Dissertation > Culture, science,education, sports > Education > Secondary education > Subjects teaching methods, teaching aids > Foreign language > English

A Survey of English Learning Strategy Use among Senior High School Students Specializing in Art

Author QinXiaoJuan
Tutor GaoXiaoFang
School Central China Normal University
Course English Education
Keywords senior high school students specializing in Art English learning strategy survey
CLC G633.41
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Since the 1970s, in education field there has been a shift in focus from exclusive focus on the improvement of teaching to an increasing concern on how learners go about their learning tasks in a second or foreign language. It is because language teachers and researchers began to realize that no single language teaching method could guarantee success for every student. Meanwhile, the researchers have focused on the learning strategies of English learners which affect their performance in study greatly. Although relative researches were started late in our country, fruitful achievements have been made. However, most of the researches take college students as their objects of study. And there are few such researches on senior high students specializing in Art (SSA for short), which indicates that SSA as a special community in senior high school have been ignored in this field. As a result, it is necessary and meaningful to conduct a survey on English learning strategies of SSA. Furthermore, the present learning situation in English subject of SSA is worrying, which makes it urgent to do the survey.SAA refer to students who are admitted to senior high school as students specializing in Art and during the time in high school, taking foundation courses will be of primary importance while taking professional courses will be their supplementary task. After attending the College Entrance Examination, they will register for Art Colleges. Meanwhile, the Art Colleges lay down hard-and-fast rules of SSA’s scores of cultural lessons in College Entrance Examination. That is to say, if they want to be admitted to their ideal Art Colleges, they have to reach a certain standard set by the Art Colleges. It is worrying that SSA mostly have a low interest in learning English and have a bad command of basic knowledge in English. As a result, they do not have excellent learning capacity, and usually perform badly in their English exams.Taking the above factors into consideration, the survey on English learning strategies of SSA aims:1) to find out whether SSA use learning strategies or not in the process of learning English and if they do, how frequently they use them.2) to find out the differences in frequency of using learning strategies between successful learners and unsuccessful learners as well as the factors which affect their use of learning strategies and to get to know what instructions they need in using learning strategies.3) to help SSA get aware of the present situation of their using learning strategies and, by doing so, to arouse their awareness of using learning strategies frequently and properly to improve their learning efficiency and help them become autonomous learners.4) to provide a basis which further study on English learning strategies of SSA may be based on.In order to achieve all the goals mentioned above, a questionnaire and an interview are used as tools. Fifty-six SSA in Grade 2 of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Middle School are selected as subjects and SPSS13.0 is employed to analyse the gotten data. Descriptive statistics are computed to summarize the students’responses to strategy items. To provide extra information, the top 5 students and the last 5 students in the final universal examination of English in Zhongshan City are chosen as interviewees to explore the differences in learning strategies use between successful learners and unsuccessful learners.The survey revealed the following results:1) SSA do use learning strategies in the process of learning English, but not very often.2) the use frequency of each type of learning strategy is separately different, and the types of strategy of which the frequency ranges from high to low are affective strategy, cognitive strategy, social strategy and meta-cognitive strategy.3) SSA have a poor knowledge of learning strategies and don’t attach much importance to strategy use, and thus the frequency of strategy use is comparatively low. It also shows that the teachers fail to provide enough instruction in learning strategy use.4) the successful learners and unsuccessful learners are quite different in the frequency of using cognitive strategy and meta-cognitive strategy. And we can draw the conclusion that it is because the successful learners use the two strategies frequently that they get a higher grade in English exams.5) successful learners have a much stronger desire to learn to use learning strategies than unsuccessful learners do and they are eager to get more instruction.The result of this survey will have meaningful implications for both SSA and English teachers, but there are still some limitations, which I hope I can avoid in further studies.

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