Dr Georgi Lazanov, the father of the accelerated learning affirmed that "human learning is the basic and natual function-easier than breathing and walking" and that " learning is the matter of attidude, not apptitude" (cited in Prashnig, 2004)
In my career of English language teaching, I have witnessed many cases of students who appear to work very hard with their language learning but they still make little progress. I have also observed my students who seem to be relaxed with their study. They study with ease and they get improved quickly and conspicuously. Althought in their schooling life, most students have received generally equivalent language education at schools and universities, after a period of time of learning, they show differences in proficency and competence in the target language. So, what make the differences among these students? Why are some successful and the others fail to get good achievement in their learning? Why do those students can speak well in the target language but the others can not communicate fluenctly and confidently? A number of researches on these matters have indicated that each student planguage and prefers different learning styles. These learning styles they choose influence they trategies they apply to their study and both learning styles and learning strategies affect on the students' achievement (Ehrman & Oxford, 1988, 1989; Oxford & Ehrman, 1988)
Definitions of terms.
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Style is the term used to refer "consistent and rather enduring tendencies and preferences" an individual has. Styles are "characteristics of intellectual functioning" that make an individual unique. Styles characterized an individual's typical way of thingking and feeling
Strategy is the term used to refer a method of approaching a prolem and an operation used to achieve a particular goal. Different people employed varied strategies to solve their own problems and the strategies they use might not be the same time by time (Brown 2000, p. 113)
Learning styles to Oxford (1989) are prefered approaches to learning and the environment of a learner and the ways he or she perceives and processes information. According to Keefe (1979), learning styles are the "composite of characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment". The term is defined in other words by While to Felder and Henriques as the specific ways that an individual "acquires, retains, and retrieves information". To Willing, learning styles are "inherent, pervasive' characteristics of a particular individual or a group of people. Or learning styles are characterized by Reid (1995) as 'preferred or habital patterns of mental functioning and dealing with new information". More simply and practically, Pritchard states that learning style is an individual's particular way of learning, best manner of processing information, prefered means of acquiring knowdlege and skills; Habits, strategies, regular mental behaviours concerning learning an individual displays.
(Re: Learning Styles Counseling. ERIC Digest)
cognitive style, i.e., preferred or habitual patterns of mental functioning; patterns of attitudes and interests that affect what an individual will pay most attention to in a learning situation; a tendency to seek situations compatible with one's own learning patterns; and a tendency to use certain learning strategies and avoid others (Lawrence, 1984). Learning style is inherent and pervasive (Willing, 1988) and is a blend of cognitive, affective, and behavioral elements (Oxford & Ehrman, 1988). At least twenty dimensions of learning style have been identified (Parry, 1984; Shipman & Shipman, 1985).
It used to be belived that teachers were the most important factor that affected on learners' success in learning English. The belief, however, has been changing when most researches have showed that teachers contributed part of learners' success and the rest came from what the learners did with their learning.
Many researches into language learning strategy use of learners have done so far and the results released that all learners, successful or less successful, used language learning strategies with a high or low frequency to improve their progress in learning the language but some or most learners are not fully aware of the strategies they use.
They also showed that the more frequently the learners used language learning strategies, the more successful they were in learning the language. And diffirent conscious, tailored learning tratergy category uses helped learners to improve their particular language skills. So
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What really makes the diffirence between successful and less successful learners?
How do learning tratergy categories impact on learners' particular language skills, especially speaking skill?
The study sought answers to these research questions.
Brown, H. D. (2000) Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. New York: Longman.
Learning and Teaching Styles In Foreign and Second Language Education Richard M Felder
Oxford Rebecca, 1989 the role of styles and strategies in second language learning, eric
Willing, K. (1988). "Learning styles in adult Migrant education." Australia: Research series National Curriculum Resource Centre Adult Imigrant Education
Barbara Prashnig The power of diversity: new ways of learning and teaching through learning styles. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004
Ways of learning:learning theories and learning styles in the classroom
Alan Pritchard Taylor & Francis, 2008 - 124 trang