The Effect of Language Proficiency on Learners’ Use of Communication Strategies when Speaking English as a Foreign Language A Case Study: First and Third Year English Language Students at MMUTO
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This dissertation deals with the effect of language proficiency on the learners’ use of communication strategies when speaking English as a target language. Its aim is to find out whether first and third level EFL learners encounter speaking difficulties while communicating and interacting with each other. In addition, it looks wether Appeal for Assistance, Message Abandonment, Mime, Word Coinage, Approximation and Literal Translation Communication Strategies (CSs) are relied on to overcome speaking problems and succeeding to transmit the intended meaning. Proficiency level is taken into account to know if it interferes in learners’ use of CSs. The sample of this investigation is made up of first and third year LMD Algerian students of the English language. The present work is conducted in the department of English at MMUTO. The research tools used in this study are composed of classroom observation and audio-recording. Furthermore, this dissertation is structured following IMRAD method, the two research methodologies (Qualitative and quantitative) are employed to present and analyze the data obtained. Tarone’s interactional approach and her typology of conscious communication strategies is adopted to interpret the results. The findings gained show that the two previously mentioned proficiency levels meet speaking difficulties, more precisely lexical gaps. In addition, the six CSs selected in this study are used but in distinct frequencies. Finally, proficiency level has a considerable effect on learners’ use of CSs. The conclusion to be drawn from these findings is that despite the speaking problems that first and third year students face, they have succeeded in transmitting the intended meaning with the help of the communication strategies. Moreover, learners possess some linguistic knowledge that allows them to employ the CSs.
- Département d'Anglais 
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