The content of the presentation will give you information on the factors that affect the choice of language learning strategies among learners. The literature reviews are from various studies by prominent researchers.
Five Factors that Affect
IDA SARIANI MOHD ISA
• Oxford( 1989) : The influential factors to the choice of language
learning strategy: age, sex, attitudes, motivation, language learning
goals, motivational orientation, learning style, aptitude, career
orientation, national origin, language teaching method , task
requirement, language being learned, duration and degree of
• Gender, motivation and experience in studying a language are claim
to have palpable influences on the choice of language learning
strategies (Dornyei, 2001, Goh and Kwan, 1997, Gu, 2002, Hong
Nam and Leavell, 2006, MacIntyre, 1994, Wharton, 2000, Yutaka,
Let‟s zoomed into 5 factors that affects
language learning strategies:
GENDER MOTIVATION EXPERIENCE IN
• received much attention in the area of language learning strategy research
(e.g., Oxford, 1993; Oxford, Young, Ito & Sumrall, 1993; Oxford, 1995;
Young & Oxford 1997).
• An emerging theory for this gender difference suggests that though
sometimes males outshined females in the use of a particular strategy,
females tend to occupy more learning strategies or employ strategies more
effectively (Erhman and Oxford, 1989; Nyikos, 1990; Oxford, 1994; Sheorey,
• Oxford and Nyikos (1989) who observed at the strategies employed by
1200 university students, concluded that gender differences had a "profound
influence" on strategy use, and that females used strategies more frequently
• Ehrman and Oxford (1990) stated that women at the Foreign Service
Institute definitely use more strategies than male.
• Green and Oxford (1995) found that females used strategies
significantly more often than males.
• Although most studies in this area seem to have reported a greater
use of language learning strategies by women, Tran (1988)
discovered that Vietnamese women use fewer language learning
strategies than men.
• In some research, motivation is viewed as part of a general
“affective filter” (Krashen, 1985), which in accordance to Schmidt &
Watanabe (pg. 313), “if high keeps target language input from
reaching the language acquisition device and if low allows input to
simply “go in.”
• Gardner (1985, 1988) believed that motivated learners achieve
higher levels of proficiency because they are active in their learning.
• Many researcher suggest that motivated learners learn more
because they seek out input, interaction, and instruction, and when
they encounter target language input they pay attention to it and
actively process it however they can (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991;
Schmidt, in press; Tremblay & Gardner, 1995), which, in other word,
means that these learners use learning strategies.
• Oxford and Nyikos (1989) reported that motivation was the best
predictor of strategy use in a large-scale study of university students
where the more motivated students used learning strategies of all
kinds more often in comparison to the less motivated students.
• MacIntyre and Noels (1996) found that three variables from the
Gardner socio-educational model (Attitudes Toward the Learning
Situation, Integrativeness, and Language Anxiety) correlated with
three types of strategies: Cognitive, Metacognitive, and Social.
• Dornyei (2001) indicated another variable for affecting language
learning motivation is instrumental motivation. He further stated that
instrumental motivation is an interest in learning the second
language for relevant reasons.
EXPERIENCE IN STUDYING THE
• Uztosun (2014) in his literature review highlighted three in relation to
learners‟ language learning experiences (Hiçyılmaz, 2006; Yalçın,
2006; Razı, 2012).
• Yalçın (2006) revealed that the comparison of strategies employed
by learners with different educational experiences (the ones who
had and had not taken preparatory class in high school) showed that
there is only significant difference found in the use of compensation
strategies: students who had taken preparatory class employed
greater number of compensation strategies.
• Hiçyılmaz (2006) revealed that there is a disconnection between
language learning experience and strategy use, in that ninth grade
students employed more strategies than university students.
However there are some limitations to the study because the study
was small-scale and the sample comprised of 50 students. Besides
that no information is available regarding the educational
backgrounds of university students and it is doubtful whether all
participants have similar educational backgrounds.
• In a study by Razı (2012), the result did not reveal significant
differences in terms of both class and learning experience. This
presented that having more or less than ten years of English
language learning experience does not differentiate learners‟
• „Styles‟ can be generally defined as “an individual‟s natural, habitual,
and preferred way of absorbing, processing, and retaining new
information and skills” (Kinsella, 1995, p. 171).
• Learning styles can be categorized as cognitive style (field
dependent versus field independent, analytic versus global,
reflective versus impulsive); sensory style (visual versus auditory
versus tactile versus kinesthetic) and personality styles (tolerance of
ambiguity, right brain versus left brain dominance), (Christison,
• In other words, learning styles can be defined as general
approaches to language learning, while learning strategies are
specific ways learners choose to cope with language tasks in
particular contexts (Cohen, 2003; Oxford, 2003).
• Oxford (2005) stated that learning styles and strategies are the main
factors in determining how language learners learn a second or
• Language learners always use learning strategies that reflect their
basic learning styles (Oxford and Nyikos, 1989; Oxford, 1996).
• Some researchers have investigated the relationship between
learning styles and strategies and they also claimed that learner‟s
styles had significantly influenced the choices of language learning
strategies (Carrell, 1988; Wen and Johnson, 1997).
• There are various research studies on the investigation of the
relationship between strategy use and language proficiency (Green
and Oxford, 1995; Oxford and Ehrman, 1995).
• Green and Oxford‟s (1995), examined learning strategies use of
university students in Puerto Rico and the results showed that the
successful language learners use more high level strategies than
less successful learners.
• Additionally,, Bruen (2001) assumed that a high level of strategy use
was associated to high language proficiency and successful leaner‟s
use more learning strategies.
• He suggested that learners with higher language proficiency expose
themselves more frequently to the employment of language learning
• The findings discussed are from various studies of prominent
researchers and can be useful for educators in understanding
learners‟ choice of language strategies for successful learning.
• Educators need to discover ways to help improve low proficiency
language learners so that are able to learn a second/foreign
language efficiently and successfully by adopting the leaning
strategies of high proficiency language learners or the strategies that
suits the individual learner.
• “There is no single teaching method suitable for all language
learners (Weng, 2012).”
Christison, M. A. (2003). Learning styles and strategies. In D. Nunan, Practical English
Language Teaching (pp. 267-288). New York, McGraw-Hill.
Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychologyof the language learner: Individual differences in second
language acquisition. N.J., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah.
Ehrman, M. E., Leaver, B. L., & Oxford, R. L. (2003). A brief overview of individual differences in
second language learning. System 31 (3), 313-330.
Ehrman, M. E., & Oxford, R. L. (1990). Adult language learning styles and strategies in an
intensive training setting. The Modern Language Journal 74 (3), 311-327.
Green, J. M., & Oxford, R. L. (1995). A closer look at learning strategies, L2 proficiency, and
gender. TESOL Quarterly, 29 (2), 261-297.
Hong-Nam, K., & Leavell, A.G. (2006). Language use of ESL students in an intensive English
learning context. System, 34, 399-419.
Kinsella, K., 1995. Understanding and empowering diverse learners. In: J. M. Reid,
(Ed.),Learning styles in the ESL/ EFL classroom (pp. 170-194). Boston, Mass, Heinle.