Using Social-psychological Variables to Predict The Use of Language Learning Strategies


  • Peter D. MacIntyre,

    1. University College of Cape Breton
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      Peter D. MacIntyre (Ph.D., Western Ontario University) is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University College of Cape Breton, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  • Kimberly A. Noels

    1. University of California, Santa Barbara
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      Kimberly A. Noels (Ph.D., University of Ottawa) is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


ABSTRACT  Much of the interest in language learning strategies stems from the findings that such strategies facilitate language learning and may be teachable; however, several authors have concluded that students do not use as many strategies as they could. A recent social-psychological model proposes that strategy use depends on knowledge of appropriate strategies, having a reason to use them, and having nothing to prevent their use. The present study attempted to use variables defined by this model to predict the frequency of use for 50 language learning strategies. Results showed that, on average, the model accounted for 60 percent of the variance in strategy use and that all three components of the model were supported for 72 percent of the strategies. Further analyses revealed that integrative motivation and language anxiety play a role in overall strategy use and the use of certain types of strategies, as well as the ratings of knowledge, effectiveness, difficulty, and anxiety caused by strategy use.