Investigating EFL Learning Strategy Use, GEPT Performance, and Gender Difference among Non-English Major Sophomores at a Technological University

| March 11, 2013
Title
Investigating EFL Learning Strategy Use, GEPT Performance, and Gender Difference among Non-English Major Sophomores at a Technological University

Keywords: Language learning strategies, gender difference, GEPT, proficiency

Authors
Chuen-Maan Sheu, Pei-Ling Wang, and Lina Hsu
National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Taiwan

Bio Data
Chuen-Maan Sheu is currently an assistant professor at National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences in Taiwan. She has been teaching EFL Reading Skills, Listening and Speaking, Writing and Project for twenty years. Her chief research interests include EFL learners’ learning strategy use and effects of learning strategy instruction, effects of remedial courses, and ESP.

Dr. Pei-Ling Wang received her Doctorate in bilingual education from Penn State University in the USA. She is currently an associate professor at National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences in Taiwan, where she teaches courses in English reading and writing. Dr Wang’s chief interest is investigating the relation between student cognitive styles and foreign language learning.

Lina Hsu is an associate professor at Applied Foreign Languages Department of National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences in Taiwan. She currently teaches English writing, English speaking and listening, and some literary courses.

Abstract
This study investigated the overall English learning strategy use, listening proficiency and gender difference among 238 EFL non-English major sophomores at a technological university. Language learning strategies were measured through Yang’s (1992) Chinese version of the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL). Listening proficiency was measured by using one unit of intermediate-level listening comprehension of the General English Proficiency Test (GEPT). The findings of this study were: (1) the students were medium-level strategy users (M= 2.90); (2) the frequency of the strategies used ranked in the order of compensation (M=3.17), affective, social, meta-cognitive, memory and cognitive (M=2.72), and students used significantly more indirect strategies than direct strategies; (3) high achievers of GEPT reported using each of the six subcategories of strategies significantly more frequently than low achievers; all six subcategories of strategies as well as overall strategies were significantly correlated with the GEPT listening test scores; (4) females used more language learning strategies than males; and (5) regarding all participants, significant gender differences were found in memory and affective strategies, with females surpassing males, but no significant gender difference was detected only among the high performing group. These findings provide evidence that EFL learners need strategies in language learning, and proficiency may be a more important factor than gender related to strategy choice and use.
[private] See page: 128-164

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 15 Issue 1