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A Comparative Determination of Vocabulary Learning Strategies of Saudi EFL Learners

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Foreign Languages, College of Arts, Taif University, Taif, KSA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 3, Issue (12), Pages 32-41, December,2 (2014)

Abstract

This empirical study investigates Saudi EFL learners’ patterns of vocabulary learning strategies used by them to learn their discipline-related vocabulary. It also attempts to investigate their preferences towards using various strategies to learn new English vocabulary along gender lines. For data collection a 44-item Likert-scale questionnaire was exploited and given to 82 male and 71 female Saudi EFL learners. Independent-samples t-test was run to calculate the descriptive analysis in terms of means and standard deviations and to see whether any significant differences existed along gender-lines or not. The results of this empirical investigation suggested that Saudi EFL learners represented by the sample of this study liked the determination strategies the most followed by memory strategies. Among the remaining strategies, cognitive, metacognitive and social strategies have been assigned 3rd, 4th, and 5th positions respectively. The results also suggest that Saudi EFL learners exploit various strategies to inference the meaning of new words. It is also reported that Saudi EFL learners do not like note-taking strategies and encoding strategies. It is recommended that EFL teachers working in the KSA should convince their students regarding the pedagogical significance of these techniques and encourage them to maintain vocabulary notebooks, use techniques of learning new words through previously learned knowledge such as exploiting some form of imagery, or grouping. The findings of this study seem to suggest that VLS training should be considered important and need to be given priority by EFL faculty so that effective vocabulary learning may be ensured. This study has the pedagogical implication to acquaint EFL teachers with the psychological underpinnings of Saudi learners related to VLS to train them to maximize their vocabulary learning possibilities.

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