20 SES 12 B JS, Challenges to Measurement and Assessment in Inter- and Multicultural Education
Joint Paper Session NW 09 and NW 20
Currently, teaching second languages in Higher Education is one of the most important issues in the educational reforms of the vast majority of European countries in the last decades, as well as a relevant aspect to achieve a greater internationalization of the universities. This aspect is also one of the relevant issues for China. Therefore, the aim of the present research is to analyze the use of learning strategies among Spanish and Chinese students to improve a second language in Higher Education.
Overall, previous research has emphasized learning strategies are a key element deeply linked to the achievement of effective learning (Gargallo, Almerich, Suárez, & García, 2012), and, especially, in language learning (García, Pérez, Martínez, & Alfonso, 1998). According to Gan, Humphreys, and Hamp-Lyons (2004), compared to success in acquiring the first language, success in learning a second language depends more on the personal characteristics and the cultural context. Shatz (2014) considers the acquisition of a new language is a long and complex process based on the use of strategies in the language learning, understood as operations performed by an individual for the purpose of either acquiring, storing or recovering some information.
Learning strategies have the potential to improve learning and influence the speed and level of acquisition of a second language (Zhou, 2010). These learning strategies are not only considered as the result of internal mental processes of the subject but also of social interaction from the training in a second language. From this approach is justified the “strategic teaching”, aspect understood as learning from procedures that are developed not only through the individual cognitive processes but also through those cognitive, affective and social processes that are established by the interaction (Franco, 2004). In that regard, Shatz (2014) recognizes it is important to measure the effectiveness of language learning strategies.
Particularly, and as a basis for the present study, Oxford (2003) considers that learning strategies used are the main factor which helps determine how students learn a second language based on six groups of strategies: memory, cognitive, metacognitive, compensatory, affective and social strategies (Oxford, 1990).
In Spain we present as a second foreign language English, which is taught from primary to secondary education. This course is offered in the same importance as the rest of the subjects, presenting the same weekly hours. However, English remains a matter of concern, since according to the Eurobarometer of the European Commission it is said Spain has one of the lowest results in terms of English proficiency in the European Union. From those results, it is pointed out that there is only 22% of people over 18 who claim to have the basis of English and 7% consider that they have an advanced level (Universia, 2014).
Regarding Chinese context, the Spanish language is currently taught in China as a bachelor's degree in more than 60 faculties and university departments, with the aim of training students to work in Spanish-speaking countries (Jing, 2012). Currently, Chinese students come to Spain to study Spanish or graduate studies related to economics and business (Benito, 2010).
Franco, P. (2004). El uso de las estrategias de aprendizaje del inglés como lengua no materna: aplicación de cuestionar como fase previa a la enseñanza de estrategias en el aula. Porta Linguarum (2) 57-67. Available in http://www.ugr.es/~portalin/articulos/PL_numero2/3%20Estrategias%20de%20aprendizaje%20en%20ingles%20LE-P%20Franco.pdf Gan, Z., Humphreys, G., & Hamp-Lyons, L. (2004). Undestanding successful and unsuccessful EFL students in Chinese universities. The Modern Language Journal, 88 (2), 229-244. García, R., Pérez, F., Martínez, T., & Alfonso, V. (1998). Estrategias de aprendizaje y enseñanza del inglés como segunda lengua en contextos formales. Revista de Educación, 316, 257-269. Gargallo, B., Almerich, G., Suárez, J., & García, E. (2012). Estrategias de aprendizaje en estudiantes universitarios excelentes y medios. Su evolución a lo largo del primer año de carrera. RELIEVE, 18, 2, DOI: 10.7203/relieve.18.2.2000. Jing, L. (2012). El estudio de disponibilidad léxica de los estudiantes chinos de español como lengua extranjera. Marco ELE: Revista de didáctica español como lengua extranjera, 14, 1-14. Available in http://marcoele.com/descargas/14/lin-disponibilidad_lexica.pdf Oxford, R. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Boston: Heinle. Oxford, R. (2003). Language learning styles and strategies: an overview. Available in http://web.ntpu.edu.tw/~language/workshop/read2.pdf Sánchez, A. (2009). Estrategias de aprendizaje de alumnos chinos de español. Suplemento de Marco ele. Revista de didáctica español lengua extranjera, 8, 1-38. Available in http://marcoele.com/descargas/china/sanchez-grinan_estrategias.pdf Shatz, I. (2014). Parameters for Assesing the Effectiveness of Language Learning Strategies. Journal of Language and Cultural Education, 2 (3), 96-103. Universia (2014). España tiene uno de los más bajos niveles de inglés de Europa. Available in http://noticias.universia.es/en-portada/noticia/2014/08/22/1110153/espana-bajos-niveles-ingles-europa.html Zhou, Y. (2010). English Language Learning Strategy Use by Chinese Senior High School Students. English Language Teaching, 3 (4), 152-158. Available in http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/elt/article/viewFile/37023/20727
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