A critical review of research on language learning strategies used by Arab learners of English

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Abstract

More than four decades have passed since the language learning strategy (LLS) concept was first brought to wide attention by Joan Rubin (1975). Although LLS research is prolific, it has faced challenges regarding its conceptual and methodological nature. These apparent weaknesses have encouraged some proponents of LLS research (e.g. Oxford, 2011; Rose et al, 2018) to conduct a systematic review of previous LLS research, with the aim of identifying the nature of the vigorous attempts to abandon the construct of LLS in research studies. Surprisingly, perhaps, these reviews did not include any LLS research studies concerning Arab learners. Therefore, this paper examines previous research into the LLSs used by Arab learners of English taken from different databases. The analysis has indicated that the majority (22 out of 27) of studies discovered were exclusively quantitative, using Oxford’s (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). These quantitative studies correlated the Arab participants’ LLS use with other individual learner variables, especially those related to gender and language proficiency. The other five were qualitative studies, and no study had adopted a mixed-method approach. This paper concludes by suggesting some areas that deserve further investigation in future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-257
JournalStudies in Self-Access Learning Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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title = "A critical review of research on language learning strategies used by Arab learners of English",
abstract = "More than four decades have passed since the language learning strategy (LLS) concept was first brought to wide attention by Joan Rubin (1975). Although LLS research is prolific, it has faced challenges regarding its conceptual and methodological nature. These apparent weaknesses have encouraged some proponents of LLS research (e.g. Oxford, 2011; Rose et al, 2018) to conduct a systematic review of previous LLS research, with the aim of identifying the nature of the vigorous attempts to abandon the construct of LLS in research studies. Surprisingly, perhaps, these reviews did not include any LLS research studies concerning Arab learners. Therefore, this paper examines previous research into the LLSs used by Arab learners of English taken from different databases. The analysis has indicated that the majority (22 out of 27) of studies discovered were exclusively quantitative, using Oxford’s (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). These quantitative studies correlated the Arab participants’ LLS use with other individual learner variables, especially those related to gender and language proficiency. The other five were qualitative studies, and no study had adopted a mixed-method approach. This paper concludes by suggesting some areas that deserve further investigation in future research.",
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AB - More than four decades have passed since the language learning strategy (LLS) concept was first brought to wide attention by Joan Rubin (1975). Although LLS research is prolific, it has faced challenges regarding its conceptual and methodological nature. These apparent weaknesses have encouraged some proponents of LLS research (e.g. Oxford, 2011; Rose et al, 2018) to conduct a systematic review of previous LLS research, with the aim of identifying the nature of the vigorous attempts to abandon the construct of LLS in research studies. Surprisingly, perhaps, these reviews did not include any LLS research studies concerning Arab learners. Therefore, this paper examines previous research into the LLSs used by Arab learners of English taken from different databases. The analysis has indicated that the majority (22 out of 27) of studies discovered were exclusively quantitative, using Oxford’s (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). These quantitative studies correlated the Arab participants’ LLS use with other individual learner variables, especially those related to gender and language proficiency. The other five were qualitative studies, and no study had adopted a mixed-method approach. This paper concludes by suggesting some areas that deserve further investigation in future research.

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