COMPENSATORY STRATEGY USE AMONG IRANIAN ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNERS
The importance of learning communicative strategies and strategy use in second language acquisition has been recognized by many researchers. As Oxford & Crookall (1989) believe, learner is an active participant in the language learning process. Language learners use strategies regardless of their proficiency. However, some learners do not take advantage of the full range of available strategies, and, therefore, it is possible and generally advisable to teach learners how and why to use, transfer and evaluate strategies when it is appropriate to do so in certain situations. Research in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) suggests that strategy use is beneficial to students. However, we do not know what strategies students use more frequently. The purpose of this research was to find out what strategies students use more often and which ones they find more fruitful. To this end, 12 upper-intermediate students studying at a language school in Tehran were taught the compensatory strategies put forward by Dornyei (1995) and then given some speaking prompts to work on. For ten sessions, their performance was recorded and then analyzed in their presence to figure out when and how often they were using the strategies that they were taught. The analysis of the recordings suggest that some of the strategies such as literal translation, code-switching and foreignizing were the least-used strategies by the learners. The findings also suggest that time-gaining and stalling strategies and circumlocution are the most prevalent ones while Iranian learners are speaking the English language.