Out-Of-Class Language Learning Strategies and Thai University Students Learning English for Science and Technology

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Channarong Intaraprasert

Abstract

The present investigation is descriptive-interpretative in nature. It has been designed a) to investigate an overall strategy use of Thai students learning English for Science and Technology (EST); and b) to examine the relationships as well as patterns of variations in frequency of students’ reported out-of-class strategy use with reference to their perceptions of English language ability levels (good/very good; fair; and poor), gender (male; and female), and field of study (Engineering; Agricultural Technology; Public health; and Information Technology). The subjects of this study were 488 students learning English at a university of Science and Technology in Northeast Thailand. They were sampled on the basis of convenience and availability. A written strategy questionnaire based on the language learning strategy inventory developed by the researcher was used as the main instrument for the data collection. The Alpha Coefficient (a) or Cronbach alpha was used to check the internal consistency of the strategy questionnaire. The reliability estimate based on a 488-student sample is .92 which is high when compared with the acceptable reliability coefficients of .70, a useful rule of thumb for research purposes. The simple descriptive statistics were used to describe level of frequency of strategy use, while an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and the Chi-square tests were used as the main statistical methods in data analysis to seek the relationship between the frequency of strategy use and the above-mentioned three variables. The findings of the research show that these language learners, on the whole, reported medium frequency of use of out-of-class language learning strategies. The results of the data analysis also demonstrate that frequency of students’ overall reported use of individual out-of-class language learning strategies varied significantly in terms of perceptions of English language ability levels. The implications, limitations of the present investigation as well as further research were also discussed.

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Research Article