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Language and learning preferences : a study of university students in Australia

thesis
posted on 1996-11-01, 00:00 authored by Roslyn Edwards
This study sought to investigate the preferences for language use and modes of learning of university students who were completing undergraduate degrees in Australia. Of the sixty students surveyed, forty percent were international students. For seventy five percent of all students sampled, either they or their parents (or both) were bi- or multilingual. Questions which this research sought to answer were: Do the preferences for learning of university students differ according to the culture and / or language backgrounds of the students? Does an individual student’s preferred learning style influence the student’s preferences for learning in a group situation? For students whose first language is not English, do their preferences for language use vary in group learning? General findings resulting from a statistical analysis of responses to the questionnaire indicated in many, but not all, cases that the preferences for learning of university students differed according to the cultural and / or language backgrounds of the students, that an individual student’s preferred learning style influenced the student’s preferences for learning in a group situation, and that the preferences for language use of students whose first language was not English varied in group learning. Reid’s (1984 in Richards, J.C. & Lockhart, C., 1994) “Perceptual learning style preference questionnaire” comprised one section of the questionnaire for this study. This replication made possible a comparison of the findings which related to students’ learning styles from this study with findings from similar studies in which Reid’s survey instrument had been used. Findings of the present study indicate a number of differences from Reid’s findings. This study found, for example, that most language groups showed a minor preference for group learning using this survey instrument whereas Reid had found that group learning was a negligible preference for most of the language groups in her study. This study may give tertiary educators a greater understanding of their students’ preferences for group and other learning styles. It may also inform them of the likely preferences for language use of those of their students who have first languages other than English. Future students may benefit from this.

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xvi, 172 p.

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  • Yes

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thesis

Resource type

thesis

Language

eng

Degree type

Coursework masters

Degree name

M. A.

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The author

Editor/Contributor(s)

A McKnight

Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Education

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