Factors Affecting Language Learning Strategies_GE6533


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This task has been done as a course requirement (GE6533 Language Learning Strategies Instruction), a program offered for Masters in Education (TESL) at National University of Malaysia. Our instructor Prof Amin Embi has required us to present some points on 5 factors affecting language learning strategies based on previous researches.

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Factors Affecting Language Learning Strategies_GE6533

  2. 2. MOTIVATION • According to Gardner (1985), motivation and attitudes are the primary sources contributing to individual language learning. • Oxford and Nyikos (1989) found that motivation was the best predictor of strategy use in a large-scale study of university students. • Gardner (1985) also posited that motivated learners achieve higher levels of proficiency because they put more of themselves into learning.
  3. 3. • The learners with high motivation to learn a language will likely use a variety of strategies (Oxford and Nyikos 1989) • 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. In other words, they use learning strategies. (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991 and Tremblay & Gardner,1995). • More motivated students used learning strategies of all kinds more often than did less motivated students.
  4. 4. DURATION OF ENGLISH/LANGUAGE STUDY • Griffith (2003) reported a positive relationship between the duration of English study and strategy use. • Ramirez (1986) showed that the years of language learning affected the use of nine (out of 50) strategies indicated in the inventory. • Ok (2003) investigated the effect of school years on LLS use but found no evidence that learners’ LLS use in all six categories increased during a certain school year. • An increase in the years of study would result in higher proficiency levels by learners which would, in turn, lead to an increase in their strategy use.
  5. 5. PROFICIENCY LEVEL • The higher the proficiency level of the students, the more aware they are of the rules and strategies of language learning (Rahimi et al.2004). • A high level of proficiency has been associated with an increased use of both direct and indirect strategies (Chang, 1990; Green and Oxford, 1995; Park, 1997 and Chen, 2002). • Peacock and Ho (2003) investigated the relationship between the use of LLSs and the English proficiency level of students in 8 different majors in Hong Kong. The results of the study showed significant correlations between strategy use and proficiency level.
  6. 6. PROFICIENCY LEVEL • Language learning strategies research has consistently established a positive link between language proficiency and strategy use (e.g., Khalil, 2005; Magogwe & Oliver, 2007; Park, 1997; Shmais, 2003), suggesting that more proficient learners usually use more strategies than less proficient learners. • Lan & Oxford (2003) found significant effects for language proficiency on Taiwanese elementary school EFL learners’ use of metacognitive, cognitive, compensatory and affective strategies. • On the other hand, more proficient learners used fewer communication strategies although they used them more effectively than less proficient learners (Chen, 1990; Halbach (2000); Mahlobo (2003) and Magogwe & Oliver
  7. 7. GENDER • Gender difference is deemed worthy investigation on the influence on language learning and acquisition (e.g. Chamot & Keatley, 2004; Gu, 2002; Hong-Nam & Leavell, 2006 and Wharton, 2000). • A study by (Hong Nam and Leavell 2006) revealed that females employed more strategy use frequently than males. • Green and Oxford’s (1995) study revealed that gender was one of the factors affecting the choices of language learning strategies : females used memory and metacognitive strategies more frequently than males.
  8. 8. GENDER • In sharp contrast, males used a greater number of strategies significantly more often than females in a study conducted among 678 university students learning Japanese and French as foreign languages (Wharton, 2000). • In the majority of these studies, females have consistently been reported as using LLSs more frequently than males (Politzer, 1983; Hashim and Salih, 1994; Sy, 1994;Wharton, 2000). • Other studies pointed out that gender might not have significant effects on the choices of language learning strategies (Ma, 1999; Griffiths, 2003 and Khamkhien, 2010)
  9. 9. LEARNING STYLES • Learning styles are internal traits of learners while strategies are external skills consciously or subconsciously used by learners (Pei-Shi 2012). • Oxford (2005) claimed that learning styles and strategies are the main factors helping determine how language learners learn a second or foreign language. • Extroverts, for example, show a strong preference for social strategies, while introverts use metacognitive strategies more frequently(Ehrman and Oxford, 1990); learners who favour group study are shown to use social and interactive strategies, such as working with peers or requesting clarification (Rossi-Le, 1995).
  10. 10. • According to Celce-Murcia (2001), the main characteristics of visual and auditory learners were: • Visual learners prefer to have information presented in graphs, maps, plots and illustrations • Auditory learners depend on hearing and speaking as a main way of learning. • The researchers found that learners with auditory learning style use more social strategies than those with visual learning style (Pei-Shi, 2012).
  11. 11. REFERENCES • Chamot, A.U., & Keatley, C.W. 2004. Learning strategies of students of less commonly taught languages. Paper presented at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA. • Chang, S.J. 1990. A study of language learning behaviors of Chinese students at the University of Georgia and the relation of these behaviors to oral proficiency and other factors. Doctoral dissertation, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. • Chen, S. 1990. A study of communication strategies in interlanguage production by Chinese EFL learners. Language Learning, 40, 155-187. • Celce-Murcia, M., 2001. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. 3 rdp Edn., Heinle and Heinle, Boston, ISBN-10: 0838419925 p: 584. • Crookes, G. & Schmidt, R. 1991. Motivation: Reopening the Research Agenda. Language Learning 41: 469-512. • Gardner, R.C. 1985. Social psychological aspects of language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation. London: Edward Arnold. • Green, J.M., & Oxford, R. 1995. A closer look at learning strategies, L2 proficiency and gender. TESOL Quarterly, 29(2), 261–297. • Griffiths, C. 2003. Patterns of language learning strategy use. System, 31, 367–383 • Gu, Y. 2002. Gender, academic major, and vocabulary learning strategies of Chinese EFL learners. RELC Journal, 33(1), 35–54.Halbach, A. 2000. Finding out about students’ learning strategies by looking at their diaries: a case study. System, 28, 85-96. • Hong-Nam, K., & Leavell, A.G. 2006. Language learning strategy use of ESL students in an intensive Eng-lish learning context. System, 34, 399–415 • Khalil, A. 2005. Assessment of language learning strategies used by Palestinian EFL learners.
  12. 12. • Khamkhien, A. 2010. Factors Affecting Language Learning Strategy Reported Usage by Thai and Vietnamese EFL Learners, Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching 2010, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 66–85, Centre for Language Studies. • Lan, R. & Oxford, R. (2003). Language learning strategy profiles of elementary school students in Taiwan. IRAL, 41, 339-379. • Ma, R. 1999. Language learning strategies of a sample of tertiary-level students in the P.R. China. Guide-lines, 21(1), 1–11. • Magogwe, J. & Oliver, R. (2007). The relationship between language learning strategies, proficiency, age and self-efficacy beliefs: A study of language learners in Botswana. System, 35, 338-352 • Mahlobo, E. 2003. The relationship between standardized test performance and language learning strategies in English as a second language: a case study.Journal for Language Teaching, 37(2), 164-176. • Ok, L.Y. 2003. The relationship of school year, sex and proficiency on the use of learning strategies in learning English of Korean junior high school students. Asian EFL Journal, 5,3, pp. 1– 36. • Oxford, R., & Nyikos, M. 1989. Variables affecting choice of language learning strategies by university students. Modern Language Journal, 73, 291–300. • Oxford, R.L., 2005. Language Learning Strategies:what every Teacher Should Know. 1st Edn., Heinle and Heinle, Boston, ISBN-10: 0838428622 pp: 342.
  13. 13. • Park G.-P. 1997. Language learning strategies and English proficiency in Korean university students. For-eign Language Annals, 30(2), 211–221. • Peacock, M. and B. Ho. 2003. Student language learning strategies across eight disciplines. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 13, pp. 179–200. • Rahimi, M. 2004. An investigation into the factors affecting Iranian EFL students’ perceived use of language learning strategies. Doctoral dissertation, Shiraz University,Iran. • Ramirez, A.G. 1986. Language learning strategies used by adolescents studying French in New York schools. Foreign Language Annals, 19, pp. 131–141. • Rossi-Le, L. 1995. Learning style and strategies in adult immigrant ESL students. In J.M. Reid (ed.), Learning styles in the ESL/EFL classroom. Boston: Heinle & Heinle, pp. 118–125. • Shmais, W. 2003. Language learning strategy use in Palestine. TESL-EJ, 7(2). Retrieved from http://tesl-ej.org/ej26/a3.html. • Tremblay P & R Gardner, R. 1995. Expanding the Motivation Construct in Language Learning. The Modern Language Journal . 79: 505-520. • Wharton, G. 2000. Language learning strategy use of bilingual foreign language learner in Singapore. Lan-guage Learning, 50(2), 203–243.