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The relevance of learning strategies and the tendency of learner styles when

learning English at Notre Dame Seishin University

Thesis presentation
Eriko Uchida 031016
In todays world, English holds an important place because it is becoming a world
language. It is a kind of tool to connect so many different races. Now in Japan, as society
is getting more global, most students have been spending so much time learning English.
Learning strategies help learners learn easier, faster, more enjoyably more self directed,
more effectively, and make their learning more transferable to new situations. In this
thesis, I looked in detail at learning strategies classified into 6 groups; Memory,
Cognitive, Compensation, Metacognitive, Affective and Social strategies.
And also, I mentioned the different types of learners. Different researchers defined the
learner differently . Keith Willing categorized four types of learners: Convergers,
Conformists, Concrete, and Communicative learners. Convergers prefer to avoid being
in a group and they are independent and confident in their own abilities. Conformists
prefer to learn about language rather than learning to use it. They prefer to be instructed
what to do by well-organized teacher. Concrete learners like to learn from their direct
experience though they are like conformists. They like group work and they prefer to
learn by interacting with others.

Communicative learners are completely happy to

operate without guidance of a teacher and they are comfortable out of classes so they
prefer to learn from watching TV, listening to music in the new language.
Research questions
1. to find out what kind of learners are there in this university
2. to find out how many learning strategies they use
3. to see if there are any differences of frequency of using learning strategies
among those different types of learners.

The questionnaire

The subjects were 86 female students in Notre Dame Seishin University who
were learning English. Their ages were from 18 to 22 years old and they
majored in English and English literature.

The greater number of the

subjects were freshman and sophomores.

Test design: First, I asked the background of the subjects to discover their age, years of
learning English, the years of spending in another country and the
motivation towards learning English.

Then, I asked 57 questions

concerned with learning strategies. I got those questions from the book
(Oxford, R. Language learning strategies Oxford)

In order to collect a lot of data, I asked the subjects to take some time to
answer the questionnaire in class. After collecting some data, I put them
into Excel and made charts.

Then I analyzed them to classify each

strategy group.

Table 1: Subjects who report the use of the strategy either somewhat, usually
or always
Convergers Conformists Concrete Communicative
Table 2: The number of times a strategy was reported

Convergers Conformists Concrete Communicative

1. 35.7% of the subjects were Concrete learners in this English department.
2. Concrete learners used the most learning strategies
3. Convergers and Communicative learners also use many learning strategies.
On the other hand, Conformists did not use so many strategies.