Communication strategies among EFL students - An examination of frequency of use and types of strategies used

Kim Hua Tan, Nor Fariza Mohd Nor, Mohd Nayef Jaradat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated how and when oral communication strategies are used in group discussions by international students at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, a public university in Malaysia. It aims to examine the differences in the use of communication strategies between high and low proficient speakers. The participants were a group of ten low proficient Arabic speakers of English and a group of ten high proficient Chinese and Arabic speakers of English. Data elicited from audio recordings of oral group discussions and a self-report questionnaire was used to identify communication strategies used. The findings showed that the subjects resorted to ten out of the twelve types of communication strategies specified by Tarone (1980), Faerch and Kasper (1983), and Willems (1987). The most frequently employed communication strategy was code switching; an interlingual strategy and the least used strategy was word coinage; an intralingual strategy. Further investigation indicated that different levels of oral proficiency influenced the use of communication strategies from two aspects. They are the frequency of use and the selection of types of communication strategies. This implies that international students studying at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) need to be made aware of the use of communication strategies depending on their level of proficiency and the fact that raising the awareness of both low proficient and also high proficient speakers to strategies that are used by speakers of different proficiency levels may well help ease communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-848
Number of pages18
JournalGEMA Online Journal of Language Studies
Volume12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

Fingerprint

examination
communication
student
Malaysia
group discussion
Communication Strategies
Frequency of Use
recording
Group
Proficiency
questionnaire
university
Group Discussion
International Students

Keywords

  • Classification
  • Communication strategy
  • EFL
  • English language proficiency
  • Oral discussion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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