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Title: A case study concerning the use of vocabulary learning strategies among Malaysian sojourners in the United Kingdom
Author: Ab Rahman, Nur Afiqah
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 802X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis investigates the Vocabulary Learning Strategies (VLS) used by Malaysian sojourners in learning English in UK in relation to context and learners’ agencies. Strategies used in formal education and daily life are explored and their vocabulary language learning experiences in Malaysia are taken into account. The study investigates the case of ten Malay native speakers who were living temporarily in the UK for a period of three to four years. Four participants were students, three had full-time jobs, two had part-time jobs and the other one was stay-at-home spouse. The participants were asked about the strategies they used in the UK, and also to reflect on their language learning in Malaysia. This study also asked how their VLS progressed and changed as they moved from their home country to the UK. This study adopted a mixed-method approach and data was collected through semi-structured interviews, learning diaries, Vocabulary Levels Tests and VLS questionnaires in three phases; over a period of fourteen months. Interview data was coded into themes and was supplemented with data from learning diaries and questionnaires. In relation to research question one, it was found that Malaysian sojourners used a mix of vocabulary learning strategies throughout their vocabulary learning journey starting from school, HE, their workplace and Coventry. The participants’ VLS were more or less consistent across their learning English journey. Frequency of use for each strategy very much depended on who or what was available to them and their willingness to learn new words. The participants also started to use more technological tools as these tools became widely available. In respect to research question two, Malaysian sojourners encountered new words in all sorts of situations. These encounters could be a mix of intentional and incidental as one could be purposely read an academic article and found new words. However, a large number of the encounters came from technological based tools such as watching online movies, surfing the Internet and reading online. The frequency of encounters differed depending on the opportunities the participants had. Some opportunities were specific to participants’ status such as being a student, working, and not working. Other opportunities were common and were experienced by all, e.g. travelling, seeking health advice and using media. The study offers a model of Vocabulary Learning in Context (VLC) in which context and agency are considered. In particular, the model shows that learners have to make decisions whether to encounter new vocabulary and what actions they should take about it. If they choose to try and learn new vocabulary systematically, they would engage in the process of transferring the new vocabulary from short-term memory to long-term memory. The vocabulary learning process will start again when learners use the new words in context as the context will, repeatedly, provide new opportunities of encountering other new words. Recommendations for L2 learners, L2 teachers, researchers and those supporting language learning more informally are given.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education