Research Report

2294 words - 10 pages

AbstractThis study explored the hypothesis that students who prefer to learn English via self-study means have a better self perception of their speaking and listening skills. The survey was conducted with a sample group of 36 overseas students studying at the Australia Centre for Languages (ACL). Each respondent was given a questionnaire to complete and their responses were recorded and compared. The report's findings revealed that international students studying English in Australia prefer to learn in a small group of no more than 20 students rather than on their own. In addition, the study method has an impact on students' self-perceived performance in the language skills of speaking ...view middle of the document...

However, these studies failed to include information about overseas students' self perceived performance in the four language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.This current research aimed to determine what language learning styles overseas students studying English in Australia use. Also it aimed to examine how they impact on their self-perceived performance in the four language skills. The hypothesis of this study is that students who prefer to learn English via self-study means have a better self-perception of their speaking and listening skills.The findings of this investigation should be useful to language learning and teaching institutes and educators in the development of new language learning approaches in line with student preferences.MethodologyOn the 5th of December 2007, a survey concerned with international students' English learning preferences was carried out at the Australia Centre for Languages (ACL) in Sydney. A sample group of 36 students from overseas who study Level Certificate IV in EAP was selected. The majority of the participants were Chinese (including Taiwanese) and Korean. Other respondents were from Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and France.A questionnaire consisting of 15 questions was used in this study as an information gathering instrument. Respondents were given the questionnaire to complete and return within a 20-minute period, which ensured a 100% response rate.Part one of the questionnaire was designed to ask about participants' gender, age and nationality. Part two of the questionnaire focused on the respondents' English learning preferences and how do they impact on their self perceived performance in the four language skills ( reading, writing, listening, speaking ).The data was collated and converted to percentages. The results were represented in graphs and tables.ResultsThe results obtained from the questionnaire are shown in the following tables and graphs.Table 1 Percentages of overseas students experiencing self-study methodsSelf-teaching with support materialsLearning from a family memberInternet / computer programmesNumber18414Percentage50%11%39%Table 1 compares the percentage of three kinds of self-study methods which the respondents most prefer to.Significantly, only 11% of the students learn English from a family member. This percentage is lower than that of the students who learn with support materials (50%) and from Internet (39%). In other words, a small minority of overseas students prefer to learn English from a family member whereas by far the largest proportion of students would like to learn English either with support materials or through Internet and computer programs. These results indicate that Learning from a family member is not widespread across all the students.Figure1 illustrates how the male and female respondents prefer to learn English by four kinds of learning styles.As can be seen from Figure 1, there are a few (9%) respondents preferring self-stu...

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