Learning style preferences of Turkish learners of English at Turkish universities and the relation between learning styles and test performance
Tannacito, Dan J.
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This study sought to determine the learning style preferences (LSP) of Turkish speakers of English at Turkish universities and to find out if there was a relation between LSP and test performance. There were 152 : 85 graduate and 66 undergraduate in the intensive English preparatory school at Istanbul Technical University. An LSP questionnaire developed by Willing (1987) was used to survey the LSP of the participants. The performance of students on English language tests was determined by the Michigan Placement Test. A descriptive item-by-item analysis of the LSP questionnaire showed that intensive English preparatory school students at Turkish universities prefer to learn English by going out and practicing English. Learning by doing; by conversations, pictures, films, and videos are also high preferences. Studying English alone is the lease preferred of all types of activities. As a result of the survey, the participants were categorized as concrete, analytical, communicative or authority-oriented learners (see Willing, 1987). The relationship between success and LSP was tested by a One-way ANOVA. There were two major hypotheses tested. The first hypothesis was that there were significant differences between the LSP preferences of graduate and undergraduate students. Statistical analysis rejected this hypothesis (f= 2.11, p= .99; f= .023, p= .80; f= .77; p= .41). The second hypothesis expected that there was no relationship between LSP and success in tests. The analyses confirmed the hypothesis that no significant difference exists between learning style preferences and test performance (F= 1.23, P=.82). This implies that students may have similar success rates regardless of the different ways they prefer to learn.