The Relationship between Perceptual Learning Style Preferences and Skill-based Learning Strategies
Keywords: Learning styles, Perceptual learning style preferences, Learning strategies, Skill-based learning strategies, Function-based learning strategies.
Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Thesis Supervisor:Dr. M. R. Anani Sarab
Thesis Reader: Dr. S. Baleghizadeh
Tehran, Iran September 2009
During the last three decades, there has been a shift of paradigm from teaching methodologies to learning processes and learner characteristics. Research suggested that a host of cognitive, affective, and perceptual variables are at work when individuals go about the task of second or foreign language learning. Among these variables are learning styles and strategies. This study aimed at shedding some light on the relationships that exist among learner characteristics (i.e., gender, age, discipline, self-rated English proficiency level), perceptual learning style preferences, and skill-based (e.g., reading) and function-based strategies (e.g., metacognitive).
The participants were 138 graduate students from six faculties at Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. They were randomly selected based on a two-stage sampling procedure and were asked to respond to two translated and pretested questionnaires: (1) Reid s (1984) Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire for assessing learning style preferences and (2) Cohen, Oxford, and Chi s (2002) Learning Strategy Use Survey for assessing skill-based and function-based strategies.
Results revealed that the participants favored kinesthetic and tactile learning modalities and disfavored group learning. They also reported using reading and compensation strategies significantly more often than strategies in most other categories. Speaking, memory, and vocabulary learning strategies were used less often than other strategies. In addition, most of the background variables under study seemed to affect the participants learning styles and strategy choice. And finally, kinesthetic modality was found to be significantly correlated with all strategy categories, and group learning was associated with social strategies. The findings of the study and their implications are also discussed.
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