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Title: General learning strategies : identification, transfer to language learning and effect on language achievement
Author: Samperio Sanchez, Nahum
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 4772
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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Each learner has a set repertoire of general learning strategies that he or she uses despite the learning context. The purpose of this study is to identify the general learning strategies that beginner learners of English have in their repertoire, the transfer of such strategies to language learning and the predictive value they have in language achievement. It is also intended to discover the effect that the teaching of not frequently used general learning strategies have on learners’ language achievement. Additionally, to identify possible differences in strategy types and frequency of strategy use in low and high strategy users as well as high and low achievers of beginner English language learners. This study followed a mixed-methods research methodology by collecting numerical data by means of a 51-item general strategies questionnaire (Martinez- Guerrero 2004) applied in two administrations. The sample consists of 118 beginner English language learners in a language center at a northern Mexican University. Data were analyzed with the SPSS and Excel software. The qualitative data was collected through twenty individual semistructured interviews; furthermore, three one-hour-forty minute strategy instruction sessions were included as the treatment. Quantitative results show that learners have a more frequent use of Achievement Motivation, Cognitive and Concentration strategies; and less frequent use of Study, Study Organization, and Interaction in Class strategies. Qualitative findings indicate that learners use Study and Study organization and Concentration strategies largely in both general learning and language learning. Qualitative data complement and extend the quantitative data gathered in the questionnaire. No significant differences were found on the type of strategies that learners use in general learning contexts and language learning, which suggests that learners transfer their learning strategies from their general strategy repertoire to language learning as the first tools to deal with language learning tasks. A positive correlation was found between learning strategy use and language achievement test scores. Achievement test scores were primarily predicted by the use of Achievement Motivation and Interaction in Class strategies, and to a lesser extent by affective and study strategies. Strategy instruction sessions had no significant increase in the adoption and use of strategies. Furthermore, high and low achievers and strategy users seem to use the same type of strategies; the frequency of strategy use and how they use the strategy represented the difference between types of learners. Finally, a number of language learning strategies emerge from qualitative data that learners use in language learning. Pedagogical implications of the findings of this study provide a potential framework to help not only teachers but also institutions in identifying and teaching new and specific learning strategies.
Supervisor: Zheng, Ying ; Rule, Sarah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available