Grammar Learning Strategies and Language Attainment: Seeking a Relationship
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Despite major advances in research on language learning strategies, there are still areas that have received only scant attention, and one of them is undoubtedly learning grammar. The paper contributes to the paucity of empirical investigations in this domain by presenting the findings of a study which sought to investigate the relationship between the use of grammar learning strategies (GLS) reported by 142 English Department students and target language attainment, operationalized as their performance in a practical grammar course and the end-of-the-year examination. Information about GLS use was obtained by means of a tool that was designed on the basis of a theoretical scheme proposed by Oxford, Rang Lee and Park (2007) in which GLS are divided into three categories depending on whether they represent implicit learning with focus on form, explicit inductive learning and explicit deductive learning. The analysis failed to find a strong positive relationship between the use of GLS and achievement, irrespective of the level of the BA program, or statistically significant differences in this respect between lower-level and higher-level participants. The highest, albeit very weak, correlation was identified between the use of GLS associated with explicit deductive learning and grammar course grades, which testifies to the traditional nature of instruction the subjects receive. The findings serve as a basis for putting forward a handful of recommendations for learning, teaching and testing grammar as well as directions for future studies into grammar learning strategies.