Factors affecting second language learning strategies
FACTORS AFFECTING SECOND LANGUAGELEARNING STRATEGIES
LEARNERS’ LEVEL OF PROFICIENCY Chen (1990), in a study on the relationship between communication strategies and and the proficiency level L2 learner found that low- proficiency students employed more communication strategies than high-proficiency ones. The results indicated that high-proficiency learners mainly employed linguistic-based communication strategies such as synonyms more frequently than low-proficiency learners.
Cognitive and metacognitive strategies showed very high correlations with the proficiency level of the students and were used by high-proficiency learners. Compensation strategies, however , were shown to be favoured by both high- and low- proficiency.
MOTIVATION McIntyre and Noels (1996) examined the relationship between LLSs and motivational level among undergraduate foreign language learners. They reported that compared with less motivated learners, those who were substantially motivated, tended to adapt more learning strategies and used them more frequently.
A study showed that that both integrative and instrumental motivation had a significant effect on learners’ choice of LLSs. MacLeod (2002) found that strategy used was not affected by the participants’particular motivational orientation(whether instrumental or integrative) but, rather,by motivational level.
PERSONALITY TYPES Ehrman and Oxford (1990) studied that extrovert show a strong preference for social srategies, while introvert use metacognitive strategies more frequently. Meanwhile, Rossi-Le (1995), learners who favor group study are shown to use social and interactive strategies such as working with peers or requesting clarification.
Closure-oriented students are serious, and hardworking learners who like to be given written information and enjoy specific tasks with deadline. In contrast,open learners take second language learning less seriously, treating it like a game to be enjoyed rather than a set of task to be completed.
GENDER Gardner and Lambert (1972) observed that not only females had more positive attitudes toward the speakers of a second language but they were also more motivated toward learning second language than males were. Arabski (1999) also found out in his study that the girls differed in their strategy use with regard to finding out about language learning, asking for correction and looking opportunity to speak in English.
ETHNICITY Sheorey (1999) found that Indian learners concentrated on strategies they perceived useful to help them succeed in examination. Nuril Huda (1998) stated that Malaysian learners tend to avoid affective strategies because they do not feel comfortable expressing their feelings.
Oh (1992) , metacognitive strategies appear to be popular with Korean students and Aliweh (1998) found that Egyptian preferred metacognitive and memory strategies to cognitive strategies.
BELIEFS All learners have strong beliefs about how languages are learned and this will determine their strategy use because research has shown that their strategy use is consistent with the beliefs they have about learning. Yu (2007) surveyed learning beliefs and learning strategies used by third-year college students in China and found that the students had very strong form-focused beliefs and disagreed with the use of mother tongue to learn language.