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Language Learning Strategy Use And English Language Proficiency: A Survey Of A Group Of Non-English Major Students

Posted on:2006-02-11Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:X Y LiuFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360152481311Subject:English Language and Literature
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
The rapid changes of the present society demand lifelong learning of people, which calls for the ability to learn independently, autonomously and efficiently. To meet the challenges in the future, students should be equipped with the ability now. And this entrusts language teachers with a new task: to cultivate students' language learning autonomy, in other words, to help students to learn how to learn. Learning autonomy derives from the acquisition and proper employment of learning strategies, the study of which, therefore, has become the focus of interest of many teachers and researchers in recent years.This paper reports on a survey of the language learning strategies used by a group of non-English major students in Shandong University. The survey aims to investigate strategy preferences among the group, to compare the strategy use of the high proficiency group and the low proficiency group and to examine association between strategy use and language proficiency. Quantitative research method and the SILL questionnaire (Strategies Inventory of Language Learning) by Oxford (1990, pp.293-300) are used. The SPSS (the Statistical Package for Social Sciences) is used to analyze the data. Several findings arise: one is that compensation, metacognitive and cognitive strategies are the more frequently used, while affective, social and memory strategies are the less frequently used; the second is that high proficiency students differ from the low proficiency ones in the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies; the third finding is that cognitive and metacognitive strategies contribute greatly to language learning success and their frequency of use can indicate students' language proficiency. Comparisons are made between thecurrent study and some previous studies on Chinese students learning English in mainland China and in some other environments. Some similarities and differences are found. The similarities lie in generally high use of compensation strategies and generally low use of memory strategies, and low use of social strategies among non-English major students in mainland China. The differences exist in affective and memory strategy use among non-English majors in mainland China. The possible reasons are given.The whole thesis consists of the introductory part, chapter one to chapter four, and the concluding part. The introductory part gives a brief explanation of the necessity of the study. In Chapter One, the conceptual background and a brief history of the research on learning strategies are included; some definitions and classifications are mentioned and a review of the research on language strategy use both in China and abroad is given. Chapter Two is made up of the objectives of the thesis, information about the participants under investigation, the instruments and the procedure to carry out the study. In Chapter Three, the data are analyzed by using SPSS and the results and discussions are presented. Chapter Four is about teaching implications, students' role, teachers' new responsibilities and strategy training. It is suggested that students attach greater importance to strategy use and autonomous learning and that teachers assume new roles, namely, diagnosticians and strategy trainers and manage to conduct strategy training in their teaching process. In the concluding part, a summary is given as to what has been discussed, the limitations of the research are listed, the appropriateness of the SILL to non-English majors in mainland China is questioned and finally some directions that might be pursued in language learning strategy research are recommended.One special value of the study lies in affirmation of some of the previous studyresults, and in discovery of some differences between the study results, which may have the following implications: 1. Environments might affect students' strategy use like the social strategies. 2. Parts of the SILL like some affective and memory strategy questions might be inappropriate to non-English major students in mainland China, suggesting the necessity of...
Keywords/Search Tags:strategy preference, high and low proficiency group, strategy use and English proficiency, autonomous learning, teachers' new roles, strategy training
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