PREDICTIVE VARIABLES FOR ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING
Universidad Camilo José Cela (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Page: 496 (abstract only)
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Understanding how language learners actually learn enables teachers to provide effective teaching methods (Cook, 2001, Ehrman, Leaver and Oxford, 2003, Nyikos and Cohen 2009). According to Ehrman, Leaver and Oxford (2003), the only way to understand the complex system of teaching and learning a foreign language is by being aware of how individuals acquire language. Language learning strategies are crucial to foreign language learning because they intensify self-learning and are used for an active and self-regulated implication which is essential to develop the communicative competence (Hong-Nam and Leavell, 2007; Murray, 2010; Oxford, 1990). According to Oxford (1990), language learning strategies are specific measures taken by students to make their learning process easier, pleasant, autonomous, efficient and transferable to new situations. Richards and Platt (1992) define them as intentional behaviours and thoughts that students use during their learning process to help themselves assess, learn, or keep new information. Diversity is also found when identifying typologies (Ellis, 1994; O’Malley et al., 1985; Stern, 1983; Oxford, 1990, 2003; Wenden and Rubin, 1987). The SILL (Strategy Inventory for Language Learning, Oxford, 1990) was used in this research.
The objective of this research is to determine the influence that cognitive variables identified as language learning strategies have over academic performance in the foreign language learning process and specifically referred to English. The SILL (Strategy Inventory for Language Learning, Oxford, 1990) was applied to a sample of 563 individuals (309 male and 254 female) distributed among 3rd of ESO (41.030%), 4th of ESO (28.597%) and 1st of High School (30.373%) of two schools in the Community of Madrid. The SILL classifies strategies in direct and indirect. At the same time direct strategies include three groups: memory, cognitive and compensation strategies whereas indirect include metacognitive, affective and social strategies. The internal consistency of SILL is .94 and reliability .83.
For the data analysis a multinomial logistic regression analysis was used. The predictive variables included are SILL strategies and as criterion variables foreign language academic results in the last evaluation process. Results show that the resulting predictive model includes cognitive strategies (direct strategies), followed by metacognitive and affective strategies (indirect strategies) (Anugkakul, 2011; Macaro, 2006; Murray, 2010).
Keywords: Learning Strategies, Foreign Language, Adolescents, SILL.