The study examines the perceptual learning style preference of the participants as well as the relationship between perceptual learning style preferences and learning strategies in L2 writing. The research methodology used in the study is quantitative method, focusing on descriptive study and correlational study. The findings show that most participants have at least one major preference on perceptual learning style and the relationship between perceptual learning style preferences and learning strategies in L2 writing shows weak or negligible relationship. This study further recommends to gather more participants and to use more powerful statistical procedure to analyze the data.
Statement of Problems
Writing has been an essential activity for L2 learners to develop in their academic requirements (Hyland, 2003). In the later development of writing, certain professions require extensive knowledge of writing (Saville-Troike, 2006). Despite the importance of writing itself, the development of writing in the classroom encounters various problem, including the difficulty in expressing students' knowledge in L2 writing, cultural differences among L2-language users, different cultural curriculum, different expectations in teaching and learning, and also different teaching and learning styles in the classroom (Hyland, 2003). In coping with L2 writing, different writers employ different learning styles. This study further is intended to observe what learning styles, particularly perceptual learning styles, used in the learning process and also to observe the relationship between perceptual learning styles and learning strategies in L2 writing.
Purpose of the Study
This study is intended to investigate L2 students' perceptual style preference as well as their learning strategies to their L2 writing in reference to students' perceptual style preference.
In this study, the following questions are to be the guidelines for the researcher in conducting the study. These questions are as follow:
What are L2 students' perceptual learning style preferences found in the study?
Is there any relationship to L2 students' learning strategies in reference to their perceptual learning style preference?
Definition of Terms
In this sectio achieve success" (p. 260) unfortunately, poverty has proven to be one of the biggest indicators of school failure (Arnold & Doctoroff, 2003). From years of research it is known that within the first five years of life, vital learning occurs, and children need a multitude of resources to be adequately prepared for kindergarten. Families of low socioeconomic status (SES) need guidance to increase their child's school readiness. Both federal and state governments have addressed this issue through various programs; however there is not enough funding for all students to attend. What can be done to help students who are at-risk become prepared for kindergarten?
Importance of the Problem
There are many factors that contribute to how well prepared a child is when entering school. Parents, as well as educators are worried about school readiness. This is the reason that millions of dollars are being allocated for early education. Kindergarten and first grade teachers have had to spend time teaching children basic skills such as how to share, wash their hands and even pull up their pants. When children attend pre-k they are ready to start learning the first day of school because they have baseline knowledge of self-help skills, school routines and expectations. Not only are they ready to learn, "children who attend prekindergarten programs have bigger vocabularies and increased math skills, know more letters and more letter-sound associations, and are more familiar with words and book concepts, according to a number of studies" (Lester, 2007, p.25). School readiness needs to be addressed so that each student receives an equal education. Children, especially children from poverty, start as much as a year and a half behind their middle-class peers (Stipek, 2006). If children continue to be ill prepared for kindergarten the achievement gap will continue to widen.
Background of the Study
The idea of early education began in the 1800s, in Europe where mothers would educate their children outside of the home. The concept came to America during the Industrial Revolution. There were "infant schools" set up in churches, factories and private homes to care for children while parents were working. In 1848, Wisconsin amended their constitution to include prekindergarten ("History of Pre-K", n.d.). Being the first to start a four year old kindergarten program in 1873, Wisconsin led the United States in early childhood education. Eventually, other states began to follow by opening preschools, day care centers and nursery programs ("History of Pre-K").
In 1926, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) was established, dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children and focusing on the quality of education and developmental services offered to children from birth to the age of eight. The NAEYC is now the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children with nearly 80,000 members ("About NAEYC", n.d.). The NAEYC brought light to the educational problem our young children were facing.
As part of the "War on Poverty," President Lyndon Johnson established the Head Start program in 1965. This program was originally created as a summer program for disadvantaged four year old children going into kindergarten. Now, Head Start is a year-long program, designed for three and four year old children who come from a low socioeconomic (SES) class, or have a developmental delay. Head Start programs are developed to provide an array of social, health and educational services to children and their families. Through the years, states have increased access to Head Start by supplementing with state funds and creating state programs ("History of Pre-k").
With the rise oon, several terms are to be explained further to avoid misconceptions. These terms include perceptual style preference and language learning strategy.
Perceptual learning style preference, according to Hyland (2003), is the learners' preference in recognizing and interacting with learning environment.
Learning strategy refers to the various efforts of learner in acquiring language (Macaro, 2001).
The Scope of the Study
This study limits the investigation only to students' perceptual learning style preference as well as the correlation of perceptual learning styles in reference to their learning strategy in L2 academic writing.
Significance of the Study
This study is intended to provide more observation on learning style, particularly perceptual learning style preference as well as the learning strategies in L2 writing in reference to perceptual learning style preference. By conducting this study, the researcher hope that teachers are able to realize that there are many learning styles preferences that one or more students use in their learning, meaning that teachers' teaching styles are able to cope with students' learning style and their learning strategies, especially in L2 writing.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Perceptual Learning Style Preferences
The research on learning style, particularly in language learning, have been carried out so many times as the need to integrate appropriate awareness of differences in teaching and learning style come. Various terms arise, including reflectivity versus impulsivity (Kagan & Messer, 1975, cited in Reid, 1993), field-independent versus field-dependent (Witkin, Moore, Oltman, et al., 1977, cited in Reid, 1993), and many others. ESL and EFL learning environment naturally differs, including their linguistic proficiencies and intuitions about language, learning experiences, sense of audience, different understandings of text uses and its social value, and many others (Hyland, 2003). Furthermore, as the cultural background of learners shapes their learning style, the call for teachers' awareness to their differences arises.
Learning styles, according to Reid (1993, cited in Hyland, 2003: 43), are "cognitive, affective and perceptual traits that indicate how learners perceive, interact with and respond to, their learning environment." Dörnyei (2005) further define learning styles as the outline of an individual's means to learn along with the habitual or preferred approach to recognize, cooperate with, and correspond to the learning environment. Learning styles are not something that can ensure someone to achieve their goals in learning something nor are the means to differentiate the successful from the incompetent ones, but it is rather into one's personal approach on how they learn something.
According to Hyland (2003), researches on learning styles have been focused on three different types of styles, namely the cognitive style, the affective style, and the perceptual style. These learning styles occupy different areas of research. Furthermore, researches on learning styles are intended to develop better understanding on how learning environment can be maximized into its fullest potential between teacher and learners.
In the cognitive style, learners are differentiated into field-independent and field-dependent. Field-independent learners are oriented towards instruction emphasizing rules and analytical to the learning environment. On the contrary, field-dependent learners are oriented towards accommodating classroom where they can freely cooperate and experiment to what they want to learn.
On the basis of affective dimension, learners are to be treated with their preferences on responding to the nature. Social and emotional learners are learners who rely their thinking on social and emotional factors. Meanwhile, the opposing type is logical learners, which, as the name implies, rely on their logical thinking in comprehending learning environments. Although these types of learning styles are the focus, the extrovert learners and introvert learners are distinguished as well.
Perceptual learning styles, which are the main focus on this research, are defined as "variations among learners in using one or more senses to understand, organize, and retain experiences" (Dunn, 1983, cited in Reid, 1993). This dimension of learning style arises from the identification of the more peripheral and implemented types of learning styles. The identification was proposed from Fischer and Fischer's (1979, cited in Reid, 1993) definition of style as a feature that exists but possibly to change in other time.
According to Reid (1993), there are four basic perceptual learning styles, including visual learning, auditory learning, kinesthetic learning, and tactile learning. These learning styles are the most relevant styles applied in the ESL/EFL classroom (Hyland, 2003) as these provide more categories for learners instead of the last two dimensions, which only provide two opposing styles in the continuum. Teacher has more opportunities to determine which perceptual learning style is appropriate to an individual learner.
The first learning style is visual learning. This type of learners is best to learn with visualized contexts of learning, including reading books or studying charts of certain conditions (Reid, 1993; Hyland, 2003). Learners with this type of learning preference are able to recall what has been observed or read (Woolridge, 1995). Furthermore, the learners are able to visualize the concept of what they have perceived earlier by often closing their eyes and visualizing it in their mind. The implication on the learning is, for example, in Carbo's (1983, cited in Reid, 1993) study, good readers have preferences to learn through visual sense instead of tactile or kinesthetic learning.
The second learning style is auditory learning preference. In the auditory learning, the function of listening on purpose is emphasized, including listening to lectures or recorded audiotapes. According to Dunn and Dunn (1979, cited in Reid, 1993), 30% of school age children are auditory learners. Verbal instructions are what initiates auditory learners to learn something until it is perceived and processed by them.
The third type is kinesthetic learning preference. Whole body movement and real life experiences will enable this type of learners to initiate their learning procedure (Woolridge, 1995). Involving kinesthetic learners in the learning process that requires them to move around or to use their body parts is mostly recommended in the classroom. This type of learners has difficulty in perceiving things in the written context (Carbo, 1983, cited in Reid, 1993).
The last type is tactile learning preference. This type of learners will learn better if their cognitive competence is fully involved in the learning process. Working on reports or written products, note taking during lecture sessions, paraphrasing what they read are some activities that are mostly done by this type of learners.
Learning styles are expressed in the form of polarized types, which exists in a continuum from one type contrasting to another contradictory type (Dörnyei, 2005; Nel, 2008), for example, field-independent to field-dependent (Witkin, Moore, Oltman, et al., 1977, cited in Reid, 1993). These learning styles are used on certain condition which requires learners to employ particular learning style that suits them the most. Each learner has different ways to interpret how they will learn and respond to the learning environment. Eventually, they will be likely to reach their learning goals despite of the learning style they use. One different in the preference that some learners have is not principally superior or inferior to other preferences that other students have (Sims & Sims, 1995). The differences among learners are teacher's responsibility to manage. In the learning environment, the focus is individual learners, however, it cannot be ignored that nowadays, teacher give their most efforts in managing large classes that consist of various individual learners to deal with. Sims and Sims (1995) explain this condition as teacher's challenge in bridging the gap between macro level (learners at the classroom) and micro level (individual learner). However, many failures are found in the attempt to overcome this problem, such as intentionally disregarding learners' differences in learning styles.
In conclusion, learning styles exist in every learner and the use of certain learning style depends on the situation. The understanding of learning style will further enable teacher to utilize available learning environment to its fullest by incorporating learners' learning styles into teacher's teaching style. The understanding of learning styles is not to differentiate each learner's style, but rather to guide them utilize their own learning style to reach learning goals.
Learning Strategy in Writing
Learning strategy is the concept of the learners' reflection in an attempt to improve the effectiveness of their own learning (Dörnyei, 2005). In learning language, the efforts in the classroom are still insufficient in comparison to the mastery of language skills that learners need to master. To fill in the gap between the learning process in the classroom and outside classroom, it is indeed required to provide extra efforts in order to support the improvement of their language skills. Motivation, particularly intrinsic motivation, plays a great role in providing the desire to pursue better competences in language learning (Ushioda, 2008).
Writing, becoming one of the most difficult skills to master, has been a challenge to both teacher and learners. As what Hyland (2003) explains, learning how L2 writing works is intervened at the same time by their L1 writing systems. Their mastery of L1 writing systems where they are able to incorporate sophisticated cognitive abilities and metacognitive strategies to the writing process may be successful, but it does not necessarily mean that it will be an advantage in the learning of L2 writing (Leki, 1992, cited in Hyland, 2003). However, there is no significant correlation between L2 writing ability and L1 writing ability (Carson & Kuehn, 1992, cited in Leki, Cumming, & Silva, 2008). The importance of learning strategy in writing is resulted by several reasons, including lesser confidence in L2 writing, the different nature of composing processes, the different nature of L2 reading, and L2 writing grammatical ability (Leki, Cumming, & Silva, 2008). These differences are highly possible to have caused different effects on L2 writers who are currently learning how to write appropriately, either directly or indirectly. Given these problems, some learning strategies should be incorporated to countermeasure the effects caused by these problems.
First of all, less confidence in writing L2 is one of the problems encountered by L2 writers. The existence of learning L2 writing systems as only in form of school task gives lesser confidence for learners, particularly low-level learners. As a result, learners have smaller chances to improve their L2 writing. However, lesser confidence may also have been caused by teacher's high expectations and feedback which too much emphasizes on the perfectness instead of the appropriateness of their writing (Leki, Cumming, & Silva, 2008). Learners' linguistic proficiencies and intuitions about language in L2 are still insufficient to reach teacher's expectations, which later decrease their motivation on learning L2 (Hyland, 2003).
The next is the different nature of composing process. Although general composing process patterns tend to be similar in L1 and L2, L2 learners have different habitual conditions than L1 learners. In terms of planning, L2 writers plan less than L1 and it results in shorter texts containing quite unorganized generated material (Silva, 1993). The production of written product is also seen to be less fluent and less creative. L2 writers also tend to revise more, but reflect less on the text written (Hyland, 2003). Furthermore, L2 writers rely on personal opinions instead of fact-based evidence in their writing and even if there is, it is often left without having any argumentation support (Hinkel, 2011).
The different nature in L2 reading is another issue to encounter by L2 writers. As Birch (2011) states, L2 reading is basically dissimilar from L1 reading in terms of reading strategies or reading proficiency. Likewise, L2 writers have much difficulty in expressing themselves in their writing, particularly in terms of vocabulary. Reading not only has been a great source to enlarge one's vocabulary expository, but it also provides how the words are chained appropriately (Eskey, 2005; Hunt & Beglar, 2002).
The last issue is that L2 writing ability has a strong correlation with L2 grammatical ability (Leki, Cumming, & Silva, 2008). Since the focus of writing was on grammatical perfectness, learners were exposed to extensive learning of grammar, which further construct the text (Hyland, 2003). Meanwhile, L2 grammatical awareness is not the same as L1 learners. The condition where the basis of learning grammar is on formal correctness and rules has shifted into the communicative purposes of grammar (Ur, 2011). Still, due to the complexities of L2 grammar, L2 learners have difficulties in incorporating their existing knowledge with L2 grammar knowledge (ibid.).
To solve the aforementioned problems encountered by L2 writers, there is a need to help learners, especially low-level learners, to overcome this problem. In Gordon's (2008) research, he interviewed two L2 participants who were successful in maintaining their knowledge in writing. Both of the participants were Asian learners, which is the main consideration of why Gordon's findings are used to compare L2 writing strategy in L2 context, particularly in Indonesian context. He finds that there are several strategies that they employed in their attempt to improve their writing proficiency. These strategies include the habit to read, the habit to oversee their vocabulary, strategies to manage their hesitation on writing, the habit to focus on the meaning, the habit to manage their grammar, the habit to fully comply on the task requirements, the habit to provide more interest to their writing, and the habit to provide chances to write outside the classroom.
The first strategy is the habit to read. As what had been discussed earlier, L2 readers are not the same with L1 readers. In terms of reading strategies and reading proficiency, L2 readers mostly lack of those aspects. Wallace (2001) further states that the problems L2 readers have are problem in reading and problem in language itself. These problems will minimize once L2 development occurs. Before L2 learners are able to transfer their L1 reading ability to L2 reading, minimum knowledge to transfer is required. In the case of the transfer of knowledge is completed, reading ability can be used across the language used in the texts. Grabe (2002) argues that the most critical component for L2 readers in comprehending their reading is the ability to use appropriate reading strategies in appropriate situations. In reference to L2 writing, L2 reading provides wide-ranging information that is helpful for L2 writers in their writing process. Therefore, L2 writers will need to realize that reading in L2 context is an invaluable asset to improve their writing as it provides various supports in constructing an appropriate text (Gordon, 2008).
The second strategy is the extensive learning of vocabulary. Learning new vocabulary is suggested to be done receptively and productively, which will enable the learners to express themselves in the language community itself (Moir and Nation, 2008). Due to the importance of vocabulary in communicative abilities (French, 1983), the learning of vocabulary is undeniably crucial. L2 writers also require large amount of vocabulary to consider in their writing, which creates another problem in learning L2 writing (Hyland, 2003). Thus, to overcome the problem in vocabulary, several efforts should be done, including note taking and extensive reading (Hunt & Beglar, 2002).
The third strategy is the effort to overcome hesitation in writing. In line to what Hyland (2003) mentions that L2 writers are at the same time learning L2 knowledge, which adds another burden to them. This condition often creates hesitation on L2 writers when they are doing certain tasks but at the same time, they have limited knowledge on completing the tasks itself. Good L2 writers will attempt to risk themselves in experimenting on what they hesitates to do (Gordon, 2008). Motivation also plays role as the fuel, in particular instrumental and intrinsic motivation. Without the motivation, risking what they hesitated to do is unlikely to happen. This condition will shape the learners to be their "possible selves" (Markus & Nurius, 1986, cited in Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2010). Possible selves are what someone's condition in the future in terms of their existence, their purpose to exist, and their hesitant to be what they do not want to be. Risking their hesitation to write what they are afraid to write is a good way to overcome this psychological situation (Gordon, 2008).
The fourth strategy is the habit to focus on the purpose of their writing. Writers should write texts that are purposeful and are influenced by social factors in the text processing and the production of writing (Johns, 2002). Many Asian cultures are still conserving and reproducing present knowledge, which lead to memorize, imitate and reproduce the text without any distinct modification (Hyland, 2003). Although it is hugely affected by cultural aspects, there is a need to adjust into transforming what they already know into something that is beyond what they always write (ibid.). Since the introduction of genre to L2 context, there has been an awakening of how certain genre works in their nature (Feez, 2002). This also provides clearer vision of what they want to write, whom their writing is for, and what they want to convey through their writing. Gordon (2008) finds from his interviews that before writing, both of participants made sure that they understood what they want to write and later obtain knowledge from various sources, including books and Internet. This, according to them, ensured that their writing was purposeful.
The fifth strategy is ensuring sufficient grammatical knowledge. Grammar is essential in the process of writing as the words alone are unable to form the language (Quirk, 1971, cited in Bade, 2008). Grammar is also not to be separated from vocabulary (Byrd, 2005). Having large amount of vocabulary is useless when the chain to reconstruct these vocabularies, which is grammar, is missing. Byrd further suggests that learning vocabulary and grammar should be done at the same time to provide more extensive lexicogrammatical aspect of language. Because writing also requires good understanding on how to chain words to reach its purposeful goals, grammar is unavoidably important.
The habit to completely comply on the task requirement is another aspect of how L2 writers are supposed to have. Each writing task, of course, has different purpose and, according to genre perspective, requires more efforts to ensure that the audience interprets what the writer wants them to interpret (Hyland, 2003). Ensuring the ideas are clear and coherent is the responsibility of the writer. Using signposts and revising their drafts are some examples that can be done by the writers to ensure their writing complying on the task requirements.
The next strategy is to actively provide interest to write. In reference to aforementioned motivation, persistence in creating writing environment is what shapes writers to become better writer (Gordon, 2008). Also, in line with the concept of possible selves, this strategy seeks to gradually create good attitude in developing writing competence, which, according to Kim and Kim (2005) and Hyland (2003), is one of the most difficult skill to master.
The last strategy is creating writing environment outside the classroom. This strategy is in line with the previous strategy, which requires persistence in maintaining motivation in language learning. Learners will benefit much more from having more opportunities to write outside formal tasks. Writings in forms of journal or diary are good starting points to create writing environment outside classroom. Learners also enjoy writing journal or diary that has unstructured source of ideas written on the paper (Clark, 2003).
In conclusion, L2 writers mostly encounter various problems interfering with their development of L2 writing. However, there are some learning strategies that can be employed to overcome these problems. These can be used to minimize L2 incapability to write L2 writing. In addition, preserving motivation is also important to provide opportunities to develop better than before.
The study employs quantitative methodology, particularly factorial design.
The samples on the study were 17 graduate students in English Education classroom. They were freshman students that currently enrolled to the course. There were 11 women and 6 men participating in the study. Purposive random design was employed in the study.
Instrumentation and Material
This study utilized questionnaire in collecting the data. Close-ended questionnaire in forms of five-point scale Likert-type was utilized. Two-sheet questionnaire contained 62 items in total, consisting of 30 items from adapted questionnaire of Reid's (1993, cited in Hyland, 2003) Perceptual Learning Style Preference and other 32 items asking for students' learning strategies to writing. The materials for 32-item questionnaire were generated from eight principles of Gordon's (2008) findings of L2 writer' learning strategies.
The questionnaire measured behavioral preferences in their general learning preferences as well as their preferences in learning L2 writing. Each principle were asked five times randomly in different statements to ensure the assessment of abstract, mental variables in terms of psychometric reliability as reliable as possible (Dörnyei & Taguchi, 2010), despite the annoyance that the participant may feel as being checked of their honesty (Ellard & Rogers, 1993, cited in Dörnyei & Taguchi, 2010).
Variables in the study are students' perceptual learning style preferences and L2 learning strategies in writing.
The questionnaire that has been completed was pilot-tested by asking three random students to think while filling it. Potentially ambiguous items were reworded, and the revised instrument was administered to the previous random students to check whether ambiguous items were no longer found. The final version of the questionnaire was personally delivered to the participants.
The administration of the questionnaire was done at November 8, 2012. Total 17 participants were involved in the study. There was no time limitation employed during the administration.
During the data analyses, the coding process from the questionnaire was done by Microsoft Excel 2007 and IBM Statistics SPSS 21.0. After the coding, the analyses to answer research question number one were done by categorizing data in the Microsoft Excel 2007. In the effort to answer research question number two, Spearman-Rho was administered through IBM Statistics SPSS 21.0. Further elaboration was done to provide
The data, generated from Likert scale-like questions and obtained from the questionnaire, were in forms of ordinal scale (Dörnyei & Taguchi, 2010). However, other researchers (see Brown, 2011) treat likert scale, which was employed in the questionnaire, as interval scale. As the data were in forms of ordinal scale, non-parametric statistical procedure, namely Spearman-Rho, were employed to analyze the data. The data from section 1 were analyzed qualitatively in Microsoft Excel 2007 by implementing specific calculation to be used in determining whether learning styles of certain students are major or minor. Meanwhile, the data from section 2 were analyzed quantitatively by employing Spearman-Rho, as the requirements for parametric statistical procedure were not met.
The Majority of Students' Perceptual Learning Styles
The study was intended to find out what perceptual learning styles were in majority of the participants. The participants were 20 students. Totaling 30 items, the questions were adapted from Reid's (1993, cited in Hyland, 2003). The scoring method used was as follow:
x =(question 1+question 2+question 3+question 4+question 5)Ã-2
The questions were grouped in not chronologically order, for example, tactile category consists of question 11, 14, 16, 22, and 25. After all students' results were computed into Microsoft Excel 2007 and the formula was applied, the category to determine whether certain learning style was major or minor was as follow:
Major learning style preference 38 - 50
Minor learning style preference 25 - 37
Negligible 0 - 24
Before continuing to the discussion of the majority of the learning style, the following data are the description of the data analyzed to IBM Statistics SPSS 21.0.
Perceptual Learning Style: Visual Perceptual Learning Style: Auditory Perceptual Learning Style: Kinesthetic Perceptual Learning Style: Tactile
N Valid 20 20 20 20
Missing 0 0 0 0
Mode 34 34a 40 34
Std. Deviation 5.085 6.207 5.447 5.413
Minimum 24 28 26 26
Maximum 44 50 50 46
a. Multiple modes exist. The smallest value is shown
From the table above, the highest value of the perceptual learning style to occur from the data is 40, which happens on kinesthetic category. There is no other similar or higher value than 40; however, multiple modes exist, which occurs on value 34. The highest values are reached by auditory and kinesthetic learning style, while the lowest value happens on visual learning style. According to Reid's category, there is only 1 learner who has negligible learning style in visual learning, where the total score for all categories falls under 24.
In the analyses on Microsoft Excel 2007, the findings are described in the following table.
Participant Perceptual Learning Style
Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile
1 32 Minor 34 Minor 38 Major 34 Minor
2 42 Major 42 Major 40 Major 42 Major
3 34 Minor 46 Major 46 Major 38 Major
4 34 Minor 28 Minor 40 Major 32 Minor
5 34 Minor 34 Minor 36 Minor 32 Minor
6 42 Major 46 Major 34 Minor 44 Major
7 36 Minor 40 Major 26 Minor 26 Minor
8 28 Minor 34 Minor 42 Major 42 Major
9 44 Major 38 Major 42 Major 36 Minor
10 24 Minor 44 Major 36 Minor 28 Minor
11 42 Major 44 Major 46 Major 40 Major
12 42 Major 50 Major 50 Major 46 Major
13 34 Minor 34 Minor 40 Major 36 Minor
14 42 Major 38 Major 34 Minor 34 Minor
15 34 Minor 34 Minor 34 Minor 34 Minor
16 38 Major 38 Major 32 Minor 32 Minor
17 38 Major 30 Minor 40 Major 34 Minor
18 36 Minor 38 Major 40 Major 42 Major
19 40 Major 50 Major 42 Major 42 Major
20 38 Major 38 Major 40 Major 34 Minor
According to the table, there are 3 participants in which all four perceptual learning styles are used in their learning process. These participants are able to adjust their learning style to the need at the subject they are learning. Meanwhile, there are 5 participants whose perceptual learning styles utilized are 3 styles. On the 2-learning styles utilized, 4 participants are found. There are also 3 participants only utilizing single learning style, which either kinesthetic or auditory. Compared to the majority found in the analyses, there are also 2 participants who lack of learning style on all four perceptual learning styles.
From the analyses, the findings are summarized in the chart below.
From the chart, it can be seen that there is no negligible learning style found in the study. All participants have their own learning style. From this finding, students can have all four learning styles, some learning styles, or even none of learning styles. Further use of this finding may affect on how teacher will deliver the materials and will adjust to the learning styles covering most students. Knowing this idea, teachers may be able to provide the more appropriate teaching styles adjusted to students' learning styles.
The Relationships between Perceptual Learning Styles and Learning Strategies in L2 Writing
In analyzing the relationship between perceptual learning styles and learning strategies in L2 writing, Spearman-Rho was used and the results were interpreted using Pearson's r correlation coefficients as follows:
If r = +.70 or higher, it shows very strong positive relationship; +.40 to +.69 show strong positive relationship; +.30 to +.39 show moderate positive relationship; +.20 to +.29 show weak positive relationship; +.01 to +.19 show no or negligible relationship; -.01 to -.19 show no or negligible relationship; -.20 to -.29 show weak negative relationship; -.30 to -.39 show moderate negative relationship; -.40 to -.69 show strong negative relationship; and -.70 or higher show very strong negative relationship.
These correlation coefficients are applied to interpret the results generated from IBM Statistics SPSS 21.0 to the relationship between visual learning style and the principles of good writers (Gordon, 2008), which are in the following table.
Perceptual Learning Style: Visual The habit to read The habit to oversee vocabulary Strategies to manage hesitation on writing The habit to focus on the meaning The habit to manage their grammar The habit to fully comply on the task requirements The habit to provide more interest to writing The habit to provide chances to write outside the classroom
Spearman's rho Perceptual Learning Style: Visual Correlation Coefficient 1.000 .140 -.298 -.137 .195 -.095 -.401 -.152 -.402
Sig. (2-tailed) . .557 .203 .563 .410 .691 .080 .523 .079
N 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
From the table, there is no strong relationship either in forms of positive correlation or negative correlation. No relationship is found on the correlation between visual learning style and the habit to manage their grammar (r= .095, Î±= .05). Visual learning style has negligible positive relationship with the habit to read (r= .140, Î±= .05) and the habit to oversee the meaning (r= .195, Î±= .05). This means that visual learners tend to ignore the habit to read and the habit to oversee the meaning. Conversely, visual learning style also has negligible negative relationship with strategies to manage hesitation on writing (r= -.137, Î±= .05) and the habit to provide more interest to writing (r= -.152, Î±= .05). This also means that visual learners tend to be in no interest to manage hesitation on writing, to manage their grammar, and also to provide more interest to writing. Weak negative relationship is found in the relationship between visual learning style and the habit to oversee vocabulary (r= -.298, Î±= .05). Strong negative relationship is also found in the relationship between visual learning style and the habit to comply task requirements (r= -.401, Î±= .05) as well as the habit to provide opportunities in writing outside the classroom (r= -.402, Î±= .05), meaning that visual learners tend to not provide opportunities in writing outside the classroom as well as to not comply on task requirements. The last two relationship shows that when visual learning style is used more, the habit to oversee vocabulary and the habit to comply task requirements are no longer motivating visual learners.
For the next table, the relationship between auditory learning style and the principles of good writers (Gordon, 2008) is shown in the table below.
Perceptual Learning Style: Auditory The habit to read The habit to oversee vocabulary Strategies to manage hesitation on writing The habit to focus on the meaning The habit to manage their grammar The habit to fully comply on the task requirements The habit to provide more interest to writing The habit to provide chances to write outside the classroom
Spearman's rho Perceptual Learning Style: Auditory Correlation Coefficient 1.000 .128 -.014 .132 -.036 .236 -.192 .020 -.132
Sig. (2-tailed) . .591 .952 .579 .881 .316 .417 .932 .580
N 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
From the table, there is still no strong positive or negative relationship among the variables. There is no relationship between auditory learning style and the habit to provide more interest to writing (r= .02, Î±= .05), the habit to oversee vocabulary (r= -.014, Î±= .05), and the habit to focus on meaning (r= -.036, Î±= .05). It can be interpreted that auditory learners have no interest at all in providing more interest to writing, overseeing their vocabulary, and focusing on the meaning. Negligible positive relationships are found between auditory learning style and the habit to read (r= .128, Î±= .05) as well as the strategies to manage hesitation in writing (r= .132, Î±= .05). Auditory learners tend to ignore using auditory learning style while they read or manage their hesitation in the process of writing. Negligible negative relationship is also found on the relationship between auditory learning style, the habit to comply on task requirements (r= -.192, Î±= .05), and the habit to write outside the classroom (r= -.132, Î±= .05). Having no interest in complying on task requirements and writing outside classroom has no meaning to auditory learners. At last, weak positive relationship happens on the relationship between auditory learning style and the habit to manage the grammar (r= .236, Î±= .05). It can be interpreted that during the use of auditory learning style, managing the grammar of students' writing tends to happen sometimes.
The relationship between kinesthetic learning style and the principle of good writers (Gordon, 2008) is on the table below.
Perceptual Learning Style: Kinesthetic The habit to read The habit to oversee vocabulary Strategies to manage hesitation on writing The habit to focus on the meaning The habit to manage their grammar The habit to fully comply on the task requirements The habit to provide more interest to writing The habit to provide chances to write outside the classroom
Spearman's rho Perceptual Learning Style: Kinesthetic Correlation Coefficient 1.000 .178 .172 .082 .217 .156 .410 .124 .309
Sig. (2-tailed) . .453 .469 .731 .359 .511 .072 .602 .186
N 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
Different with the last two relationships, the relationships between kinesthetic learning style and the principles of good writers show positive relationship, although most of these are rather negligible. No relationship occurs between kinesthetic learning style and strategies to manage hesitation on writing (r= .082, Î±= .05). It can be said that kinesthetic learners may never manage their hesitation on writing. Negligible relationships are found between kinesthetic learning style and the habit to read (r= .178, Î±= .05), the habit to oversee vocabulary (r= .172, Î±= .05), the habit to manage their grammar (r= .156, Î±= .05), and also the habit to provide more interest in writing (r= .124, Î±= .05). Compared to the relationship between kinesthetic learning style and strategies to manage hesitation on writing, kinesthetic learning style has rather negligible relationships with the habit to read, the habit to manage vocabulary, the habit to manage the grammar, and the habit to have more interest in writing. Kinesthetic learners may sometimes apply these principles in their learning; however, there are only small chances that they may do it. Moderate positive relationship can be found on the relationship between kinesthetic learning style and the habit to write outside classroom (r= .309, Î±= .05). Kinesthetic learners often tend to provide chances to write outside classroom. The last relationship between kinesthetic learning style and the habit to comply on task requirements shows strong positive relationships (r= .410, Î±= .05). It can be said that kinesthetic learners tend to often comply on task requirements in their effort to provide the best writing product as they can.
The last table will show the relationships between tactile learning style and the principles of good writers (Gordon, 2008).
Perceptual Learning Style: Tactile The habit to read The habit to oversee vocabulary Strategies to manage hesitation on writing The habit to focus on the meaning The habit to manage their grammar The habit to fully comply on the task requirements The habit to provide more interest to writing The habit to provide chances to write outside the classroom
Spearman's rho Perceptual Learning Style: Tactile Correlation Coefficient 1.000 .397 -.393 -.134 .326 -.262 -.020 .201 -.029
Sig. (2-tailed) . .083 .086 .573 .161 .265 .932 .395 .905
N 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
In the last table, there are various weak, moderate or no relationships, either in forms of positive or negative relationships. There is no relationship between tactile learning style and the habit to comply on task requirements (r= -.02, Î±= .05) as well as the habit to generate chances to write outside classroom (r= -.029, Î±= .05), meaning that having tactile learning style does not affect the habit to follow the task requirements or the habit to provide more interest in writing. Negligible negative relationship is found in the relationship between tactile learning style and managing hesitation in writing (r= -.134, Î±= .05). Weak positive relationship is spotted on the relationship between tactile learning style and providing more interest to write (r= .201, Î±= .05), meaning that the chances of having more interest to write can sometimes occur to tactile learners. Meanwhile, weak negative relationship (r= -.262, Î±= .05) also occurs between tactile learning style and managing grammar in writing. Moderate positive relationships are found in the relationship between tactile learning style and the habit to read (r= .397, Î±= .05) as well as the habit to focus on the meaning (r= .326, Î±= .05), meaning that tactile learners may sometimes provide time to read as well as to check grammar on their writing. On the other way, moderate negative relationship is also spotted on the relationship between tactile learning style and the habit to manage vocabulary (r= -.393, Î±= .05), which can be interpreted as the more learners study by using tactile learning style, the less they learn more vocabularies.
From the aforementioned findings, there are only two strong relationships, which are different in terms of polarity. The strong positive relationship occurs in the kinesthetic learning style and the habit to comply on task requirements, while strong negative relationship occurs in the visual learning style and the habit to comply on task requirements. This is an interesting issue where kinesthetic and visual learners have different tendencies to view on the principle of complying on task requirements.
In conclusion, the relationships between perceptual learning styles and principles of good writers (Gordon, 2008) tend to be either in the negligible relationships or weak relationships, although some relationships are strong enough or nothing related at all. This condition shows that having certain learning styles does not affect much to the learning of L2 writing. Moreover, some variables that are predicted to have strong relationships are found to be negligible or weak relationships.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The study was intended to find out the perceptual learning styles used by the participants. Another issue to be answered is the relationships between perceptual learning styles and learning strategies in L2 writing, which has intention to find out whether having certain learning styles affect learning strategies used in L2 writing.
In the effort to answer the first research question, the findings show that most participants have major preferences in perceptual learning styles, meaning that every participant has their own preference in perceptual learning styles that is to be used in certain condition of learning. However, two participants are found to not have any major preference in perceptual learning styles. The two strong learning style preferences are auditory and kinesthetic.
The findings shows that most of the variables show weak or negligible relationships between perceptual learning style preference and learning strategies in L2 writing. This raises other issues of why such variables have weak or negligible relationship, where based on assumption, such variables should have, at least, moderate positive relationship.
The researcher recommend further investigation on the issue of the relationship between learning styles, particularly perceptual learning styles, and learning strategies in L2 writing. Due to the very small size of participants, non-parametric statistical procedure, which was Spearman-Rho, was used and it does not have powerful analysis on the relationship between the two variables. By gathering more participants and using more powerful statistical procedure, the results are likely to yield different interpretation towards the issues.