internal mental models, and receiving and producing messages in the target language (e.g., repeating, getting the idea quickly, analyzing, and taking notes).
3. Compensation strategies include such strategies as guessing and using gestures. Such strategies are needed to fill any gaps in the knowledge of the language (e.g., switching to the mother tongue, using other clues, getting help, and using synonyms).
2.2.2 Language Learning and Strategy Use
Within the area of foreign language research, a number of studies indicate that learning strategies play a significant role in successful language learning. Politzer and McGroarty (1985) claimed that language strategies are associated with language acquisition. They may improve learners’ learning of the forms and functions, which are required for comprehension and production. Moreover, learners utilize strategies to aid the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of information.
Anderson (1991) realized after strategy lessons in different contexts, adult second language learners conducting various abilities used similar strategies. In his report Anderson claimed teaching a comprehensive range of strategies, concluding that successful readers knew which strategies to use in given contexts and how to use them successfully with other strategies (cited in Lawrence, 2007, p. 57).
In the 1970s, researchers first noticed the significance of individual variations in language learning. Different researchers have studied factors related to choice of language learning strategies (e.g., Ehrman, 1990; Oxford &Nyikos, 1989). These factors include the degree of metacognitive awareness, gender, level of language learning, the language being learned, affective variables (e.g., attitudes, motivation, and language learning goals),personality type, learning style, career choice, aptitude, number of years of language study, and language teaching methods. Some researchers tend to distinguish successful learners from less successful learners based on the metacognitive strategies (Oxford, 1993). Yang (1999) found that Taiwanese university students’ self-efficacy beliefs were strongly related to the reported use of learning strategies, especially functional practice strategies. Cohen (1990) referred to learning strategies directed at the language skill of vocabulary learning, although this is clearly an aspect of linguistic knowledge. There are also a number of other problems. For instance, there is uncertainty about the precise nature of the behaviors as learning strategies due to different researchers (Seliger, 1984; Stern, 1983).Still arguments continue as how to define learning strategies. Macaro(2006), for example, defined learning strategies as cognitive and rejected the view that they can also be considered in terms of overt behavior.
The MBTI is one of the most popular and most well- researched personality tests used today. Around the world, 2-3 million people take the test every year. Therefore, it has been translated into at least 16 languages, and it has its own on-line academic journal devoted exclusively to it. Currently, the most promising application of MBTI research is in education. Some researchers have investigated the effects of personality types measured by the MBTI on strategy use. Ehrman and Oxford (1989), for example, conducted a survey exploring the relationships between personality types and strategy use on the SILL. Extroverts were found to use two categories of strategies (affective and visualization) more frequently than introverts. Introverts, on the contrary, made a greater use of strategies for searching /communicating meaning than did the extroverts. They also indicated that (a) intuitive people used four strategy categories (affective, formal model building, authentic languageuse, and searching for /communicating meaning) more frequently than sensing people, and (b)feeling-type people, compared with thinkers showed a greater use of general study strategies. Wakamoto (2000), in a study conducted on 254 Japanese college students, also found that extraversion on the MBTI was significantly correlated with functional practice strategies and social-affective strategies, while, introversion was not correlated with any preferred use of SILL strategies..
Since individual differences have been identified as variables influencing language learning outcome (Skehan, 1989; Larsen-Freeman & Long, 1991); and as it was shown by the study of Marttinen (2008), the high percent of source of learners’ knowledge comes from teacher; Horwitz (1988) encourages teachers to discover the prescriptive belief of their own students.
Furthermore, in order to provide successful instruction, teachers need to learn to identify their students’ individual difference, and even they need to become more aware of how their teaching styles are appropriate to their learners’ strategies (Oxford & Cohen, 1992).
Recently some studies tend to concentrate more on individual differences in strategy performance (Toyoda, 1998; Oxford, 1992, 1993). In such related studies, it was shown for strategy instruction to be affected; it should take all the variables into account (Oxford &Crookball, 1989).
Since 1990s, there has been growing interest on how personality correlates to the academic performance. Personality has been conceptualized at different levels of breadth (McAdams, 1992), and each of these levels include our understanding of individual understanding.
Moreover, individuals are characterized by a unique pattern of traits, and some study shows successful language learners choose strategies suit to their personalities (Oxford &Nyikos, 1989). Several possible aspects of personality have been proposed over the years. However, those of extroversion/introversion and risk-taking are most frequently examined by research in second language acquisition (SLA). Skehan (1989) considers three crucial factors of language learning. They are:
• Risk-taking ability
He also argues that the latter two dimensions of personality have an affective influence on language learning, and claims that risk-taking together with extroversion-introversion can be associated with language learning. In the following sections, we will first define and then take a look at the different studies conducted to examine the relationship between the two factors and SLA.
As Al-Issa (2006) states “reading is a multi-leveled and interactive process in which readers construct a meaningful representation of text using their schemata” (p.41). While it has been known for some time that both content and formal schemata are necessary for a complete understanding of written texts in a reader’s first language (L1), and has been suspected to be true in a reader’s second language (L2) (Al-Issa, 2006). Many studies have investigated the effect of various reading methods and techniques on reading comprehension (Abdel-Rehim, 1995; ElNagar, 1994; Kitao, 1994; Fowler, 1993; Blue, 1992; Culver, 1991 and Wang & Qi, 1991).Some others aimed at improving comprehension and reading rate (Trent &Truan, 1997; Haberlandt, 1989 and Jacobson 1988). There are different types of reading comprehension distinguished according to the reader’s purpose in reading: literal comprehension, inferential comprehension, critical comprehension and appreciative comprehension. (Richard, Platt and weber, 1985, p.238)
Few studies have been conducted to show the importance of prior knowledge of the world on ESL/EFL learners’ reading comprehension. All of these studies emphasized the fact that the ability to understand a text is based not only on the reader’s linguistic knowledge, but also on general knowledge of the world and the extent to which that knowledge is activated during processing.
2.3.1 Types of Reading
There have been conflicting definitions of the term “extensive reading”. (Hedge, 2003, p.202) Some use it to refer to describe” skimming and scanning activities” others associate it to quantity of material. Renandya and Jacobs (1999) argue strongly for including extensive reading in the second language curriculum. There is now compelling evidence that extensive reading can have a significant impact on learner’s second language development. Not only can extensive reading improve reading ability, it can also enhance learner’s overall language proficiency (e.g., spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and writing). In addition, extensive reading, with its emphasis on encouraging learners to read self-selected, large amount of meaningful language, is in line with current principles for good second and foreign language pedagogy.
ER is seen as offering many advantages (Day & Bamford, 1998; Krashen, 1993; Nation, 1997), some of which are as follows:
a) enhance language learning in such areas as spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and text structure
b) increased knowledge of the world
c) improved reading and writing skills
d) greater enjoyment of reading
e) more positive attitude toward reading
f) higher possibility of developing a reading habit
In intensive (or creative) reading, students usually read a page to explore the meaning and to be acquainted with writing mechanisms. Extensive Reading (ER) differs from intensive reading. In intensive reading, students normally work with short texts with close guidance from the teacher. The aim of intensive reading is to help students obtain detailed meaning from the text, to develop reading skills such as identifying main ideas and recognizing text connectors and to enhance