ESL Students' Language Learning Strategy Repertoires in EAP and ESP Contexts: Perceived Success and Pedagogical Mediation

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


This study examined ESL students’ language learning strategy repertoires in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) contexts. It investigated: 1) the extent to which students’ reported use of strategies matched their teachers’ recommended strategies, 2) how EAP and ESP courses affected or “mediated” students’ strategy use, and 3) how students’ disciplinary studies influenced their strategy repertoires. The study results indicated that students in EAP and ESP courses appropriated strategies somewhat differently, especially in their reading and writing processes. The results also revealed a mismatch between EAP and ESP students’ reported
strategy repertoires and their teachers’ recommendations of effective and useful
strategies. The mismatch was considered a “negative use of strategies” resultant from an “inappropriate or negative uptake” of EAP and ESP strategy instruction contrary to teaching goals. Students were found to extend their negative employment of strategies to their academic courses due to the discipline-specific learning difficulties they encountered such as reading load, new vocabulary items, testing situations, etc. This negative uptake was attributed to students’ individual, cultural, and academic differences, experiences, and beliefs. Finally, it was suggested that effective language learning strategies could be more developed if students’ learning difficulties in their transition to academic study were identified and “strategic intervention” or “mediation” arranged through an informed ESL pedagogy, aiming for students’ academic success.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Carleton University
Award dateJun 16 2006
Place of PublicationCarleton University, Ontario, Canada
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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