Language learning strategies of first-year students in an English medium higher education context

Date
2024-01
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Akşit, Necmi
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the language learning strategies of first-year students at a foundation university in Türkiye where the medium of instruction is English. More specifically, the study aimed to explain what direct and indirect strategies, and accompanying strategy sets, were used by the students. It also examined any potential differences in the strategy used based on gender. This study used a single-case design, shifting attention to a particular and less-explored context, incorporating cross-sectional survey, and causal-comparative designs. The researcher collected the data through a survey within the framework of Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL, Version 7.0) tool and 82 first-year students voluntarily participated in the study. The findings indicated that the direct strategies were preferred more than the indirect strategies. More specifically, within Direct strategies, Compensatory strategies are highly favored; in contrast, Metacognitive strategies are moderately favored across Indirect strategies. As for the least used strategies, Memory strategies as one of the groups in the Direct strategies, and Affective strategies within the Indirect strategies are favored the least. Additionally, female first-year students preferred to use direct strategies more than male first-year students although the observed difference is not statistically significant. More specifically, when Direct strategies are considered, Compensatory strategies are highly favored by both female and male first-year students, but female students use them more frequently. Similarly, among Indirect strategies, male participants highly favor Social strategies, while female participants moderately favor Metacognitive strategies the most. Finally, in relation to two strategies under the Cognitive strategies, statistically significant results favoring female students were observed.

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