The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

James Robinson

Third Advisor

Isolde Mueller

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

learning strategies, adult basic education, language learning, personality, halo effect, observer's paradox, time use methodology


This study reviews language learning strategies used by adult English language learners (ELL) in a community-based Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program to determine what gaps there may be between what ELL say they do and what they actually do when employing language learning strategies (LLS). This study looks at factors (age, gender, L1, and level of education in the L1) that might impact the LLS the ELL say they use versus what they actually use in their language learning. This study focuses specifically on adult learners working on improving their academic abilities, preparing for college entrance exams, or improving employment opportunities. The results of this study indicate that all participants used at least one or more LLS for both known and unknown target words with participants who learned to read and write English at an older age using more LLS for unknown words but approximately an equal number of LLS for known words as participants who learned English at an earlier age. The number of LLS participants said that they used versus the number they actually use did not indicate that L1 or gender was a factor.


Participants in this study are to be commended that in addition to their English language learning, many of them are working full-time jobs, learning a new culture and language, raising families, and navigating an educational system quite unlike that of their home country. My sincere gratitude to these students and the teachers and leadership of the Central Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program for helping to make this study a reality. Special thanks to my committee members: Dr. Choonkyong Kim; Dr. Isolde Mueller; and Dr. James Robinson, who also served as my advisor through this journey.



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