Target language proficiency and reported use of compensatory strategies by young CLIL learners

International Journal of Applied Linguistics

Studies investigating compensatory strategies (CSs) by means of questionnaires in English‐as‐a‐Foreign‐Language (EFL) contexts with young learners are lacking, particularly in Content‐and‐Language‐Integrated‐Learning (CLIL) environments. Three different proficiency groups of young English learners in a CLIL programme were administered a survey to explore the existence of intergroup differences regarding the amount and types of CSs used. Learners exhibited a moderately high use of CSs overall, and no differences emerged regarding the total number of CSs as a function of target language (TL) proficiency. In terms of types of CSs used, they reported using some CSs (paraphrasing) which are typical of more advanced learners. However, more proficient learners were found to draw on some non L2‐based strategies (avoidance, foreignising, miming) to a lesser extent than less proficient learners.