An investigation of inter-relationships between personality, cognitive style and language learning strategies : with special reference to a group of adult overseas students using English in their specialist studies in the UK
In the first part of this inquiry, Chapters One to Four, the main thesis and three broad research hypotheses are formulated. The thesis (see Chapter One) is that detailed, multi-dimensional learner profiles can fruitfully inform the design of training programmes for overseas students in the United Kingdom. This proposition is first examined using a combination of quantitative and qualit ative methods. The main thesis is re-examined in the light of evidence from the empirical study, with conclusions drawn on the future training of students similar to the participant group. Possible areas of further research are suggested through the re-assessment of various relevant literatures, with a particular focus on evidence that it is amenable to empirical investigation. Chapter Two explores the perceived relationships of cognitive/affective and social variables with target language learning and use. Positive evidence of such relationships permits the formulation of Research Hypothesis 1. In Chapter Three findings from previous inquiries into overseas students in foreign cultures are used to formulate Research Hypothesis 2, which proposes that learner profiles drawn up early on in the period of residence overseas can predict training outcomes. Chapter Four develops a framework for the elicitation and evaluation of target language data. Research Hypothesis 3, suggesting the importance of such data in the profiling of individual learners, is formulated. Chapters Five to Eight report on the two phases of an empirical study collecting and analys ing longitudinal data on the participant group of 27 Overseas Development Administration study fellows. Phase One of the study focuses on their pre-sessional remedial English programme in the UK. Phase Two follows them through their subsequent specialist training periods at various receiving institutions. Specific hypotheses necessary to the investigation of the three broader research hypotheses are tested using a combination of quantitative and qualit ative methods. The main thesis is re-examined in the light of evidence from the empirical study, with conclusions drawn on the future training of students similar to the participant group. Possible areas of further research are suggested.