The Mind of a Good Language Learner: A Case Study of Vocabulary-learning Strategies

Nada Jaber Alasmari


There is a substantial amount of research in the fields of language-learning strategies and good language learners (GLLs); however, few studies have investigated vocabulary-learning strategies’ use among successful learners. Thus, this paper aims to explore the vocabulary-learning strategies employed by GLLs. To fulfill this aim, a case study was conducted. The participant was a 21-year-old student who passed the standardized test of English proficiency with a high score. This study implemented three instruments, as follows: (1) a vocabulary size test to identify the vocabulary difficulty level, (2) vocabulary knowledge scale test, and (3) think-aloud protocol. In addition, the data collected were analyzed thematically. The findings showed that the participant exhibited two types of strategies. First, he used metacognitive strategies, including monitoring and planning; second, he employed cognitive strategies, which comprised retrieval, avoidance, making associations, and verification. The results indicated that there is a set of language-learning and vocabulary-learning strategies that GLLs tend to use. Moreover, these strategies incorporate but are not limited to cognitive and metacognitive skills. Given these results, this paper clarifies that the vocabulary-learning strategies a GLL displays can be used to help low-level students and learners in general further their learning.

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International Journal of English Language Education    E-mail:    Copyright © Macrothink Institute    ISSN 2325-0887

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