Gender and Language Learning Strategies: Looking Beyond the Categories

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Liyanage, Indika
Bartlett, Brendan
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Norbert Pachler, Institute of Education, University of London, UK

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2012
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Abstract

Research on language learning strategies (LLS) has pointed to a significant association at a general level between learners' gender and their choice of LLS. To explore this generality further, we conducted a study on gender and strategy use with Sri Lankan learners (N츸6) of English as a second language (ESL) in five different learning contexts: speaking in class, listening in class, listening and speaking outside class, reading in class and writing in class. We found that when preferences for individual strategies were considered rather than for strategies in some broadly categorised group such as cognitive, metacognitive or affective strategies, some preferences did not associate with gender; nevertheless, some strategies were clearly preferred by males while others were clearly preferred by females. Perhaps most importantly for teacher development, we found that there were distinct preferences for males and females depending on the learning contexts in which specific strategies were reportedly being utilised.

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Language Learning Journal

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40

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2

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English as a Second Language

Cognitive Sciences

Linguistics

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