Learning Strategies of the Arab EFL Learners: Finding Correlation with Outcomes

Arif Ahmed Mohammed Hassan Al-Ahdal, Ahmed Ali Hassan Al-Ma'amari


Socio-psychological research and findings into learner differences led to the emergence of learner strategies research in the last century. With major contributions from the emerging field of Linguistics in the mid 1970s, language learning strategies began to receive considerable attention. It is worth noting that the primary concern of most of the studies on language learning strategies has been the identification of the characteristic of good language learners and what it  is that they do to learn a second language ! The focus of this study, consequently, is the teaching of language learning strategies to facilitate better learning. It aims at differentiating the strategies of good language learners from those of poor language learners. The hypothesis is this would enable language teachers to propagate the successful strategies to ensure better learning outcomes: A major factor for socio-economic development in KSA. It analyses the strategies used by Saudi students in learning English as a foreign language. Further, it  brings out the teacher's role in raising the students' awareness of different strategies, educating the teachers in the use of these strategies, and training them to assimilate these into regular classroom activities. Instruments used include a questionnaire administered to the students and interviews with the teachers.

Keywords: Strategies, EFL, Saudi students, learning outcomes, learner differences

Full Text:



Brown, T. S., Perry, Jr., Fred, L. (1991). A Comparison of Three Learning Strategies for ESL Vocabulary Acquisition. TESOL Quarterly, 25(4),655-670.

Bruen, J. (2001). The Parallel Development of Oral Proficiency and Use of Language Learning Strategies. Die Unterrichtspraxis/ Teaching German, 34(2),158-168.

Carrell, P.L., Pharis, B.G., Liberto, J. C. (1989). Metacognitive Strategy Training for ESL Reading. TESOL Quarterly, 23(4), 647-678.

Chamot, A.U., & Dinary, P.B. (1999). Children's Learning Strategies in Language Immersion Classrooms. The Modern Language Journal, 83(3), 319-338.

Diekhoff, G. M., Brown, P. J., & Danserau, D. F. (1982). A Prose Learning Strategy Training Program Based on Network and Depth-of-Processing Models. The Journal of Experimental Education, 50(4), 180-184.

Ferris, D. & Tagg, T. (1996). Academic Listening/Speaking Tasks for ESL Students: Problems, Suggestions, and Implications. TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), 297-320.

Gonzalez, O., & Gonzales, O. (1999). Building Vocabulary: Dictionary Consultation and the ESL Student. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 43(3), 264-270.

Green, J. M., & Oxford, R. (1995). A Closer Look at Learning Strategies, L2 Proficiency, and Gender. TESOL Quarterly, 29(2), 261-297.

Guskey, T. R. (1990). Cooperative Mastery Learning Strategies. The Elementary School Journal, 19(1), 33-42.

Hedge, T. (2010). Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hsiao, T.Y. , & Oxford, R. (2002). Comparing Theories of Language Learning Strategies: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis. The Modern Language Journal, 86(3), 368-383.

Jang, E.Y. , & Jiménez, R. T. (2011). A Sociocultural Perspective on Second Language Learner Strategies: Focus on the Impact of Social Context. Theory into Practice, 50(2), 141-148.

Johnson, D., & Steele, V. (1996). So Many Words, so Little Time: Helping College ESL Learners Acquire Vocabulary-Building Strategies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 39(5), 348-357.

Karabenick, S. A., & Eaglin, J.C. (1997). Relation of Perceived Instructional Goals and Incentives to College Students’ Use of Learning Strategies. The Journal of Experimental Education, 65(4), 331-341.

Leki, I. (1995). Coping Strategies of ESL Students in Writing Tasks across the Curriculum. TESOL Quarterly, 29(2), 235-260.

Locastro, V. (1994). Learning Strategies and Learning Environments. TESOL Quarterly, 28(2), 409-414.

Macaro, E. (2006). Strategies for Language Learning and for Language Use: Revising the Theoretical Framework. The Modern Language Journal, 90(3), 320-337.

McDonough, Sh. K. (2001). Promoting Self-Regulation in Foreign Language Learners. The Clearing House, 74(6), 323-326.

Miller, J.R. (1993). A Critical Appraisal of Learner Training: Theoretical Bases and Teaching Implications. TESOL Quarterly, 27(4), 679-689.

Mokhtari, K. & Sheorey, R. (2002). Measuring ESL Students' Awareness of Reading Strategies. Journal of Developmental Education, 25(3), 2-10.

Moussu, L. (2010). Influence of Teacher-Contact Time and Other Variables on ESL Students' Attitudes Towards Native- and Nonnative-English-Speaking Teachers. TESOL Quarterly, 44(4), 746-768.

O'Malley,J. & Michael et al. (1985). Learning Strategy Applications with Students of English as a Second Language. TESOL Quarterly, 19(3), 557-584

Oxford, R., & Crookall, D. (1989). Research on Language Learning Strategies: Methods, Findings, and Instructional Issues. The Modern Language Journal, 73(4), 404-419

Pappamihiel, N. E . (2002). English as a Second Language Students and English Language Anxiety: Issues in the Mainstream Classroom. Research in the Teaching of English, 36(3). 27-355

Recker, M., & Pirolli, P . (1995). Modeling Individual Differences in Students' Learning Strategies. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4(1),1-38.

Reid, J. M. (1987). The Learning Style Preferences of ESL Students. TESOL Quarterly, 21(1).87-111

Sabo, I.K., & Lightbown, P. M. (1999). Students' Approaches to Vocabulary Learning and Their Relationship to Success. The Modern Language Journal, 83(2), 176-192

Tileston, D.W. (2014). 10 Best Teaching Practices. Sage Advatedge, India


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.