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This chapter looks at the conclusion that is obtained from the findings presented in chapter 4. The implications it gives on the process of language teaching and learning will also be discussed in this section. This chapter will finally end with recommendations for both teachers and students and also researchers who plan to investigate on the same area of study in the future.
Based on the findings presented in chapter 4, several conclusions can be made in answering the research questions proposed in chapter 1. First, it was found that the American Degree Programme students of INTEC, UiTM are prone to use several Language Learning Strategies which are; Social Strategies, Metacognitive Strategies and Cognitive Strategies. Respondents' who use Social Strategies benefit most from asking questions in class, cooperating with others in the target language and empathizing with others. While respondents using Metacognitive and Cognitive Strategies benefit from arranging, planning and evaluating their own learning with addition to creating structure for input and output and also practicing both analyzing and reasoning when learning language (Oxford, as cited in Richards and Lockhart, 1994 p. 64-65).
The second conclusion that can be drawn from the findings is that it had shown a moderately high self efficacy level in terms of roommate and course self efficacy. The findings suggest that students have confidence in associating with their roommates for example dividing tasks in the room and socializing with them. The students are also found to have confidence in studying and other items that are related to their academic progress. However, the respondents are less confident in terms of socializing with others except of their roommates for example by making new friends or interacting with the faculty staff. This can be a challenge in the future as the respondents may face difficulties socializing with new people they meet in their new campus later on or when the respondents face the need to ask for assistant from the administrative staff.
Russell and Petrie (1992) related the importance of social self efficacy and its relations to students' academic achievement. Russell and Petrie believes if students are able to increase their social self efficacy, students will be able to interact better with faculty staffs and also supervisors, allowing students to share concerns regarding campus life and academic matter (France and Finney, 2009). Thus, by achieving social self efficacy, students will be able to avoid worries and stress and perform better academically.
In addition to that, the findings also indicate respondents' level of academic achievement. The findings indicate that majority of respondents have moderate academic achievement. The fourth conclusion that can be made from the findings is that there are three Language Learning Strategies that is associated with academic achievement. These Language Learning Strategies are; Social Strategies, Memory Strategies and Affective Strategies. Both Memory and Affective Strategies were shown to have a negative and weak relationship with academic achievement. On the other hand, Social Strategies show positive yet very weak correlation with academic achievement. This finding suggests that respondents who use Social Strategies achieve better academically. On the other hand, the findings show that respondents who benefit from Memory and Affective Strategies perform less successfully in their academic. These are supported by Oxford (2003) as she stated that Memory Strategies does not always relate positively to L2 proficiency. Oxford further elaborates that Memory Strategies are often used at initial stage of language learning as learners may need to memorize vocabulary however is less used as their vocabulary and structure increases. Similarly for Affective Strategies, there has also been a negative link to L2 proficiency where learners may feel less anxious and nervous as they become more proficient in the target language (Oxford, 2003).
In terms of respondents self efficacy, it was found that Course Self Efficacy and Social Self Efficacy shows a positive yet weak relationship with academic achievement. This finding suggest that the more confident the respondents are in handling their studies and being able to socialize with others around them, the better they will perform.
Lastly, Affective Strategies and Course Self Efficacy were found to be reliable in predicting 24.4% of the respondents' academic achievement. Affective Strategies encompasses several self controlling methods which includes lowering anxiety by using laughter or listening to music, encouraging oneself for example giving yourself a reward and taking one's emotional temperature by discussing feelings with someone else (Oxford, in Richards and Lockhart, 1994). By applying Affective Strategies in their language learning, respondents will be able to avoid the feeling of nervousness and anxiety throughout their language learning experiences. For example, being able to control one's emotions throughout the process of using the target language will enable the individual to take charge and be more confident in participating in class and completing assignments or paper works. Taking charge of both aspects enhances the potential for an individual to perform better in his or her studies.
Implications of the Study
Having the right language learning strategies and high self efficacy is important to determine a students' success of his or her academic performance. The conclusions and discussions presented earlier sheds a light on the implications it has on both teacher/lecturers and students.
Firstly, it is important for teachers/lecturers to be aware of students' learning styles as learning styles and language learning strategies comes hand in hand. According to Oxford (2003), learning style is undoubtly one of the important factors accompanied by other various factors such as learning goals, gender, cultural background, and beliefs which affects an individual's choice of learning strategy. By understanding students' learning styles, teachers/lecturers will be able to determine the type of language strategies used by the students hence, enhance students' full utilization of Language Learning Strategies by training the students in using them.
Secondly, it is important to prepare students in terms of their self efficacy as they will face new environments after completing their foundation programme. As students get into new environments, they tend to meet new people and new living situations. It takes a certain period of time until they can be fully comfortable associating with those around them. Unfortunately for the American Degree Programme students, they only spend one or two years in a new environment until they are sent abroad. Thus, the feeling of comfortness disappears as they would need to prepare themselves to face a new living environment once they are in their new campuses. Students' would then have to be able to adapt to the new culture abroad, the study culture and also the cultures that are practiced overseas. Without high self efficacy, an individual may not be able to adapt well into the new environment which then will indirectly affect their academic achievement.
5.3 Recommendations for future studies
Future researchers who wish to embark on the same journey of study in this area
may look at other aspects in improving the areas where this study may lack in. Firstly, it would be recommended for future researchers to consider in using mixed method in terms of its data collection to provide triangulation for this area of study as with triangulation, a better insight to the findings of the study could be obtained.
Secondly, it would be recommended for future researchers to focus on other independent variables that can contribute to the study. Gender and race are some of the variables that could be looked at. Since Malaysia is a multi-racial country, a more diverse finding can be obtained. Oxford (1994) supports this as important information on how L2 learners from different cultural background use language learning strategies and allows more 'consistent information' to be available across different groups of learners.
Finally, it would be recommended for future researchers to give more focus on other particular language learning strategies. Oxford (1994) claims of a less emphasis that has been given to affective and social strategies. This is perhaps due to the nature of the strategies which is more related to the emotional and behaviour aspect and due to learners not being able to identify both strategies as a part of the process in second language learning (in Oxford, 1994).