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A Study of Senior High School Students’ Beliefs about English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County. Hsiu-Hui Lin Pey-Chewn Nancy Duo Department of Applied English, Ming Chuan University 2010/03/13. ABSTRACT.

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Hsiu hui lin pey chewn nancy duo

A Study of Senior High School Students’ Beliefs about English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

Hsiu-Hui Lin Pey-Chewn Nancy Duo

Department of Applied English,

Ming Chuan University

2010/03/13


Abstract
ABSTRACT English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • To investigate the English learning beliefs held by the senior high school students and their use of language learning strategies

  • To find out the relationship between English learning beliefs and language learning strategy use

  • The participants --163 students (M=86; F=77) and randomly chosen from the second year of a senior high school in Taipei County

  • Results from a 5-point Likert questionnaire composed of Horwitz’s BALLI and Oxford’s SILL

  • The data were computed and analyzed by descriptive statistics and Pearson’s Correlation.

  • The findings and pedagogical implications are provided.


Introduction
INTRODUCTION English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Learners might become conscious of their own learning processes with beliefs about language learning and could develop learning strategies which help learners to learn English efficiently.

  • Each foreign language learner has certain preconceived ideas or beliefs about how they learn foreign languages and appropriate language learning strategies are essential for language learners.

  • Wenden (1987) demonstrated how beliefs influence learners’ choice of strategies, their attending pattern, criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of learning activity, and their planning priorities.


Introduction1
INTRODUCTION English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Many studies related to both learning beliefs and learning strategies affecting learners’ English achievement.

  • Chang’s (1997) and Lu’s (1996) studies had investigated high school students and college students’ strategy use and its relationship with English achievement .

  • However, only few attempts had been made to examine senior high school students’ beliefs about language learning (Huang, 1998).

  • Therefore, to be inspired to explore senior high school students’ beliefs about language learning and their learning strategy use.


Studies on beliefs about language learning
Studies on Beliefs about Language Learning English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Beliefs about foreign language learning refer to:

    (i) “Opinions or views that are held by people toward issues of foreign language learning” (Wang, 1996).

    (ii) Horwitz (1988) stated that beliefs about language learning were “preconceived notions about language learning” (p.283).

    (iii) Mantle-Bromley (1995) pointed out learners with positive beliefs are more likely to perform better in class.

    * Therefore, it is important to discover learners’ beliefs to meet their expectations(Horwitz, 1987).


Studies on beliefs about language learning1
Studies on Beliefs about Language Learning English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • An increasing number of evidences --

    beliefs about language learning play a significant role in learning achievements and experiences (Sakui & Gaies, 1999; Schommer, 1990).

  • In addition,

    according to Horwitz (1999), it is likely that language learner beliefs have the potential to affect their learning experiences as well as actions.

  • Attitudes and perceptions to learning beliefs take an important role on learning behaviors (Cotteral, 1995).


Studies on language learning strategy use
Studies on Language Learning Strategy Use English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • According to Rubin (1975), were defined as “the techniques or devices which a learner may use to acquire knowledge.”

  • Foreign or second language (L2) learning strategies are specific actions, behaviors, steps, or technique students use – often consciously – to improve their process in apprehending, internalizing, and using the L2 (Oxford, 1990b).

  • Moreover, high English proficiency learners relatively made better use of language learning strategies than low proficiency learners.


Studies on language learning strategy use1
Studies on Language Learning Strategy Use English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Naiman, Frohlich, and Todesco (1975) made a list of strategies used by successful L2 learners.

    And they added that they learn to think in the language and address the affective aspects of language acquisition.

  • As a result, it is of importance to instruct language learning strategy use to the learners or to train them as good learning strategy users.


Studies on the relationship between beliefs and strategy use
Studies on the Relationship between Beliefs and Strategy Use English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Beliefs and strategy use could be decisive factors influencing a language learner’s performance. There was a close relationship between both.

  • As Horwitz (1987) provided preliminary evidence that student beliefs about language learning could influence their language learning strategies.

  • Wenden (1987) adopted semi-structured interviews and she discovered that learners’ beliefs about language learning affected their strategy choice.


Studies on the relationship between beliefs and strategy use1
Studies on the Relationship between Beliefs and Strategy Use English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • On the other hand, Abraham and Vann (1987) also discussed the relationship between both in reporting their case study. They interviewed a successful and an unsuccessful learner and then compared their learning processes and approaches.

  • The final result suggested that learners had a philosophy of how language was learned, which guided the approach they took in language learning situations.


Purpose of the study
Purpose of the Study English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • To investigate senior high school students’ beliefs about language learning in Taiwan

  • To investigate senior high school students’ use of language learning strategies in Taiwan

  • To explore the relationship between senior high school students’ beliefs about language learning and their use of language learning strategies in Taiwan

  • To achieve the purposes of this study, the research questions were raised as follows:


Research questions
Research Questions English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • What are senior high school students’ beliefs about English learning in Taiwan?

  • What language learning strategies are most frequently used by senior high school students? What language learning strategies are least frequently used by senior high school students?

  • Is there any relationship between senior high school students’ beliefs about language learning and their use of language learning strategies?


Significance of the study
Significance of the Study English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Findings may help senior high school teachers to better understand students’ beliefs about language learning, students’ use of language learning strategies and the relationship between the two variables.

  • Understanding learners’ beliefs about language learning and language learning strategies is beneficial to students themselves and learners should take more responsibility of their learning.

  • Providing researchers and educators in Taiwan with an insight into senior high school students’ beliefs and their use of LLS and the relationship between two.


Methodology
METHODOLOGY English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • The present study employed quantitative research methods to investigate EFL senior high school language learners’ beliefs about English learning, their use of language learning strategies, and the relationship between both.

  • Participants

  • Students at an average age of 17 and studying in the second year of Lin Kou Senior High School in Taipei County

  • Studying English as a foreign language for at least 5~8 years or even for 9 years or above

  • To take the Basic Competence Test (國中基本學力測驗)


Methodology1
METHODOLOGY English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • The total score for English is 60 and students who could enter this senior high school scored from 30 to 60 approximately (based on this test).

  • Students at this high school may have achieved the certain basic level of English proficiency in a general sense.

  • Instruments

  • 1) Participants’ Background Information

  • 2) Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI, EFL/ESL version), (Horwitz, 1987)

  • 3) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL, EFL/ESL 7.0 version), (Oxford, 1990)


Methodology2
METHODOLOGY English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • BALLI contains 34 items to assess students’ beliefs in five areas:

  • (i) foreign language aptitude, (ii) the difficulty of language learning, (iii) the nature of language learning, (iv) learning and communication strategies, (v) motivations and expectations

  • To respond to their agreements to 34 items on a 5-point Likert scale

  • Presenting (5) Strongly Agree (4) Agree (3) No Comment (2) Disagree (1) Strongly Disagree

  • SILL includes 50 items, categorized in 6 categories:


Methodology3
METHODOLOGY English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • (i) memory strategies, (ii) cognitive strategies, (iii) compensation strategies, (iv) metacognitive strategies, (v) affective strategies, and (vi) social strategies.

  • Based on a five-point Likert scale from 5 to 1:

  • (5) Always or Almost Always (4) Usually (3) Somewhat (2) Usually Not (1) Never or Almost Never.

  • The 34 items of BALLI and the 41 items (revised from 50items) of SILL were translated into Chinese.

  • To ensure the expert validity of BALLI and SILL, the translations of them were checked & reviewed by a professor at MCU


Procedures two phases
Procedures – Two phases English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Pilot study: in LKSH in Taipei County

  • To examine the reliability values of the Chinese BALLI and SILL questionnaires

  • 34 students (Male =18; Female =16)

  • The cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the BALLI was .787, and the reliability coefficient of the SILL was .955 (above 0.7).

  • Formal study: in LKSH in Taipei County

  • On October 28th 2009, a fall semester of 2009.

  • 170 second-year students participated. However, the final valid samples – 163.

  • The reliability coefficient of BALLI was .725, and that of the SILL was .950


Data collection and analysis
Data Collection and Analysis English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Based on the quantitative research approach

  • By using the SPSS (Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences) version 15.0

  • Descriptive statistics, includingmeans, standard deviations and one sample t-test, and Pearson’s correlation analysis


Results and discussion
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • R Q 1: What are senior high school students’ beliefs about English learning in Taiwan?

  • The Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) was used.

  • Descriptive statistics, mean scores, standard deviations, and one sample t-test (in Table 1).

  • Among the five main areas of beliefs of senior high students – Overall, the five main categories -- above 3.0, and all of them were calculated significantly at the level of p<.01 through one sample t-test.

  • The highest one in mean scores was motivations and expectations (M=3.94, SD= .63)


Hsiu hui lin pey chewn nancy duo

Table 1: English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei CountyMean scores, Standard Deviation and One Sample t-test of the Overall and the Five Respective Beliefs about Language Learning(N=163)


Results and discussion rq 1
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION – RQ 1 English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Motivations and expectations were more strongly agreed than other four categories in learners’ beliefs about language learning.

  • In Table 2, the percentage of motivations and expectations was 91.41%--

  • Most students consented motivations and expectations about language learning had a great influence on learners’ language learning.

  • Students believed learners equipped with learning and communication strategies learnt well (80.98%) -- The results concurs with Shih’s (2004) and Liu’s (2004) studies.


Table 2 frequencies of responses in on the five respective beliefs about language learning n 163
Table 2: English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei CountyFrequencies of Responses (in %) on the Five Respective Beliefs about Language Learning (N=163)


Results and discussion1
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

R Q 2: What language learning strategies are most frequently and least frequently used by senior high school students?

(i) The Strategy Inventory of Language Learning (SILL) was used.

(ii)The mean scores and the standard deviations of the use of the six learning strategy categories were illustrated in Table 3.

(iii) The mean of overall strategy was 3.03 (SD= .61)/ the highest one was compensation (M=3.5, SD= .72), which was used most frequently. The social strategy was used least frequently (M=2.7, SD= .76).


Hsiu hui lin pey chewn nancy duo
Table 3: English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei CountyMean Scores and Standard Deviation of the Overall and the Six Respective Learning Strategy Categories (N=163)


Results and discussion rq 2
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION – RQ 2 English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Oxford (1990) acknowledges that a compensation strategy such as looking for synonyms when the exact word is unknown is a learning strategy or a communication strategy.

  • Due to their insufficient input and practice of target language, students intend to make up for an inadequate repertoire of grammar and, especially, of vocabulary, can gain sense of achievement.

  • The findings were consistent with Shih’s (2004) study surveying junior high students in Taiwan, and Liu’s (2004) study exploring senior high students in Taiwan.


Results and discussion rq 21
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION – RQ 2 English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • On the other hand, students never or seldom used social strategies in learning English.

  • According to Oxford (1990), social strategies acquire students to ask questions, to cooperate with others and empathizing with others.

  • Students in Taiwan can not expose themselves sufficiently in an English-speaking environment and they seldom have opportunities to interact with others in English and students at senior high school get used to competition rather than cooperation in terms of the pressure of a great number of tests.

  • The finding was consistent with Liu’s (2004) study.


Results and discussion rq 22
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION – RQ 2 English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Besides,

  • According to Oxford’s criteria in the frequency of strategy use (see Table 4), the mean of overall strategy use and the means of the six learning strategy categories almost fell in the medium use.

  • Compensation strategy was highly used.

  • This study was consistent with Lan’s (2005), Lan and Oxford’s (2003) findings.


Table 4 oxford s 1990 sill score standard for strategy use
Table 4: English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei CountyOxford’s (1990) SILL Score Standard for Strategy Use


Results and discussion2
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

R Q 3: Is there any relationship between senior high school students’ beliefs about language learning and their use of language learning strategies?

  • The relationship was explored by means of Pearson Correlation analysis.

  • In table 5, the correlation between the 34 items on the BALLI and the 41 items on the SILL was calculated.

  • The value of Pearson correlation (r) could range from -1.00 to 1.00.

  • The correlation coefficient between the BALLI and the SILL items was demonstrated as .415 which exerts a medium degree.

  • .


Hsiu hui lin pey chewn nancy duo
Table 5: English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei CountyPearson Correlation between Beliefs about Language Learning and Use of Language Learning Strategy


Results and discussion rq 3
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION – RQ 3 English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • The beliefs senior high school students held could affect their usage of language learning strategy use when students learn English as a foreign language.

  • The finding is similar to Shih’s (2004) finding, and consistent with the results of previous studies (Abraham & Vann, 1987; Wenden, 1987).


Conclusion
CONCLUSION English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • The findings of the study indicated:

    (1) The participants held various beliefs about language learning, especially motivational beliefs.

    (2) The students in this investigation utilized a variety of language learning strategies.

    (3) Among six strategy categories, they used compensation strategies most frequently and social strategies least frequently.

    (4) The students’ beliefs about language learning were related to their use of language learning strategies.


Pedagogical implications
PEDAGOGICAL IMPLICATIONS English Learning and Their Use of Language Learning Strategy in Taipei County

  • Pedagogical implications are suggested:

  • Teachers should try to understand beliefs about language learning of their own students.

  • Teachers should inform students of the importance of language learning strategies and provide students with explicit directions.

  • Teachers should make efforts to motivate their own students to learn English.