Language learning strategies (LLS) are specific actions, behaviors, steps, or techniques that learners use to improve their rate and level of L2 development. This thesis details the development and validation of a LLS training program designed to measure if training in LLS increases LDS missionaries' awareness of LLS as potential language learning tools. Specifically, it explores the question as to whether missionaries trained in LLS use and intend to use LLS more frequently, more appropriately, and with a greater range than those not trained in LLS.
The development of the LLS training program involved selecting a set of 48 specific strategies in 10 categories, developing 17 strategy training lessons, and designing a nine-week training schedule. Five different instruments were used to investigate strategy of use with German and Portuguese learning missionaries: (a) a Missionary Background Questionnaire, (b) a Situational Strategy Evaluation Worksheet, (c) a Learning the Language in the Mission Field Worksheet, (d) a Missionary Language Learning Questionnaire, and (e) a Missionary Task Performance and Retrospective Interview. The effects of training on the variables of training, language, and gender were analyzed.
Results showed that for intended strategy use, those missionaries having received the LLS training showed significantly higher scores for frequency, appropriate usage, and range over those with no training. Results also showed evidence that different languages may react to training differently for intended strategy use. Although in both German and Portuguese those trained scored higher, the difference between trained and untrained Portuguese-learning missionaries was greater than for German-learning missionaries in measures of frequency and appropriate usage. Influence of gender indicated that German-learning males intended to use more strategies than German-learning females while the opposite was found for Portuguese learners.
Results for actual strategy use for missionaries in the Missionary Training Center showed that LLS training had no significant impact on frequency, appropriate usage, or range. Results also showed that Portuguese learners reported using more total strategies and in particular more speaking strategies. For grammar strategies, untrained learners reported using more strategies than those trained. Gender showed no effect on the actual use of strategies
College and Department
Humanities; Center for Language Studies
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Kohler, D. Brian, "Learning to Learn: the Training of Missionaries in Language Learning Strategies at the Missionary Training Center" (1998). Theses and Dissertations. 4855.
Language, languages, Study, teaching, Learning strategies, Mormon missionaries, Training, Brigham Young University, Missionary Training Center