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Yakut I., Bada E.

Journal of Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes, vol.9, no.4, pp.611-626, 2021 (ESCI) identifier


Language learners employ communication strategies (CSs) to avoid communication breakdowns in times of difficulty, and such strategies develop within strategic competence thanks to exposure to a target language. This research is designed as a developmental study aiming to investigate the possible effects of exposure to English as a foreign language on the use of CSs in the interlanguage of Turkish speakers of English. To attain this aim, we chose 20 Turkish learners of English from the beginner level, and they designated the topics they would speak and write about. Their oral and written performances on the topics were tested at the beginning prior to instruction, in the middle, and at the end of the academic year to observe whether CS usage altered over time. The findings revealed that participants resorted to different types of CSs in their speaking and writing tasks. The comparison of CS employment in each test showed that learners’ CS preferences, as well as L1 and L2-based CSs, changed over time in both speaking and writing. Therefore, it is concluded that exposure to the target language may have a significant effect on the preference of CSs. The results of this study are significant as they suggested that CSs in interlanguage evolves from L1-based to L2-based strategies. The findings of this study have important implications for teaching English as a foreign language in reference to the effects of language exposure on the use of CSs in both oral and written performances of L2 learners.