A Correlation Study of English Writing Strategies, Perceptual Learning Styles and Writing Achievements for Non-English Majors
|School||Dalian University of Technology|
|Course||Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics|
|Keywords||Writing Writing Strategies Perceptual Learning Styles Writing Achievements|
English writing is an important yet weak part of college learners’ English proficiency. In China, writing ability of English learners, especially non-English majors, is far from satisfactory. This empirical study is conducted to investigate the relationship between writing strategies use, perceptual learning style and writing achievements, with the aim to efficiently improve the English writing teaching reform and individualized study.The subjects are120sophomores in Dalian University of Technology. Three instruments are adopted to conduct a both quantitative and qualitative study, including a writing task, two questionnaires and an interview. The two questionnaires are designed to identify the subjects’ writing strategies use and perceptual learning styles preferences. The data collected are processed and analyzed by descriptive analysis, Independent-Samples T Test and correlation analysis in SPSS16.0. The interview is organized in10students to provide a good understanding and explanation to the findings obtained in the quantitative study.This study makes the following major findings. Firstly, non-English majors employ various writing strategies in their writing process, but not often. Compensation and memory strategies are used most frequently, while affective strategies are the least frequently used. Specifically, the strategy of using discourse connectives is the most preferred and the strategy of outlining ranks the lowest. Students majoring in Literal Arts use writing strategies more frequently than those in Science and Engineering, but the difference is not significant.Secondly, non-English major students have multi-dimensional learning styles, and tend to be visual, kinesthetic and individual styles. Besides, there is no significant difference in perceptual learning styles among students of Science and Engineering and Literal Arts.Thirdly, only the use of memory and metacognitive strategies is significantly positively correlated with writing achievements. As a whole, there is no significant correlation between students’ writing strategies use and their writing proficiency. Perceptual learning styles are correlated with writing strategies, which means students prefer to use certain writing strategies which are compatible with their own preferred learning styles. Additionally, individuals’ perceptual learning styles have no direct impact on their writing achievements.At last, some pedagogical suggestions for writing practice and instruction are proposed. Besides, some implications for English graded teaching are also discussed.