Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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Thai students appear to have problems communicating in English as a second language, especially students of low ability. This may be caused not only by the lack of basic grammar and vocabulary but also by deficiency in the use of appropriate communication strategies. Low-ability students experience difficulties in selecting the most appropriate strategies for many communicative contexts. This study aims to obtain empirical data on the types of communication strategies that low-ability students select which may affect their oral communication abilities. Three hundred Thai university students participated in the initial part of this study, 100 of whom were randomly selected to complete the Strategies Used in Speaking Task Inventory, which was developed to elicit responses related to their use of communication strategies. In addition, content analysis was employed to confirm the quantitative analysis. It was found that low-ability students tended to employ risk-avoidance techniques, especially time-gaining strategies, and needed assistance in developing risk-taking techniques such as social-affective, fluency-oriented, help-seeking, and circumlocution strategies.

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