Relationship between Creativity and Grammar Learning Strategy Use: A Case of Iranian Advanced EFL Learners

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English, Islamic Azad University, Fars Science and Research Branch, Iran

2 Department of English Language, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran


Notwithstanding all of the advances in language learning strategy research, there are still some areas that strategy scholars have overlooked. The dearth of research into grammar learning strategies (GLS) may be the most egregious instance of this neglect. In order for this type of research to gain momentum, the present article reports on research that sought to identify whether there was any relationship between advanced EFL learners’ creativity and their grammar learning strategy use. It also sought to find if male and female advanced EFL learners were different in terms of grammar learning strategy use. To this end, 69 Iranian advanced EFL learners (30 males and 39 females) selected through convenience sampling participated in this study. Data were collected through Creativity and Grammar Learning Strategy Questionnaires. The Pearson product-moment correlation analysis and the independent samples t-test were used to analyze the data. The results revealed that there was a significant relationship between Iranian advanced EFL learners’ creativity and their grammar learning strategy use. In addition, the findings demonstrated that female learners employed the grammar learning strategy more than male learners. Finally, pedagogical implications of the study for language teachers, learners, educational policymakers, and curriculum developers were presented.


Abedi, J. (1993). Creativity and new ways of measuring It. Psychological Research, 2, 54-46.
Abedini, A., Rahimi, A., & Zare-ee, A. (2011). Relationship between Iranian EFL learners' beliefs about language learning, their language learning strategy use, and proficiency level. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 28, 1029-1033.
Albert, A. (2006). Learner creativity as a potentially important individual variable: Examining the relationship between learner creativity, language aptitude, and level of proficiency.  In M. Nikolov & J. Horvath (Eds.), Empirical studies in English applied linguistics (pp. 77-98). Pecs: Lingua Franca Csoport.
Alnujaidi, S. (2017). Factors influencing college-level EFL students’ language learning strategies in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of English Linguistics, 7(1), 69-84.
Alsied, S. M., Ibrahim, N. W., & Pathan, M. M. (2018). The use of grammar learning strategies by Libyan EFL learners at Sebha University. Asian TEFL: Journal of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 1(1), 37–51.
Anderson, N. J. (2005). L2 learning strategies. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 757-771). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Aslan, O.  (2009). The role of gender and language learning strategies in learning English. (Unpublished dissertation). Retrieved from 12611098/index.pdf.
Azizmohammadi, F., & Barjeste, H. (2020). On the relationship between EFL learners’ grammar learning strategy use and their grammar performance: Learners’ gender in focus. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 11(4), 583-592.
Baghaei, S. (2016). An investigation into the relationship between creativity and EFL learners’ grammar learning strategy use. (Unpublished master’s thesis). Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Fars.
Baghaei, S., & Bagheri, M. S. (2013). The relationship between verbal creativity and speaking skill of IELTS candidates. The Iranian EFL Journal, 9(4), 299-310.
Baghaei, S., & Riasati, M. J. (2013). An investigation into the relationship between Teachers’ Creativity and Students’ Academic Achievement: A Case Study of Iran EFL Context. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 14(12), 1576-1580.
Bayou, Y. (2015). Grammar learning strategies use of grade 11 students at Medhanealem Preparatory School: Gender in focus. (Unpublished master’s thesis). Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa.
Birdsell, B. (2013). Motivation and creativity in the foreign language classroom. FLLT Conference Proceedings, 2, 887–903.
Chandler, J., Lizotte, R., & Rowe, M. (1998). Adapting teaching methods to learners’ preferences, strategies, and Needs. College ESL, 8, 48-69.
Cohen, A. D., & Griffiths, C. (2015). Revisiting LLS research 40 years later. TESOL Quarterly, 49, 414-429.
Cohen, A. D., & Pinilla-Herrera, A. (2010). Communicating grammatically: Constructing a learner strategies website for Spanish. In T. Kao & Y. Lin (Eds.), A new look at language teaching and testing: English as subject and vehicle (pp. 63-83). Taipei: The Language Training and Testing Center.
Cohen, J. W. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Dickhut, J. E. (2003). A brief review of creativity. Retrieved from papers/dickhut.html.
Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.
 Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The L2 motivational self-system. In Z. Dornyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 9–42). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Ehrman, M., & Oxford, R. L. (1988). Effects of sex differences, career choice, and psychological type on adult language learning strategies. The Modern Language Journal, 72(3), 253-265.
Eishani, Kh., A., Ata Saa'd, E., Nami, Y. (2014). The relationship between learning styles and creativity. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 114, 52 – 55.
Ghadesi, M. (1998). Language learning strategies of some university students in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 9th English in Southeast Asia Conference. Brunei.
Ghannam, J. (2019). Enhancing independent learning competence and grammar language learning strategies. In C. Goria, L. Guetta, N. Hughes, S. Reisenleutner & O. Speicher (Eds.), Professional competencies in language learning and teaching (pp. 31-40).
Green, J., & Oxford, R. (1995).A closer look at learning strategies, L2 proficiency, and sex. TESOL Quarterly, 29(2), 261-297.
Grenfell, M. J., & Harris, V. (2017). Language learner strategies contexts, Issues, and applications in second language learning and teaching. London: Bloomsbury.
Griffiths, C. (2003). Patterns of language learning strategy use. System, 31, 367-383.
Gurata, A. (2008). The grammar learning strategies employed by Turkish University preparatory school EFL students. (Unpublished master’s thesis). Bilkent University, Turkey.
Hong-Nam, K., & Leavell, A. (2006). Language learning strategy use of ESL students in an intensive English learning context. System, 34, 399-415.
Isaksen, S. G., Puccio, G. J., & Treffinger, D. J. (1993). An ecological approach to creativity research: Profiling for creative problem-solving. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 27(3), 149–170.
Mistar, J., & Zuhairi, A. (2020). Grammar learning strategies across individual differences and their relationship with grammar mastery. The Asian EFL Journal, 27(2), 89-108.
Nami, Y., Marsooli, H., & Ashoori, M. (2014). The relationship between creativity and academic achievement. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 114, 36-39.
Novikova, I. A., Berisha, N. S., Novikov, A. L., & Shlyakhta, D. A. (2020). Creativity and personality traits as foreign language acquisition predictors in university linguistics students. Behavioral Sciences, 10(35), 1-11.
Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. New York: Newbury House Publishers.
Oxford, R. L. (1996a). Language learning strategies around the world: Cross-cultural perspectives. Manoa: University of Hawaii Press.
Oxford, R. L. (1996b). Personality type in the foreign or second language classroom: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. In A. Horning & R. Sudol (Eds.), Understanding literacy: Personality preferences in rhetorical and psycholinguistic contexts (pp. 149-175). Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press
Oxford, R. L. (2017). Teaching and researching language learning strategies: Self-regulation in context. New York and London: Routledge.
Oxford, R. L., & Amerstorfer, C. M. (2018). Language learning strategies and individual learner characteristics: Situating strategy use in diverse contexts. London: Bloomsbury.
Oxford, R. L., & Nyikos, M. (1989). Variables affecting the choice of language learning strategies by university students. Modern Language Journal, 73, 291-300.
Oxford. R. L., Lee, R. L., & Park, G. (2007). L2 grammar strategies: The second Cinderella and beyond. In A. D. Cohen & E. Macaro (Eds.), Language learner strategies: Thirty years of research and practice (pp. 117-139). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pawlak, M. (2009). Grammar learning strategies and language attainment: Seeking a relationship. Research in Language, 7, 43-60.
Pawlak, M. (2011). Research into language learning strategies: Taking stock and looking ahead. In J. Arabski & A. Wojtaszek (Eds.), Individual differences in SLA (pp. 17-37). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Pawlak, M. (2018). Grammar Learning Strategy Inventory (GLSI): Another look. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 8(2), 351-379.
Philips, V. (1991). A look at learner strategy use and ESL proficiency. The CATESOL Journal, 4, 57-67.
Pir Khaefi, A. (2001). Creativity, management, and entrepreneurship. Creativity and Entrepreneurship Quarterly, 9, 78-89.
Pishghadam, R., Khodadadi, E., & Zabihi, R. (2011). Learning creativity in foreign language achievement. European Journal of Educational Studies, 3, 465–472.
Radwan, A. (2011). Effects of L2 proficiency and gender on the choice of language learning strategies by university students majoring in English. Asian EFL Journal, 13(1), 115-163.
Rahimi, M., Riazi, A., & Saif, S. (2008). An investigation into the factors affecting the use of language learning strategies by Persian EFL Learners. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 11(2), 31-60.
Rezaei, A. A., & Almasian, M. (2007). Creativity and language learning strategies and proficiency. Foreign languages Journal of university Tehran, 32, 65-76.
Salahshour, F., Sharifi, M., & Salahshour, N. (2013). The relationship between language learning strategy use, language proficiency level, and learner gender. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 70, 634 – 643.
Skehan, P. (1989). Individual differences in second language learning. London: Edward Arnold.
Sternberg, R. J., & O’Hara, L. A. (2000). Intelligence and creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of intelligence (pp. 611–630). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Tam, C. (2013). A study on language learning strategies (LLSs) of university students in Hong Kong. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics, 11(2), 1-42.
Tan, L. (2014). Correlational study. In W. F. Thompson (Ed.), Music in the social and behavioral sciences: An encyclopedia (pp. 269-271). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
Tang, M., & Tian, J. (2015). Associations between Chinese EFL graduate students' beliefs and language learning strategies. International journal of bilingual education and bilingualism, 18(2), 131-152.
Torrance, E. P. (1965). Rewarding creative behavior: Experiments in classroom creativity. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall Inc.
Torrance, EP (1988). The nature of creativity as manifest in its testing. In R. J. Sternberg, (Ed.), The nature of creativity (pp. 43-75). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Yeh, W. M. H. (2021). A study of the relationship between the use of grammar learning strategies and student achievement. International Journal of Adult Education and Technology, 12(3), 34-47.
Zare, P. (2010). An investigation into language learning strategy use and gender among Iranian undergraduate language learners. World Applied Sciences Journal, 11(10), 1238-1247.
Zarrinabadi, N., Rezazadeh, M., & Chehrazi, A. (2021). The links between grammar learning strategies and language mindsets among L2 and L3 learners: Examining the role of gender, International Journal of Multilingualism, 1-18.
Zekrati, S. (2017). The relationship between grammar learning strategy use and language achievement of Iranian high school EFL learners. Indonesian EFL Journal, 3(2), 129-138. DOI: 10.25134/ieflj.v3i2.660
Zeynali, S. (2012). Exploring the gender effect on EFL learners’ learning strategies. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(8), 1614-1620.
Zhang, L., & Postiglione, G. A. (2001). Thinking styles, self-esteem, and socioeconomic status. Personality and Individual Differences, 31, 1333–1346.
Volume 10, Issue 41 - Serial Number 41
تابستان 1401
July 2022
Pages 89-101
  • Receive Date: 06 February 2022
  • Revise Date: 09 April 2022
  • Accept Date: 18 June 2022
  • First Publish Date: 18 June 2022