University EFL Students’ Use of Online English Information Searching Strategy

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Applied English, Chaoyang University of Technology


The purpose of this study was to investigate the online English information searching strategies (OEISS) used by university students studying English as a foreign language (EFL). Students’ background characteristics were also examined to determine whether they influence the students’ searching strategies. This study revised and used the Online Information Searching Strategy Inventory (OISS) developed by Tsai (2009). A survey questionnaire was administered to 537 university students recruited from 11 universities. The results indicated that the participants used OEISS at an average level. In addition, significant differences were found on how students used OEISS in developing their English reading ability, their purposes for online reading, and their time spent online. Moreover, contrary to previous findings, no significant difference was found between males and females in the use of OEISS. Lastly, the majority of students were found to avoid using disorientation strategies. This research provided information that compliments the present literature on OEISS for EFL university students.