Arab World English Journal
AWEJ Vol.2 No. 4 December 2011                                                                                                pp. 302-322

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Learning Strategies Used and Observations made by EFL Arab Students while Working on
Concordance-Based Grammar Activities

Dr. Nasrin Al-Lawati
Higher College of Technology, Oman

Abstract
This paper reports on a study which investigated the learning strategies used and observations made by EFL Arab students while working on concordance-based grammar activities. The study was conducted at the Higher College of Technology, Oman, with twenty-five lower-intermediate students. It made use of a corpus which was compiled for the purpose of the research to suit the students‟ needs. The texts included in the corpus were written by EFL Arab students doing a post-foundation English language course at the same college where the study was carried out. Data were collected by examining the interactions which took place among the participants while they were working on concordance-based grammar activities in groups. The results showed that making observations about the concordance data involved the use of combinations of learning strategies, which mostly included four learning strategies: association/elaboration, deductive reasoning, paying selective attention, and using linguistic clues. The results also showed that the strategy of monitoring was a major strategy used when revising the observations made against concordance data. This paper describes the observations made by the participants, identifies the strategies used when making these observations, and discusses the implications for classroom practice.

Key words: Concordances, making hypotheses against concordance data, testing hypotheses against concordance data, and learning strategies

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Nasrin Mohammed Redha Al-Lawati holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Reading, UK. She has worked as an English language teacher since 1997, and currently works at the Higher College of Technology, Oman. Her research interests include grammar teaching and applied corpus linguistics.