Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol 4, No 5 (2013), 1018-1027, Sep 2013

Evaluating Learners’ Communication Strategies within a Synchronous Cyber Environment

Ying-Chuan Wang


In order to increase the competitiveness of Taiwan in the international environment, the Taiwanese government has become aware of the importance of English in reforming English education and establishing a new language testing system in leading to more successful language learning. However, many scholars in Taiwan are dubious as to whether this reformed English education has really improved the English communicative ability of learners. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to investigate learners’ communicative competence in terms of communication strategies, by means of administrating a set of communicative task based activities within a computer mediated environment to provide evidence of the current learning outcomes. Drawing upon the framework proposed by Bachman (1990), communication strategies could be identified. After the data collection, the learners’ speech data were analysed based on the taxonomy of Poulisse (1993), and the findings revealed that the learners employed the re-conceptualisation strategy more frequently than the substitution strategy. A new strategy, named “additional strategy”, was discovered during this study. Therefore, this study suggests that the importance of adopting a communicative task-based activity into classroom increases opportunities for learners to interact with each other to improve their communicative competence.


communicative competence; communication strategy; computer mediated environment; communicative task-based activity


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