First Advisor

Kimberley Brown

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language




English language -- Study and teaching -- Russian speakers, Adult education, Cognition and culture -- Cross-cultural studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vii, 113 p.)


In the ESL classroom, there are often cultural differences between learners and teachers. Sometimes these differences can lead to misunderstandings or even conflict. One area where differences between cultures can be seen is language learning strategies and styles. This study explores the possibility that awareness of differences, explicit teaching, and negotiation may help to resolve differences. This study looks at differences between Russian-speaking adult ESL learners and American ESL teachers, with respect to strategy use and preferences. Three aspects are investigated. The first is to see whether there are statistically significant differences ~tween these groups of learners and teachers. The second is to try to form a loose profile of the learners as a cultural group. The third is to see whether or not there is evidence to suggest the validity of explicit teaching of strategies in the ESL classroom. The Strategy Inventory for Language Learners (SIIL), developed by Rebecca Oxford, is one way to assess differences ~tween learners and teachers. A survey including the SIIL and a questionnaire was given to ninety-four subjects. Forty-seven are Russian-speaking adult ESL learners and forty-seven are American-English-speaking ESL teachers or potential ESL teachers taken from a TESOL program. The results of the survey show that, in this case, there are statistically significant differences in preferences for and use of several sets of strategies. A preliminary cultural profile is derived from the SILL results and from anecdotal evidence gathered from the questionnaire. There is some evidence that the explicit teaching of language learning strategies and their use may help resolve some of the classroom conflicts between the two groups studied.


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