ERIC Number: ED311733
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
The "Good Learner" of English in Two Settings.
McGroarty, Mary E.
The results of two studies describing the strategies and attitudes of adult learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) are reported. The first study compared two groups of high/intermediate students (n=94) taking ESL in two settings, a traditional university and community extension classes. The second study examined intermediate and advanced students (n=177) in a large adult school, and included a comparison of students from three native language groups (Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish). Certain strategies, such as "saying answers to oneself,""using English at a job,""getting the gist before looking up new words," and "guessing meanings from actions or context" were positively related to achievement. Some interaction behaviors such as "starting conversations simply to practice English" or "relying on gestures to clarify meaning" showed negative associations with achievement. In the first study, positive attitudes toward second language learning in general and positive attitudes toward experiences in the ESL classroom were significantly related to achievement. In the second study, the only attitudinal factor associated with achievement represented an instrumental motivation for the study of English for occupational or professional purposes. The implications of these results for the teaching and learning of ESL are discussed. (Author/MSE)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adult Education, Adult Learning, Chinese, Comparative Analysis, Educational Environment, English (Second Language), Extension Education, Higher Education, Japanese, Learning Strategies, Second Language Learning, Spanish Speaking, Student Attitudes, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for Language Education and Research.