The relationship between learning strategy choice and academic success, and factors related to learning strategy choice of EFL undergraduate students in a Turkish university
Haas, Teri S.
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This present study investigated the factors that could relate to learning strategy choice of students and the relationship between learning strategy choice, overall level of strategy use, and language classroom academic success. Seventy upper-intermediate Turkish students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) participated in the study. There were 15 female and 55 male students in the study. The research was conducted at Cukurova University Foreign Language Teaching Center (YADIM). In this correlational study the researcher used Oxford's (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) Version 7.0 to identify students' learning strategy choice, that is, the most frequently used strategy group. The present study considered three questions. The first research question was about strategy choice, and analysis of data revealed that for the largest number of students (47.1%), the most frequently used strategy group was compensation. For the remaining students the most frequently used strategies were as follows: metacognitive (27.1%), cognitive (8.6%), social (8.6%), affective (5.7%), and memory (2.9%). The second question was the relationship of other factors with learning strategy choice and total strategy use of students. The researcher tried to find out if students' departments, gender, and educational background were related to the learning strategy choice and total strategy use. The results revealed that all of the learning strategy choices were significantly correlated with each other and with total strategy use. However, there were no significant relationships between students' departments and educational background and learning strategy choice or overall level of strategy use. However, there was a positive relationship between gender and the choice of compensation strategies with females (M= 3.91) using them more often than males (M=3.33). The third question was the relationship between learning strategy choice and language classroom academic success. Academic success was measured by an achievement test prepared by the testing office at YADIM. The researcher used multiple regression to see which learning strategy choices might predict their language classroom academic success. The only significant predictor was metacognitive strategies, which predicted academic success in a negative way. This means that the fewer metacognitive strategies the learners used, the more successful they were.