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VOCABULARY LEARNING STRATEGIES: GENERAL ENGLISH VS. ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES

P. Krčelić

University of Applied Sciences Baltazar Zaprešić (CROATIA)
Vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) are important for successful language learning, especially when it comes to learning and teaching a language for specific purposes, where vocabulary acquisition has a central role (Dudley- Evans and St. John, 1998). There is no unified definition of language learning strategies. Oxford (1990) describes them as strategies that make the learning process faster, more efficient and fun. Furthermore, Takač (2008) notes that VLS are particular strategies for learning vocabulary in either General English (GE) or English for Specific Purposes (ESP). This paper attempts to determine the preferred vocabulary learning strategies among Business Economics and Finance students and to investigate the differences in the use of VLS between students taking GE and ESP course. Respondents comprised 58 students at the University of Applied Sciences Baltazar Zaprešić, Croatia. The results show that the most often used strategy by the students is the strategy of translating words into mother tongue, followed by a spontaneous VLS of picking up new words from films and TV programs in English. No statistically significant differences in the usage of VLS between the group that was taking GE and the group that was taking ESP course were found. The gained knowledge will have important implications when dealing with teaching and learning of ESP vocabulary.