• The Use of Grammar Proceduralization Strategies to Promote Oral Fluency

      Beglar, David; Nemoto, Tomoko; Elwood, James Andrew; Houck, Nöel, 1942- (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      This study investigates Japanese high school teachers’ learning of grammar proceduralization strategies designed to promote oral fluency. It is a multiple case study of six Japanese EFL teachers who learn to use their declarative knowledge of L2 grammar while engaging in tasks that enable them to compare their oral output with a native English speaker’s reformulations of it. Past studies of language learning strategies have been primarily focused either on the learners’ general study habits toward the target language or on their skill-specific language learning strategies in the areas of listening, reading, speaking, writing, and vocabulary. Although the effectiveness of these strategies on learning outcomes is known to be highly constrained by learners’ prior linguistic knowledge, strategies to proceduralize grammar, a core component of one’s linguistic knowledge, have not been well researched. Therefore, little is known about how learners’ volitional efforts contribute to the proceduralization of L2 grammar. Research into oral fluency development has provided evidence that the use of formulas promotes fluency, but it has not revealed how formulas and other varieties of multiword units contribute to different aspects of oral fluency; namely, temporal, repair, and perceived fluency. This study fills these gaps in research by defining, investigating, and creating a set of grammar proceduralization strategies as a promising construct that sheds light on what learners can proactively do to proceduralize their knowledge of L2 grammar. The three main purposes of this study are to (a) investigate Japanese EFL teachers’ grammar proceduralization strategies for appropriating, refining, and using their grammar knowledge, (b) identify L2 morphosyntactic forms and multiword units that facilitate Japanese EFL teachers’ oral production during oral summary and personal anecdote tasks, and (c) investigate the possible relationships between the participants’ L2 grammar proceduralization strategies, their use of specific grammar forms, and their oral fluency development. The participants are six Japanese teachers of English who teach at public senior high schools in Japan. To gain a detailed understanding of the participants’ complex learning processes, their learning trajectories were investigated for a period of six months, using a longitudinal mixed-methods design, with detailed analyses of their English learning history, post-task protocols, linguistic measures, and rubric-based assessment of their oral fluency development. The results provide (a) a typology of L2 grammar proceduralization strategies created based on models of communicative competence and speech production, (b) 16 categories of grammar items that have potential impact on oral fluency development, with insights into factors that facilitate and debilitate the participants’ use of these grammar items, and (c) insights into how the participants’ goal orientation leads to their orchestration of L2 grammar proceduralization strategies, their use of 16 categories of grammar items, and to the different trajectories of their temporal, repair, and perceived fluency development. This study presents data to support the conclusion that a reverse-saliency strategy to learn L2 grammar in concepts, propositions, and discourse is a key to effective EFL pedagogy.