Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 2 February 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Think-Aloud Protocol -- Elicitation of Strategy Use
and Solution to Learning Problem

Beena Philip. M.


In a fast moving world of teaching and learning, where does one find time to trace the thought processes of a learner ,and that too in teaching/learning English as a Second Language, might be the first doubt raised by an average teacher when she comes across the term 'think-aloud protocol'. This paper tries to clear the doubt by giving substantial theoretical and experimental support. 'Think-aloud protocol' is one of the techniques practiced by teachers to elicit the learning strategies used by learners, or in other words, it is an instrument of data collection administered by teachers on experimental studies.

Apart from the very basic purpose of this technique, the present paper also examines the purpose it serves in promoting self-learning and in solving learning problems to some extent, especially in a collaborative language learning and teaching context. Based on the National Curriculum Framework -2005, which envisages every learner as a constructor of knowledge, the think-aloud protocol can be considered as a better learning strategy not only in ESL learning, but in other subjects also. However, the whole process is treated as a complex cognitive skill within a cognitive-theoretical framework.


Every teacher faces at one point of time or the other, the difficulty of meeting the needs of the learners or for finding a better way to teach a particular item. Then, how the learners learn or what strategies are used for learning or can be used for better performance becomes another side of the difficulty.

What actually goes on in the minds of the learners when they get involved in the process of completing a task? At what stage of the process do they falter or digress? Can a teacher check or monitor the mental processes and guide the learner through the correct stages to complete a task?

These were some of the questions posed by the cognitive constructivist theorists because they considered learning strategies in second language acquisition as complex cognitive skills within a cognitive theoretical framework. (Faerch and Kasper 1987; O'Malley and Chamot 1990; Macaro 2001; Mary James et al. 2006).

To know the mental processes behind learning needs collection of data about the introspective methods in second language learning; and think-aloud procedure is one which was first adopted by Grotjahn (1987) and Feldman and Stemmer (1987), when they combined a variant of the Cloze test (also known as C-test-deleting every second word instead of every ninth word in Cloze test) and think-aloud approach, to elicit the respondent's knowledge of structural rules in second language acquisition. Since then, this procedure has been used by researchers as an effective tool to collect data about strategy use.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Compounds in Tolkappiyam and Balavyakaranam - A Comparison | Automatic Nominal Morphological Recognizer and Analyzer for Sanskrit: Method and Implementation | A Critical Study of The Wasteland - Poetry as Metaphor | Communicative Language Teaching - An Overview | Cinema and the New Media | Culture and Second Language Learning and Teaching - An Exploration in Tamil | R. K. Narayan's Humour in Swami and Friends | Towards Meeting Global Challenge - Cyber Based Instruction in Foreign Language Teaching | Novel Technologies, Engines and Mobiles in Language Learning | Role of Language in Effective Managerial Communication | Pragmatic Analysis of Politeness Theory | The Varied Horizon of Multimedia & Web Tools for English Language Acquisition in the Information Age | Challenges and Problems in the Teaching of Grammar | Some Features of Tirukkural Telugu Translations | Issues of Social and Ideological Empowerment in Contemporary Indian Women Writing in English | Does Stress-Shift Lead to Word-Class Conversion in English? | Insight through Body Language and Non-verbal Communication References in Tirukkural | Think-Aloud Protocol -- Elicitation of Strategy Use and Solution to Learning Problem | Voice of the Voiceless: Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape and George Ryga's Indian - A Comparative Study | Inside the Haveli: A Study | HOME PAGE of February 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Beena Philip. M.
Govt. Higher Secondary School
Kerala, India
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