The Relationship between the Use and Choice of Communication Strategies and Language Proficiency of Iranian EFL Learners

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Azarbaijan Teachers Education University

2 Islamic Azad University Ahar Branch


Communication strategies (CSs) are systematic attempts by language learners to encode or decode meaning in a target language in situations where the appropriate target language rules have not been formed. Based on this view, communication strategies can be seen as compensatory means for making up for linguistic deficiencies of second or foreign language learners. Within the conceptual framework outlined, this paper is a report on a research conducted at Azarbaijan Teachers Education University on the students majoring in English Language and Literature. The main aim was to seek a relationship between the subjects’ use of communication strategies in solving communication problems and their proficiency levels in English as a foreign language. The data was collected by means of one-to-one interviews with the participants, and were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The results indicated that the frequency of communication strategies applied by the participants varied according to their proficiency levels, i.e. low proficient learners tended to employ more communication strategies in comparison with high and moderate ones. The type of communication strategies employed also varied according to their oral proficiency level. It was revealed that high level participants employed more L2-based communication strategies where the low proficient learners used more L1-based ones.


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