Walter Sisulu University (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 430-437
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.0190
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
This paper presents the results of a comparative investigation into the learners’ learning styles which had an influence on the development of their English language proficiency. Respondents for the study were learners in a selected primary school in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The objectives of the study were to identify whether the learners’ learning styles and the lack of exposure to relevant resources had an influence on the development of English proficiency among learners and also to see whether there were significant differences of such learning styles based on their achievement levels in such a language, as the greatest percentage of the subjects underpinning the primary school curriculum are offered in English language. The idea of carrying out the study became necessary as the researcher expressed concern about English development in language aspects inclusive of reading, writing and speaking. One therefore, has to master the use of English as a language to a certain extent so as to be a successful, effective and efficient scholar.

This quantitative study used a case study as a research design. The type of methodology and design enabled the researcher to identify if there was a relationship between the variables indicated. The sample size consisted of 20 primary school learners who were randomly selected. Data were collected through the use of questionnaires which comprised of items developed to achieve the aim of the study. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The researcher coded the questions and responses into labels, values and data types. Total frequencies and percentages of responses were produced and presented in tables and discussions.

The findings revealed that learning styles wherein learners are motivated to engage more on continuous open learning presentations conducted in English, as the prescribed language for learning and teaching, engaging in a wide range of reading resources, watching educational television programs run in an English language, group-work and the use of various learning styles when studying, can yield better results in English language acquisition. Based on pedagogical frameworks for English language learning and instruction, it is assumed that such learning styles would be more successful in changing learners’ attitudes and the role played by them throughout their engagement on language learning activities, this leading to better achievement.
Learning styles, language proficiency, reading, instructional approaches and academic achievement, learning and teaching process.