31 SES 06 D, Strategies for Teaching and Learning English: Classroom or culture?
“A European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity” (2015) emphasizes the holistic multilingualism in Europe, as well as dominant role of languages in personal, social and economic development, social cohesion, mobility; promotion and vitality of all languages. language teaching and learning in the EU more efficient more efficient (Multilingualism, European Commission, 2018).
Study internationalisation is one of the aspects that reflect the changing global reality, it has the potential to increase students’ employability within Europe and beyond, among key barriers being language issues. It has been found that study abroad programs increase students' self-efficacy perception in the specific domains of communication, foreign language learning, and cultural adaptation self-efficacy (Covert, 2014; Cubillos & Ilvento, 2012; Milstein, 2005).
Cohen (Cohen, 2014) viewed Language learning strategies strategies as the ability to do something vs just learning, and in terms of their role in operationalizing both the receptive skills of listening and reading, and the productive skills of speaking, and writing.
Language learning strategies (LLS) are key to learner autonomy; higher strategy use can be associated with higher proficiency in a second language (Ardesheva, 2011; G.Hu et al., 2009, Cohen & Macaro, 2007). Research has shown that the broader the repertoire of strategies a learner has, the greater the likelihood of success (Yabukoshi & Takeuchi, 2009). In Bremner (Bremner, 2000) opinion more useful would be to investigate the effect of every strategy on specific aspects of proficiency, in specific contexts and over a period of time. Murray (Murray, 2010) considered that all strategies researching instruments mainly dealt with the frequency of strategy use, but more important consideration might be the quality of strategy use, pointing out that language learning strategies should be treated as only one among many variables in the language learning process, models for learning should include other student variables, such as learning styles, student affective disposition, social context and cultural differences. Hsiao & Oxford (Hsiao & Oxford, 2002) suggested that other possible approaches to strategy classification should be considered, including among others a task–based strategy inventory.
At University of Minnesota, in Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA Center; Cohen, Oxford & Chi, 2009) was developed Language Learning Strategy Use Inventory (2009; Kappler, Cohen, & Paige, 2009), consisting of four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing), vocabulary development and translation strategy use. Authors emphasize that LLS users have to be cautious when exploring frequencies of strategy use, because the reason why learners use some strategy a lot might be the necessity to use it a lot to make it work.
In previous ECER Conferences our papers focused on assessing the construct validity of a Language Learning Strategy Use (LLS) Inventory Instrument and general characteristics of LLS use Inventory in Thailand and Latvia (Khampirat and Rudzinska, 2018; Khampirat and Rudzinska, 2017).
IMD (2014) assessed 60 countries on the English proficiency (TOEFL), Thailand ranked 57th, while Latvia 32th. Raising awareness about language learning strategy use could help youngsters improve their foreign language skills not only in the EU, but as well beyond it, and the view from outside the EU might help to see our problems better, therefore authors focus on the comparison of language learning strategy use in two completely different countries – Thailand and Latvia.
Methods Participants The participants were 457 randomly selected undergraduate students from two countries, 275 (60.18%) from Thailand and 182 (39.82%) from Latvia. All of Thai students, 108 participants (39.27%) were male, 162 (58.91%) were female, 5 (1.82%) declined to state their gender. 214 (77.82%) studied in information technology field, 50 (18.18%) from Sports Science, 6 (2.18%) from Engineering, and 5 (1.82%) from Science. For Latvian students, 87 participants (47.80%) were male, 95 (52.20%) were female. 148 (78.72%) studied in Sports Science, and 40 (21.28%) from Physiotherapy. Instruments To measure reading and listening strategies use in learning English, this study employed the “language strategy use inventory” of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota (Cohen, Oxford, & Chi, 2006). Reading strategy consisted of 12 items to assess 2 aspects, “strategies to improve my reading ability”, and “strategies for when words and grammatical structures are not understood”. Whereas listening strategy contained 26 items to measure 5 aspects, namely, “strategies to increase my exposure to the target language”, “strategies to become more familiar with the sounds in the target language”, “strategies to prepare to listen to conversation in the target language”, “strategies to listen to conversation in the target language”, and "strategies for when i do not understand some or most of what someone says in the target”. Each item was rated on a four-point Likert scale (1-4) from 1 (standing for: this strategy doesn’t fit for me) to 4 (standing for: I often use this strategy and like it). The instrument was translated into the Thai language by one of the authors and one expert in English. Latvian students used the original questionnaire in English. To assess the internal consistency and reliability of the overall scales, the Cronbach’s alpha was computed, showing coefficient for reading and listening strategies were 0.89 and 0.93, respectively. Statistical analysis In order to complete this comparative analysis, independent sample t-test was employed via software SPSS for Windows to test whether there exists a notable difference between student from Thailand and Latvia on reading and listening strategies use in learning English.
The independent t-test revealed significant difference between Thai and Latvian students in Reading Strategy use, t(416) = 7.87, p < .001. Thai students (M = 3.04, SD = 0.69) used “Reading strategies” more than Latvian students (M = 2.53, SD = 0.51). Considerable differences were found in both the “Strategies to improve reading ability” (t (355.11) =5.61, p < .001) and “Strategies for when words and grammatical structures are not understood” (t (344.56) =9.11, p < .001). Thai students (M = 3.12, SD = 0.60) also “Listening strategies” used more than Latvian students (M = 2.63, SD = 0.37), t(417) = 8.84, p < .001. The largest difference in the mean score was found in “Strategies for when he/she do not understand some or most of what someone says in the target” (Thai: M = 3.43, SD = 0.74; Latvian: M = 2.75, SD = 0.46), followed by “Strategies to become more familiar with the sounds in the target language” (Thai: M = 2.97, SD =0.74; Latvian: M = 2.43, SD = 0.65), “Strategies to listen to conversation in the target language” (Thai: M = 3.20, SD = 0.70; Latvian: M = 2.67, SD = 0.39). Thai students are always open to using reading and listening strategies in learning English, English is taught and promoted in all levels of education (Darasawang, 2007; Wiriyachitra, 2002), but Thai students are still facing enormous difficulties in learning English (Wiriyachitra, 2002) that may contribute to student’s readiness to use a variety of reading and listening strategies in everyday life, but in Latvia it is more widespread, therefore there is less need in applying varied LLS. In future we plan to examine the effect of demographic variables on the experiences of language learning strategy use to better understand foreign language skills development in HEI students.
1.A European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity: Towards a new approach on languages as part of the European Agenda 2020. (2015). http://www.npld.eu/uploads/publications/313.pdf. 2.Bremner S. (2000). Language Learning strategies and language proficiency: investigating the Relationship in Hong-Kong, Canadian Modern Language Review, Vol. 55, No. 4, p. 490-514. 4.Cohen, A. D. (2014) Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language, 2nd Edition, eBook, First Published 5 May 2011, London, Routledge, 440 pages. 5.Cohen, A. D., Oxford, R. L., & Chi, J. C. (2009). Language strategy use inventory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA). Retrieved from http://carla.umn.edu/maxsa/documents/LanguageStrategyInventory_MAXSA_IG.pdf. 6.Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16, 297–334. 7.Cubillos, J.H., & Ilvento, T. (2012). The impact of study abroad on students' self-efficacy perceptions. Foreign Language Annals, 45, 449–511. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j. 1944-9720.2013.12002.x. 8.Darasawang, P. (2007). English language teaching and education in Thailand: A decade of change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 9.Hsiao, T–Y., Oxford, R.L. (2002). Comparing Theories of Language Learning Strategies: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis, The Modern Language Journal, Volume 86, Issue 3, p. 368–383. 10.IMD (2014) IMD world competitiveness yearbook. Switzerland: IMD world competitiveness Center. Retrieved from http://www.conicyt.cl/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/IMD WCY-2014.pdf. 11.Murray, B. (2010). Students’ language learning strategy use and achievement in the Korean as a foreign language classroom, Foreign Language Annals, Volume 43, Issue 4, Winter 2010, p. 624–634. 12.Riazi, A. (2007). Language Learning Strategy Use: Perceptions of Female Arab English Majors, Foreign Language Annals, v40 n3 p. 433-440. 13.Rudzinska, I. & Khampirat, B. (2017). Construct Validation Of Language Learning Strategy Use Inventory, ECER 2017, University College UCC, Copenhagen, 22 - 25 Aug, 2017. 14.Rudzinska, I. & Khampirat, B. (2018). The variety of Language Learning Strategies Use in Thai and Latvian students, Presentation at EERA-ECER Conference on Educational Research “Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?, Bolzano, 4-7 Sept, 2018. 15.Wiriyachitra, A. (2002). English language teaching and learning in Thailand in this decade. Thai TESOL focus, 15(1), 4-9. 16.Yabukoshi, T., & Takeuchi, O. (2009). Language learning strategies used by Japanese lower secondary school learners in a Japanese EFL context. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 19(2), 136-172. .
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