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Abstract

Research in the fields of second-language acquisition and education has supported the value of written reflection, but scant research has explored how other types of reflection may come into play when learners employ strategies and produce oral language. This paper reports findings from an action research study that focused on integrating individual oral reflection using digital recorders to facilitate 18 graduate-level English-as-an-additionallanguage (EAL) students’ learning of academic speaking skills. The qualitative and quantitative results provide important empirical information about what strategies graduate students used, the relationships between the learners’ strategic behaviours and oral performance, and differences in the quality of reflection between advanced and nonadvanced proficiency learners. The study’s findings indicate that weekly spoken reflection functions as a mediational tool that learners can use to deal with their language-learningrelated thoughts and emotions, which have important implications because of the online nature of speaking. In addition to generating empirical knowledge about a modality of reflection that has direct pedagogical implications, the paper includes a personal reflection on the challenges involved in conducting action research, for the purpose of inviting further dialogue and reflection among action researchers.

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