Language learning strategies used by ESL university students

Sara Kashefian-Naeeini, Nooreiny Maarof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research has shown that the use of effective language learning strategies is one of the major characteristics of successful language learners. However, the successfulness of strategy-use is dependent on factors such as gender, age, year of study and family background. The purpose of this study was to investigate any significant differences between a sample of ESL university students in a public university in Malaysia in terms of strategy-use related to factors such as year of study, gender, use of overall language learning strategies (LLSs), direct and indirect strategies (DS and IS) and Oxford's 6 strategy categories. A total of 94 male and female undergraduate students enrolled in the English Literature program, School of Language Studies and Literature, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia was involved in the study. This study encompassed a Mixed Method design as it is a combination of quantitative and qualitative study. Quantitative data was analyzed using MANOVA to determine any significant differences between students of different years, gender, use of LLSs, direct and indirect strategies and the 6 strategy categories. The results showed that there were significant differences in terms of year of study in the use of affective strategies and meta-cognitive strategies. For the qualitative section, half of the participants were interviewed. Analysis of qualitative results using Nvivo revealed the fact that memory strategies used by students consisted of making connections, memorizing new words or new expressions, practicing, reading novels, watching movies, watching TV and looking up words in dictionaries. The qualitative model which emerged for compensation strategies illuminated that if participants wanted to express things which they couldn't exactly express, they made use of signs, gestures or first language. In this study, implications for the teaching and learning of ESL language learning strategy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-62
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Volume17
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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learning strategy
university
language
student
Malaysia
gender
English literature
movies
dictionary
Teaching

Keywords

  • ESL
  • Language learning strategies
  • Memory strategy
  • Metacognitive strategy
  • Social strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Language learning strategies used by ESL university students. / Kashefian-Naeeini, Sara; Maarof, Nooreiny.

In: International Journal of Learning, Vol. 17, No. 8, 2010, p. 47-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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