The Most and Least Frequent Vocabulary Learning Strategies of High School English Language Learners
This study emphasized the most and least frequent vocabulary learning strategies that English language teachers encourage students to use, and the strategies that students actually use to build their vocabulary. Finding out whether the students’ most used strategies were teacher-encouraged or independently-learned was another point of interest. The participants included 20 male and 23 female learners of English of ages 18 to 22, all of them students in the Arts program at a Southern Congolese high school. They completed a Likert-scale questionnaire of 34 statements and four short-answer questions. Statistical and content analysis methods were employed. The study revealed contextual guessing and dictionary use to be the most frequently encouraged and used strategies, whereas pronunciation and flashcards were the least frequently encouraged and used. These strategies showed no significant difference between the teacher-encouraged and the student-used strategies, which provided evidence about the important role that language teachers play in students’ learning in general, and in strategy in particular. Furthermore, the majority of participants attributed their frequently-used strategies to their teachers’ practices and advice. Further discussion stresses the potential reasons why pronunciation receives less attention.
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