This thesis presents a description of how learners use the help facilities of a Web-based
multimedia CALL program designed to foster second language learners' reading and
listening skills and language learning strategies.
This study investigates the variation of strategy use taking into account students' level and
their perceived language learning strategy use. In essence this is an exploratory study of
strategy use in a CALL environment: 22 adult Spanish students worked with the program for
four sessions. In these sessions learners' computer moves were tracked by online video
screen recording and retrospective questions were audio recorded after they worked on
different written and aural texts. As the emphasis is on the process rather than the product,
the description and analysis of the data focus on the observation of the language learning
strategies learners deployed when they used the help facilities provided: Dictionary, Cultural
Notes, Transcript, Subtitles and Play Controls, Feedback and an Experts module specifically
designed to provide the language learner training component of the program.
The qualitative analysis of the results points to the direction that many variables have an
influence on the amount and quality of the use of the help provided by the program, lfom the
learners' individual differences to the fact that the CALL environment may prompt learners
to behave or work in a different way from conventional learning.
The results of the study provide information for future CALL material design, in particular
for the design of help facilities in programs dealing with comprehension skills. The type of
research outlined also provides information on other areas of Applied Linguistics research,
e.g. SLA, and opens new possibilities for CALL research methods.