Language and Speech Laboratory

The use of communication strategies in L3 English CLIL learners

Izaskun Arratibel Irazusta, María Martínez Adrián.



M. Juncal Gutiérrez Mangado, María Martínez Adrián and Francisco Gallardo del Puerto


Most of the investigations on communication strategies have been carried out in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts. More limited research exists in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), and has mainly focused on the use of previously known languages. Thus, there is a need of studies that tackle other strategies such as target language (TL)-based strategies. This paper analyses the use of TL-based strategies and previous language-based strategies in an oral narration task and its correlation with general proficiency and knowledge of receptive vocabulary in two different age/proficiency CLIL groups of third language (L3) English learners. Results indicate that proficiency does not have a big impact on the use of these strategies. As regards the distribution of strategies, holistic strategies (i.e., TL-based strategies) are the most used, a finding ascribed to the overriding effect of CLIL. With respect to correlation analyses, although previously known language-based strategies do seem to align with the level of proficiency and receptive vocabulary, this does not apply to the use of TL-based strategies. Additionally, the use of TL-based strategies does not imply a lower use of prior linguistic experience, which is still relevant in these CLIL learners to scaffold L3 production.