Academic journal article English Language Teaching

On the Impacts of Perceptual Learning Style and Gender on Iranian Undergraduate EFL Learners' Choice of Vocabulary Learning Strategies

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

On the Impacts of Perceptual Learning Style and Gender on Iranian Undergraduate EFL Learners' Choice of Vocabulary Learning Strategies

Article excerpt

Abstract

Students' learning styles and vocabulary learning strategies are among the main factors that help determine how students learn second language vocabulary. This work examined the extent to which choice of vocabulary learning strategies is affected by students' perceptual learning style. In this research, the participants were 54 EFL learners atTarbiatMoallemUniversity majoring in English literature, ranging in age from 20 to 22, and they consisted of both males and females. TOEFL test, Schmitt's (1997) vocabulary learning strategies questionnaire including 5 categories (Determination, Social, Memory, Cognitive, Metacognitive), and Joy Reid's (1987) perceptual learning style preference questionnaire were used in present study. After collecting the data, a number of descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted on the data. The findings of the study revealed there was a relationship between learners' perceptual style and vocabulary learning strategies they use so that learners' perceptual styles make statistically significant contribution to the prediction of vocabulary learning strategies. The results showed that specific learning styles correlated with specific vocabulary learning strategies. Descriptive statistical analyses showed that the most frequent learning style was visual style. Kinesthetic and auditory styles ranked the second and third styles. Also it was shown that group style with the average of 16.0741 was the least frequent. Moreover, it was indicated that the most preferred vocabulary learning strategy category of all was related to metacognitive strategies. Determination strategies ranked the second. Cognitive, memory and the social strategies ranked the third to the fifth. Concerning the gender differences in both vocabulary learning strategies, and perceptual learning styles of the participants, an independent samples t-test was conducted, and the results showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the vocabulary strategy preferences or learning styles of the two genders. The research emphasized assessing styles and vocabulary learning strategies in the L2 classroom, attuning L2 instruction and vocabulary learning strategy instruction to learners' style preferences, and remembering that no single L2 instructional methodology fits all students.

Keywords: perceptual learning style, vocabulary learning strategies, gender

1. Introduction

Vocabulary is central to language and of critical typical importance to the language learner (Zimmerman 1998), so it has always been an indispensable part of language teaching and learning; however, while interest in the second language vocabulary acquisition (SLVA) has grown in the last ten years and there is a large number of research articles investigating word learning in SLA, a number of rather basic questions about SLVAhave remained unanswered and the impact of the researches on vocabulary pedagogy has been rather limited (Zahar, Cobb & Spada, 2001). In other words, vocabulary teaching has not been responsive to problems in the area. One of these areas that need more investigations is related to Vocabulary Learning Strategies defined as"the process by which information is obtained, stored, retrieved and used" (Schmitt, 1997) or as "the special thoughts or behaviors that individuals use to help them comprehend, learn or retain new information" (O'Malley & Chamot 1990, p. 1). A comprehensive inventory of vocabulary learning strategies is developed by Schmitt (1997). His taxonomy contains determination, social, cognitive, metacognitive, and memory strategies. To Schmitt, determination strategies are used when "learners are faced with discovering a new word's meaning without recourse to another person's experience" (p. 205). Hence, learners try to discover the meaning of a new word by guessing it with the help of context, structural knowledge of language, and reference materials. For Schmitt, the second way to discover a new meaning is through employing the social strategies of asking someone for help with the unknown words. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.