How Learners from Different Cultural Backgrounds Learn a Foreign Language

| March 30, 2004
How Learners from Different Cultural Backgrounds Learn a Foreign Language

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Nenden Sri Lengkanawati
Indonesia University of Education
Bandung, Indonesia

Bio Data
Nenden Sri Lengkanawati is a lecturer at the Department of English , Faculty of Language Education, and the Graduate School of Indonesia University of Education. She gained her Doctor of Education at the Graduate School of Indonesia University of Education, Bandung, Indonesia in 1996. Currently she is the Head of the Department of English, Indonesia University of Education, Bandung, Indonesia. She is a TEFLIN Coordicator for West Part of Indonesia and also one of the reviewers of the competency-based curriculum to be implemented in 2004.

The students learning strategies, as has been reported by some research undertaken, have powerful impact on the students learning outcome. The study reported here tries to focus on how the learners from different cultural background learn a foreign language using their language learning strategies. Thus, a research undertaking was carried out involving a sample of 56 students at two universities in Australia learning Indonesian as a Foreign Language (IFL) and 114 students learning English as a Foreign Language in a university in Indonesia. The research was designed to investigate the learners’ Language Learning Strategy differences from the perspective of their cultural backgrounds. This research reveals some evidence of the differences in the degree of strategies used by both groups. Memory, meta-cognitive, and affective strategies were more frequently used by EFL students in Indonesia than by IFL students in Australia. On the other hand, the use of cognitive, compensation, and social strategies is higher in Australia than in Indonesia. The data gathered from the interview shows differences in language learning strategies due to differences of their learning culture.
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