Communicative Strategies in Second Language Acquisition : A Study of Chinese English Learners’ Attitude and Reported Frequency of Communicative Strategies

University essay from Högskolan Kristianstad/Sektionen för lärande och miljö


Communicative strategies not only play an important role in communication but they also contribute to second language acquisition. Communicative strategies (CS) can help to keep the communication channel open, encourage hypothesis formation and automatization. The overall aim of this essay is to find out whether there is a relationship between Chinese English learners’ attitudes toward the use of communicative strategies and the reported frequency of using them in actual communication. Forty Chinese English majors are selected randomly to participate in this investigation. They were divided into two different groups according to their different level of language proficiency. The main methods of this essay are two questionnaires and an interview.


Based on the framework of achievement strategies and reduction strategies and through the investigation of the relationship between the attitude toward communicative strategies and the reported frequency of using them in communication, three tentative conclusions have been drawn. Firstly, a learner’s attitude of CS has some influence on the use of CS. Secondly; Chinese learners of English tend to use reduction strategies most often. Finally, Chinese learners seldom use achievement strategies although they tend to believe the important role of achievement strategies in communication. What is more, this essay also analyzes the two groups of students’ different attitudes and different reported frequency of using CS and finds some reasons for those differences. After the above analyses, the essay categorizes three main factors which affect learners’ attitudes and their reported frequency of using CS. It includes the learner itself, the learning context, and the communication context.

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