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Learning strategy research has often investigated typical strategy use through large-scale surveys using questionnaires such as the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). Despite its extensive use, doubts remain about the validity of the SILL. This paper investigates this issue using a case study of a single learner who completed a reduced version of the SILL after two different reading tasks. By triangulating the learner's reports of strategy use on the SILL with retrospective interviews focusing on the strategies used in the two reading tasks, it was found that the SILL elicited strategies used during recent learning experiences, rather than typical strategy use. The findings, although not generalisable, cast further doubt on the construct validity of strategy questionnaires such as the SILL.
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