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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNING STYLES AND LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES OF PRE-INTERMEDIATE EAP STUDENTS


CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Presentation
This chapter presents the background to the study followed by the purpose
and the significance of the study. Next, the research questions are stated and the
limitations to the study are presented along with the definitions of terms.

1.2 Background to the Study
During the last couple of decades the world has been concerned with cultural,
social, political and technological changes. In order to keep up with those changes,
people have had to meet the needs created by all these changes. Language learning is
one  of  the  most  important  needs  and  it  has  become  an  essential  component  in
people’s lives. Because of numerous reasons such as studying at an English medium
university or living in a foreign country, people all over the world are trying to learn
a second, even a third language.
From the early 1970s on some researchers in the field have been trying to
find out teaching methods, classroom techniques, and instructional materials that will
promote better language instruction. However, in spite of all these efforts there has
been  a  growing  concern  that  learners  have  not  progressed  as  much  as  it  was
  2
anticipated.  Because  there  are  considerable  individual  differences  in  language
learning such as gender, age, social status, motivation, attitude, aptitude, culture, etc.;
what  works  for  one  learner  might  not  work  for  another.  Therefore,  none  of  the
methods and techniques has proved that they can work all the time, in all classes,
with all students. As a result, it might be appropriate to comply with Grenfell and
Harris’  (1999)  statement  that  “Methodology  alone  can  never  be  a  solution  to
language learning. Rather it is an aid and suggestion” (p. 10).
Having reached this conclusion some other people in the field changed the
focus  from  the  language  teaching  methodology  to  the  language  learner  and  the
variables that affect language learning. This shift of the focal point has led to an
increase in the number of studies carried out regarding learner characteristics and
foreign or second language learning. Language Learning Strategies (LLS) have been
one of the most popular aspects researchers have focused on. However, they have not
been investigated on their own. Some other variables that affect them such as gender,
achievement, motivation, career orientation, national origin, aptitude, learning styles,
etc. have also been taken into consideration while doing research in order to reveal
whether there is any relationship between the LLS choice and variables.
Oxford (1989) offers a synthesis of the studies carried out regarding the LLS
and  the  variables  that  affect  strategy  choice.  She  presents  the  results  of  studies
carried out with respects to LLS choice and language being learned, duration, degree
of awareness, age, and sex, affective variables such as attitudes, motivational level,
personality characteristics, and general personality type. Learning styles is another
variable but Oxford asserts that “little research has been?????????????????????  ???????????????????????????????????????????? 



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