jot down a few notes to remind yourself about the leader's s p e c i f i c behaviour related to these c r i t e r i a . ************************************************** * * * * 1. Introduces discussion topic adequately; gives background to top i c , summarizes reading ( i f there i s one), sets a "group" understanding of t o p i c . 2. Develops a democratic atmosphere : gets everyone to give t h e i r viewpoint, pays p a r t i c u l a r attention to r e t i c e n t or shy p a r t i c i p a n t s , encourages a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s ' contributions overtly, resolves differences amicably. 3. Manages the discussion : keeps people on track, intervenes against o v e r t l y dominating behaviour, reviews what's been talked about, guides discussion smoothly to new subtopics, encourages i n t e r a c t i o n between members, c l a r i f i e s expressed opinions for group. 4. Develops content of t o p i c : encourages participants to state viewpoint with s p e c i f i c s , to elaborate and to j u s t i f y ; l i n k s common opinions and suggests general overview, suggests alternate ways of viewing topic, poses f r u i t f u l areas f o r further discussion. 5. Summarizes discussion: i d e n t i f i e s majority/minority points of view, states l i m i t a t i o n s of discussion, suggests areas worthwhile pursuing. This h o l i s t i c ranking by i n s t r u c t o r and peers was used as the subjective measure of leadership effectiveness f o r the study. Checklists s i m i l a r to the one upon which ranking was based are widely applied i n the teaching of communications s k i l l s to native speakers. Basing the discussion course on the premise that "task competence" was key to e f f e c t i v e performance, the i n s t r u c t o r adopted the approach that NNS's were capable of mastering such s k i l l s and could use c h e c k l i s t s appropriately with some i n s t r u c t i o n . C l e a r l y , the i n s t r u c t o r had an advantage 48 of experience i n applying c r i t e r i a to i n d i v i d u a l task performance, but, as findings presented i n Chapter 3 confirm, students d i d apply the c r i t e r i a with a r e l a t i v e l y high degree of consistency. Guidelines were provided as part of classroom i n s t r u c t i o n with the teacher elaborating on the si g n i f i c a n c e of the leader's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and explaining t h e i r r e l a t i o n to group structure, and the need for task and maintenance functions by pa r t i c i p a n t s (see Appendix C : Speaking i n Groups). These q u a l i t i e s were modelled, then e x p l i c i t l y analysed i n a practice discussion l e d by the teacher. Students had the opportunity to ask extensive questions about why the i n s t r u c t o r behaved i n c e r t a i n ways. In addition, students were provided with l i s t s of gambits c l a s s i f i e d according to discussion management functions (see Appendix D: Discussion gambits), and were encouraged to use them extemporaneously i n the leadership r o l e . Discussion leadership e n t a i l s a number of subtasks for the learner: choosing a topic for discussion; s e l e c t i n g an appropriate reading to inform the discussion; w r i t i n g a set of questions to focus the debate. P r i o r to the discussion i t s e l f , a leader often, though not always, reads widely on the topic to f a m i l i a r i z e herself with how i t has been viewed by experts and by public opinion. T y p i c a l l y , the topics are c o n t r o v e r s i a l , since one of the aims of the format i s to stimulate opinion-giving and j u s t i f i c a t i o n . A binder of c l a s s i f i e d newspaper and journal c l i p p i n g s on issues of the day i s made availa b l e to students near the beginning of the term, with the proviso that 4 9 they should choose a topic about which they have strong views or are somewhat knowledgeable. In addition, they are referred to the l i b r a r y and to other academic courses as p o t e n t i a l sources for background information. Leading the discussion involves three major r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s : reviewing the c o l l e c t i v e reading and f i e l d i n g vocabulary or content c l a r i f i c a t i o n questions; introducing the focus discussion questions and getting the discussion underway; completing the discussion by summarizing. The leader i s responsible for managing the interventions of the other p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a democratic fashion, keeping the general atmosphere f r i e n d l y , guaranteeing that topic comprehension i s deepened, and ensuring that the discussion i s summarized accurately and f a i r l y . Students are introduced to the t h e o r e t i c a l concepts behind e f f e c t i v e group communication through information sheets d i s t r i b u t e d and discussed i n c l a s s . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the good part i c i p a n t , the good leader, roles within groups and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of leadership are a l l f a m i l i a r notions by they lead t h e i r own group. Data c o l l e c t i o n of the discussion task Each of the eight students was tape-recorded while leading his or her group, and observational notes were taken by the i n s t r u c t o r . Each session ran, on average, about 45 minutes to one hour long, though discussions occasionally took two sessions to complete. V a r i a t i o n i n length of discussion was not t i g h t l y c o n t r o l l e d , as the student's goal was to e f f e c t i v e l y complete the leadership function by bringing the discussion to a smooth 50 closure. Global ranking procedure The procedure for global ranking proceeded as follows: a l l learners were f i r s t given the leadership c r i t e r i a c h e c k l i s t against which to gauge leader effectiveness. A f t e r a student-leader's discussion was complete, a short c o l l e c t i v e c r i t i q u e was c a r r i e d out, during which participants gave p o s i t i v e and c r i t i c a l feedback to the leader. S p e c i f i c reference was made to the various tasks (introducing the issue, organizing discussion, summarizing etc.) and to a set of desirable c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for leadership (creating a good atmosphere e t c . ) . Comments were grounded i n p a r t i c u l a r examples of group behaviour (eg. "you didn't get x to p a r t i c i p a t e enough"). F i n a l suggestions for improvment were then offered to the leader. The ranking of student-leaders was done a f t e r a l l assignments were completed. The teacher p r i v a t e l y ranked the students 1-8, using the c r i t e r i a c h e c k l i s t , then asked the pa r t i c i p a n t students to do likewise. L i n g u i s t i c measure of leader effectiveness An objective measure for leadership effectiveness i n discussion was sought i n discourse analysis of the task performance. I t was believed that an adequate system f o r analysing large patterns of discourse management by the leader could capture, i n some measureable form, q u a l i t i e s perceived h o l i s t i c a l l y i n i n s t r u c t o r and peer ranking. 51 The d e t a i l e d coding and analysis of observed discussion discourse was based on an adaptation of a system of categories devised by A. Bellack and colleagues (1966) to describe the verbal performance of teachers and students i n the classroom s e t t i n g . This system was considered appropriate f o r the conditions of student-led discussion i n the ESL classroom, where the leader's r o l e corresponds to that of the teacher and part i c i p a n t s act as "students." Gaies (1983) found Bellack's general framework useful i n analysing NNS-NNS in t e r a c t i o n . Further, since the major in t e r e s t i n comparing discourse measures with a global ranking concerned possible i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of i n d i c a t i v e sequential patterns, Bellack's coding system appeared more f i t t i n g than a framework based on smaller l i n g u i s t i c u n i t s . In his content analysis system, Bellack i d e n t i f i e s three categories of analysis : pedagogical moves, teaching cycles, and various categories of meaning. For the purposes of t h i s study, the writer incorporated Bellack's notions of pedagogical moves and some parts of the basic framework for categories of meaning. However, instead of teaching cycles, whose function i s to describe c y c l i c a l patterns or combinations of pedagogical moves, a category c a l l e d discussion cycles was used. D e f i n i t i o n s of these three categories follows: Pedagogical moves : Bellack's concept of pedagogical moves i s founded on Wittgenstein's view of language as a game of "verbal manoeuvres." These moves, the basic units i n classroom discussion, are c l a s s i f i e d into four primary groups according to 52 the functions they serve i n classroom discourse : STRUCTURING, SOLICITING, RESPONDING and REACTING. In the discussion context, the four kinds of moves e s s e n t i a l l y describe forms of s o c i a l management; that i s , who i s d i r e c t i n g i n t e r a c t i o n and how. Discussion cycles : The discussion cycle describes patterns or sequences of moves. Each cycle begins with a structuring move, one i n d i c a t o r that the leader i s intervening adequately to organize debate around the topic and sub-topics. Categories of meaning : Categories of meaning describe the aspects of the topic under discussion. The writer selected two of Bellack's four categories of meaning : substantive and substa n t i v e - l o g i c a l , as adequate to encode the i n t e r a c t i o n within the student-led discussion. Coding for categories of meaning was aimed at i d e n t i f y i n g the ways i n which topic and sub-topics were developed and explored. One or more moves could occur within one utterance which i s defined as a complete statement by a leader or p a r t i c i p a n t . The pedagogical meaning was in f e r r e d from the speaker's behaviour. Coding was done by l i s t e n i n g to tape-recordings of class discussions, and reading observational notes from each session. Sample pages of coded protocols can be found i n Appendix E: Transcript (example). Each pedagogical move was coded as follows: (1) Speaker : L (leader), P (participant) (2) Type of pedagogical move : STR, SOL, RES, REA (3) Substantive meanings : s p e c i f i c code for each topic (4) Substantive-logical meanings : (eg. DEF, etc.) 53 An example of a coded pedagogical move i s : How do you think i s the model of the family, what i s the p o s i t i o n of the woman i n the family? Is i t t r a d i t i o n a l or not? L / SOL / WPF / FAC Interpretation: The leader i s making a s o l i c i t i n g move to a previous speaker, asking for a description or account of women's  po s i t i o n i n the family i n her home country. The following i s a b r i e f summary of the coding system as used i n t h i s study. [1] Speaker : indicates the source of utterance : Leader (L); Participant (P); Teacher (T) [2] Type of pedagogical move : reference to function of move INITIATORY MOVES Structuring (STR) : sets the context for subsequent behaviour by launching or h a l t i n g -excluding i n t e r a c t i o n S o l i c i t i n g (SOL) : d i r e c t l y e l i c i t s verbal, physical or mental response; coded i n terms of response expected REACTIVE MOVES Responding (RES) : f u l f i l l s expectation of s o l i c i t a t i o n Reacting (REA) : modifies (by c l a r i f y i n g , synthesizing, expanding and/or rates; occasioned by previous move; not d i r e c t l y e l i c i t e d r 31.Substantive meaning : reference to subject matter topic r 41.Substantive-logical meaning : reference to cognitive process 54 involved i n dealing with subject matter under study a) Defining (DEF) : defining c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of class or term b) Interpreting (INT) : verbal equivalent of statement c) Fact-stating (FAC) : account, report or description, statement of event or state of a f f a i r s d) Explaining (XPL) : r e l a t i o n between objects, events; cause-effect; e x p l i c i t comparison-contrast; statements of p r i n c i p l e . e) Opinion-giving OPN) : personal values for statements; d i r e c t or i n d i r e c t judgment f) J u s t i f y i n g (JUS) : reasons or arguments for or against opinion or judgment g) Logical process not c l e a r (NCL) : cognitive process involved not c l e a r h J C l a r i f y i n g (CL) : e x p l i c i t request for c l a r i f i c a t i o n of a word, question or expectation i)Restatement (RS) : paraphrase of previous statement without modification of content A l l moves i n discourse were counted for the seven variables investigated : t o t a l number of interventions (turns i n speaking) by a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the discussion, number of interventions by the leader, number of STR/SOL moves by the leader, number of REA moves by the leader, number of REA/SOL chains by the leader, t o t a l number of discussion cycles i n the discussion, and number of SOL moves by the leader for EXPL or JUST. These counts constituted raw scores on an open-ended scale. Following research findings on group process that e f f e c t i v e leaders 55 communicated more often and stimulated more i n t e r a c t i o n among group members, high values i n a l l variables were assumed to s i g n i f y greater effectiveness i n the task. For example, a large score i n Variable 1, number of interventions by a l l participants i n the discussion, was interpreted to mean greater success by the leader i n prompting wide p a r t i c i p a t i o n , an important feature of leadership. S i m i l a r l y , a larger value i n Variable 6, number of discussion cycles, was assumed to r e f l e c t more e f f e c t i v e generation of topic development through manangement technique, marked by s h i f t s into subtopics. The scores on the seven variables for the eight subjects observed were analysed s t a t i s t i c a l l y for c o r r e l a t i o n with one another, then compared with other measures. SELF-REPORTED LEARNING STRATEGIES Exploration of the learning strategies used by students was based on the underlying concept and categories developed by O'Malley et a l . (1985-b). They accept the broad d e f i n i t i o n of learning strategies as "any set of operations or steps used by a learner that w i l l f a c i l i t a t e the a c q u i s i t i o n , storage, r e t r i e v a l , or use of information" (23), and further, pertaining to language a c q u i s i t i o n , as " a c t i v i t i e s i n which the learner may engage fo r the purpose of improving target language competence" (23). Questions on learning strategies i n the s e l f -report section of the administered interview f e l l into three broad c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s : global p r a c t i c i n g strategies; strategies applied generally to the discussion c l a s s ; metacognitive 56 s t r a t e g i e s . Global p r a c t i c i n g measured the extent to which learners took the opportunity to use available s o c i a l supports to generate language input and practice language i n a v a r i e t y of contexts. P a r t i c u l a r strategy use i n preparation for discussion, and for the roles of leader and p a r t i c i p a n t was examined through a series of interview questions. Metacognitive  behaviours , such as advanced organizing and self-evaluation, were explored through a subset of these questions. Appendix F outlines the f u l l learning strategy d e f i n i t i o n s and system used to code strategy use. Students gave yes/no responses to questions concerning t h e i r u t i l i z a t i o n of strategies i n the interview (see Appendix G : Student interview), which were then coded according to the three categories. The coding system for each question can be found i n Appendix G: Student interview. High values i n these categories were interpreted as i n d i c a t i n g greater strategy use. INTEGRATION INDEX Examination of the possible r e l a t i o n s h i p of integrative  motivation to task performance was based on Schumann's (1975) d e f i n i t i o n of a learner's "interest i n learning the second language i n order to meet and communicate with valued members of the target community" (214). Schumann suggests that t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c appears "to be more powerful and l i k e l y to sustain the long-term e f f o r t necessary to learn a second language we l l " and i s probably implicated i n f a c i l i t a t i n g the cognitive processes operating on target language data (215). An 57 integration index created by the researcher, which attempted to measure degree of acculturation, was administered i n the interview (see Appendix G : Student interview). Responses to f i f t e e n statements were coded and analysed, with a high p o s i t i v e score implying greater motivation and acculturation. LEARNING STYLE FLEXIBILITY The l a s t major concept explored i n r e l a t i o n to global ranking i n the task of leadership was learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y , defined as greater tolerance for a range of learning modalities. Reid (1987) suggests that learning s t y l e preferences have an important e f f e c t on a student's a b i l i t y to adjust to the academic environment. Her research further showed that some learners are able to expand and a l t e r t h e i r styles to correspond with changes i n academic requirements. In t h i s study, learning s t y l e preferences were probed with a group of scaled response statements based on Reid (1987) (see Appendix G : Student interview). This was intended to help detect preference for auditory, v i s u a l or t a c t i l e modes of learning as well as group versus non-group formats. The responses were coded; a higher raw score, i n d i c a t i n g tolerance for a range of modalities, presumed more f l e x i b i l i t y i n learning s t y l e . Instrumentation and class procedures The task of leadership of group discussion was examined i n the following way: 58 1) A l l eight learners studied were tape-recorded while leading t h e i r groups. Observational notes were made by the teacher during the process; commentary notes were taken by p a r t i c i p a t i n g students. A f t e r each performance, a c r i t i q u e took place. When a l l eight performances were completed, i n s t r u c t o r and p a r t i c i p a t i n g learners applied a c h e c k l i s t to the leaders' performances, and g l o b a l l y ranked them 1-8. This produced a subjective global ranking measure by ins t r u c t o r and peers. 2) The researcher/instructor coded the eight performances according to seven discourse management measures. This produced objective measures of leadership effectiveness. 3) A tape-recorded interview was conducted with each student-leader a f t e r they had accomplished t h e i r assignment. The i n s t r u c t o r took notes on a written copy of the interview protocol. A preamble to the interview, i n d i c a t i n g the purpose of i n v e s t i g a t i n g learning strategies and learner factors was read before each session. The interview began with c o l l e c t i o n of biographical information about knowledge of other languages, reasons f o r coming to Canada, and s o c i a l status. The section on educational background was designed to i d e n t i f y l e v e l of academic t r a i n i n g , general pedagogical approach i n native country (including LI teaching technique), kind of exposure to English, and self-perceptions regarding language learning a b i l i t y . In addition, anecdotal information supplied by other ESL i n s t r u c t o r s pertaining to academic and task performance of students i n other ESL classes was noted. This contributed to the q u a l i t a t i v e findings reported. The interview data produced 59 three measures on learning strategy use, integration and learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y . A body of q u a l i t a t i v e data on previous educational experience, personal academic history, current l i f e s i t u a t i o n and general approach to learning was also made av a i l a b l e . Data processing and analysis 1) The peer rankings by twelve p a r t i c i p a t i n g students were assessed f o r r e l i a b i l i t y . 2) The seven discourse measures were tested f o r c o r r e l a t i o n with one another. 3) The three categories of learning strategies were tested for c o r r e l a t i o n with one another. 4 ) Subjective global rankings of leadership effectiveness were analysed for c o r r e l a t i o n with: a) the objective discourse measures b) learning strategy measures c) the integration index d) the learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y measure 5) Q u a l i t a t i v e data were interpreted i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to the four research questions and to other quantitative findings. Information gathered i n the interview, from other instructors and i n student commentary, was examined for insights into possible factors r e l a t e d to task performance but not measured qu a n t i t a t i v e l y . 60 Summary This study looked at the performance of eight adult ESL learners engaged i n leadership of a discussion group. A subjective global ranking on performance was assigned to each leader by i n s t r u c t o r and class peers; these rankings were correlated. Further quantitative measures were gathered on several s p e c i f i c s related to t h i s task performance : sequences i n discourse, self-reported learning strategies, integrative motivation and learning s t y l e preference. These groups of data were each tested for c o r r e l a t i o n with the global rankings. In addition to s t a t i s t i c a l findings, q u a l i t a t i v e data c o l l e c t e d i n the task, i n interviews and from instructors and peers, were examined for conditions which might be p o t e n t i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t to the task performance. 61 CHAPTER 3 STATISTICAL FINDINGS At the beginning of the study, a number of questions were posed regarding the c o r r e l a t i o n of several s p e c i f i c variables associated with the observed task. The purpose of the analysis was to do a preliminary exploration rather than to t e s t precise hypotheses about the r o l e of factors previously thought to be important i n second language learning. Global ranking of the learners' performance by i n s t r u c t o r and peers was used as a c e n t r a l i n d i c a t o r to which discourse measures, learning s t r a t e g i e s , an integration index and a learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y measure were related. This chapter reports on the s t a t i s t i c a l findings of the study. The method of constructing two d i s t i n c t scales from multiple subjective and objective measures of e f f e c t i v e group leadership w i l l be addressed f i r s t . Estimates of r e l i a b i l i t y of the global ranking measures and objective discourse measures w i l l also be reported. Following these findings, other r e s u l t s w i l l be reported around the four research questions. A summary table of correlations can be found at the end of t h i s chapter. Construction of global ranking and objective discourse measure In Chapter 2, i t was argued that the c e n t r a l concept underlying the performance, leadership effectiveness, could be examined subject i v e l y through global ranking using a c h e c k l i s t which summarized e s s e n t i a l leadership q u a l i t i e s recognized i n NS 62 theory on communications and group in t e r a c t i o n . Furthermore, i t was suggested that leadership competence could be assessed o b j e c t i v e l y through s p e c i f i c discourse measures corresponding to the q u a l i t i e s represented i n the c h e c k l i s t . The r e l i a b i l i t y of these two methods of assessing leadership a b i l i t y needed to be assessed and a single scale constructed for each. STUDENT RANKING Aft e r the leadership performances were completed, the twelve students who acted s o l e l y as participants ranked t h e i r peers as leaders according to a c h e c k l i s t provided i n the course (see Chapter 2). The researcher wished to know i f there was adequate agreement among these twelve student judges to permit a "collapsing" of t h e i r rankings into a single "student ranking" measure. The re s u l t s of the analysis using Kendall's C o e f f i c i e n t of Concordance (W=.96, chi-square=80.2, df=7, p<.000) suggested strongly that the twelve students d i d agree on the ranking of t h e i r peers, and that, therefore, the use of a single ranking measure was j u s t i f i e d . Siegal and Castellan (1988) report that Kendall suggests that the best estimate of the 'true' ranking of the N objects i s provided, when W i s s i g n i f i c a n t , by the order of the various sums of ranks Ri or, equivalently, the average rankings R i . If one accepts the c r i t e r i a which the various judges have agreed upon ( as evidenced by the magnitude and sig n i f i c a n c e of W) i n ranking the N e n t i t i e s , then the best estimate of the 'true' ranking of those e n t i t i e s i s provided by the order of the sums (or averages) of ranks (271). For the purpose of computing agreement between students and the teacher, the average rankings of the twelve students were used 63 as the scale. TEACHER AND STUDENT RANKING Next, the researcher wished to know the extent to which the two global measures of e f f e c t i v e group leadership (average peer rankings and i n s t r u c t o r ranking) agreed. Spearman's r i s an appropriate t e s t for t h i s purpose, and suggested strong agreement between the two rankings (ra=.98, p < .000). Given the magnitude of the agreement of the two subjective measures of leadership a b i l i t y , the researcher decided to combine the two rankings to create a single subjective global ranking (GR). Here, too, Kendall's recommendations were followed. The scale was constructed by summing the mean student rankings and the ins t r u c t o r ranks. DISCOURSE MEASURE RELIABILITY The researcher also wished to assess whether or not the objective measures of e f f e c t i v e group leadership used i n t h i s study agreed among themselves. The seven measures of discourse management were adapted from Bellack (1966) and selected for appropriateness to the task context. The researcher believed from classroom practice that these seven aspects of discourse management r e l a t e d to the single underlying construct of e f f e c t i v e leadership and could be rela t e d to the subjective c h e c k l i s t i n the following manner: 64 DISCOURSE MEASURE LEADERSHIP QUALITY V a r l : Var2: Var3: Var6: Var5: Var7: Var4: t o t a l # interventions t o t a l # int e r v . by leader t o t a l # STR/SOL moves #SOL moves for EXP or JUST t o t a l # REA/SOL chains t o t a l # cycles i n d i s c . t o t a l # REA moves Stimulating broad d i s c . Directing d i s c , flow Organizing content Encouraging p a r t i c -i p a t i o n Summarizing Deepening understanding of content Encouraging p a r t i c -i p a t i o n Democratic atmosphere Encouraging p a r t i c -ipants to deepen content Organizing content Deepening content Encouraging p a r t i c -ipants to deepen content The researcher wanted to assess whether the seven discourse variables agreed among themselves i n t h e i r ranking of the students; that i s , whether there was a high degree of r e l i a b i l i t y i n these measures. Kendall's c o e f f i c i e n t of concordance was again used for t h i s purpose since subsequent assessment of c o r r e l a t i o n between t h i s measure and the global ranking would also be non-parametric. This analysis indicated a strong agreement among these measures, (W=.87, chi-square=42.42, df=7, p<.000) and therefore suggested that a single objective measure could be created, as was done with the global rankings. Because t h i s measure would be compared with the subjective rankings, an ordi n a l ranking measure was appropriate and the mean rankings of the subjects on the seven objective variables were used. Results and research questions In the previous section, i t was argued that the measures of 65 global ranking and objective discourse management were r e l i a b l e and v a l i d measures of e f f e c t i v e group leadership. In t h i s section, the r e l a t i o n of these measures to variables i d e n t i f i e d i n the research guestions i s assessed. The f i r s t research question asked: Was the global ranking  r e l a t e d to objective discourse management a b i l i t y ?  S p e c i f i c a l l y , d i d those students highly rated as leaders  demonstrate better management a b i l i t i e s i n terms of measureable  discourse patterns? The r e s u l t s of the analysis suggest a high degree of agreement between the subjective global ranking and the objective discourse measure observed and analysed i n the task (Spearman's rho [r 8] = .90, p=.001) GR AND LEARNING STRATEGIES The second research question asked : Was global ranking  r e l a t e d to p a r t i c u l a r strategy use? Did the most highly rated  leaders show greater strategy use and/or more metacognitive use? Three aspects of strategy use were investigated through s e l f -report i n the interview : global p r a c t i c i n g , strategies used i n discussion, and application of metacognitive strategies (See Appendix G : Student Interview). Results indicated that these self-reported strategies, though related strongly with one another (W=.92, chi-square=19.2996, df=7, p=.0073), did not agree with the global ranking, and therefore do not suggest any important association of more diverse strategy use with superior performance i n the task. 66 GR AND INTEGRATION The t h i r d research question asked : Did the global ranking  i n the task r e l a t e to learners' integrative motivation? Within the interview, learners were scored on a simple integration index, based on t h e i r responses to f i f t e e n statements regarding distance from the target culture. The r e s u l t s (rB=.37, p >.18) suggest no association of the integration measure with the global ranking. However, problems of v a l i d i t y of the index used may be implicated; t h i s w i l l be discussed i n the next chapter i n r e l a t i o n to c e r t a i n q u a l i t a t i v e findings. GR AND LEARNING STYLE FLEXIBILITY The f i n a l research question asked was : Did the global  ranking i n the task r e l a t e to a f l e x i b i l i t y i n learning s t y l e  preference? Data was c o l l e c t e d on learning s t y l e modalities through reaction to statements re l a t e d to aural, v i s u a l , kinesthetic, group and non-group behaviours. The r e s u l t s , (ra=.70, p=.026), suggest a p o s i t i v e association between the global ranking and learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y as measured i n the interview. Summary S t a t i s t i c a l analysis of the data indicated a number of p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s : 1) Peer global rankings of student discussion leadership agreed strongly, j u s t i f y i n g c o l l a p s i n g them into a single student ranking. 67 2) Teacher and student rankings showed strong accord, suggesting that the two separate rankings could be combined to create a single global ranking (GR). 3) Seven objective discourse measures of the task performance correlated highly, also suggesting they might comprise a single objective measure of leadership a b i l i t y . 4) Three aspects of learning strategy use demonstrated a high degree of accord. 5) The global ranking was p o s i t i v e l y associated with discourse measures. 6) The global ranking p o s i t i v e l y related to learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y . On the other hand, global ranking related neither to learning strategy use nor to the integration measure c o l l e c t e d . 68 TABLE II SUMMARY OF CORRELATIONS Global Ranking Objective discourse  measure .90** Learning strategy use: Global p r a c t i c i n g A l l strategies ( s o c i o - a f f e c t i v e , cognitive, meta-cognitive) Metacognitive only .47 .33 .47 Integration with  target culture .37 Learning s t y l e  f l e x i b i l i t y .70* * p <.05 ** p <.001 The next chapter presents q u a l i t a t i v e findings on two subjects, supplementing the s t a t i s t i c a l r e s u l t s with data captured i n commentary form. 69 CHAPTER 4 QUALITATIVE FINDINGS Introduction S t a t i s t i c a l findings from t h i s study revealed p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between some, though not a l l , variables examined as p o t e n t i a l markers of good leadership. The global rankings by teacher and peers were highly correlated, and these, i n turn, correlated with the seven objective discourse measures investigated. The three aspects of learning strategy use reported by subjects correlated, but showed no association with global ranking. Integrative motivation, as measured i n the interview, d i d not correlate with global ranking, while learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y did. In s p i t e of the p o s i t i v e d i r e c t i o n indicated i n the two v a r i a b l e s , these r e s u l t s should be interpreted with caution since the number of subjects studied was small. As well, i t i s worth noting that previous researchers studying t a l k i n groups have commented on the l i m i t a t i o n s of discourse analysis i n c l a r i f y i n g the nature of group communication. Barnes and Todd (1981) pointed out that categories of communication strategies can be highly i n f e r e n t i a l , and that meanings within a group appear to be multiple, " f l u i d and indeterminate" as the frame of reference s h i f t s from speaker to speaker. These observations c l a r i f y why s t a t i s t i c a l analysis of measured discourse variables alone may o f f e r an incomplete picture of discussion p a r t i c i p a t i o n . As mentioned i n the l i t e r a t u r e review, research 70 into important psychological and s o c i a l factors has also not led to d e f i n i t i v e conclusions about t h e i r s p e c i f i c r o l e i n language learning. Therefore, i t i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y s u r p r i s i n g that t h i s study's quantitative findings on these learner variables were inconclus ive. While Chapter 3 outlines the most important quantitative findings f o r a l l leaders related to l i n g u i s t i c , psycho-l i n g u i s t i c and s o c i o - a f f e c t i v e dimensions of the task, t h i s chapter examines i n d e t a i l two students, Mikela and Mustafa, who were top-ranked female and top-ranked male i n the global measure. Since a large body of detailed information about the learners' task behaviour, educational and l i f e experience was a v a i l a b l e through observational notes, peer comments, and tape and interview excerpts, i t was considered appropriate to use i t to complement quantitative findings. Each learner d i d an extensive interview, providing the following data: pertinent biographical f a c t s , learning environment i n native country, language learning i n Canada, learning s t y l e preferences and integration to the dominant culture, and comments on learning strategies used. These data provide a s o c i a l background for i n t e r p r e t i n g the performance of various i n d i v i d u a l s i n the discussion leadership task, and suggest the complex and often i d i o s y n c r a t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e i r learning and t h e i r l i f e . This chapter i s organized around the findings presented i n Chapter 3. F i r s t , i t w i l l comment on how peers perceived the students' performance and assessed them i n the global ranking. 71 Next, i t w i l l elaborate on how the global performances were manifested i n use of discourse moves and o v e r a l l management of the debate. Following a description of the students' former learning environments, experience with learning English and r e f l e c t i o n s on strategy use, t h e i r c u l t u r a l a d a p t a b i l i t y and f l e x i b i l i t y i n learning s t y l e w i l l be examined. F i n a l l y , comments w i l l be made on the general resourcefulness of these two learners. As a whole, i t reveals findings which l a r g e l y substantiate s t a t i s t i c a l r e s u l t s , but also highlight ways i n which high achievers can vary. This analysis w i l l begin with b r i e f p r o f i l e s of the learners. P r o f i l e s of students MIKELA I f e e l there are stages; you have to jump over one or another to improve yourself. When I get to a c e r t a i n l e v e l , I just can't see i t . I know i t and I f e e l i t but I can't go to the next stage. I get nervous but then i t gives me a kick i n the bum, and I think of something else - what to do to get there. This i s f r u s t r a t i o n , but I t r y to figure out what's the way I have to go. Mikela i s a 30-year o l d P o l i s h refugee of middle-class urbanite background who immigrated to Canada four years ago. While at the college, her academic performance was judged "excellent" by a l l i n s t r u c t o r s ; i n p a r t i c u l a r , her active p a r t i c i p a t i o n , organization and analysing s k i l l s were commended. Currently e n r o l l e d i n a l e g a l secretary diploma program with intentions of becoming a court t r a n s l a t o r , she has abandoned her previous f i e l d of study, i n d u s t r i a l chemistry, i n favour of more p r a c t i c a l options, l a r g e l y as a r e s u l t of a recent separation 72 from her husband and incumbent r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s for r a i s i n g two young ch i l d r e n . MUSTAFA Mustafa i s a 24-year old Lebanese foreign student of middle-class background who came to Canada i n 1986 i n order to pursue a diploma i n construction management. He grew up i n a small v i l l a g e i n the south of his country which has been under continuous bombardment by the I s r a e l i m i l i t a r y . Mustafa has personally experienced intense p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y c o n f l i c t throughout his formative learning years. Among a group of s i x Lebanese who came to the college to study under the auspices of a j o i n t Canada-Lebanon educational project, Mustafa was the second weakest i n both academic and language background. While others had studied English i n t e n s i v e l y at the American University i n Beirut, Mustafa commenced his r e a l t r a i n i n g on a r r i v a l i n the Lower Mainland. In s p i t e of t h i s handicap, he i s now considered to be the most successful student of the o r i g i n a l group, and has developed an impressive reputation among fellow students, f a c u l t y and even administration. I n i t i a l l y seen as very d i r e c t , Mustafa has modified his personal s t y l e to match Canadian c u l t u r a l expectations, and has secularized many of his personal values. This confirms some of the findings of Naiman et a l . (1978) i n which at t i t u d e to learning, persistence and willingness to adapt to varied learning situations proved more important to successful learning than aptitude alone. 73 Global rankings ; p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n Both teacher and fellow students ranked Mikela as f i r s t and Mustafa as t h i r d of the eight leaders analysed according to a ch e c k l i s t of leadership q u a l i t i e s (see Chapter 2). These rankings further correlated with the seven discourse measures assessing l i n g u i s t i c q u a l i t i e s of dicussion management. It i s worthwhile examining more c l o s e l y how these subjects behaved as leaders, and how they handled the e n t i r e t y of the task c a l l e d discussion leadership to see why the two subjective rankings were so close. Mikela and Mustafa shared a number of ro l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and task behaviours, yet there were c l e a r s t y l i s t i c differences evident as well. As Long and Porter (1985) have suggested, small group work tasks are p a r t i c u l a r l y successful i n adjusting to v a r i a b i l i t y i n second language competence and such i n d i v i d u a l learner factors as personality, c u l t u r a l background, cognitive s t y l e and p r i o r language learning experience. Therefore, i t i s possible that the nature of the task i t s e l f allowed for the expression of i n d i v i d u a l differences without negatively a f f e c t i n g each learner's success i n accomplishing t h e i r r o l e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . WHAT PEERS SAW While each student was leading her or his discussion, the remainder of the class was asked to keep notes on how they f e l t the leader had performed. Students subsequently used these notes as the basis for ranking a l l eight students observed i n the task. During t h i s process of assessment, the p a r t i c i p a n t 74 students were attempting to r e l a t e behaviour i n a single s i t u a t i o n to loosely defined Western concepts of leadership, ideas introduced and modelled i n the class by the in s t r u c t o r . Their perception of "good leadership" was l i k e l y influenced by additional factors of c u l t u r a l and gender bias, as well as d i f f e r e n t i a l exposure to media stereotypes. Middle Eastern class informants, for example, reported that they favoured loud voices and strong body language. Student rankings, however, were consistent with the in s t r u c t o r ' s , suggesting that both appreciated a range of q u a l i t i e s i n practice encompassing many aspects of the "training model" presented i n c l a s s . The model was derived from p r i n c i p l e s of good leadership well established i n theories on communication and small group dynamics. Students appeared to i n t e r n a l i z e t h i s framework, at lea s t p a r t i a l l y , even when i t opposed t h e i r personal or c u l t u r a l prejudgments, yet did not apply the model mechanistically. Mustafa, for example, while mentioning that a l l popular leaders i n Lebanon kept t h e i r arms f i x e d at t h e i r sides and riv e t e d t h e i r audiences with bold eye-contact, favoured quite a d i f f e r e n t kind of body language i n his judgment of students' performance, commending Mikela's relaxed and casual s t y l e . Satomi, c u l t u r a l l y r e p e l l e d by any expression of disagreement, commented : "Mikela was a good leader because she could get people to argue t h e i r viewpoints, not just state them." Another student mentioned : "In our country, interrupting i n discussion i s O.K. i f you're a strong speaker, but I can see now how i t ' s better that everyone get a turn." Comments about the two learners' performances related to 75 "being democratic", "encouraging others to say something", "keeping everyone on the top i c " , "following the plan", "clearing up confusion", and "giving a sum-up of what we a l l said". These r e f l e c t very c l o s e l y the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i d e n t i f i e d on the leadership c h e c k l i s t presented i n the course. In essence, teacher and student rankings may have converged because of the over-riding e f f e c t s of the leader modelling, and the fact that the discussion task could a l t e r according to i n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n i n s t y l e quite e f f e c t i v e l y . Global ranking and discourse measurest p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n The association of discussion management with global ranking was quite s t r i k i n g . The global ranking correlated p o s i t i v e l y with a l l seven discourse measures examined i n each student's leadership performance. A look at Mikela and Mustafa's raw scores on the seven measures i s generally revealing: TWO LEADERS TABLE III : DISCOURSE MEASURES Mikela (ranked #1) Mustafa (ranked #3) Variable Total # of interventions i n discussion 127 126 # of leader interventions 59 # of leader STR/SOL moves 45 # of leader REA moves 22 # of leader REA/SOL chains 20* # of discussion cycles 24 # of SOL moves for XPL/JUST 15* 47* 30* 19* 8* 21* 3 * raw score corresponds with global ranking 76 Though Mikela was only highest i n two of the seven measures, Mustafa ranked t h i r d i n s i x out of seven. Both were successful i n generating extensive p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and i n intervening e f f e c t i v e l y as leaders to s o l i c i t opinions, organize debate and guide p a r t i c i p a n t s to elaborate on t h e i r viewpoints. An examination of the s p e c i f i c s of each performance helps to shed l i g h t on the commonality and differences i n the superior leadership behaviour of these two in d i v i d u a l s . I t i s important to understand not only how they used discourse patterns and manifested leadership q u a l i t i e s referred to i n the global ranking, but also i n what ways each gave a unique colouring to the task. MIKELA Mikela, ranked f i r s t by students and in s t r u c t o r , displayed a rather exemplary competence o v e r a l l i n both content and discourse management. She approached her topic , women and men i n society, with the strategy of requesting d e s c r i p t i v e information from pa r t i c i p a n t s , then progressing towards a question asking participants to give recommendations. Mikela appeared to understand both the need for participants to "warm up" to the top i c , and the importance of framing viewpoints within a s o c i a l context. She mentioned i n conversation that she thought "people would be more w i l l i n g to share t h e i r r e a l ideas, even i f they disagreed, i f they got to explain about the roles of men and women i n t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r society f i r s t . " 77 Subtopics tended to flow l o g i c a l l y from her focus questions, with Mikela suggesting some categories as a "content frame"; for example, i n the discussion around reasons for women going to work, a number of p o t e n t i a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n s - necessity, s e l f -s a t i s f a c t i o n , competition - were suggested. Other subtopics were accepted, but t h i s i n i t i a l set helped participants unfamiliar with the topic to focus on some commonly held explanations for the growing phenomenon of working women. Mikela began with a short summary of an a r t i c l e and s t a t i s t i c s which had been d i s t r i b u t e d e a r l i e r . To overcome i n i t i a l reticence, she proceeded to gather facts country by country, guiding people to be s p e c i f i c and c l e a r , occasionally using humour to break the i c e and summing up main points to c l a r i f y content. The following are examples of important leadership interventions, REA and REA/SOL moves, made by Mikela: Eva, what do you think about Poland? (incomprehensible) Yeah, can you speak louder? (It depends on the family, can be t r a d i t i o n a l or not..) The new way? Do you think it's..what i s the majority? Most of the families are t r a d i t i o n a l or not? Would you l i k e to say what i t ' s l i k e i n Egypt? (looks to Nasser) (It depends i f the family i s l i t e r a t e . If i l l i t e r a t e , women would do everything at home. If not, they might work.) But what i s the majority, of the model, what do you think? (Majority i s s t i l l t r a d i t i o n a l . ) And Japan? Come on, go ahead. We would l i k e to hear men for a change. (I think i t depends on the family. In the country, t r a d i t i o n a l . But i n the c i t y , most women are working.) So the b i g c i t i e s are more modern, and the countryside i s more t r a d i t i o n a l ? OK. 78 When a pa r t i c i p a n t showed some d i f f i c u l t y i n following a point, Mikela used extensive elaboration to ensure that the lack of comprehension was not i n t e r n a l i z e d by other discussants: How about self-improvement? Is i t important at a l l ? Is i t equal to making money? (I don't think I understand.) OK. When you're going to work, you're going out of the house, but you're improving yourself, your personality. You learn. You meet people, your inside i s growing. There's change and improvement. Is i t as important as making money? Likewise she accepted help from others i n c l a r i f y i n g points, reducing the perceived distance between leader and pa r t i c i p a n t . This aided the democratic atmosphere evident i n her discussion: OK. One of the things that came up Tuesday was that there was a difference between men and women i n opportunities and a b i l i t i e s to do things. Is i t r i g h t that men and women can do the same, or not do the same? They are made the same or d i f f e r e n t l y ? (What you're saying i s : should a woman take a man's job?) What I'm t r y i n g to ask i s : are woman and man equal i n a b i l i t i e s ? Can they take over men's jobs? (Mustafa: What she's t r y i n g to say, physical and mental.) Yeah. (Can a woman be a policeman or manager of a bi g enterprise?) Yes. Thanks f o r helping! Restatement appeared to f u l f i l l a double purpose : getting speakers to be more precise, and serving as a form of "oral notetaking" by which the content of the interventions could be progressively comprehended and accumulated. Perhaps because of t h i s modelling, some partic i p a n t s began r e s t a t i n g one another's comments during the discussion. This supports Long and Porter's (1985) findings that group work f a c i l i t a t e s adjustment of t a l k best when there i s a v a r i e t y of pr o f i c i e n c y and d i f f e r e n t L i ' s 79 present i n the group. Mikela took up t h i s key leadership r e s p o n s i b i l i t y handily. Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c frequently displayed by Mikela i n her ro l e as leader was f l e x i b i l i t y i n management technique. While handling a speakers' l i s t e f f i c i e n t l y , she remained se n s i t i v e to the ebb and flow of communication between pa r t i c i p a n t s , adjusting her leadership as i t evolved. When i n t e r a c t i o n between a p a i r or within a larger group was dynamic, she retreated from intervention. However, when someone attempted an out-of-turn interruption, she interceded to d i r e c t the flow of discussion: Isn't i t a problem about women's po s i t i o n i n the family...or women's r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ? Can we t a l k about i t a b i t later? (laughter) Johanne, please. (I don't know. What Mustafa i s saying i s what I would c a l l a macho attitude.) (I get always problems about t h i s subject!) (Dao: I think there's more purpose for women...) OK. We can get to that l a t e r . Johanne? Given the nature of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r t o p i c , the d i v e r s i t y of c u l t u r a l point of view represented, and the gender mix of the group, Mikela had to "keep the heat on" without antagonizing i n d i v i d u a l s . She often managed t h i s with ascerbic humour inserted at well-timed moments: (Mustafa: I think they misunderstand what I'm t r y i n g to say. I'm with the woman, not against the woman. I'm with the r i g h t s ; the woman, she can work, can provide money for herself. But three persons a f t e r me seem to misunderstand me. Please don't misunderstand..I'm with the woman anyway.) That's wonderful. Very good point. Oh, somebody's f a l l i n g asleep, how about waking upl! 80 In her second session, Mikela resumed with a multi-purpose introduction, summarizing facets of the topic previously-covered, and o u t l i n i n g a d i r e c t i o n for the new discussion. This t r a n s i t i o n a l intervention, involving STR and SOL moves, helped to integrate one subtopic with another: F i r s t of a l l , I would l i k e you to help me pick up the discussion because we had a period of time we didn't t a l k about i t . We would l i k e to get your help, that would be nice. And the second thing i s that everyone who has a suggestion or opinion, just say i t . I t's important for a l l of us to say i t , not just think about i t . OK? OK. We talked about many things. One of the questions was that women are working more than before, and what are the reasons. Mostly the reason given was necessity. I think we should describe more what i s meant by necessity. That i s , i s i t economic or psychological. Like economic, l i k e money for paying b i l l s or something l i k e that. Or to help keep the family going. And psychological, l i k e s e l f - s a t i s f a c t i o n or improvement of personality, of women. What do you think? What does necessity mean? In summary, Mikela demonstrated a number of leadership q u a l i t i e s which gave her r o l e a p a r t i c u l a r maturity and coherence: 1.Sophisticated organization of content : she moved participants smoothly from concrete to more abstract discussion of the topic. 2. Consistency i n extending the meaning of the topic through reactions to others' responses; secondary e f f e c t s were the progressively longer turns of participants and t h e i r increasing complexity as students were requested to add explanation, i n t e r p r e t a t i o n or d e f i n i t i o n to t h e i r responses. 3. F l e x i b l e management of behaviour : good control of digression and recognition of the natural force of the conversation; she seemed to know when a f a c i l i t a t i n g r o l e was necessary. 81 4.Diversity i n leadership language : a strong repertoire of expressions, and extensive use of encouragement gambits. MUSTAFA The leadership of a discussion on AIDS by Mustafa, ranked t h i r d o v e r a l l , seemed to share a number of the q u a l i t i e s displayed by Mikela. He opened debate with a general introduction of the topic and i t s s o c i a l context i n reference to the a r t i c l e s d i s t r i b u t e d to the cl a s s , then organized his s i x questions into l o g i c a l groups. The sequence of questions began with e s t a b l i s h i n g what was commonly held "fact and f i c t i o n " about the spread of the disease, and proceeded to evaluating r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the control of AIDS. His introduction included a STR/SOL move: Our topic of discussion i s about AIDS. I hope a l l you guys read the a r t i c l e s and understand the idea. Because AIDS r e a l l y i s , i n fact, a dangerous disease. Be c a r e f u l with i t ! Canada i s next door to the USA, the major centre of AIDS i n the Western world. AIDS i s a virus that attacks the body's immune system, reducing i t s a b i l i t y to f i g h t disease. However, the major question i n Canada i s how we can prevent t h i s awful disease from spreading, and how we can protect the uninfected. In fact, people with AIDS die of diseases you and I are immune to. There are s i x major questions, but i n three areas : one, two and s i x go together; three and four are about human r i g h t s ; f i v e i s about government r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Let's get started with some questions and I would l i k e to hear everyone's opinion and c l e a r l y . Let's s t a r t with Mikela. Pa r t i c i p a n t comments ranged f r e e l y over several subtopics r e l a t e d to transmission of AIDS : the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of body f l u i d s implicated, the r o l e of drug addicts, safety of blood transfusions, and danger to infants. Mustafa managed to e l i c i t 82 comments from the majority of participants and eschewed any s u p e r i o r i t y i n understanding of t h i s subject. At one point, he deferred to the presumed expertise of Parvin, a former nurse, to explore the issue of r e l i a b i l i t y of current information and the need for educational campaigns. Rather than c l a s s i f y the kinds of comments, he sampled as extensively as possible what people knew or didn't understand about t h i s aspect of AIDS. On the surface, t h i s seemed to abrogate his leadership r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as organizer of viewpoints. By t h i s point i n the development of her discussion, for example, Mikela had used her "oral notetaking" to gather and organize various sub-themes of her t o p i c . Yet Mustafa's reluctance to summarize here could be interpreted as appropriate caution i n a domain where leading experts themselves have avoided u n j u s t i f i e d , c a t e g o r i c a l conclusions. In f a c t , l a t e r interventions by Mustafa displayed a maturing of his a b i l i t y to summarize as the discussion proceeded into t e r r i t o r y where various sides to evaluative questions became cl e a r e r . For example, at the beginning of the second day's session, Mustafa did an mid-point resume of the previous discussion to orient participants for the remainder of t h e i r debate: I want to summarize what we've been t a l k i n g about t i l l now. We talked about how AIDS i s spread - what we know and don't know. Then we talked about discrimination, the question of human r i g h t s . Now we have the l a s t question : what should the government do? What i s i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ? To help people with AIDS? Should i t do compulsory testing? Yet, i n contrast to Mikela's but e f f e c t i v e f i n a l sum-up which 83 acknowledged discussion l i m i t a t i o n s , his f i n a l closure of the en t i r e discussion was rapid, avoiding any general statements that might characterize majority or minority points of view: That's a l l we have time for. Thanks a l o t . Now, maybe you understand the AIDS problem a b i t better. This difference between Mustafa and Mikela's leadership styles i s an i n d i c a t o r that each could have been ranked highly for unique rather than common reasons, since summarizing was i d e n t i f i e d as a key r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for leaders. Like Mikela, Mustafa generally used STR/SOL moves through elaboration to ensure everyone was on the r i g h t track: So f a r we have done a l l the questions on transmission. I would l i k e to hear more volunteers on the t h i r d and the fourth question...How can we stop discrimination against AIDS patients, and do they have the r i g h t to work the same as the uninfected? You don't understand the questions? O.K. How can we protect the uninfected? How can we stop discrimination against them, because, for example, t h i s guy has the disease. I don't want to work with him or her i n the same o f f i c e . I say he doesn't have the r i g h t to work. But do they have the r i g h t to work the same as the uninfected people? And we have unfortunately everywhere t h i s human personality, t h i s discrimination. Yet, Mustafa sometimes confused one participant's point of view with another's. This might suggest an overuse of the REA/SOL chains to r e l a t e adjacent comments immediately, rather than l e t t i n g them develop spontaneously, then referencing them l a t e r : (Parvin: What about a 7-year o l d c h i l d . If he has AIDS, should he not go to the school? Everyone has to be educated, the same as with pneumonia or another disease. Though I think sometimes when a person has AIDS, they have to say : "I can't work.") Huang, do you agree with her opinion? (Huang: I think they should be put i n a s p e c i a l 84 l o c a t i o n , so we know who has i t . . . ) So, she disagrees. Next time you should say sol Another d i s t i n c t i o n between the two leaders was i n t h e i r respective a b i l i t i e s to use language c r e a t i v e l y i n the leader r o l e . Mustafa's l i n g u i s t i c repertoire for e l i c i t i n g opinions seemed r e s t r i c t e d to rather formulaic expressions: "Do you agree with that?", "What do you think about that?" Expression of encouragement was accomplished through somewhat d i f f i d e n t "umhm's" with ambiguous body language (Was he bored with the comment or a c t u a l l y encouraging the p a r t i c i p a n t ? ) . Unlike Mikela, he r a r e l y named participants when i n v i t i n g comments, and his tone was more d i r e c t than apologetic for t h i s omission: Are you agree? Yes, you. Excuse me, I don't remember a l l the names. My memory i s bad. C l a r i f i c a t i o n checks with participants were sparse, while d i r e c t i v e s for audience attention tended towards the authoritarian: Sorry f o r the interrupting, but a l l of us guys should be hearing for her opinion. A l l of us guys should l i s t e n I Restatement, a conspicuous t r a i t of Mikela's leadership, was a l l but absent here. On the other hand, Mustafa reached out to his group with as much humour as he could express i n English, and received appreciation for these attempts: You can get the blood tranfusion from me. I'm safe! Be gentle! L i s t e n to each other now. Don't confuse one another 1 (Can I talk?) Sure, go ahead. It's easy for you! Those shy guys, they should know more about i t (AIDS), 85 cause they can get i t more than the others. In summary, Mustafa's leadership p r o f i l e shares some common ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s with Mikela, but i s also d i s t i n c t i n many features and behaviours: 1. Maturing organization of content : I n i t i a l l y r e t i c e n t to be d i r e c t i v e i n content development, Mustafa exuded more confidence i n c l a s s i f y i n g comments as discussion progressed, though t h i s a b i l i t y r a r e l y approached Mikela's c l e a r overview and consistent summarizing of content aspects. He showed understanding for the functions of introduction and summarizing, even i f the l a t t e r was only p a r t i a l l y accomplished. Mustafa's leadership generated a comparable number of discussion cycles to Mikela's. 2. Management of behaviour : Mustafa's s t y l e seemed s u p e r f i c i a l l y abrupt, even at times rude, but t h i s v i s i b l y a l t e r e d over the length of the discussion. The element of humour played an important r o l e i n s e t t i n g other students at ease. 3. Limited l i g u i s t i c competence : Mustafa's l i n g u i s t i c r e p e r t oire was undistinguished, yet he generally managed to communicate his intentions without excessive ambiguity. In summary, we see two learners who demonstrate strong a b i l i t i e s i n discourse management, but display these with some notable s t y l i s t i c differences. Although Mustafa's scores i n discourse measures corresponded more c l o s e l y to his global ranking i n the task, Mikela's o v e r a l l performance incorporated important q u a l i t i e s that were undoubtedly r e f l e c t e d i n ranking by her peers. 86 Global ranking and learning strategies : no c o r r e l a t i o n There appeared to be no r e l a t i o n between global ranking and learning strategy use as measured i n the study. Table III reports the raw scores of the two learners for self-reported learning strategy use. TABLE IV TWO LEADERS: LEARNING STRATEGY USE Variable Mikela (ranked #1) Global p r a c t i c i n g A l l strategies : s o c i o - a f f e c t i v e , cognitive and metacognitive Metacognitive only 15 24 14 Mustafa (ranked #3) 17 (max. = 20) 27 (max. = 31) 13 (max. = 15) Mikela's reported values for these three variables were, i n fa c t , only t h i r d highest, and other students reported more strategy use than both Mustafa and Mikela. Q u a l i t a t i v e data, however, revealed a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t picture, one which appears to support Rubin's (1975) findings that v a r i a t i o n i n learning strategies may occur according to such variables as i n d i v i d u a l s t y l e and c u l t u r a l differences i n learning s t y l e . Personal p r o f i l e s of students and a description of the performances attempted to e s t a b l i s h the po t e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of i n d i v i d u a l s t y l e . This section w i l l deal with the possible e f f e c t of c u l t u r a l v a r i a t i o n i n learning s t y l e on strategy use. 87 In s p i t e of lower reported use of strategies, interview data regarding the learning culture experienced by each student, t h e i r language learning behaviour i n Canada and comments on t h e i r own use of strategies seem to suggest i n d i v i d u a l , yet equally successful approaches to learning by both Mikela and Mustafa. Thus, instead of i n f e r r i n g that these two learners are d e f i c i e n t i n c e r t a i n aspects of strategy use, one might suggest, as F r o h l i c h and Paribakht (1984) did, that successful language learners often combine strategies i n many unique and id i o s y n c r a t i c ways. This process of combination may be d i f f i c u l t to i d e n t i f y i n studies that focus on s p e c i f i c behaviour used i n s p e c i f i c learning s i t u a t i o n s ; the set of questions used to probe strategy use i n t h i s study i s a case i n point. MIKELA: LEARNING IN NATIVE COUNTRY Although Mikela's educational background i s extensive (her unfinished degree was a Master's), the general pedagogical approach she experienced i n Poland could be characterized as r i g i d , a u t h oritarian and t r a d i t i o n a l . She commented that the North American system seemed more open-ended and student-centred, a great advantage i n her eyes. However, a number of features introduced i n the un i v e r s i t y s e t t i n g i n her home country may have assisted Mikela i n developing a resourceful approach to the analysis and resolution of learning problems. These were : compulsory mathematical l o g i c t r a i n i n g ; occasional c r o s s - d i s c i p l i n e comparison; a mastery approach to content 88 learning; rigorous standards for progression between l e v e l s ; and a demanding form of o r a l examination, stressing d e t a i l e d comprehension of t o p i c s . Except for analogies between related f i e l d s , none of the other features have a permanent place i n North American academic t r a i n i n g . On the other hand, Po l i s h language arts were uninventive and grammar-based. While studying Russian as a second language and a t t a i n i n g what Mikela considers "upper intermediate competence", l i t t l e i f any comparative analysis was used. In sp i t e of t h i s deficiency, Mikela persisted i n her o r a l and written practice of the language while i n Poland, and currently plans to "reactivate i t " before i t gives way permanently to a growing competence i n English. In studying English i n Poland, Mikela experienced mainly the grammar-translation approach. No opportunities for practice outside the classroom were avail a b l e , yet Mikela pursued a c t i v i t i e s that would accelerate her learning : "In the beginning, I t r i e d to read more, use the grammar, because I had no chance to t a l k with native speakers." This i n t e n t i o n a l i t y supports findings i n GLL l i t e r a t u r e that active engagement i n the learning process and self-evaluation are l i k e l y important i n successful learning. MIKELA : LEARNING ENGLISH IN CANADA I didn't have enough vocabulary when I got here. I t r i e d to f i n d a way to expand i t . I watched a l o t of TV. I talked with the people I l i v e d with. We'd just t a l k i n the evening. I'd ask a question, then I'd t r y to figure out the answer I got, or ask the man to say i t a d i f f e r e n t way. 89 They got to the mastery of saying one thing many d i f f e r e n t ways. I t o l d them I had learned a l o t but so had theyI These people I was l i v i n g with were r e a l l y great I They had so much patience. Well, I noticed improvement r i g h t away. Mikela's one-year homestay with a Canadian family, i n which not one word of Pol i s h was spoken, could be characterized as a n a t u r a l i s t i c immersion experience with untutored accuracy checking constantly available. While family members con s i s t e n t l y corrected, Mikela used a repertoire of strategies to enrich her language learning i n a l l s k i l l s . Bialystok (1979) has mentioned the sign i f i c a n c e of t h i s kind of functional p r a c t i c i n g and motivation to the e f f e c t i v e use of learning s t r a t e g i e s . Mikela describes herself as a "lover of languages" and perceives her memory, a n a l y t i c a l a b i l i t i e s and "ear" to be very good. She believes that, by breaking her i n t e r n a l need to be perfect, active p r a c t i c i n g , consciously "remembering structures from before", and "playing with the language", she has improved her competence. When she has experienced impatience at "plateauing out" i n some p a r t i c u l a r aspect of language learning, she " t r i e s to figure out the way to get beyond i t , by doing something e l s e . " C o l l e c t i v e l y , these behaviours r e f l e c t a learning approach that i s deliberate, analytic and p l a n f u l i n regards to the learning process i t s e l f . MIKELA : LEARNING STRATEGY USE What I noticed at the beginning that was very i n t e r e s t i n g for me was that, for a period of time one one l i t t l e expression was i n my mind, always, always. Then, a f t e r that, I started to use i t automatically. It wasn't conscious, I mean I didn't r e a l l y think about i t . I t was l i k e my mind did i t by i t s e l f . 90 Mikela's comments on her approach to learning a c t i v i t i e s i n the classroom revealed extensive use of meta-cognitive and cognitive strategies. To prepare for each discussion class she would "review the notes and think, think, think." To integrate previously learned s k i l l s or concepts, she would "go through notes as often as possible, and apply material from other courses, to f i n d connections." In contrast with her course preparation i n Poland, i n ESL classes here she "worked more independently, looking at the problems i n a wider way, t r y i n g to apply what i s learned at school, outside and i n other courses." These reported behaviours indicate advanced organizing and organizational planning. Both cognitive psychology research and ESL resarch into learning strategies (Wenden, 1985 & 1986) suggest that t h i s kind of self-checking, s e l f - i n t e r r o g a t i o n and analysis of tasks may constitute a core strategy that accounts for successful learning. In the r o l e of discussion p a r t i c i p a n t , her preparation and performance show marked use of meta-cognitive strategies. As a leader, t h i s pattern of strategy use was repeated. Mikela a t t r i b u t e d her not judging how well she was leading the discussion to "nervousness", though acknowledging t h i s form of s e l f - e v a l u a t i o n was "most important." In s p i t e of her i n s i s t i n g that she neglected organizing the comments of others during discussion, a key leader r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , actual observation i n the task proved the contrary. She was, i n f a c t , exemplary i n summarizing viewpoints and reorganizing discussion around topic digressions. 91 A summary of Mikela's use of learning strategies within the discussion task reveals the following : a f u l l repertoire of meta-cognitive strategies were employed, and consistency i n the use of cognitive and s o c i a l - a f f e c t i v e strategies was also evident. This reported use of strategies anecdotally supports her observed behaviour i n the discussion classroom, and both peer and i n s t r u c t o r ranking. MUSTAFA : LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN NATIVE COUNTRY Mustafa's description of his education i n Lebanese high school and a technical i n s t i t u t e suggests a r e l a t i v e l y t r a d i t i o n a l , teacher-fronted environment i n which homework and memorization f o r written exams figured large. He could r e c a l l no attention being given to any forms of i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y t r a i n i n g , nor even comparison of his native tongue, Arabic, to other languages. Exposure to English i n Lebanon was i n s i g n i f i c a n t and tended to be grammar-based. In addition, Mustafa studied some French, though his self-perceived competence i s low. Generally, he sees himself as a "poor language learner", with a rather weak memory and l i t t l e a b i l i t y to analyse language, but, s u r p r i s i n g l y , "a good ear." This l a t t e r strength i s attested to by rapid improvement i n English competence i n Canada, and by success i n a demanding technical program. Unlike Mikela, who had the immediate s o c i a l and language support of a Canadian homestay, Mustafa i n i t i a l l y chose to l i v e with the other Lebanese students. Soon afterwards, however, he decided to share accomodation with one of the more 92 "serious" students, i n order to be closer to the college and less influenced by a completely Arabic context. In the interview, Mustafa a r t i c u l a t e d a need to change his study habits to become more organized, but sensed that he had consciously modified his attitudes to learning i n general, and f e l t more accepted i n Canadian society. These comments show strong motivation and a willingness to adapt learning s t y l e s , both i d e n t i f i e d i n GLL studies as e s s e n t i a l to e f f e c t i v e learning. In addition, Mustafa's increasing sense of ease has led to a marked confidence i n learning situations and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . MUSTAFA : LEARNING STRATEGY USE Because Mustafa was adamant about completing his construction management program as quickly as possible, he u t i l i z e d many general learning strategies not r e s t r i c t e d to language a c q u i s i t i o n alone. For example, he reported taking the opportunity with students i n other ESL courses to "talk about issues" and review content he didn't s u f f i c i e n t l y understand. Once integrated into his s p e c i a l program, he formalized t h i s technique by j o i n i n g small study c i r c l e s with native-speaking students to review concepts and assignments. He also reported : allowing extra time for preparation of each task, whether i t was reading, w r i t i n g a report or l i s t e n i n g to a tape; using in s t r u c t o r s i n t e n s i v e l y "to get extra information by asking l o t s of questions"; t r y i n g to "remember by l i s t e n i n g c a r e f u l l y " to others' comments and making a mental note of what they meant; p r a c t i c i n g "speeches or things " eit h e r mentally, before a class or with another student; using inferencing for unknown meanings. 93 In general, he admitted to t r y i n g to deduce i n advance what was expected i n each s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n , then adjust his actions accordingly. These examples of i n s i g h t f u l t a c t i c s for learning correspond to what Wenden (1979) found among superior learners. As discussant and leader, Mustafa reported very high use of metacognitive strategies, including i n t e r n a l dialogue and notes as a method of improving his a b i l i t y to lead within the discussion i t s e l f , as well as comparison of his performance with others' interventions and his own intentions. These d e t a i l s about how Mustafa and Mikela have taken on the challenge of learning a new language reveal unique, yet successful, approaches. A combination of applying previous strategies and adopting e f f e c t i v e t a c t i c s i n new situations seemes to have worked for both learners. Integration with culture ; no c o r r e l a t i o n : learning s t y l e  f l e x i b i l i t y : p o s i t i v e trend In the s t a t i s t i c a l analysis, the variable of integrative motivation showed no p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n with any other variables investigated. Yet, raw scores and q u a l i t a t i v e data point to a d i f f e r e n t conclusion : both Mikela and Mustafa showed a l l signs of becoming "Canadian for l i f e " . TABLE V TWO LEADERS INTEGRATION Mikela (ranked #1) Mustafa (ranked #3) Integration with  target culture 13* 15* (max. = 15) *2 highest scores 94 In the case of Mikela, her plans for r e t r a i n i n g , educational goals for her children and viewpoint on her home country a l l r e f l e c t e d a deepening orientation towards Canadian society. Mustafa shared t h i s determination to f i t i n . His interview comments regarding a l t e r i n g behaviour, for example, not speaking so loudly and avoiding excessive physical contact with Lebanese compatriots, suggested that Mustafa made such deliberate and conscious adjustments to accelerate his acceptance into the mainstream. These approaches support findings by both Schumann (1978) and Gardner (1985) that successful learning i s associated with a high degree of acculturation. The desire of both learners to adapt to t h e i r new homeland's culture i s also r e f l e c t e d i n the richness of t h e i r learning strategy use and t h e i r f l e x i b i l i t y towards learning i n d i f f e r e n t ways. This was i n accord with the s t a t i s t i c a l findings which revealed a p o s i t i v e association of e f f e c t i v e discussion leadership with tolerance of d i f f e r e n t ways of learning. In the interview, Mikela reported that she was a person who learned best by l i s t e n i n g and doing, though she quickly added that these choices depended on the learning task confronted. She gave the example of learning English : although the aural and kinesthetic preferences seemed appropriate i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r learning context, the v i s u a l mode ( s p e c i f i c a l l y , reading) dominated her academic learning i n Poland. This s t y l e - switching seems to support Reid's (1987) suggestion that some ESL students can modify or extend learning s t y l e i n response to changes i n academic environment or experience. 95 Further, t h i s a b i l i t y to s h i f t s t y l e might be an important, i f not key, learning strategy i n i t s e l f , and one upon which the successful a p p l i c a t i o n of other strategies depends. In the interview, Mustafa indicated no exclusive preference for one kind of learning s t y l e , but did favour the group mode, not a pattern c a r r i e d over from his home country. This was highly productive f o r him i n his chosen f i e l d where c o l l e c t i v e projects and group study sessions were common. Mustafa showed the same a b i l i t y as Mikela to "style-switch" according to the task presented. THE "X" VARIABLE : RESOURCEFULNESS Both quantitative and q u a l i t a t i v e i n v e s t i g a t i o n looked at s p e c i f i c variables i d e n t i f i e d i n previous research as important to the learning process. In t h i s study, some association among these variables was discovered, and t h i s was, to an extent, supported by more det a i l e d case-study findings on two i n d i v i d u a l learners. Individual v a r i a t i o n between the two high achievers was also found. Taken as a whole, the p r o f i l e s of these two students reveal a general q u a l i t y that might be refe r r e d to as resourcefulness. Though d i f f i c u l t to define and even harder to measure, t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c appears to underly many of the s p e c i f i c behaviours of the learners. Mikela can be described as a r e f l e c t i v e and p l a n f u l learner, reporting use of a wide range of learning strategies, as well as a f o r c e f u l approach to global p r a c t i c i n g of the target language. She demonstrates an i n t e l l i g e n t awareness of what i s important 96 i n the learning process, and of how she herself attends to necessary procedures for developing t h i s process. In spite of b r i e f residency and several personal c r i s e s , she appears to be highly integrated with her new culture. Her competent handling of problems, both personal and educational, d i s c l o s e an apparent resourcefulness of considerable power. Mikela views t h i s as a transformation from previous shyness : "I just don't believe t h i s i s r e a l l y me! I think I've become a d i f f e r e n t person since coming to Canada." However, the observed consistency i n s t r a t e g i c planning may point, instead, to an a b i l i t y established long before Mikela's immigration to Canada, and simply triggered by important external conditions. These personal q u a l i t i e s undoubtedly were recognized by fellow students who described Mikela as "a natural leader", one who could take charge e a s i l y . Mustafa can be described as a r e s i l i e n t and gregarious learner who has shown quick development of learning strategies to s u i t the attendant task. He has overcome culture shock ra p i d l y , and appears to be integrating quite e f f o r t l e s s l y into Canadian secular culture. He i s not so much an analyser as a "doer", fi n d i n g p r a c t i c a l , concrete methods to accomplish his goals. One main factor i n his personal and academic successes may be an a b i l i t y to i d e n t i f y opportunities and shaping conditions i n learning s i t u a t i o n s , then adapt his behaviour to them. 97 Summary In the d e t a i l e d p r o f i l e s of these learners, we see two d i s t i n c t i n d i v i d u a l s who demonstrate considerable learning capacity and personal resourcefulness. Though many general t r a i t s seem to be shared by these learners, t h e i r s p e c i f i c behaviours may be influenced by i d i o s y n c r a t i c aspects of c u l t u r a l and educational background. Where Mustafa i s action-driven and pragmatic, Mikela i s r e f l e c t i v e and sophisticated. The l a t t e r had the benefits of a rigorous u n i v e r s i t y t r a i n i n g , while the former di d not. Mustafa grew up i n the midst of m i l i t a r y war, Mikela i n the throes of economic upheaval. One had the advantage of an immediate Canadian immersion experience, while the other retained his ethnic connections. Though both are determined i n t h e i r e f f o r t s to integrate into Canadian society, Mustafa has had many more obstacles to bridge, including poor language competence and c u l t u r a l d i s c o n t i n u i t y . Yet, i n s p i t e of these apparent differences, each has succeeded i n applying, adapting or developing t a l e n t s , s k i l l s and strategies necessary for important personal and academic challenges. Each has proved to be competent, but i n unique and i n d i v i d u a l ways. 98 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY This exploratory study was c a r r i e d out on the premise that group discussion could provide a productive context i n which to study the processes of e f f e c t i v e language use and the strategies of competent language users. The performance of eight adult ESL learners as leaders of discussion was assessed through a subjective measure - global ranking by i n s t r u c t o r and peers-then further examined through a number of variables - seven discourse measures, learning strategies, an integration index and learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y . S t a t i s t i c a l analysis demonstrated r e l i a b i l i t y of both the subjective rankings and the objective discourse measures. Further, global ranking appeared to c o r r e l a t e with better discourse management and learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y . However, quantitative r e s u l t s suggested that high achievers were not necessarily more motivated to adapt to the target culture, nor better learning strategy users. On the other hand, q u a l i t a t i v e data on two high achieving leaders, while supporting findings on discourse management and f l e x i b i l i t y , also revealed that these two learners d i d display strong i n t e g r a t i v e motivation and successful strategies for learning, though v a r i a t i o n i n s t y l e and practice was noted. Interview notes revealed that the highly ranked students gave more d e t a i l e d accounts of strategy use and demonstrated consistent a p p l i c a t i o n of metacognitive strategies i n both p a r t i c i p a n t and leader r o l e s . What do both quantitative and 99 q u a l i t a t i v e data t e l l us about the processes of e f f e c t i v e language use, the strategies of competent language users, and the importance of learner factors? Secondly, what can be learned from the research i n terms of methodology and approach? S p e c i f i c a l l y , what l i m i t a t i o n s can be i d e n t i f i e d , and what research and pedagogical implications are suggested? Processes of e f f e c t i v e language use The leaders ranked highly by t h e i r peers and i n s t r u c t o r appeared to o b j e c t i v e l y manage discourse more e f f e c t i v e l y . In terms of leader interventions to s o l i c i t viewpoints, to encourage the deepening of topic comprehension, to f a c i l i t a t e c l a r i f i c a t i o n of opinions, exchange, j u s t i f i c a t i o n , and to summarize accurately, quantitative and q u a l i t a t i v e data showed that highly ranked students excelled. However, e f f e c t i v e discourse organization here apparently did not i n f e r grammatical accuracy nor l e x i c a l richness, but rather context-effective communication. Though Mikela and Mustafa were both ranked highly, q u a l i t a t i v e data showed that t h e i r leadership styles and s t r i c t l i n g u i s t i c competence varied. Mikela was an e f f e c t i v e speaker capable of l e x i c a l and syntactic complexity i n the leadership r o l e . She was observed using extensive elaboration and restatement; her range of language expression was considered broad and r e l a t i v e l y sophisticated. Mustafa, however, accomplished his task with rather formulaic and uninspired language. Mikela checked back with part i c i p a n t s for comprehension f a r more than Mustafa, while he took advantage of 100 humour more extensively. These s t y l i s t i c and l i n g u i s t i c v ariations seemed to have had l i t t l e e f f e c t on how peers did t h e i r ranking, and on the analysis of o v e r a l l discourse management. This suggests that, when a language task i s focused on meaningful use and authentic information exchange, learners may be more l i k e l y to assess a performance h o l i s t i c a l l y for task or r o l e competence, ignoring the d e t a i l s of language accuracy. Peer rankers and ins t r u c t o r agreed on t h i s emphasis. In t h e i r judgment, they recognized and accepted v a r i a t i o n i n s t y l e . Comments referred to how the whole discussion f e l t , how much classmates got to p a r t i c i p a t e , how they sensed the leader's r e l a t i o n to each i n d i v i d u a l , the l e v e l of enjoyment experienced, and the amount of i n t e r e s t i n the to p i c . E f f e c t i v e o v e r a l l management techniques were often judged to be more important than content development. Leaders appeared to pay attention to t h e i r r o l e demands rather than narrow language requirements, monitoring language only when meaning needed to be c l a r i f i e d . Findings on the subjective assessment indicates that i n s t r u c t o r and students can rank performances on a language task i n s i m i l a r ways when the t h e o r e t i c a l basis and p r a c t i c a l c r i t e r i a f o r such ranking i s shared knowledge. This suggests that peer evaluation could become a pedagogical component i n the classroom. Training students to c r i t i c a l l y assess one another's performance could increase t h e i r active engagement i n the learning process, and develop metacognitive s k i l l s r e l a t e d to analysing a learning task. 101 Secondarily, the findings appear to support the claims that group work provides learners with good opportunities f o r negotiation of meaning, and adjusts well to v a r i a b i l i t y i n competence and s p e c i f i c learner variables. Although t h i s study did not set out to confirm these claims, observation of p a r t i c i p a t i n g students revealed the effectiveness of developing language tasks l i k e group discussion i n which the focus i s c l a r i f i c a t i o n and communication of viewpoint. The strong accord between the global ranking and objective discourse measures seems to suggest that e i t h e r could be used alone as an assessment t o o l i n research. However, cautions against the exclusive use of discourse analysis f o r the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t a l k would seem to recommend that q u a l i t a t i v e data supplement any quantitative measures. The agreement between subjective and objective measures also appears to v a l i d a t e use of global ranking when i t can be founded on c r i t e r i a that have been well established and tested. This kind of assessment could be further improved by developing a w e l l -defined scale i n l i e u of comparative ranking. Strategies of competent language users Two attitudes i d e n t i f i e d i n the GLL l i t e r a t u r e - active engagement i n the learning process and s e l f - e v a l u a t i o n -appeared to characterize the two subjects studied i n d e t a i l . Although quantitative findings on strategy use were not s i g n i f i c a n t , q u a l i t a t i v e data did reveal s i m i l a r i t i e s between these two learners. Anecdotal information from the students 102 suggested that both took extensive advantage of opportunities to negotiate comprehensible input i n academic and s o c i a l contexts. As much as t h i s made available understandable language, i t also afforded them concrete experience with appropriate r o l e behaviour and developed t h e i r a b i l i t i e s as questioners and c l a r i f i e r s . In addition, Mikela and Mustafa were pl a n f u l i n searching out these enriched learning s i t u a t i o n s , rather than leaving i t to chance. While both learners demonstrated a notable range of st r a t e g i z i n g i n the task, they seemed to prac t i c e d i f f e r e n t kinds of strategies. I t appears that such v a r i a t i o n might be t i e d to other factors such as previous educational experience, psychological approach to challenges, and possibly c u l t u r a l background. The in t e r a c t i o n of these variables might best be examined through an interview i n which i n d i v i d u a l learners describe t h e i r own behaviour i n multiple language-use conditions. The strategy categories used for quantitative r e s u l t s i n t h i s study r e f l e c t the general lack of adequacy i n methodology and descriptive framework for observing such behaviours, and, as such, must moderate any claims made concerning strategy use and performance. What of the r o l e of metacognition i n e f f e c t i v e i n t e l l e c t u a l functioning? On t h i s point, the study was inconclusive, though q u a l i t a t i v e data tend to suggest the importance of a learner's control over cognitive processes and t h e i r active "thinking about how to learn". Both Mikela and Mustafa reported being i n t e n t i o n a l i n t h e i r e f f o r t s to learn language, r o l e behaviour and even academic tasks. Their performance i n leadership 103 demonstrated degrees of planning ahead, monitoring and r e v i s i n g . Whether higher l i n g u i s t i c competence might have been the foundation for such a c t i v i t y i s d i f f i c u l t to conclude from evidence gathered i n t h i s study, since a standardized language competency measure was not made. Without denying the need to develop better instruments for examining the processes of metacognition while language tasks are being undertaken, the interview s t i l l stands as one useful t o o l for exploring a learner's own understanding of learning behaviour, including metacognitive a c t i v i t i e s . If nothing else, i t affords learners a context i n which to r e f l e c t on t h e i r own experiences and s t r a t e g i e s . Subjects i n t h i s study reported, i n f a c t , that no-one had ever asked them to comment on such behaviours, and that the experience was extremely rewarding. Findings appear to indicate the need to examine more than strategy use i n p a r t i c u l a r learning s i t u a t i o n s . It i s important to understand factors such as personal h i s t o r y and educational t r a i n i n g which underly s p e c i f i c behaviours. Previous research has also i d e n t i f i e d the intervening e f f e c t s of such learner variables as c u l t u r a l bias, s e t t i n g and motivation. The procedure of having learners r e f l e c t on t h e i r own ways of learning, analysing and adjusting to tasks presents i t s e l f as a useful research t o o l for exploring strategy use. 104 Learner factors LEARNING STYLE FLEXIBILITY Both learners studied i n d e t a i l showed learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y , that i s , a greater tolerance for v a r i e t y i n modalities of learning. This supports research c i t e d e a r l i e r (Reid 1987) which suggests that better learners can adapt t h e i r learning approaches to situations as they a r i s e . Work on the adult learner corroborates these findings. Environmental factors, such as dominant i n s t r u c t i o n a l s t y l e and underlying cognitive s t y l e , have been found to strongly influence c e r t a i n adults i n the learning process. There i s some evidence that higher l e v e l s of learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y accompany higher achievement l e v e l s (Smith 1982, 71). This was borne out i n data available i n t h i s study, where the two learners studied i n d e t a i l showed s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y stamped with i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Mikela, for example, demonstrated her capacity to learn through formalized i n s t r u c t i o n (ESL cl a s s e s ) , collaboration (with her Canadian host family) and i n s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning projects (studying English by h e r s e l f ) . Mustafa was also an opportunistic learner who derived as much learning as possible from the surrounding context, though he concentrated e f f o r t s on formalized teaching s i t u a t i o n s , using instructors as resources for f i e l d knowledge and c u l t u r a l information. A growing body of research i n learning s t y l e generally, and i n ESL s p e c i f i c a l l y , has concluded that i n d i v i d u a l learners d i f f e r markedly i n t h e i r preferences for experiencing and 105 organizing information, and that t h i s and other cognitive d i v e r s i t y must be both acknowledged and accounted for i n i n s t r u c t i o n a l d e l i v e r y (Reid 1987, B e r t o l d i et a l . 1988). To what extent s t y l e preference can be modified among adults was a question not addressed by t h i s p a r t i c u l a r study. However, increasingly researchers have suggested that e x p l i c i t t r a i n i n g i n learning strategies might give a l l learners, adults included, a greater p o t e n t i a l for succeeding i n academic tasks (Porte 1988, Wenden 1986 (a),(b),(c), O'Malley and Chamot 1985). INTEGRATIVE MOTIVATION Though not d i r e c t l y connected to strategy use, integrative motivation does r e l a t e to f l e x i b i l i t y i n learning contexts. S t a t i s t i c a l findings i n t h i s study showed no association of e f f e c t i v e performance with desire to integrate; however, closer examination of the personal h i s t o r i e s of Mikela and Mustafa reveal the extent to which personal h i s t o r y and family context might influence subsequent c u l t u r a l adaptation and further success i n the target society. These influences d i d not always take a predictable d i r e c t i o n . Though burdened with heavy family r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , Mikela found within herself a drive to take action and carve out new d i r e c t i o n s i n her l i f e . Although she s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned time constraints on her studies, her o v e r a l l planfulness suggested the commitment to take necessary measures to reach personal and academic goals. She also commented that, i n some ways, her family r e s p o n s i b i l i t y motivated her more strongly to adapt, change and s h i f t 106 p r i o r i t i e s as she pondered the best future for c h i l d r e n and her s e l f . Mustafa's personal hi s t o r y i l l u s t r a t e s how s t r e s s f u l l i f e experiences can often improve a learner's capacity to manage c o n f l i c t . I n i t i a l l y at great odds with his new culture, Mustafa subsequently developed an i n t e r c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y which f a c i l i t a t e d his growth, both cognitive and c u l t u r a l , towards the target society. In his own view, not being involved i n the Iran-Iraq war allowed him more distance from i d e n t i f y i n g with his homeland. Being single allowed him to concentrate on personal and academic objectives, and his youth might have favoured openness to new ideas. In general, q u a l i t a t i v e data indicated that leaders ranked most highly expressed a strong desire to be a part of t h i s c u l ture, while less e f f e c t i v e leaders were ambivalent or negative. This contradiction between quantitative and q u a l i t a t i v e findings can be explained i n a number of ways. Learners may have responded to the interview statements i n an "immigrant-appropriate" manner, wishing to hide any d i f f i c u l t i e s i n adjustment, and denying h o s t i l i t y they might have f e l t towards the culture they confronted. As well, the set of statements used for the index, though loosely based on Schumann, could l i k e l y have been incomplete or inadequate for measuring the degree of integrative motivation. In any case, i t i s cl e a r that extensive contact and conversation with learners provides a greater base of information upon which to assess t h e i r willingness and a b i l i t y to integrate with the target culture. 107 Studies on c r o s s - c u l t u r a l adaptation and the culture of learning have examined the experiences of indiv i d u a l s adapting to a new society by researching the l e v e l of s a t i s f a c t i o n , patterns of interpersonal relationships and L2 competence. Qua l i t a t i v e data c o l l e c t e d i n t h i s research can be viewed within t h i s framework. Young Yun Kim (1988), i n an intensive treatment of c r o s s - c u l t u r a l adaptation, defined adaptive transformation as "the resolution of i n t e r n a l stress that promises...a greater capacity to cope with varied environmental conditions." His claim i s that t h i s transformation i s not uniform, as indiv i d u a l s demonstrate varied adaptive p o t e n t i a l according to at l e a s t three p r e d i s p o s i t i o n a l factors : 1) s i m i l a r i t y of c u l t u r a l / r a c i a l background; 2) open-minded personality a t t r i b u t e s ; and 3) preparedness f o r change. In t h i s case-study, Mustafa displayed a developing open-mindedness, a strong capacity for change and a p o s i t i v e o r i e n t a t i o n towards the values of his host country despite a c u l t u r a l l y d i s s i m i l a r background. Mikela benefited from extensive c u l t u r a l continuity, and showed a f l e x i b l e personality, eagerness for new challenges, tolerance for r i s k -taking and r e s i l i e n c e or an inner coping capacity. Kim c i t e s studies (Giles and Johnson 1981) which conclude that language and c u l t u r a l competences are negatively related to strength of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with one's own s o c i o - c u l t u r a l grouping. This tendency was demonstrated by subjects emotionally attached to t h e i r home culture, while Mikela and Mustafa claimed a much stronger membership i n the target 108 culture. Some studies imply that strong ethnic t i e s maintained past i n i t i a l stages of settlement a c t u a l l y i n t e r f e r e with cross-c u l t u r a l adaptation. On t h i s point, Mustafa's conscious avoidance of Middle-Eastern a f f a i r s contrasted s t r i k i n g l y with the preoccupation of a less highly ranked compatriot i n the discussion c l a s s . Kim and others highlight the importance of a " f l e x i b l e i n t e r c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y " i n which cognitive, a f f e c t i v e and behavioural a b i l i t i e s to adapt to situations increase. Both Mikela and Mustafa demonstrate such a f l e x i b i l i t y , marked by t h e i r ease i n the culture. Direct empirical support f o r the re l a t i o n s h i p between mental f l e x i b i l i t y , the capacity to bend one's way of thinking to host c u l t u r a l patterns, and cross-c u l t u r a l adaptation i s provided by Seelyne and Wasilewski (1981) c i t e d i n Kim. The es s e n t i a l argument i s that higher cognitive complexity affords learners with more ways of reacting to situa t i o n s and hence greater freedom i n learning behaviour. Mikela and Mustafa showed t h i s superior coping s t y l e while several other lower ranked subjects d i d not. F i n a l l y , Kim suggests that the "functional f i t n e s s " of newcomers, or congruence with the conditions of the target environment, can be measured i n t h e i r sense of belonging and sec u r i t y i n t h e i r future as members of society. Comments by subjects r e l a t e d to t h i s factor are worth examining. Mikela c l e a r l y envisioned her l i f e and that of her chi l d r e n as Canadians with no backward glances to her former homeland. Likewise, even as a foreign student, Mustafa was not t o t a l l y 109 preoccupied with the troubles of Lebanon, and engaged himself i n securing permanent status i n Canada. Less highly ranked learners admitted to being obsessed with developments i n t h e i r homelands, and a r t i c u l a t e d feelings of s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n and r e j e c t i o n i n Canada. These self-perceptions by subjects regarding t h e i r place i n Canadian society i l l u s t r a t e a v a r i a b i l i t y i n degree of adaptation which could d i r e c t l y influence a l l aspects of c u l t u r a l competence, including a b i l i t i e s i n group i n t e r a c t i o n . LI research on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s p a r t i c u l a r to the adult learner i s also worth mentioning b r i e f l y , as i t pertains to th i s study's findings on learner factors. Learners' needs, learning s t y l e and previous t r a i n i n g have been recognized as variables which have important implications for teaching (Porte 1988). Aspects of the a f f e c t i v e domain discussed e a r l i e r i n r e l a t i o n to c r o s s - c u l t u r a l adaptation also appear to be prominent factors i n adult learning. The in-depth reorientation i n values and s e l f -perceptions necessary i n learning (Smith 1986, 36) can create intense worry, fear and resistance. The l i f e s i t u a t i o n of the adult, too, i s fraught with c o n f l i c t i n g concerns, needs and desires which become content i n the learning process, a set of conditions interwoven into the fa b r i c of learning i t s e l f . Yet, unlike a c h i l d whose learning process i s comprised of formation and i n i t i a t i o n , the adult has a reservoir of past experience which may, as with Mikela, be a r i c h source for learning. Students l i k e Mikela and Mustafa shared an a b i l i t y to grow with the challenge of modifying and reintegrating o l d s k i l l s , values 110 and st r a t e g i e s , while other less adaptive indiv i d u a l s experienced increasing f r u s t r a t i o n . In t h i s context, the presence of coping mechanisms and confidence about personal learning a b i l i t y might be deciding factors i n learning success. Limitations of the study A number of design and methodological l i m i t a t i o n s should be noted i n r e l a t i o n to the nature of observational data, verbal reporting and interviewing technique. DESIGN LIMITATIONS A l l case studies are by nature l i m i t e d because of the small sample involved. However, i t was hoped that in-depth observation of learner behaviour i n an authentic academic task, complemented by general knowledge of t h e i r attitudes, information concerning o v e r a l l academic progress, and s e l f -report of learning behaviours could compensate for t h i s d eficiency. Following many researchers (Naiman at a l . 1978, O'Malley et a l . 1985, Cohen 1984), t h i s study combined classroom observation with reports of the learners' own insights and i n t u i t i o n s through a semi-structured interview. Although several studies report poor data from observation where, i t i s claimed, few learning techniques are ov e r t l y displayed, the researcher believed recording and analysing an extensive learning task such as leading a discussion might y i e l d a r i c h e r source of data. The purpose of the data, however, was to i d e n t i f y effectiveness i n the task rather than to reveal 111 strategy use overtly. Strategy use i s i n f e r r e d , since a good leader must carry out a number of metacognitive functions -advanced organizing, planning, monitoring and evaluating i n order to manage the discourse. This i n f e r r e d use could have been examined i n more d e t a i l through conferencing with each learner immediately a f t e r the sessions, and asking for t h e i r interpretations of actions and interventions through playback, i n essence, a "task s e l f - r e p o r t " . The researcher's notes, supplemented by student commentary, could then be more accurately interpreted to characterize strategy use within the task. Information regarding learners' strategy use i n other contexts, reading and writing courses for example, was also a v a i l a b l e , though i n anecdotal form. This data could have been systematically r e t r i e v e d using a strategy framework s i m i l a r to the interview's, and used to e s t a b l i s h more precise claims about the students' general learning approaches. Many researchers have commented on the need to t r a i n learners i n aspects of the learning process. Some preliminary i n s t r u c t i o n on what learning strategies are and how to use a self-observation schedule to inspect s p e c i f i c behaviours might have l e d to another learner-generated body of data showing strategy use evolving over time. F i n a l l y , the research design could have been improved by e x p l i c i t l y addressing t h i s important dimension of strategy development. I t i s assumed that a l l participants showed some t r a i n i n g e f f e c t , since some i n s t r u c t i o n i n good leadership 112 c r i t e r i a and p r i n c i p l e s of e f f e c t i v e communication preceded task performance. However, the influence of a single cycle of a c t i v i t i e s including c r i t i q u e , p ractice, s e l f - a n a l y s i s and additi o n a l t r a i n i n g could have been examined i f a second task observation were included. Time constraints prevented t h i s from happening i n t h i s study. LIMITATIONS IN DATA COLLECTION Observed task Although e a r l i e r studies found classroom observation for learning strategies unproductive i n terms of time, t h i s writer believed the examination of group discussion leadership could provide important data r e l a t i n g to the processes of e f f e c t i v e language use and the strategies of competent language users. Findings were c e r t a i n l y worthwhile and i n t e r e s t i n g . However, t h i s form of classroom observation presented a number of problems. The leader's r o l e was the focus of attention; yet, v a r i a t i o n i n i n t e r a c t i o n among participants was not controlled. Although the conditions of the task appeared equal, s o c i a l contexts were not equivalent. Topic, i n t e r e s t , even composition of the group varied somewhat from session to session. The scope of the task was large, larger than other tasks investigated i n "good language learner" and learner strategy research. While i t might be argued that a learning task of such complexity confounds too many features of language learning and learning i n general, i t can equally be claimed that the dynamism of the task allows researchers to interpret behaviours i n context. Noreen 113 Webb (1982) c i t e s the complexity of learning processes and the necessity of understanding the c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g of the  classroom, i d e n t i f y i n g three important factors that heavily influence the learning outcomes of individuals within groups : i n d i v i d u a l motivation, task demands and reward structure, and group c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Webb refers to l i t e r a t u r e on group development suggesting that group processes evolve i n stages, subsequently a f f e c t i n g achievement. She concludes that thorough research must consider input c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the i n d i v i d u a l , group, s e t t i n g , i n t e r a c t i o n i n the group and achievement as a system of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , rather than seek single s p e c i f i c predictors of success. Whether the conditions she outlines for s u f f i c i e n c y i n research approach are r e a l i z e a b l e i s a question that l i e s outside the scope of t h i s study. However, rather than abandoning task observation as too problematic, the researcher would prefer that methods be sought to improve i t s use as a t o o l for studying learning process and behaviours among ESL students. A second problem arose around the use of objective discourse measures. Theoretical objections w i l l be discussed f i r s t . Some researchers (Strubbs 1981, c i t e d i n Todd 1981) have argued strongly against using i s o l a t e d segments of t a l k to make inferences about s o c i a l phenomena. I t has been suggested that researchers should check interpretations of discourse with the talkers i n order to accurately capture the meaning of t h e i r interventions. Todd (1981) has further discussed the t h e o r e t i c a l constraints imposed by category sytems used i n summarizing and i n t e r p r e t i n g t a l k , and s t a t i s t i c a l analysis 114 which attempts to explain s o c i a l behaviour. He concludes that these procedures can only be considered useful when supplemented by other analyses. Barnes and Todd (1981), i n attempts to s a t i s f a c t o r i l y describe student t a l k and analyse aspects of s o c i a l context and set t i n g of the task related to successful learning, suggested that d i f f i c u l t i e s i n developing f i t t i n g descriptors arose from the very nature of group t a l k . They noted that meaning depends on the knowledge brought to the "interpretation of situated utterances", the d i v e r s i t y of pa r t i c i p a n t s ' s o c i a l experience, and therefore the " d i v e r s i t y of (conceptual) frames avai l a b l e . " This motivated them to caution against generalizing from data c o l l e c t e d i n one context to other contexts, e s p e c i a l l y when samples of t a l k are taken to represent cognitive competences. These hesitations suggest that q u a l i t a t i v e data have an important place i n any research claiming to adequately describe t a l k . P r a c t i c a l problems arose around the adequacy of an instrument for o b j e c t i f y i n g the task q u a l i t i e s of leadership. Discourse categories were often found to be i n s u f f i c i e n t f or describing sequences of in t e r a c t i o n , and for characterizing c e r t a i n ambiguities present i n group discussion. Since a se l e c t i o n of discourse measures was made, i t i s conceivable that some important l i n g u i s t i c features were not represented i n the data at a l l , i nfluencing the res u l t s obtained. The coding system i t s e l f presented problems even though Bellack's c l a s s i f i c a t i o n framework has been adequately adapted i n other research to examine learner feedback to instructors i n the ESL 115 classroom (Gaies 1983). I t was noted, for example, that interventions by participants r o u t i n e l y involved more than one category; f o r example, a student might respond to a SOL by giving a fa c t and a comparison. In his o r i g i n a l work on discourse analysis i n the classroom, Bellack (1966) suggested p r o h i b i t i n g double coding of categories i n order to achieve high r e l i a b i l i t y i n coding, though admitted that t h i s p ractice concealed relationships between d i f f e r e n t aspects of topic (37). Since i t was t h i s writer's intention to capture extensions of to p i c , no such p r o h i b i t i o n was applied, and the impact of t h i s coding anomaly on analysis i s unknown. F i n a l l y , because Bellack's system was developed for teacher analysis of LI pa r t i c i p a n t patterns i n the classroom, i t i s reasonable to assume that i t s adaptation to discussion leadership i n the L2 context might be somewhat flawed. I t i s cl e a r that alternate ways of analysing sequences, more representative of the actual s o c i a l context could be developed by researchers, while s t i l l taking advantage of systems developed i n LI studies. In summary, l i m i t a t i o n s on the use of discourse analysis suggest that researchers attempt to develop improved instruments for coding, and always supplement such quantitative analysis with q u a l i t a t i v e data. INTERVIEW The debate on the v a l i d i t y of se l f - r e p o r t s i s not yet resolved. Proponents argue i n favour of the r i c h data available i n such formats (Bailey and Ochner 1983). Many researchers have 116 used learners' accounts to probe the learning process (Wenden 1985a, O'Malley et a l . 1985, Rubin 1981), and j u s t i f y interviewing as a useful t o o l i n case study research (Simons 1981). Others, however, have cautioned that reports can be fabricated or influenced by experimenters' cues (Simons 1981), or be l i m i t e d i n content due to to an interviewee's lack of verbal a b i l i t y or motivation (Peterson et a l . 1982, 546). I t i s c l e a r that s e l f - r e p o r t i n g i s not " f a i l - s a f e " . At l e a s t one subject i n t h i s study was believed to respond according to what she perceived as the most "appropriate" responses to questions about her strategy use. The researcher, as well, may have introduced bias, since she was the i n s t r u c t o r of the course. Although p a r t i c i p a n t s were c l e a r l y informed of the purpose of the research and i t s separation from course a c t i v i t y , i n t e r a c t i o n of t h i s "contact" factor must not be ruled out. The interview schedule i t s e l f was r e l a t i v e l y s a t i s f a c t o r y , yet a number of l i m i t a t i o n s can be i d e n t i f i e d . One important question i n the researcher's mind related to c u l t u r a l differences i n learning modes, styles and the r o l e of education. The interview yielded incomplete information on t h i s , as many of the questions lacked s p e c i f i c i t y , or the interviewee was incapable of analysing her own educational background i n these terms. A f u l l e r exploration of t h i s dimension alone with more d i r e c t i v e questioning i s indicated. I t was hoped that some sections of the interview might reveal s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g or teaching approaches b e n e f i c i a l to the development of e f f e c t i v e learning stategies. Results were 117 inconclusive and alternate methods of exploring t h i s feature of a person's formative t r a i n i n g would need developing. Investigation of the cognitive s t y l e of learners was r e s t r i c t e d to sensory modalities. This portion of the interview could have been improved, perhaps, by examining additional cognitive dimensions found to be s i g n i f i c a n t i n learning theory; for example, f i e l d independence v.s. dependence; conceptualization v.s. categorization; r e f l e x i v i t y v.s. impulsivity. F i n a l l y , more emphasis could have been placed on the open-ended section of strategy use reporting, i n order to encourage learners to elaborate on what they do i n various learning s i t u a t i o n s . The Y/N statement-response format tended to somewhat r e s t r i c t learner description of behaviour. Summary In t h i s study, quantitative and q u a l i t a t i v e data revealed c e r t a i n commonalities as well as i n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n among ESL learners involved i n a groupwork task. While research i n ESL has argued for the general importance of e f f e c t i v e language learning techniques, learning strategy use, and a f f i n i t y with the culture, work to date does not yet comprise a coherent body of l i t e r a t u r e that can explain the v a r i e t y of s t y l e , adaptation and learning a b i l i t i e s evidenced i n the group of adult learners studied here. Detailed discussion of the findings around two top-ranked subjects i n t h i s study attempted to explore learner factors which might account for the v a r i a t i o n observed to see 118 what i t might o f f e r i n the way of insight to learning s t y l e s , strategies and behaviours. Perceptions offered by research into small group i n t e r a c t i o n , the s o c i a l contexts of t a l k i n the classroom, c r o s s - c u l t u r a l adaptation and the adult learner were examined. These were not assumed to form an alternate and cohesive grounding framework for the data, but simply suggest useful insights for understanding how d i f f e r e n t l y students can achieve learning tasks. Comments on research l i m i t a t i o n s suggested ways i n which design and methodology could be improved. 119 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION This study began with a number of questions about the association of global performance i n a complex task involving language use with s p e c i f i c l i n g u i s t i c behaviour, use of learning strategies and some selected learner factors. Certain assumptions about good language learning, learning behaviours, and s o c i o - a f f e c t i v e variables were accepted as the basis for the general research design and methodology. Previous researchers (Reid, Naiman et a l . , O'Malley and Chamot) had investigated the r e l a t i o n s h i p of these variables with language learning achievement, though, to date, evidence has not been conclusive. Using global ranking of discussion leadership as a key i n d i c a t o r , t h i s study explored i t s association with objective discourse management, learning strategy use, and two learner factors -motivation and learning s t y l e f l e x i b i l i t y . The quantitative r e s u l t s showed that highly ranked students demonstrated superior discourse management and greater tolerance of d i f f e r e n t learning modes. Qualitative observations, i n contrast with s t a t i s t i c a l findings, suggested that these learners seemed to have greater integrative motivation and appeared to be more competent strategy users. However, i n d i v i d u a l differences i n s t y l e , approach and practice also emerged i n the q u a l i t a t i v e findings. In general, the research suggests that both task-observation and interviewing were e f f e c t i v e and complementary methods for 120 examining the processes of students' learning. In p a r t i c u l a r , the impact of learner factors on performance could be explored through information gathered i n interviews. SLA l i t e r a t u r e and research to date were not found s a t i s f a c t o r y f o r explaining the i n d i v i d u a l v a r i e t y of s t y l e and learning aptitudes observed here. L i t e r a t u r e i n f i e l d s such as adult education and group i n t e r a c t i o n can be productive for exploring a broader perspective on the learning process. ESL theories need to recognize the s i g n i f i c a n c e of s o c i a l context i n the research process i t s e l f , attempt to avoid deterministic explanatory models, and acknowledge the importance of i n d i v i d u a l d i v e r s i t y when examining the behaviour of ESL learners, e s p e c i a l l y adults. With a growing i n t e r e s t i n the r o l e of learning strategies i n language a c q u i s i t i o n , there i s a complementary need to develop adequate methodology fo r examining strategy use i n dynamic conditions. The precise r o l e of learning strategies i n ESL students' learning the language and learning through the language has not been f i r m l y established. Educational psychologists are agreed, however, that e f f e c t i v e learning depends on the development of cognitive and metacognitive s k i l l s , and some ESL researchers currently share t h i s b e l i e f . Further research i s warranted i n a number of areas. More research must be done around the issue of the u n i v e r s a l i t y or s p e c i f i c i t y of strategies and the consequences for pedagogy. I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of s p e c i f i c strategies and a d d i t i o n a l refinement of categories of strategies i s also necessary. The a p p l i c a t i o n of these categories to complex language performance within ESL 121 c l a s s e s and i n content areas should be examined. T h e o r i e s and a p p l i c a t i o n s of e f f e c t i v e l e a r n i n g behaviours need t o account f o r a m u l t i p l i c i t y of v a r i a b l e s , i n c l u d i n g l i f e s i t u a t i o n and p r e v i o u s experience, which a f f e c t l e a r n i n g outcomes. A l t e r n a t i v e methods f o r c o l l e c t i n g data on language use i n t a s k s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n classroom o b s e r v a t i o n , need to be developed. F i n d i n g s on l e a r n e r v a r i a b l e s and d i v e r s i t y i n l e a r n i n g s t y l e and behaviour suggest t h a t more a t t e n t i o n c o u l d be p a i d to how i n d i v i d u a l s l e a r n d i f f e r e n t l y , y e t e f f e c t i v e l y . Although i n - d e p t h study of p e r s o n a l f a c t o r s i s time-consuming, i g n o r i n g t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the l e a r n i n g process may compromise r e s e a r c h aimed at understanding the complete l e a r n e r . Improvement of s e l f - r e p o r t instruments must be a c h i e v e d i n o r d e r t o v a l i d a t e t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s f o r e x p l o r i n g l e a r n i n g behaviour and l e a r n e r v a r i a b l e s . I n d i v i d u a l students should be s t u d i e d l o n g i t u d i n a l l y i n o r d e r t o t r a c e the development and m o d i f i c a t i o n of t h e i r l e a r n i n g behaviour. Another a r e a of p o s s i b l e r e s e a r c h i s comparative s t u d i e s of n a t i v e and non-native speaking s t u d e n t s ' behaviour i n c o n t e n t -a r e a classrooms. I f i t i s suspected t h a t ESL students o f t e n underachieve because of a mismatch of approach t o t a s k , then t h i s must be supported by r e s e a r c h which examines l e a r n i n g behaviour, not j u s t i n ESL c l a s s e s , but i n the g e n e r a l academic environment. The g o a l of r e s e a r c h on l e a r n e r s ' s t r a t e g i e s and l e a r n e r v a r i a b l e s s h o u l d be t o i n d i c a t e d i r e c t i o n s f o r b e t t e r l e a r n i n g 122 conditions and more e f f e c t i v e teaching intervention to f a c i l i t a t e learning. Researchers have commented on the lack of awareness by teachers of how t h e i r students do, i n f a c t , learn (O'Malley et a l . 1985). Others argue for the congruence of teacher and learner strategies i n the classroom (Bialystok 1985). There i s growing evidence that t r a i n i n g i n learners' strategies may enhance academic achievement (O'Malley et a l . 1985, Wenden 1986), and though such an approach should not be viewed as the new panacea i n language a c q u i s i t i o n , i t i s a d i r e c t i o n worth more study. Whether i n an ESL or mainstream classroom, academic-oriented ESL students need to develop academic competence, and learner factors and strategies must be assumed to play a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n t h i s process. Although t h i s study was not designed to evaluate pedagogical practices, some implications f o r classroom-based research are suggested by the findings as they r e l a t e to previous studies: 1. Teachers should investigate the cognitive s t y l e s of t h e i r learners and attempt to accomodate v a r i a t i o n through a d e l i v e r y of content that expresses a range of modalities. This would ensure that learners be given maximum opportunity to use "old" approaches while being exposed to less f a m i l i a r ones. 2. ESL teachers need to become f a m i l i a r with the teaching styles and modalities common i n mainstream classes, t h e i r students' future academic environment. Following t h i s , they can make t h e i r students aware of unfamiliar s t y l e s , and s e n s i t i z e non-ESL teachers to accomodate the d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l s t y l e s ESL 123 students bring to the content classroom. 3. Teachers need to f i n d out about t h e i r students' learning behaviours - not just as language learners, but as learners i n general. Extensive knowledge about previous educational experiences and learners' l i f e s ituations would give instructors valuable information pertinent to t h e i r current learning e f f o r t s . 4. Self-awareness i n students about what various learning tasks and contexts e n t a i l should be encouraged. Discussion about the d i f f i c u l t y of tasks, learning styles and problems should have a place i n the organization of classes. Summary Several studies i n educational psychology and ESL have suggested that better learners may display a broad repertoire of learning behaviours when dealing with i n s t r u c t i o n a l tasks, and are conscious and i n control of t h e i r learning process. The r o l e of such learner variables as cognitive s t y l e and previous educational experience i n successful learning has also been implied. Quantitative findings from t h i s research showed that students more highly ranked as leaders of group discussion demonstrated better discourse management, and were f l e x i b l e i n learning s t y l e . However, q u a l i t a t i v e observations also suggested that they might be more competent strategy users, and acculturate more e a s i l y . Knowledge about learners' educational and l i f e experience was important i n understanding and i n t e r p r e t i n g the d i v e r s i t y of s t y l e represented i n task 124 performance. Most i m p o r t a n t l y , students p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the r e s e a r c h i n t e r v i e w and o b s e r v a t i o n f e l t they had l e a r n e d much about the processes of t h e i r own l e a r n i n g . T h i s enthusiasm, perhaps, i s the most pro m i s i n g i n d i c a t o r t h a t classroom-based r e s e a r c h i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n may be worth p u r s u i n g . 125 B I B L I O G R A P H Y Adelman, C. 1981. Uttering, Muttering, C o l l e c t i n g , Using and  Reporting Talk for Social and Educational Research. London: Grant Mclntyre Ltd. Allwright, R.L. 1980. Turns, topics and tasks: patterns of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n language learning and teaching. In D. Larsen-Freeman (Ed.), Discourse Analysis i n Second  Language Research. 165-187. 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Wong-Fillmore, L i l y . 1983. The language learner as an i n d i v i d u a l . On TESOL '82: P a c i f i c Perspectives on Language  Learning and Teaching. 157-173. TESOL: Washington, D.C. 134 APPENDIX A LEADERSHIP TASKS TASK: LEADING A DISCUSSION STEPS TO GETTING READY 1(Think about the topic you ' re interested in eg. how clean the environment i s . Pick one on which everyone can have an opinion. 'DLook at magazines/newspapers for appropriate reading for the class. It should not have too much special ist language in i t . If you don't have many ideas , through the green book. 3 )Bring the art ic le to your instructor the class before you are leading. It will have to be copied and distributed. 4 preparation a) Can you say the main points of the ar t ic le without reading i t? Can you point to spots in the ar t ic le that are important? b) Write up some interesting discussion questions about your topic. Make sure they relate to the a r t i c le . Try to distribute these to the other students before the discussion day. 5)0n the day of the discussion, remember: A) SUMMARIZE THE ARTICLE B) ASK THE QUESTIONS C) MANAGE TIIE TURN-TAKING D) SUMMARIZE THE DISCUSSION 135 APPENDIX B LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES E S L 455 t LEADING D I S C U S S I O N S Use t h e s e g u i d e l i n e s w h e t h e r y o u a r e l e a d i n g a d i s c u s s i o n o n a n e w s -p a p e r o r m a g a z i n e a r t i c l e , o r as a f o l l o w - u p t o y o u r p r e s e n t a t i o n , someone e l s e ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n , a f i l m e t c . A . P R E P A R A T I O N P r e p a r e q u e s t i o n s b e f o r e h a n d t o s t i m u l a t e d i s c u s s i o n . T h e s e s h o u l d be o f two k i n d s , d e p e n d i n g o n t h e t y p e o f a r t i c l e o r p r e s e n t a t i o n y o u a r e d i s c u s s i n g . 1 ) C o n t e n t r e v i e w (summary) q u e s t i o n s . The p u r p o s e o f t h e s e q u e s t i o n s i s t o g u i d e g r o u p p a r t i c i p a n t s i n r e v i e w i n g t h e m a t e r i a l i n t h e a r t i c l e o r p r e s e n t a t i o n u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n . A s e c o n d p u r p o s e o f t h e s e q u e s t i o n s i s t o p r e p a r e p a r t i c -i p a n t s f o r a more g e n e r a l d i s c u s s i o n o f i s s u e s r e l a t e d t o t h e t o p i ? o r r e f e r e n c e t o t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e s e t c . 2) D i s c u s s i o n ( i s s u e , p e r s o n a l v i e w s o r e x p e r i e n c e s ) q u e s t i o n s The p u r p o s e o f t h e s e q u e s t i o n s i s t o g u i d e g r o u p p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a p p l y i n g t h e a r t i c l e o r p r e s e n t a t i o n i n some w a y . B . D I S C U S S I O N • U s e y o u r - p r e p a r e d q u e s t i o n s , b u t be f l e x i b l e e n o u g h t o a d a p t t o t h e d i s c u s s i o n . T h a t i s , y o u may n o t n e e d a l l y o u r q u e s t i o n s , y o u may want t o a d d o t h e r s as t h e d i s c u s s i o n , d s e l o p s • D o n ' t f o r g e t t h e t a s k s o f l e a d e r s h i p . E V A L U A T I O N OF D I S C U S S I O N L E A D E R S H I P Y o u w i l l be e v a l u a t e d o n : - h o w e f f e c t i v e l y y o u s t i m u l a t e d a n d f o c u s s e d t h e d i s c u s s i o n - h o w w e l l y o u i n v o l v e d a l l t h e g r o u p members - h o w t h o r o u g h l y t h e d i s c u s s i o n d e v e l o p e d 136 APPENDIX B ESL U55 LEADERSHIP  Below are some leadership re s p o n s i b i l i t i e s within a group discussion situation. Discuss them as a group, c l a r i f y i n g your understanding of each point by discussing WHY? and HOW? for each one. Make notes under each point so that this handout can be a resource sheet during the course. In a discussion situation, a good leader should do the following! 1. Make sure that everyone understands the purpose of the discussion. 2. Create a cooperative, democratic atmosphere. 3. Make sure a l l the group members participate i n the discussion. k.Make sure the discussion follows some plan. 5. Use transitions and summaries to keep the discussion on track. 6. C l a r i f y details and members' comments where needed. 7. Make sure the discussion atmosphere i s positive j resolve c o n f l i c t s before they seriously affect the discussion. 8. Conclude the discussion. 137 APPENDIX C SPEAKING IN GROUPS When you are involved in discussion groups, either private or public, you have certain RESPONSIBILITIES. One set of responsibilities has to do with COMPLETING THE GROUPS GOALS. For example, you might have to solve a problem, make a decision or finish a project. You have a purpose. Each participant should contribute to getting the task done. You can do this in several ways. (1) STARTING THE DISCUSSION BY DEFINING THE PROBLEM, eg. "Let's begin by looking at what the problem i s . " (2) CLARIFYING A SUGGESTION OR IDEA. eg. "I think Manjit is saying abortion is morally wrong in a society like ours." (3) REVIEWING what's been talked about, and GUIDING the discussion, eg. "I believe we've exhausted our opinions on whether pornography is acceptable. Shall we talk about possible alternatives now?" (4) CHECKING FOR CONSENSUS. Is the group ready to make a decision? "It appears we have agreement that smoking is a bad habit, is that right? The above are called TASK ROLES. They a l l help to get the work of the group done to make a decision or solve a problem. A second set of responsibilities has to do with MAKING SURE THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE GROUP IS GOOD. You can do this in several ways: (1) RESOLVING DIFFERENCES so that the discussion does not become tense, eg. "I think there's room for both points of view, don't you?" (2) COMPROMISING : suggesting a change of position : "Do you think there's a way we can come to agreement?" (3) SUPPORTING, ENCOURAGING MEMBERS1 CONTRIBUTIONS: eg. "That's a very good point, Eva." (4) ENCOURAGING INTERACTION BETWEEN MEMBERS, eg. "Robert, what do you think of Pari 's comments?" Sometimes people in discussion let their own strong opinions get in the way of communicating with others. It 's important to avoid this kind of negative behaviour, because i t can k i l l a good discussion. You should watch out for: (1) DOMINATING BEHAVIOUR _ INTERRUPTING OTHERS, TALKING TOO MUCH, eg. "That's what I sa id . " (2) BEING AGGRESSIVE- boasting or fighting with others, rejecting others'ideas. (3) WITHDRAWING : being indifferent, not contributing to the group feeling. 138 APPENDIX D DISCUSSION GAMBITS I. Openers and Interrupters Excusemefor interrupting, but I might add here I'd like to comment on that . . . May I add something May I say something here I'd l ike to say something May I ask a question II. Return to a Topic Anyway In any case To return to To get back to Where was I Going back to III. Clar i f icat ion Pardon me? Sorry, I didn't catch that Excuse me, I didn't get that Could you say i t aga in . . . . ? Wait, could you repeat that ? 139 APPENDIX D IV. Listing The f i r s t thing is First First of al l To begin with Another thing is Next Then After that The second (third, fourth) thing is Finally At the end As the last thing V. Checking to see i f Understood Are you following me? Are you with me? Is that clear? Okay so far? Do you understand so far? 140 APPENDIX D VI. Giving A reason The reason why the main reason why owing to due to because of since in view of the fact seeing as how for this reason on account of this that's the reason why VII Restatement what you're saying is what you're really saying is in other words you're simply saying i f I understand you correctly i f I read you right 141 A P P E N D I X D VIII Correcting Ortself what I mean is what I meant is let me put i t another way what I'm saying is what I'm trying to say is IX. Agreement I think that x is right when she says I concur with x's opinion that What x says appeals to me for these reasons I believe that what you have said is right becau I total ly agree with you on that point I think you're right on that point X. Disagreement I don't agree with x's point of view because I'm not sure I'm in agreement with you I see this question in a sl ightly different way 142 A P P E N D I X D XI QUESTIONING LINKS Do you really think ? Are you serious when you say . . . . . ? Do you mean to say . ? Isn't i t true that ? Xll SUGGESTION LINKS Don't you think ? Wouldn't you think ? Wouldn't i t be better . . . ? Wouldn't i t be a good idea ? XI11 ASKING FOR EXPLANATION Can you explain why ? I don't understand why ? Why do you think ? Why is i t that . ? What do you mean by ? What do you have in mind when you say . . . ? 143 APPENDIX E TRANSCRIPT DISCUSSION LEADERSHIP TOPIC : ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN IN TODAY'S SOCIETY Cicii C\_/ S.TR /U)PS/faa Today, the discussion i s about women's p o s i t i o n and VinA) I would l i k e to tal k about the family and a l i t t l e ' b i t , mention what i s the p o s i t i o n of family i n society, but not that much. In the a r t i c l e we can read,uh, i t shows r e a l l y j c l e a r , the r o l e has changed since the past, since I the woman went outide of the house and they're j working more than before. And, uh, the reason, there ! are a few reasons f o r t h a i . There ape a few problems j created by that. The problems are, I would say, ! majbe negative or p o s i t i v e , um, um, followed up I ; would say. And the second sheet we have, there i s : about s t a t i s t i c s how the r e a l , r e a l s i t u a t i o n i s . ; I think i t ' s developed a l o t , but s t a t i s t i c s show • that not that much improvement i n t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . I-/ S O L / W P / J?*. So, we have some questions and the f i r s t one i s just I t h i n k . o I wrote " i n your opinion" because of course you don't have to know the r e a l s i t u a t i o n i n your country. You can , you know, ju s t give your own opinion, how the s i t u a t i o n looks. So we have a few countries you are from and I would l i k e to hear from every country someone to : t a l k about t h i s question , the f i r s t one. OK? Uh, how about we s t a r t from Hong Kong, people from Hong Kong. OK? Come on. P/ SOL/CL : ( sr. x , what do you want to know?) i L / * B / U I P S / What do I want to know. I would l i k e to hear, yeah, lK»r | the f i r s t question. What do you think i s the woman' j p o s i t i o n i n your country, i s i t more t r a d i t i o n a l , o r i i s i t more, uh, developed, developed i n the^ast I few years. ; The model of the family , i s i t more t r a d i t i o n a l or P / S O L /CL. ; (Nowadays?) U R E S /ex. . Yeah, now. P/ *ss/fpj£l (Because of influence of western c u l t u r e , i t ' s . . ) L/ «vn ; Yes... p / WA*K/*K ( i t ' s not r e a l l y t r a d i t i o n a l anymore) U S O L / I M T You think i t ' s not r e a l l y t r a d i t i o n a l . . P/" BBS/wPs/fTNot r e a l l y ) ty RwAS I Not any more. Uh.hm. OK. A l r i g h t . T L / sauArfV^How about. ST. What do you think about i t ? P / eeq/x ( cr."1- ) 1/ GAtn ST-1 -1 sorry. K C U (incomp.) How do you think i s the model of the family, what is L - / Sn./yv*Y[ the p o s i t i o n of the woman i n the family? Is i t FRC •. t r a d i t i o n a l or not? p/tB/^flC ( S t i l l traditional) | 2 | \J teft/kPMs' I t ' s s t i l l t r a d i t i o n a l . OK. j jL| W stKyitire/m-So, the model of family i s mostly t r a d i t i o n a l . g * | p / Res/JK ( S T .I. :women mostly do home duties, not so many U, • work outside the home) W M f t ^ P s J! s e e , 0 K . 144 i'i APPENDIX F LEARNING STRATEGY DEFINITIONS LEARNING STRATEGY DEFINITIONS ( adapted f rom o ' M a l l e y / c h a m o t , 1985 and 1987) METACOGNITIVE S t r a t e g y D e f i n i t i o n 1.Advance o r g a n i z a t i o n P r e v i e w i n g the main Ideas and concepts of the m a t e r i a l to be d i s c u s s e d , l o o k i n g f o r the o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e . 2 . O r g a n i z a t i o n a l p l a n n i n g P l a n n i n g the p a r t s , sequence, main ideas t o be ex p r e s s e d o r a l l y . 3 . S e l e c t i v e a t t e n t i o n D e c i d i n g i n advance t o a t t e n d t o s p e c i f i c a s p e c t s of Input. 4.Self-management Understa n d i n g the c o n d i t i o n s t h a t h e l p one l e a r n and a r r a n g i n g f o r t h e i r p resence. 5 . F u n c t i o n a l p l a n n i n g 6.Delayed p r o d u c t i o n 7 . S e l f - m o n i t o r i n g 8 . S e l f - e v a l u a t i o n P l a n n i n g f o r and r e h e a r s i n g l i n g u i s t i c components n e c e s s a r y f o r the t a s k . C o n s c i o u s l y d e c i d i n g to d e l a y s p e a k i n g In order t o l e a r n through l i s t e n i n g . Checking one's comprehension d u r i n g l i s t e n i n g , or f o r a c c u r a c y i n p r o -n u n c i a t i o n , grammar, v o c a b u l a r y d u r i n g performance. Judging how v e i l one has ac c o m p l i s h e d a l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y a f t e r i t has been completed. 145 A P P E N D I X F COGNITIVE 1. R e s o u r c i n g ; 2. Note-taking : U6ing t a r g e t language r e f e r e n c e materials, like dictionaries. Writing down main idea, key concept outline or summary of information being presented orally. 3.Summar izing 4 . E l a b o r a t i o n \ Making a mental, oral or written summary of information gained through 1istenlng. R e l a t i n g new i n f o t o p r i o r know-ledge or prior s k i l l s to help comprehension. 5.Inferencing : Using information In an oral text to guess meanings. SOCIAL AFFECTIVE 1.Questioning for clarification: E l i c i t i n g from a teacher or peer additional explanation, rephrasing or examples. 2.Co-operation : Working together with peers to solve a problem, get feedback on oral performance, model a language activity. 3.Self-talk Reducing anxiety by using mental techniques that make one feel com-petent to do the learning task. 146 APPENDIX G STUDENT INTERVIEW PREAMBLE I would l i k e to talk to you about your own language learning experience. And s p e c i f i c a l l y I would l i k e to find out from you how you prepare your-s e l f for doing certain a c t i v i t i e s i n English. We c a l l this work of pre= paring and deciding what to do when you're actually In the a c t i v i t y strategies. So I'm interested i n what kind of p a r t i c u l a r strategies you use. I'm doing some research i n this area. Besides interviewing you, I have taped your discussion leadership to look at how you use the strategies to lead the group. There i s no evaluation involved i n this interview. If you don't mind, however, I'd l i k e to tape the interview so I can get down exactly what you said. OK? INTERVIEW SCHEDULE 1.BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION Name Age Age at a r r i v a l i n Canada Country of o r i g i n What do you regard as your native language? Other languages you know? (read, write, speak?) When did you f i r s t begin learning English? Current job? Past occupation Reasons for coming to Canada FAMILY BACKGROUND *Any family here?If so, who? *Economic/social class grouping  147 APPENDIX G 2.EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND No, of years of schooling -native country -Canada Area of study (specialty) Last programs studied i n native country -highest q u a l i f i c a t i o n -achievement No. of years of English training previous to current courses -kind of course (eg intensive etc.) Description of learning environment i n native country -Describe the teacher role (eg. always i n front of the class?) -Describe a t y p i c a l course, how i t was organized : -Did teachers ever talk about common things bewteen subjects? If so, how? -Were you ever taught l o g i c a l thinking? -Did you have to memorize a l o t of facts? -How were you evaluated and tested (eg written/oral etc.)? -How often were you evaluated? Language : Were you taught a lot of grammar? ( f i r s t ) v o u r n a t i v e language compared with other languages ? (If so, which ones?) Were you made aware of differences i n how various languages are organized? 148 APPENDIX G Learning English i n native country 1. When you studied English, did the teacher speak i n English or native tongue? 2. Describe a t y p i c a l lesson; length, how i t went from beginning to end., (eg. did teacher lecture, did you do repeating?) 3 . What did you mainly study : grammar, reading (give %•) ? 4 . Did you have to speak a l o t yourself? or read? or write? 5. Can you remember the kind of homework you did typica l l y ? 6. Did you practice English outside of class? How? How much? (give egs.) 7. What did you find hardest about learning English (eg pronunciation, grammar etc.)? Language learning a b i l i t y l.What other languages have you studied? How well do you know these languages now? 2.If I asked you to describe your a b i l i t i e s i n languages, where would you put yourself on a scale of beginner's to advanced? 3.Would you say you are generally strong or weak i n learning languages? -do you have a good memory? -do you enjoy analysing languages? -do you "have a good ear"? 149 APPENDIX G A.Do you think you have any particular study habits or personal character-istics that help/get in the way of your success in learning languages? If so, what are they? 5.Sometimes people get negative feelings when learning a language. Frequently they feel discouraged, impatient, frustrated. Have you ever experienced these feelings? How do you deal with these feelings? LEARNING STYLE PREFERENCES People find, that they learn in many different ways, and often prefer some ways over others. For eg., some use their eyes (visual), some their ears (auditory), s t i l l others like to get direct experience by trying something out. As well, people often prefer to work alone, while others like group work. What form of instruction do you think you generally learn the most from? -listening (eg. to lectures, cassettes etc.) -seeing, watching (eg. reading, studying a written text) -learning by doing (eg. experiments, role plays etc.) Now read each statement that follows. Respond QUICKLY, not thinkin about your answer for any length of time. Respond as they apply to your study of English. Use the scale 1-5 to rate your answers. 1 2 3 - 4 5 i 1 ! _ 1 1 strongly agree strongly disagree 1.When the teacher t e l l s me instructions, I understand better. 2.1 like to learn by doing something, not reading about i t . 3.1 feel I get more done when I work together with others. 4.1 catch more when I read notes written by the teacher on the board. 5.When someone tell s me how to do something in class, I learn i t . 6.1 remember things I heard in class better than things I have read. 7.1 understand better when I have a chance to read instructions. 8.When I study alone, I remember better. 150 APPENDIX G 9.1 enjoy learning in class by doinf role plays. 10.I learn better when I make diagrams or drawings. 11.I learn better in class when I listen to someone. 12.1 enjoy working on a project or exercise with another classmate. 13.1 prefer studying with others. 14.1 learn better by reading than by listening to someone talk. 15.1 enjoy making something for a class project. 16.1 learn best when I can participate in related activities, like f i e l d trips. 17.1 prefer to work by myself. LEARNING STRATEGIES GENERAL Do you do any of the following to practice English outside your classes? I. watch TV 2.listen to the radio 3. speak English at home 4. read newspaper or popular magazines 5. talk with native speakers when I can 6. ask questions often during the day 7. write down English words you don't know and ask someone to explain 8. doing some homework every day 9. reading aloud to yourself 10. repeating words or phrases silently to yourself II. trying to rwad a novel or other English book 12. taking a course in some subject (eg, aerobics) where instructions are in English 13. going to public lectures in English 14. watching English movies or videos or plays 15. writing down words, looking up their meanings 16. practicing dialogues with yourself 17»asking others to correct your speech 18. writing letters in English 19. talking on the telephone every day in English 20. working or playing sports in English 151 APPENDIX G INTEGRATION INDEX Read each statement that follows. RESPOND QUICKLY, not thinking too long about your answer. Use the scale 1-5 to rate your answers: | | I stronglyjdisagree L 3 If 5 I. 1 enjoy English culture. 2.1 miss my native culture a lot. 3. When I hear English a l l the time, I get depressed. 4. Most of the time, I feel comfortable in this culture. 5.1 really like hearing my native language spoken. 6.If I have the chance, I prefer to spesk in my native tongue. 7.1 try hard to make English-speaking friends. 8.1 like to understand why people do things in this culture. 9.1 prefer the company of my country people. LO.Differences between Canadian culture and my native culture don't bother me. II. I find i t hard to really understand this society. 12.1 enjoy practicing my English and my knowledge about this culture. 13.1 feel that sometime I will feel totally at home here. 14.1 like learning about Canada. 15.1 always feel more comfortable with my country people. strongly agree j I 152 APPENDIX G LEARNING STRATEGIES  For Discussion Class 1. How do you prepare for each class? (describe what you do) 2. What things do you do to remember what we've already talked about, eg. Crosstalk? (go over notes? talk to another student? etc.) 3.Do you think you prepare for your ESL class the same way you did for course in your native country? If not, differences? 4. What do you do when you don't understand -what instructor means? -what another student means? -what we are doing? 5 . Are there any special techniques you have for copying how the instructor/other students talk, how they might use expressions? 6.1s there anything in particular you do to remember a sequence for an activity we are doing (eg. participating in discussion)? 7.'What do you do i f you lose track of what you're doing? 8. What do you do to help yourself take turns when you want to in discussion? 9. How do you figure out the meanings of words you don't know? (spoken) 153 APPENDIX G LEARNING STRATEGIES  Participant i n discussion What helps you prepare and participate? DO YOU..... 1. read the a r t i c l e several times 2. read other material on same issue 3 . make sure you have time before class to think about the topic 4. ask questions to yourself about this issue beforehand 5 . use a dictionary 6. take notes down from the a r t i c l e , write down the main idea 7 . talk with another student before class about the topic 8. write down your own ideas about the topic 9 . compare the issue with other topics (look for s i m i l a r i t i e s differences) 10. pretend you are speaking, practice what you're going to say 11. talk w/a friend/husband/ etc. about the topic What do you do i n the discussion to improve you understanding of the topic, and to develop your a b i l i t y to discuss i n English? 1. ask questions every time 2. put together others' ideas while l i s t e n i n g . 3 . l i s t e n to others f i r s t to learn more about the topic 4. practice what you're going to say i n your mind f i r s t 5 . correct what you're saying while you're ta l k i n g 6. don't s i t beside someone who bothers you 7 . pay attention to only certain information about the topic 8. pay attention to certain people who are clear when they talk 9tjudg« how wall you spoke by comparing what you said to what others said, or with what you wanted to say 154 APPENDIX G Leader i n discussion What helps you prepare for the discussion ? What do you do i n the discussion to develop the topic and improve your leadership a b i l i t y ? 1. read the a r t i c l e several times 2. read other material on same topic 3«take plenty of time the few days before to go over the main issues 4. ask questions about the topic of yourself 5 . judge how well you are leading as you go through the discussion 6. take notes of what others are saying 7»write down your own ideas out beforehand 8.organize the comments of others as you go 9. talk w/ a f r i e n d / other student about the topic before 10. pretend you are leading and practice what you w i l l say before 11. compare the topic with other topics 155 APPENDIX G CODING FOR LEARNING STRATEGIES REPORTED IN INTERVIEW PARTICIPANT : PREPARATION FOR DISCUSSION 1. m-adv org 2. m-adv org 3. m-org pi 4. m-org-pl 5 . c-res 6 . ro-org pi 7. sa-co-op 8. m-org pi 9. m-adv org 10. m-£unc pi 11. m-org pi PARTICIPANT : IN DISCUSSION 1. c-ques 2. c-elab 3. m-del prod 4 . m-£unc pi 5 . m-self mon 6 . m-self man 7. m-sel 8 .iB-sel 9.m-self ev 156 APPENDIX G AS LEADER 1. m-adv org 2. m-adv org 3. m-org p i 4 . m-org p i 5. m - s e l f ev 6. c - n o t e s 7. m-org p i 8. c-sum 9 . s a - c o - o p 10. m-org p i 11. m-adv org m = m e t a c o g n i t i v e c = c o g n i t i v e sa = s o c i a l - a f f e c t i v e 157 APPENDIX G r.nnv. trnw T.tt*RNTNn BTYMT 1. L 2. D 3. G 4.S 5. L 6. L 7.S 8 .G 9. D 10. D 11. L 12. G TOTALS: G=5 13. G 14.S L=4 15. D 16. D S=3 17 .G D=5 L = l l s t e n l n g ( a u r a l ) S=seelng ( v i s u a l ) D=dolng ( k i n e s t h e t i c ) G=group I n s t r u c t i o n s : Code pos and neg. S u b t r a c t . Values of more than 50% show p r e f e r e n c e . 158 

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