Working Styles on Computers as Evidence of Second Language Learning Strategies

Joan M Jamieson, Carol Chapelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Data collected on 33 ESL students working with computerized spelling and dictation lessons were used to infer three learning strategies: advance preparation, monitoring input, and monitoring output. Subjects' cognitive styles were measured by the Group Embedded Figures Test (Witkin, Oltman, Raskin, and Karp 1971) for field independence and the Matching Familiar Figures Test (Yando and Kagan 1968) for reflection/impulsivity. English proficiency was measured by the TOEFL. An analysis of amount of strategy use in a variety of situations revealed that all strategies were employed more frequently for the more complex dictation task than for the simple spelling task, and that only one strategy (monitoring input) was used more frequently by the low‐level students. Examining the correlates of strategy use indicated that advance preparation and monitoring output were significantly related to field independence, that advance preparation was significantly related to reflection/impulsivity, and that advance preparation and monitoring input were significant, negative predictors of performance on the TOEFL. This research concludes that learning strategies need to be considered in concert with cognitive style, and that computer collection of strategy data is a reliable method for examining strategies on different activities over a long period of time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-544
Number of pages22
JournalLanguage Learning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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