Lexicon en taalverwerving
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The article reports the results of a four-year project on the use of compensatory strategies (CpS) by Dutch learners of English at three different proficiency levels. As expected, the number of CpS used by foreign language (L2) learners was inversely related to their L2 proficiency level. The type of CpS used proved to be largely task-related, however. The subjects predominantly used analytic strategies in a picture naming/description task, while in a story retell task, and particularly when participating in an interview with a native speaker of English, they also used many holistic strategies and transfer strategies.To explain the task-related variation in CpS use it was suggested that the subjects adhered to Grice's cooperative principle and the principle of economy when selecting CpS. Consequently, they attempted to use CpS that were both effective (in the context) and required minimal processing effort. Where this proved to be impossible, the importance of the communicative goal, the complexity of the task and the amount of time available determined their choice between using effective CpS and spending little effort.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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