Abstract This study investigated verbal report styles for eliciting strategies data from second language listeners. It examined outcomes from three different mediation (prompting) styles, one style unprompted and the two others prompted, after the learners were first provided with low-prescriptive instructions on how to complete the report. Also, the unprompted style was additionally examined after the provision of more-prescriptive instructions to observe the effect of this greater learner guidance. Theoretically, the core of the study examined two competing cognitive perspectives on verbal reporting. One, from an information processing perspective, is that verbal reports elicit the best insight into individuals’ strategic processes when prompts are kept to a minimum. The other perspective, a constructivist one, advocates the use of prompts in the form of researcher questions, mainly to help guide the report. Seventeen Taiwanese EFL learners participated in the study, with data gathered from each through a verbal report followed by a semi-structured interview. It was found that researcher prompting was both strongly favored by the learners and clearly elicited the best data for second language listener strategies research. The results also indicated that unprompted reports were little more effective when preceded by more-prescriptive instructions.
Applied Linguistics Review – de Gruyter
Published: Jun 1, 2016