Using Oxford’s Strategy Inventory of Language Learning (SILL) to Assess the Strategy Use of a Group of First and Third Year EFL Algerian University Students

Nesrine Aoudjit Bessai


The present study aims at investigating the patterns of language learning strategy use employed by two groups of students enrolled in a three-year English degree course in the department of English of the University of Algiers 2, each one including 56 learners among first and third-year students. To reach this objective, Oxford’s Strategy Inventory of Language Learning (SILL) (1990) along with a background questionnaire (a modified version of Oxford’s background questionnaire) administered to first-year and third-year students. The findings indicate that participants from both years use language learning strategies, but with differences in type and frequency. Third-year students reported a high frequent use of metacognitive strategies, whereas first-year students reported a high use of compensation strategies. The results also indicate that female subjects’ strategy use was higher than that of male subjects in all the types and categories of the Strategy Inventory of Language Learning. Based on the findings of the present study, some pedagogical implication were suggested to encourage students to reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses in skills and content courses and self-regulate learning so as to make progress with teachers’ assistance.


language learning strategies (LLS); Strategy Inventory of Language Learning (SILL); memory strategies; cognitive strategies; metacognitive strategies; socio-affective strategies; compensation strategies.

Full Text:



Oxford, R. Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle, 1990.

Hosenfeld, C. “A preliminary investigation of the reading strategies of successful and nonsuccessful second language learners”. System, 5, pp. 110-123. 1977

Zimmerman, B.J. “Development of self-regulated learning: Which are the key sub processes?” Contemporary Educational Psychology, 16, pp. 307-313. 1986.

Green, J. M., & Oxford, R. “A closer look at learner strategies, L2 proficiency, and gender.” TESOL Quarterly, 29(2), pp, 261-297. 1995.

Oxford, R., Nyikos, M. “Variables affecting choice of language learning strategies by university students.” The Modern Language Journal, 73(3), pp, 291-300. 1989.

Rubin, J. “What the good language learner can teach us.” TESOL Quarterly, 9(1), pp, 41-51. 1975.

Naiman, N., et al. The good language learner. Toronto, Canada: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. 1978.

O’Malley, J. M. & Chamot, A. U. Learning strategies in second language acquisition. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. 1990.

Cohen, A. D. Strategies in learning and using a second language. London, England: Longman. 1998.

Ellis, R. The study of second language acquisition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 2002.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrisson, K. Research methods in education (5th Ed.) London, England: Routledge Falmer. 2000.

Chamot, A.U., et al. The learning strategies handbook. White Plains, NY: Addison- Wesley Longman. 1999.

Anderson, N.J. Cognitive psychology and its implications. (5th Ed.) New York: Freeman, W. H. 2000.

Nation, R. and McLaughlin, B. “Experts and novices: an information processing approach to the 'good language learner' problem”. Applied Psycholinguistics, 7, pp, 41-56.1986.

Bialystok, E. Communication strategies. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1990.

Chamot, A. U. & Kupper, L. “Learning strategies in foreign language instruction.” Foreign Language Annals, 22, pp, 13-24, 1989.

Lan, R & Oxford, R. “Language learning strategy profiles of elementary school students in Taiwan.” International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 41(4), pp, 339-379. 2003.

Oxford, R. (Ed.). Language learning strategies around the world: Cross-cultural perspectives. Honolulu: Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center, University of Hawaii Press. 1996.

Ehrman, M. E., & Oxford, R. “Cognition plus: Correlates of language learning success.” The Modern Language Journal, 79 (1), pp, 67-89. 1995.

Nyikos, M.. “Gender in language learning.” In Griffiths, C. (Ed.), Lessons from good language learners.Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. 2008.

Griffiths, C. The strategy factor in successful language learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 2013.

Ehrman, M., & Oxford, R.. “Effects of sex differences, career choice, and psychological type on adult language learning strategies.” Modern Language Journal, 72(3), pp, 1-13. 1989.

Politzer, R. L. “An exploratory study of self-reported language learning behaviors and their relation to achievement.” Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 6, pp, 54-65.1983.

Oxford, R., et al. “Five la différence? Reflections on sex differences in use of language learning strategies.” Foreign Language Annals, 21, pp, 321-328. 1988.

Gu, Y. “Gender, academic major, and vocabulary learning strategies of Chinese EFL learners.” RELC Journal, 33(1), pp, 35-54. 2002.

Brown, H. D. Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. NJ: Prentice-Hall Regent. 1994.

Brown, H. D. Principles of language learning and teaching. (5th Ed.). White Plains, NY: Pearson Education, Inc. 2007.

Dornyei, Z. Psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 2005

Jones, B.F., et al. (Eds.) Strategic Teaching and Learning: Cognitive Instruction in the Content Areas. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. 1987.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments




About ASRJETS | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

ASRJETS is published by (GSSRR).