The Effect of EFL students’ level of Proficiency and Gender on their use of speaking strategies


Shiraz University, Iran


This study is an attempt to investigate the effect of EFL students’ level of proficiency and gender on their use of speaking strategies in a specific domain, namely, an Iranian university. 168 university students (100 female and 68 male) participated in the study and took a standard English proficiency test on the basis of that they were divided into three groups of high, intermediate, and low proficiency levels. Also, a 47-item speaking strategy questionnaire with a Likert-type Scale was administered to these students. Results indicated that proficiency level had a significant effect on the students overall pattern of speaking strategy use. Whereas female students showed a consistently greater interest in using speaking strategies, no statistical significance was observed between male and female students using speaking strategies. While the findings of the present study support the previous research studies on the effect of proficiency on strategy use (see, for example, Oxford and Burry-Stock, 1995; Ehrman and Oxford, 1995; Sugeng, 1997), no such a relationship was observed between gender and strategy use in the way the findings of the previous research did.