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A study of vocabulary proficiency and gender differences in english vocabulary learning strategies used by junior high school students in Taipei
Chang, Tieh Kang
Sheu, Ping Huang
Chang, Tieh Kang
vocabulary learning strategies
|Issue Date:||2013-09-04 14:56:09 (UTC+8)|
This study investigated vocabulary proficiency and gender differences in English vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) used by junior high school students in Taipei. The goals were to (1) explore the differences in VLS use among three vocabulary scoring levels, (2) to investigate the frequencies use of VLS by male and female students, (3) to find out gender differences in VLS use, (4) to indentify gender difference in VLS use in terms of vocabulary scoring level, and (5) to illustrate the patterns of VLS use in gender perspectives.
A total of 203 junior high school students from an urban school in Taipei City were involved in the study. A vocabulary learning strategy questionnaire (VLSQ) and an English vocabulary proficiency test (EVPT) were administered as instruments. The former was used to elicit the self-report strategy use by the students and the latter was utilized to categorize the participants into three vocabulary levels. The data was analyzed by employing SPSS version 12.0, including descriptive analysis, one-way analysis of variance, and independent t-Tests.
A summary of the results are as follows. (1) The higher vocabulary level students belonged to, the more VLS they tended to apply, especially determination strategies, social strategies, memory strategies and metacognitvie strategies. (2) Both male and female students could be regarded as moderate users of VLS. Both groups favored determination strategies the most and metacognitive strategies the least. (3) Besides a significantly more frequent use of overall strategies, determination strategies, memory strategies and cognitive strategies, female students also tended to use more often individual strategies concerning grouping related words together, writing practice with study aids and auditory practice. (4) Significances found in each scoring group seemed to favor female students in strategy use, except three strategies, analyzed affixes and roots by the Intermediate-Scoring group, listening to English broadcast and image word’s meanings by the High-Scoring group. (5) To both genders, the most difficult aspects in learning vocabulary are pronunciation and meanings. As for the effectiveness of VLS, male and female students had the same opinions on the most five but thought slightly differently on the least five. Besides, sharing some similar needs for teachers’ assistance, male students preferred dynamic vocabulary activities but female students favored academic vocabulary practice.
The findings suggest teachers should (1) introduce a variety of VLS to students, particularly those of lower levels, (2) take gender differences into consideration when administering strategies-based instruction, and (3) be aware of students’ preferences of VLS use with both gender and vocabulary level perspectives.
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