Proficiency, motivation, and classroom anxiety and their effects on language learning strategies used by Thai EFL learners
- Attapol Khamkhien, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Kasetsart University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, Corresponding author; E-mail: email@example.com
This paper is a report on an investigation into the relationship between three variables and language learning strategies used by Thai EFL learners. The objectives of this study are twofold: 1) to indentify language learning strategies commonly used by Thai learners, and 2) to determine the roles of three variables contributing to their use of language learning strategies: language proficiency, motivation, and anxiety. The data were elicited through a set of questionnaires, consisting of three different questionnaires: a Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), a Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), and a Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS). A total of 1,405 Thai university students of English completed this set of questionnaires. The analysis showed that, in general, memory strategies were found to be the most commonly used learning strategies for Thai English learners, followed by compensation, metacognitive, cognitive, affective strategies, whereas social strategies ranked last. Concerning individual strategies, it was found that Thai learners tried to make guesses when confronted with unfamiliar words, reflected on their progress in learning English and try to find strategies to help them be a better learner of English. Motivation and anxiety were also reported to be the most significant variables affecting their choices of language learning strategies. The analysis of the questionnaires revealed certain elucidating facts that could be utilized for effective future of planning of English language teaching, potentially contributing to the improved performance of Thai learners of English.
Allwright, D. (1990). Autonomy in language pedagogy. CRILE Working Paper 6. Center for Research in Education, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, UK.
Benson, P., & Voller, P. (1997). Autonomy and independence in language learning. London, UK: Longman.
Chamot, A. U. (2005). Language learning strategy instruction: Current issues and research. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 25, 112-130.
Chamot, A. U., Barnhart, S., El-Dinary, P. B., & Robbins, J. (1999). The learning strategies handbook. White Plains, NY, USA: Addison Wesley Longman.
Chang, S. J. (1990). A study of language learning behaviors of Chinese students at the University of Georgia and the relation of these behaviors to oral proficiency and other factors. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
Chang, C. (1999). Self-directed target language learning in authentic target language environment: The Taiwanese experience. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of York, USA.
Chang, S. J., & Huang, S. C. (1999). Language learning motivation and language strategies of Taiwanese EFL students. Washington, DC, USA: Department of Education.
Chen, C. S. (2002). Self-regulated learning strategies and achievement in an introduction to information systems course. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal, 20(1), 11-25.
Chen, C. S. (2005). Relationship between non-native English speaking EFL pre-service teachers’ English language learning strategies and believes toward teaching methodologies. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. The Pennsylvania State University.
Chen, S. Q. (1990). A study of communication strategies in interlanguage production by Chinese EFL learners. Language Learning, 40, 155-187.
Cohen, A. D. (1996). Second language learning and use strategies: Clarifying the issues. CARLA Working Paper Series#3. Minneapolis, Mn., USA: The University of Minnesota.
Cohen, A. D. (1998). Strategies in using a second language. New York, USA: Longman.
Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational strategies in the language classroom. NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Ehrman, M. L., Leaver, B., & Oxford, R. L. (2003). A brief overview of individual differences in second language learning. System, 31, 313-330.
Ehrman, M. L., & Oxford, R. L. (1990). Adult language learning styles and strategies in an intensive training setting. Modern Language Journal, 74(3), 311-327.
Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. London, UK: Oxford University Press.
Ganschow, L., Anderson, R., Javorshy, J., Skinner, S., & Patton, J. (1994). Differences in language performance among high-, and low-anxious college foreign language learners. The Modern Language Journal, 78(1), 41-55.
Gardner, R. C. (1985). Social psychological aspects of language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation. London, UK: Edward Arnold.
Gardner, R. C., & MacIntyre, P. D. (1993). On the measurement of affective variables in second language learning. Language Learning, 43, 157-194.
Goh, C. C. M., & Foong, K. P. (1997). Chinese ESL students’ learning strategies: A look at frequency, proficiency, and gender. Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2(1), 39-53.
Green, J. M., & Oxford, R. (1995). A closer look at learning strategies. L2 proficiency, and gender, TESOL Quarterly, 29(2), 261-297.
Griffiths, C. (2003). Patterns of language learning strategy use. System, 31, 367-383.
Gu, Y. (2002). Gender, academic major, and vocabulary learning strategies of Chinese EFL learners. RELC Journal, 33(1), 35-54.
Horwitz, E. K. (2001). Language anxiety and achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 112-126.
Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. A. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70, 125-132.
Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. A. (1991). Foreign language classroom anxiety. In E. K. Horwitz & D. J. Young (Eds.), Language anxiety: From theory and research to classroom implication (pp. 27-36). Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall.
Kanoksilapatham, B. (2010). Examining English pronunciation competence of Thai teachers: Word stress assignment. In G. T. Papanikos & Nicholas C. J. Pappas (Eds.), Horizons in Education (pp. 467-477). Athens, Greece: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER).
Khalil, A. (2005). Assessment of language learning strategies used by Palestinian EFL learners. Foreign Language Annals, 38(1), 108-119.
Khamkhien, A. (2010). Factors affecting language learning strategy reported usage by Thai and Vietnamese EFL learners. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 7(1), 66-85.
Khamkhien, A. (2012). Demystifying Thai EFL learners’ perceptual learning style preferences. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 18(1), 61-74.
Ko, Y. W. (2002). Perceptual style preferences and their relationship to English achievement and learning strategies of junior high EFL learners in Taiwan. Unpublished Master’s thesis. National Kaohsiung University of Education, Taiwan.
Kondo, S., & Yang.Y-L. (2003). The English language classroom anxiety scale. Test construction, reliability, and validity. JALT Journal, 25(2), 593–598.
Lan, R., & Oxford, R. L. (2003). Language learning strategies profiles of elementary school students in Taiwan. IRAL, 41, 339-379.
Little, D. (1991). Learner autonomy 1: Definitions, issues, and problems. Dublin, Ireland: Authentik.
Liu, M. (2006). Anxiety in Chinese EFL students at different proficiency levels. System, 34(3), 301-316.
MacLeod, P. (2002). Take two language learners: A case study of the learning strategies of two successful learners of English as a second language with instrumental motivation. Journal of Language and Linguistics, 1, 1-13.
Magogwe, J., & Oliver, R. (2007). The relationship between language learning strategies, proficiency, age and self-efficacy beliefs: A study of language learners in Botswana. System, 35, 338-352.
Mochizuki, A. (1999). Language learning strategies used by Japanese University students. RELC Journal, 30(2), 101-113.
Mullin, P. (1992). Successful English language learning strategies of students enrolled at the Faculty of Arts, Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Nisbet, D., Tindall, E., & Arroyo, A. (2005). Language learning strategies and English proficiency of Chinese university students. Foreign Language Annals, 38(1), 100-107.
O’Malley, J. M., & Chamot, A. U. (1990). Learning strategies in second language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O’Mara, F., & Lett, J. (1990). Foreign language learning and retention: Interim results of the language skill change report. Advanced technology, Inc.: Reston, VA.
Olivares-Cuhat, G. 2002. Learning strategies and achievement in the Spanish writing classroom: A case study. Foreign Language Annals, 35(5), 561-570.
Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Boston, USA: Heinle & Heinle.
Oxford, R. L. (1996). Language learning strategies around the world: Cross-cultural Perspectives. Manoa, USA: University of Hawaii Press.
Oxford, R. L., & Burry-Stock, J. A. (1995). Assessing the use of language learning strategies worldwide with the ESL/EFL version of the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning. System, 23(2), 153-175.
Oxford, R., & Nyikos, M. (1989). Variables affecting choice of language learning strategies by university students. Modern Language Journal, 73, 291-300.
Park, G. (1997). Language learning strategies and English proficiency in Korean university students. Foreign Language Annals, 30(2), 211-221.
Peacock, M., & Ho, B. (2003). Student language learning strategies across eight disciplines. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 13, 179-200.
Peng, I. N. (2001). EFL motivation and strategy use among Taiwanese senior high school learners. Unpublished Master’s thesis. National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan.
Pintrich, P. R., Smith, D. A., Garcia, T., & McKeachie, W. J. (1991). A manual for the use of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary Teaching and Learning. Ann Arbor, USA: University of Michigan.
Shen, H. H. (2005). An investigation of Chinese-character learning strategies among non-native speakers of Chinese. System, 33, 49-68.
Shmais, W. (2003). Language learning strategy use in Palestine. TESL-EJ, 7(2). Retrieved from http://tesl-ej.org/ej26/a3.html.
Sparks, R. L., Patton, J., Ganschow, L., & Humbach, N. (2009). Longterm relationships among early first language skills, second language aptitude, second language affect, and later second language proficiency. Applied Psycholinguistics, 30, 725-755.
Stern, H. H. (1975). What can we learn from the good language learner? Canadian Modern Language Review, 34, 304-318.
Tamada, Y. (1996). The relationship between Japanese learners’ personal factors and their choices of language learning strategies. Modern Language Journal, 80, 120-131.
Tamijima, M. (2002). Motivation, attitude, and anxieties toward learning English as a foreign learning: A survey of Japanese university students in Tokyo. Gengo no Sekai, 20(1/2), 115-155.
Wenden, A. L. (1991). Learner strategies for learner autonomy. New York, USA: Prentice-Hall.
Wharton, G. (2000). Language learning strategy use of bilingual foreign language learner in Singapore. Language Learning, 50(2), 203-243.
Wongsothorn, A. (2000). ‘Thailand’. In Ho Wah Kam & R. L. Wong (Eds.), Language policies and language education: The impact in East Asian countries in the next decade (pp. 229-341). Singapore: Times Academic Press.
Wu, Kun-huei. (2010). The relationship between language learners’ anxiety and learning strategy in the CLT classroom. International Education Studies. 3(1), 174-191.
Wu, Ya-Ling. (2008). Language learning strategies used by students at different proficiency levels. Asian EFL Journal, 9(2), 75-95.
Yamashiro, A.D., & McLaughlin, J. (2001). Relationships among attitudes, motivation, anxiety, and English language proficiency in Japanese college students. In P. Robinson, M. Sawyer, & S. Ross (Eds.), Second language acquisition research in Japan: JALT Applied Materials Series, Vol. 4. (pp. 19-33). Tokyo, Japan: Japan Association of Language Teachers Press.
Yang, Nae-Dong. (1999). The relationship between EFL learners’ beliefs and learning strategy use. System, 27(4), 515-535.
Yu, L. (2003). Learning strategies and their relationship to listening comprehension-A report on Non-English majors in a medical university in China. Teaching English in China, 26(4), 3-11.