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APPLIED LINGUISTICS

TXGB 6101

LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES USED BY


STUDENTS AT DIFFERENT PROFICIENCY LEVELS

PREPARED FOR:

DR. DEVIKAMANI MENON

PREPARED BY:

PRIYADARSHINEE TGB090061

JOANNE ROBERT TGB090032

PAULINE MACKENZIE TGB090054

SUBMISSION DATE:

6TH MARCH 2010


The journal that our group has chosen to analyze is Language Learning Strategies Used

by Students at Different Levels by Ya-Ling Wu an Associate Professor in the department of

applied English of the National Chin-Yi University of Technology, Taiwan.(Asian EFL Journal,

December 2008, Vol.10, No.4, 75-95.)

Summary

The author’s purpose of carrying out this research is to investigate the difference in the extent

and types of language learning strategy use between higher and lower proficiency EFL students.

Her objective is to determine whether a statistically significant difference exists in the extent of

language learning strategy use between higher proficiency and lower proficiency EFL students

and the strength of the effect of language learning strategy use on English proficiency. In our

opinion, the intended audience for this research is for specialised audience. This is because the

intended audience for this research is the present and future EFL teachers whereby they will need

to understand what language learning strategies students use and encourage lower proficiency

EFL students to use language learning strategies in their learning process.

The participants that were selected are students from the National Chin-Yi University of

Technology, Taiwan. They were divided into two groups of higher proficiency and lower

proficiency according to the scores on the entrance exam.

There were two instruments used in this study. The first instrument is a questionnaire known as

Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). It was used to measure the type and frequency

on strategy used by these students. The second instrument is a test used to measure the students’
English proficiency. This test is known as General English Proficiency Test (GEPT). This

research is more quantitative based rather than qualitative because the data acquired can be

measured, calculated and counted.

The results of the research report consist of two parts. The first part is the independent samples

t-test and the second part is the multiple regression analysis. The independent sample t-test was

used to evaluate the differences in language learning strategy used between higher and lower

proficiency EFL student. Through this t-test, the researcher found that hypothesis one was

rejected because there is a difference between the usage of language learning strategies among

the higher and lower proficiency EFL students. However, the second hypothesis was not totally

rejected because one of the strategies (memory strategy) supports the second hypothesis. For the

second part of the result, the researcher used the multiple regression analysis to prove if the third

hypothesis is achievable. The third hypothesis is proven because there is no significant

relationship between language learning strategies used and the GEPT scores.
Critique

The main line of this research is to investigate the difference in the extent and types of language

learning strategy use between higher and lower proficiency EFL students. In our opinion, the

main line of argument of this research is logical because the findings clearly indicate that the

higher proficiency EFL students uses more language learning strategies than the lower

proficiency students. Furthermore, compared to lower proficiency EFL students, higher

proficiency students use cognitive, metacognitive and social strategies more often. This research

is well presented and partially sufficient as it covers a broad area of language learning strategy

used by students at different proficiency levels. It was good that the researcher describes the six

strategies in her literature review. It was good that the researcher gave her own opinion and

suggestions in the end. However, in our opinion it’s not convincing enough due to a few

reasons:

1) Elements of qualitative and quantitative

In this research it is not well balanced because it puts higher weightage on quantitative rather

than qualitative method. In our opinion the researcher has over looked a few qualitative methods

that would have been useful and the findings would have been more accurate.

2) Methodology

i) The researcher stated in the earlier part of the GEPT test that she will be including

speaking in her test but she did not state how the speaking test would be carried out and

how many question will there be. The finding of the speaking test was not shown either

in the research.

ii) The flow of the research was not clearly stated. Since there is no flow, we were not able to

know whether the low proficiency student has a facilitator there with them to guide them
when they were answering the questionnaire. We do not know if there was anyone there

to explain all the questions to them.

3) Findings

Scores of the English test was not shown.

4) Appendix

The appendix was not complete, as the entrance exam paper and GEPT paper were not enclosed

together with this journal. It is difficult for us to evaluate if the paper is suitable to be used and if

the researcher herself has streamed the students according to their proficiency level correctly.

5) Hypotheses

It should be written straight forward and in an explicit manner.


Conclusion and Recommendations

In conclusion, we have provided a brief description of the purpose and content of this article. We

have thoroughly analyse the strengths and weaknesses of Ya-ling Wu’s Language learning

Strategies Used by Students at Different Proficiency Levels. This article is useful and useful to

all language teachers and to the students.

The first recommendation we would like to suggest is that other qualitative methods should have

been employed by the researcher in order to create a balance between the qualitative and

quantitative method. The researcher should include her own observation of the participants,

interview the participants and gather more information and opinions about the participants from

their language teacher.

Next is in the methodology, the flow of the research should be stated in a clear and organise

manner so that future researchers could follow her steps if they would like to carry out a similar

research or if they would like to support her research.

The third recommendation is in the findings, the researcher should show the scores of the

students English Proficiency Test.

The last recommendation is that students with low proficiency level tends to lack a few learning

strategies. Therefore, the researcher should suggest that they employ a new strategy to help them

in their studies.