The Impact of Cooperative Strategy Training on Learner Beliefs

The Impact of Cooperative Strategy Training on Learner Beliefs

The Impact of Cooperative Strategy Training on Learner Beliefs Tra Nguyen, MA Kazuyoshi Sato, PhD Outline 1. Introduction 2. Theoretical background (1) Leaner beliefs (2) Strategic competence Learning strategies Communication strategies (3) Cooperative strategy training 3. Research issues and research questions 4. Methodology 5. Results 6. Findings Introduction

(Ellis, 2008) Learner beliefs have been identified as one of the individual learner differences that influence second language learning. Although Ellis (2008) claims that learning strategies are influenced directly by learners explicit beliefs about how best to learn (p.703), little research has been done as to how learning strategies influence learner beliefs, and vice versa. Learner Beliefs Huang (1997): preconceptions learners have about the task of learning the target language (p.29)

Ellis (2008): learner beliefs influence learners behaviors, especially choice of learning strategies. The Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) developed by Horwitz (1988), listing beliefs into five areas. Ellis (2008), current research tries to classify and to link learner beliefs to metacognitive knowledge: quantitative/analytic, qualitative/experiential (Benson & Lor, 1999), and self-efficacy/confidence (Tanaka, 2004). Tanaka & Ellis (2003) administered the Learner Belief Questionnaire to 166 Japanese university students to examine how they changed their beliefs about language learning and improved

their English proficiency after a 15-week studyabroad program. Results: An increase in three factors, especially beliefs about self-efficacy and confidence. Significant improvement in mean total TOEFL score from 427 to 445. No relationship between changes in student beliefs and their language proficiency. Case study methods of individual learners were recommended, rather than just quantitative methods used in this study. Strategic competence Brown (2007): Strategic competence consists of two types of strategies: (1) Learning strategies (receptive skills) (2) Communication strategies (productive skills).

(1) Learning strategies Oxford (1990) specific actions taken by the learner to make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, more effective, and more transferrable to new situations (p.8). (2) Communication strategies Corder (1981): a systematic technique employed by a speaker to express his (or her) meaning when faced with some difficulty (p.103). Only a few studies have focused on communication strategies and second language learning. Nakatani (2005) carried out a 12-week study to research the way that 62 students in an experiential class learn to use new

communication strategies and to examine how teaching students communication strategies could help improve their communication ability. Results: Students could produce longer utterances, scored higher in the post-test. Improvement in students use of communication strategies could enhance second language learning. Cooperative strategy training Naughton (2006) examined the effect of a 8-week cooperative strategy training program on the posttest interaction patterns of 145 Spanish university students of English. Result: An increase in the mean number of turns taken and a remarkable rise in the strategic participation. The willingness of students to request and

provide help may be a key factor in the success of small group oral interaction and in the ability of students to aid each others interlanguage development (p.179). Research Issues Little research has been done on the impact of learning strategies on learner beliefs and vice versa. Most of the research used a survey as a research instrument, there is a lack of multiple instrumentations including ones based on qualitative data. Research Questions (1) What kind of beliefs do these university students bring into the class?

(2) How do the students participate in cooperative strategy training activities? (3) How are their beliefs influenced and shaped by their peers? Methods of this Study Participants 18 first-year university students (8 boys and 10 girls) Once a week, 90-minute strategy training class, 7 weeks in the second semester in 2014, The level of students (400 to 470 in TOEFL) Data Collection Survey (three times): April (reflection), November, January Reflection logs (6 times): after each class

Language learning history (once): January Self-evaluation (once): January Interview (once, 6 students): January (about 15 minutes per student) Week Song/rhythm practice Communication strategies Literature circles Try to use as many conversation 1 strategies as possible and report.

Chapter 1 2 Missions I just called to say I love Rejoinders language. you 3 The roller coaster of your Use rejoinders and follow-ups in other classes and report.

Chapter 2 Clarifications Need an ideal Call your friends twice a week conversation partner? Try and have a talk in English. a non-native! 4 5 Rhythm test

Hero Mentions Shadowing/Summarizing Chapter 3 Telling your mistake stories to Appreshiating misteakes your friends. Chapter 4 Choose two from Shadowing, Shadowing, summarizing, Echoing,

Summarizing, Self- and self-talk: Letting your talk, Planning, and Affirmations mind do the talking and try them out. Try Smart Fun or create Jazz 6 Jazz chant Chapter 5 chant or memorize Five ways to

A teddy bear in your ear happiness by Tim Murphey on YouTube. LLH presentation 7 Rhythm test Result: Quantitative analysis Table 1. Mean scores for the Three belief factors before and after taking part in the cooperative strategy training class Factors 1. Analytic Learning 2. Experiential

Learning 3. Self-efficacy and Confidence Time 1 (April) Rank M Time 2 (November) Rank M Time 3 (January) Rank M M Diff. (%) Apr-Nov Nov-Jan

1 3.55 2 3.94 3 4.00 11.1 1.61 2 3.42

1 4.17 1 4.31 21.84 3.22 3 2.43 3

3.56 2 4.17 46.49 17.19 Result: Quantitative analysis Table 2. Mean scores for the beliefs about cooperative learning Factors Time 1 (April) M Time 2 (November)

M Time 3 (January) M Cooperative learning 3.71 4.12 4.45 M Diff. (%) Apr-Nov Nov-Jan 11.11

8.1 Result: Quantitative analysis Table 3. Belief statements which increased the most from November to January Questionnaire items 26. I am satisfied with my progress in English so far. 10. I can write an essay in English with 700 words. 9. I can keep talking with my partner for 8 minutes. 5. Listening to English songs helps to improve my listening skills. 3. I know many ways to learn English. Mean score (Nov)

Mean score (Jan) Percentage change 2.18 3.41 56.76 3.12 4.41 41.51

3.76 4.59 21.88 4.00 4.76 19.12 3.71 4.41 19.05 Result: Quantitative analysis

Table 4. Belief statements which decreased the most from November to January Questionnaire items 2. I can learn well by speaking with native English speakers. 15. In order to speak English well, it is important for me to learn grammar. 31. It is okay to guess if I do not know a word in English. 24. I should not be forced to speak in the English class. 37. I would like my English teacher to correct all my mistakes. Mean score (Nov) Mean score (Jan)

Percentage change 4.29 3.88 -9.59 4.59 4.24 -7.69 4.41 4.12

-6.67 3.06 2.88 -5.77 4.18 3.94 -5.63 Result: Qualitative analysis (1) Initial beliefs (passed entrance exams; focusing on memorization, grammar, reading and translation, not on listening and speaking; bringing those beliefs to university)

When I was a high school student, I did not like to speak English because the main focus of the class was on grammar for the entrance examination (juken). So I tried to translate from English into Japanese and I thought it was natural. I worried about my English speaking ability because I had just read books and I never talked [with] foreigners. (Saki1, LLH) (2) The impact of strategy training on learner beliefs 2.1. Song/rhythm practice (first time, enjoyed this activity although it was a little bit strange and difficult, some expressed doubt, practiced hard inside and outside classroom, passed the test, changed beliefs) Singing songs and practicing rhythm were so interesting for me. When I was a high school student I never had experience like that. At first, I could not do rhythm practice well, so I did not like it. However, I practiced it again and again. By doing that, I could do rhythm practice better than what I was. Now, I really like it. I found that rhythm was very important when we talk with someone. I will continue this activity. (Minae,

LLH) 2.2 Communication strategies, reading assignments, and missions (read at home, practiced CS in pairs and discussed in groups in class, report missions outside classroom) Week 3: Need an ideal conversation partner? Try a nonnative! At home: Read about the topic, prepared to preform their roles. In class: Practiced using Clarifications, shared mission reports in pairs; discussed the topic in groups of five. Mission: Call your friends twice a week (using mobile phones or Skype), talk in English and try to use communication strategies. Students started to change their views I learned [that] native speakers are not necessarily the best partners for language learners to talk with from literature circles. I thought that we have to talk with native speakers in English before, but through this class my view was changed.

(Miki, LLH) and changed their actions as well. I called Makoto and talked about our winter vacation on Skype. When we talked [to] each other, we could keep [a] relaxing conversation. Moreover, we used a lot of communication strategies positively. My partner was not a tutor, so we enjoyed [the] conversation. It was a very good way to study English, I think. I want to do that again with my friends. (Minae, RL 3) Students reflected how they changed their views about language learning after the course: I thought we could learn from textbook and newspaper and [we] could learn from only [native speakers]. But after taking this class, I found that it was wrong. We can enjoy learning and improving [our] English skills with various ways of learning that we learned in this class. (Saki, Self-evaluation) I did not enjoy learning English in my high school because I had to study to prepare for my university entrance exams.

However, I learned that learning English with fun is the best way to improve my English ability in this class. (Toshi, Interview) (3) The impact of peers on learner beliefs 3.1. Pair work (most favorite activity, practiced CS, shared mission reports, improved confidence, beliefs were influenced by peers) Pair work was like [a] training room for me because my partners were my friends, not native speaker[s]. Therefore, I could speak in a relaxing way. I felt more confident. (Minae, LLH) I enjoyed talking with my classmates about good ways to learn English. My classmates said reading books and watching movies are important, so Ill try it. I think I can learn English better [by] talking with my classmates in pair work. (Fujiko, RL 1) 3.2 Group work (first time, worried, overcame with the help of

group members, gradually learned to cooperate, express ideas, accept different views, felt more confident) We did Literature Circle for the first time. I was [the] summarizer and it was difficult for me, but other members helped me. (Miki, RL 2) Usually, we [would] often have [a] reading assignment. However, we [would] always answer alone and check the answers in class. In short, we [did] not know our friends opinions. I think hearing our friends opinion is valuable even if it is not the right answer. (Nina, RL 2) After several classes, I realized that I could speak what I want to say and the amount of information I [could] tell my group members increased because I could speak fluently. I was really happy and would like to speak more when I realized this fact. (Nina, LLH) Findings (1) What kind of beliefs do these university

students bring into the class? All students recalled their English classes in high schools with the focus on grammar, memorization, and translation to prepare for the entrance exam. Analytic learning ranked first among three factors in April. (2) How do the students participate in cooperative strategy training activities? Pair work was a great environment for students to practice communication strategies as they felt free to speak, not worry about making mistakes. Pair work was also good to share mission reports and students could learn from one anothers experiences. Group work:

Several students expressed their worries about performing their roles in the first two weeks. However, with the help of other group members, they could do their task well and gradually learned how to discuss in groups. Group discussion provides students chances to express their own opinions and to open their minds to welcome different points of views at the same time. (3) How are their beliefs influenced and shaped by their peers? Student beliefs about cooperative learning increased rapidly after 7 weeks at the rate of 8.1%. Student beliefs were influenced by their peers as they participated in pair work and group work. They wanted to try out new things that their

peers recommended, and most importantly, they realized that learning English could be fun. Quantitative analysis shows that 4 out of 5 belief statements which increased the most after 7 weeks belong to self-efficacy and confidence factor. Conclusion 1. The cooperative strategy training course played a significant role in changing student beliefs about English language learning. Cohen (2011) strategy instruction should be embedded into language instruction so that learners are provided an opportunity to enhance their language learning experiences (p.695). 2. A sociocultural perspective: As these students worked more in pair and

group work, they built a community of practice (Wenger, 1998). Consequently, they changed their beliefs and built their confidence about language learning. According to Swain, Klinnear, & Steinman (2011), learning involves a gradual and deepening process of participation in a community of practice (p.29). Future research questions 1. How will the students continue to use cooperative strategies they learned in this class? 2. Ellis (2008) claims that strategies involving functional practice aid the development of communicative competence (p.716). Then how does cooperative strategy training improve learners communicative competence? 3. How can we analyze the impact of peers on

learner beliefs based on a sociocultural theory? References Brown (2007). Principles of language learning and teaching (5th ed.). New York: Pearson Education, Inc. Canal, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics, 1, 1-47. Cohen, A.D. (2011). Second language learner strategies. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (Volume II) (p.689-698). New York: Routledge.

Corder, S.P. (1981). Error analysis and interlanguage. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ellis, R. (2008). The study of second language acquisition (2nd ed.). Oxford, Oxford University Press. Furr, M. (2007). How and why to use EFL Literature Circles. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from http://www. eflliteraturecircles.com/howandwhylit.pdf Horwitz, E.K. (1988). The beliefs about language learning of beginning university foreign language students. The Modern Language Journal, 72, iii, 283-294.

Lincoln, Y.S., & Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Little, D. & Singleton, D. (1990). Cognitive style and learning approach. Learning style. Nancy, France: University of Nancy, 11-19. Nakatani, Y. (2005). The effects of awareness-raising training on oral communication strategy use. The Modern Language Journal, 89, 76-91. Naughton, D. (2006). Cooperative strategy training and oral interaction: Enhancing small group communication in the language classroom. The Modern Language Learner,

90, 169-184. Olsen, R.E. W-B., & Kagan,S. (1992). Cooperative language learning: A teachers resource book (p.8). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Oxford, R. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Oxford, R. (1997). Cooperative learning, collaborative learning, and interaction: Three communicative strands in the language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 81, 443-456. Sato, K. (2002). Practical understanding of CLT and teacher development. In S. J. Savignon (Ed.), Interpreting Communicative Language Teaching Contexts and Concerns in Teacher Education (pp. 41-81). New Haven: Yale University Press. Sato, K. (2005). Dynamics of teaching and learning communication strategies. Paper presented at the 2005 Second Language Research Forum at Columbia University. Sato, K. & Kleinsasser, R. (1999). Multiple data sources: Converging and diverging conceptualizations of lote teaching. Australian journal of teacher

education, 24, 16-34. Swan, Kinnear & Steinman (2011). Sociocultural theory in second language education. New York: Multilingual Matters. Tanaka, K. & Ellis, R. (2002). Study-abroad, language proficiency, and learner beliefs about language learning. JALT Journal, 25, 63-85. Yang, N. (1999). The relationship between EFL learners beliefs and language strategy use. System, 27, 515-535 Thank you for listening!

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