Learning Style Preferences by Iranian students

Introduction
Learning manners influence acquisition and that larning result is higher for pupils who are able to utilize multiple acquisition manners ( Felder, 1995 ; Reid, 1987, Reid, 1998 ; Claxton and Murell, 1985 ; Mulalic, Mohd Shah and Ahmad, 2009 ) . Learning manners and penchants vary for each of us and in different state of affairss. Some scholars, for case, prefer to larn by reading text editions, while others prefer a verbal account ( Riazi and Riasati, 2007 ) . In add-on, people may differ in how they most efficaciously show their apprehension ; either orally or in authorship and through graphs or figures. In other words, scholars learn and show their apprehensions in assorted ways in different state of affairss. Learning manners refer to the cognitive, emotional, and psychological behavior which serve as comparatively fixed and unchangeable indexs of how scholars understand, interact with and answer to the acquisition environment ( Keefe, 1982 ) . Oxford ( 2003 ) asserted that acquisition manners are the general attacks that scholars utilize in geting a new linguistic communication or in larning any other topics. These manners are the overall forms that give larning behaviour a general way ( Cornett, 1983 ) . By understanding one ‘s learning manner ( s ) , one will be able to develop the accomplishments that help one learns in a assortment of ways to accomplish full potency.
This apprehension is besides helpful for instructors and pedagogues because it enables instructors and pedagogues to fit their instruction manners, methodological analysiss, and class organisation with scholars ‘ acquisition manners to assist scholars better their acquisition ( Willing, 1988 ) .

Surveies have shown that personality, life experiences, intent for larning and instructors ‘ outlooks affect scholars ‘ acquisition manners with the later being the most dominant influence ( Briggs-Myers, 1986 ; Kolb, 1984 ; Felder, 1996 ; Ballard and Clanchy 1997 ) .
In Iran, nevertheless, scholars ‘ acquisition manners have been ignored and have been taken into history as an undistinguished constituent in the learning procedure among Persian EFL scholars in general and first-year university pupils in peculiar. Very small survey has been conducted to place Persian scholars ‘ acquisition manners that non merely would assist scholars ‘ acquisition but besides help better instructors ‘ instruction. Matching these two facets would take to greater success. Nevertheless, Riazi and Riasati ( 2007 ) conducted a survey on 219 Persian scholars of English in Shiraz to place their acquisition manners. The survey employed Brindley ‘s ( 1984 ) linguistic communication larning penchant questionnaire. The participants were from different degrees of direction and different ages. The findings show that the pupils favoured the communicative attack carried out in brace or group work and felt that it helped better their English linguistic communication accomplishments. They besides preferred taking portion in schoolroom treatment and interaction in larning English.
Although this survey found that scholars preferred a communicative attack, scholars at higher establishments in Iran ; peculiarly freshers, are still observed to be inactive scholars of English. Possibly they are incognizant of their acquisition manners and possibly the instruction manners at higher establishments do non fit scholars ‘ acquisition manners. Therefore, the survey presented in this paper was an effort to find Persian EFL fresher university pupils ‘ acquisition manner ( s ) to assist them understand how they learn and therefore increase their potencies. This survey besides aimed to detect whether there was a difference between male and female fresher university pupils ‘ acquisition manner ( s ) . However, this present survey employed the four types of larning manner penchants developed by Willing ( 1988 ) to look into Persian EFL fresher university pupils ‘ types of larning manner ( s ) .
Learning Styles and Types of Learners
Most research surveies on larning manner penchants trace back to the past 30 old ages. Dunn ( 1993 ) asserted that lectors can non place pupil ‘s acquisition manners without using a multidimensional instrument. Without rating, even experienced teachers may misinterpret scholars ‘ behaviors such as hyperactivity or heedlessness ( Mulalic, Mohd Shah and Ahmad, 2009 ) .
Reid ( 1987 ) investigated 1300 ESL pupils from three different civilizations ; viz. the Japanese, Malay, and Korean. The survey found that a big figure of these pupils strongly preferred tactile and kinesthetic acquisition manners. The survey besides found that the built-in differences in cultural or linguistic communication backgrounds and subjects ( technology and computing machine scientific discipline ) frequently play an of import function in placing types of cognitive manners.
Meanwhile, Willing ( 1988 ) investigated a group of five 100s and 17 scholars from more than 30 cultural groups to analyze whether there is a relationship between larning manner penchants and biographical variables. However, merely five cultural groups were big plenty for statistical analysis ( Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, South Americans, and Polish/Czech talkers ) . The learning manner questionnaire included 30 acquisition manner points, 15 larning scheme points, and a several points on single biographical facets. The consequences indicated that there were cultural differences with respect to the scholars ‘ larning manner penchants. For case, although the agencies of the point ‘I like to analyze grammar ‘ was lower than expected, all scholars from the different civilizations responded that they liked analyzing grammar. The Arabic scholars preferred grammar where 65 % of them ranked this point as the “ best ” ( Willing 1988 ) . Meanwhile, the findings indicated that authority-oriented and analytical acquisition manners were extremely valued by the Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, South American, and Polish pupils. The largely preferable points were ‘practicing sounds and pronunciation in English ‘ and ‘everything explained by their instructor ‘ , and the least preferable ways of larning were ‘playing games ‘ and ‘watching movies ‘ ( Willing 1988, p. 130 ) . Willing ( 1988 ) further identified four types of scholars: concrete, analytical, communicative, and authority-oriented scholars. Nunan ( 1999 ) briefly summarized the definition of these four types of scholars: 1 ) Concrete scholars are those who employ really direct agencies of taking in and treating information ; 2 ) Analytic scholars are those whose cognitive strengths lead them non merely to analyse carefully and show great involvement in constructions but to set a great trade of value on uncovering their independency by executing these things themselves, autonomously. In other words, they prefer to analyze grammar ( from particular to general ) , analyzing English books and reading newspapers, analyzing separately, happening their ain errors, and working on undertaking jobs assigned by their instructors ; 3 ) Authority-oriented scholars are those who are likely non predisposed to actively form information ; they would wish their instructor to explicate everything to them, tend to hold their ain text editions, to compose everything in a notebook, to analyze grammatical regulations, learn by reading, and larn new words by looking at them ; and 4 ) Communicative scholars are those who have a desire for a communicative and societal acquisition attack, likely because they feel that this would be most helpful to their demands in relation to linguistic communication acquisition. In other words, they like to larn by watching, listening to native talkers, speaking to friends in English and watching telecasting in English, utilizing English out of category, larning new words by hearing them, and acquisition by conversations ( Willing, 1988 ; Nunan, 1999, p. 57 ) .
The Survey
Participants
A group of 92 ( 37 males and 55 females ) Persian EFL fresher university pupils majoring in Teaching English as a Foreign Language ( TEFL ) class at the Faculty of Foreign Languages in a university in South of Esfahan were indiscriminately selected from nine categories to take portion in this survey. As freshers, their mean age was 18 old ages old. They learn English linguistic communication for academic intents. Freshman university pupils were selected as participants of this survey because they were at the get downing degree of third instruction. Knowledge of their acquisition manner ( s ) would be utile in placing and geting larning accomplishments which would heighten their acquisition. Therefore, increase their public presentation in larning English.
Instrument
The instrument utilized in this survey was the Learning Style Preferences Questionnaire adapted from Willing ( 1988 ) . The four-point Likert graduated table questionnaire consisted of 45 points on “ How make you larn best ” ; ranged from 1: Strongly Disagree to 4: Strongly Agree. It was piloted prior to the existent informations aggregation and the dependability Cronbach ‘s Alpha was 0.844. The questionnaire consisted of four classs ( Communicative, Concrete, Authority-Oriented, and Analytical scholars ) . A list of 20 four points out of 40 five points related to these four types were chosen and modified based on the Persian EFL fresher university pupils ‘ acquisition. Items one to six represented scholars who liked to larn through observation and or listening to native talkers, speaking to friends in English and watching telecasting in English, and learn through conversations ( Communicative Learners ) . Items seven to twelve represented scholars who liked to larn through games, movies, cassettes, speaking in braces, and utilizing English outside of the schoolroom ( Concrete Learners ) . Items 13 to eighteen represented scholars who preferred their instructors to explicate everything to them, have their ain text editions, survey grammar, learn by reading, and larn new words by seeing the words ( Authority-Oriented Learners ) . Items 19 to twenty four represented scholars who liked analyzing the regulations of grammar, analyzing English books, reading newspapers, analyzing by themselves, happening their ain errors, and working on jobs set by the instructor ( Analytic Learners ) .
Findingss and Discussions
Descriptive analysis of the Learning Style Preferences ( 37 Males, 55 Females )
In order to detect the types of larning manner penchants of the pupils, the descriptive statistics ( agencies and standard divergences ) of the four types of larning manner penchants ( communicative, concrete, authority-oriented, and analytical ) were computed ( see Table 1 ) . The one which indicated the highest average value was considered to be the pupils ‘ preferred acquisition manner.
Table 1 shows the mean and standard divergences of the four distinguishable classs. Responses to the statements of type one ( communicative ) had the highest average value of 3.24 and a standard divergence of 0.35, while the responses to analytical type of larning manners had the lowest average mark of 3.02 and a standard divergence of 0.38 for both males and females. It is implied that the bulk of Persian EFL fresher university pupils in this sample considered themselves communicative types of acquisition manners. This is consistent with the consequences of
Ho ‘s ( Undated ) survey on two groups of university twelvemonth one and four groups of twelvemonth two Computer Studies pupils across five academic old ages. The survey indicated that most pupils were communicative scholars ; contradictory to the consequences of Liu ‘s ( 2008 ) survey on pupils in Taipei. Liu reported that responses to the statements of authority-oriented type of larning manners were the highest with the average mark of 11.52 and a standard divergence of 3.13 and communicative type of larning manners had the lowest mean mark ( M=8.87 and a standard divergence of 3.55 ) .
Table 1 Mean and Standard Deviation of Learning Styles ( by Category )
Learning Manners
Mean
South dakota
Nitrogen
Communicative
3.24
0.358
92
Concrete
3.07
0.381
92
Authority-Oriented
3.10
0.353
92
Analytic
3.02
0.381
92
N= Number of respondents ; SD= Std. Deviation
In add-on to the mean scores for the four types of larning manners in general, Table 2, 3, 4, and 5 show the mean and standard divergences of the pupils ‘ usage of larning manners by class and points: communicative, concrete, authority-oriented, and analytical acquisition manners.
Table 2 Mean and Standard Deviations of the Students ‘ Communicative Learning Style Items
Learning Manners
Mean
South dakota
1
Communicative Learning Style
I like to larn by watching, listening to native talkers of English.
3.24
3.32
0.35
0.755
2
I like to larn by speaking to friends in English.
3.24
0.732
3
If I have pick, I would wish to larn English by watching Television in English outside of the schoolroom.
3.17
0.735
4
I like to larn by talking in English with aliens when there is a opportunity.
3.27
0.757
5
I like to larn English words by hearing the words.
3.25
0.673
6
In English category, I like to larn through the usage of conversations.
3.22
0.739
Table 2 demonstrates that the overall average value of communicative acquisition manner was 3.24 with a standard divergence of 0.35. The highest average value of 3.32 with a standard divergence 0.75 was noted for the point “ I like to larn by watching, listening to native talkers of English. ” Meanwhile, the point “ If I have pick, I would wish to larn English by watching Television in English outside of the schoolroom. ” scored the lowest mean mean with the value of 3.17 and a standard divergence of 0.73. It is inferred that the Persian EFL fresher university pupils have strong desire to larn by watching and listening to native talkers of English in schoolrooms. In other words, they tend to watch pictures and listen to tapes in schoolrooms. They like to pass on with one another. This is in understanding with the consequences of Riazi and Riasati ‘s ( 2007 ) survey.
Table 3 Mean and Standard Deviations of the Students ‘ Concrete Learning Style Items
Learning Manners
Mean
South dakota
7
Concrete Learning Style
In English category, I like to larn through game.
3.07
3.27
0.37
0.757
8
In English category, I like to larn by utilizing images, movies, and pictures.
3.29
0.749
9
I like to analyze English by speaking with another schoolmate
3.23
0.743
10
I like to larn by utilizing cassettes at place.
2.65
0.733
11
In English category, I like to listen to and utilize cassettes.
2.80
0.829
12
Outside of the schoolroom, I like to utilize English.
3.17
0.735
With respect to concrete acquisition manners, Table 3 demonstrates the overall average value of 3.07 and a standard divergence of 0.37. The consequences related to concrete larning manner dimension indicate that the point “ In English category, I like to larn by utilizing images, movies, and pictures. ” scored the highest mean mean with the average value of 3.29 and a standard divergence of 0.74 ; while the lowest average value of 2.65 with standard divergence of 0.73 was noted for the point “ I like to larn by utilizing cassettes at place ” . It is concluded that these scholars like to larn by illustrations in schoolrooms. The common feature of concrete scholars harmonizing to willing ( 1988 ) is the development of insufficiency or an lower status composite. They disfavour larning monotonously and written work. They like assortment. They prefer verbal and ocular experiences. They have strong desire to be entertained by utilizing games, and be given to be involved in larning physically.
Table 4 Mean and Standard Deviations of the Students ‘ Authority-Oriented Learning Style Items
Learning Manners
Mean
South dakota
13
Authority-Oriented Learning Style
I like the instructor to explicate everything to me.
3.10
3.32
0.35
0.755
14
I want to compose everything in my notebook.
2.91
0.751
15
I like to hold my ain text edition.
3.27
0.757
16
In English category, I like to larn by reading.
3.17
0.720
17
I like to analyze grammar from specific to general.
3.23
0.728
18
I like to larn English words by seeing them.
2.70
0.795
Sing the 3rd type of larning manners ( authority-oriented ) , Table 4 indicates that the overall mean value was 3.10 and a standard divergence of 0.35. Therefore, the point “ I like the instructor to explicate everything to me ” scored the highest average value of 3.32 and a standard divergence of 0.75. While the lowest average value of 2.70 and a standard divergence of 0.79 were noted for the point “ I like to larn English words by seeing them ” . It is inferred that authority-oriented scholars tend to be taught clearly. They have desire to larn from their instructors. They look for constructions and measure by measure patterned advance. In general, they consider their instructors as authorization in the category. Harmonizing to Willing ( 1988 ) they like to follow some forms.
Table 5 Mean and Standard Deviations of the Students ‘ Analytical Learning Style Items
Learning Manners
Mean
South dakota
19
Analytic Learning Style
I like to analyze grammar from general to specific.
3.02
2.68
0.38
0.838
20
At place, I like to larn by analyzing English books.
3.24
0.732
21
I like to analyze English by myself.
3.32
0.755
22
I like the instructor to allow me happen my errors.
3.25
0.750
23
I like the instructor to give me exercises to work on.
3.15
0.725
24
At place, I like to larn by reading English newspaper.
2.49
0.791
Finally, for analytical acquisition manners Table 5 reveals that the overall mean value was 3.02 with a standard divergence of 0.38. Based on the consequences, the point “ I like to analyze English by myself ” scored as highest average value of 3.32 and a standard divergence of 0.75 whereas the lowest average value of 2.49 with a standard divergence of 0.79 was noted for the point “ At place, I like to larn by reading English newspaper ” . This means that analytical types of scholars are independent and tend to happen solutions for their jobs while larning. Analytic scholars ‘ cognitive strengths steer them non merely to analyse carefully and uncover great involvement in constructions, but besides to set a big sum of value on demoing their independency by making these things themselves, autonomously ( Willing, 1988 ) . In general, it can be inferred from the findings aforementioned types of acquisition manners that the mass media such as telecasting, picture, tape recording equipments are the most powerful devices for larning foreign linguistic communications in Iran since English is learned and spoken merely in academic categories and for academic intents. Harmonizing to Celec-Murcia ( 2001 ) , such media motivate scholars by conveying the existent life state of affairs into the schoolroom and showing linguistic communication in its more complete communicative context.
Descriptive Analysis of the Learning Style Preferences by Gender
In order to detect whether there was a difference between males and females in using learning manner penchants, the Independent-sample T-test was conducted. Table 6 demonstrates that there was no statistically important difference in the mean tonss for male and female pupils in communicative ( M= 3.27, SD= 0.35 ; M=3.22, SD=0.36, T ( 90 ) =0.66, p= 0.51 ) ; concrete ( M=3.10, SD=0.36 ; M=3.05, SD=0.39, T ( 90 ) =0.67, p=0.49 ) , authority-oriented ( M=3.09, SD=0.37 ; M=3.11, SD=0.34, T ( 90 ) = -0.21, p=0.83 ) , and analytical acquisition manners ( M=3.09, SD=0.38, M=2.98, SD=0.37, T ( 90 ) =1.32, p=0.18 ) . In other words, males and females apply larning manners in a similar manner. This is in understanding with the consequences of Yik, Hidayu, Bariyyah and Asyimah ‘s ( Undated ) survey ( hypertext transfer protocol: //apps.emoe.gov.my/ipba/rdipba/cd1/article152.pdf accessed 26 March 2010 ) .
Table 6 T-test for gender differences in larning manner Preferences
Liter
Gram
Nitrogen
Mean
South dakota
T
P
Com
Meter
F
37
55
3.27
3.22
0.35
0.36
0.66
0.51
Con
Meter
F
37
55
3.10
3.05
0.36
0.39
0.67
0.49
A-O
Meter
F
37
55
3.09
3.11
0.37
0.34
-0.21
0.83
Anal
Meter
F
37
55
3.09
2.98
0.38
0.37
1.32
0.18
Note: N=Number of Subjects ; LS=Learning Styles ; G=Gender ; M=Male ; F=Female ;
Com=Communicative ; Con=Concrete ; A-O=Authority-Oriented ; Anal=Analytical
In other words, all of the values of significance values were above the value of significance value of P & lt ; 0.05. Harmonizing to Cohen ( 1988 ) , the magnitudes of the differences in the agencies were somewhat little. Cohen believes that 0.01 indicates little consequence, 0.06 shows moderate consequence, and 0.14 shows big consequence. Therefore the Basque Homeland and Freedom square for these four types of acquisition manners are as follows: communicative ( eta square= 0.004 ) , concrete ( eta square= 0.005 ) , authority-oriented ( eta squared=0.000 ) , and analytical acquisition manner ( eta square= 0.018 ) which are really little.
Deductions
Sing the consequences of this survey, some deductions are discussed with the position of text book designs, larning and learning English as a foreign linguistic communication in Iran. As it has been identified that many of the fresher university pupils are communicative type of scholars, there should be a moderately safe index for the general way to see in planing text books for Persian EFL fresher university scholars. Many research surveies such as Smith ( 1985 ) , Claxon and Murrell ( 1987 ) , Willing ( 1988 ) , and Riazi and Riasati ( 2007 ) claim that larning methods that match with learning manner penchants lead to academic accomplishments, more communicative undertakings need to be included in the class as most scholars in this sample prefer to larn in a communicative manner. Willing ( 1988 ) suggested the acquisition methods preferred by communicative scholars as: 1 ) Learning by watching and listening to native talkers of the mark linguistic communication. 2 ) Learning by talking in English with aliens when there is a opportunity. 3 ) Learning by speaking to friends in English. 4 ) Learning by conversations. 5 ) Learning by watching Television in English. 6 ) Learning English by hearing the words. Therefore, the text edition interior decorators may necessitate to take into history the aforesaid methods recommended by Willing ( 1988 ) while planing communicative text books for categories. They can besides see group treatments and teacher-students meetings as pupils prefer to speak with equals and instructors ( Riazi and Riasati, 2007 ) .
In the visible radiation of acquisition, effectual tools to assist pupils listen to native talkers of the mark linguistic communication is to utilize movies and picture plans in categories. In this instance, pupils get familiar with the other contexts, state of affairss, and civilizations. Auxiliary stuffs such as short narratives should be utilized in categories ( Riazi and Mansoorian, 2008 ) . By and large, pupils need to be involved in synergistic accomplishments. In order to lend pupils to be cognizant of their ain acquisition manners and strengths, stock lists of larning manner and other procedures can be utilized ( Claxton and Murrell, 1987, p six ) . In add-on, lectors should assist scholars understand more about their ain penchants for larning. There are some promising schemes employed by lectors to lend their scholars to understand more about their penchants for larning and suggest ways to cover with more efficaciously in classs taught in ways inconsistent with their manners. This can besides assist scholars take increasing charge of their ain acquisition and to be more active in the procedure ( Claxton and Murrell 1987, p. four ) .
In footings of instruction, by roll uping some information on scholars ‘ acquisition manners can assist lectors place scholars who learn comfortably via the types of undertakings designed for the class. For case, this survey recommends that lectors should make their best to carry first-year university scholars to work in groups and learn them how to pass on ( converse ) with one another in English. Lecturers should present types of larning manners to pupils in order to acquire familiar with their manner of larning a foreign linguistic communication in general and larning English in peculiar. In general, pupils should be encouraged to happen out their ain types of larning manner penchants in order to ease their acquisition.
Decisions
The intent of the current survey was to place Persian EFL fresher university pupils ‘ types of larning manner penchants and their deductions on the instruction and larning procedure every bit good as the designs of the text books. This survey besides aimed to detect whether or non there was a important difference between male and female fresher university pupils using larning manner penchants. The dominant learning manner penchants of Persian EFL fresher university pupils revealed that the bulk of the Persian EFL fresher university pupils considered themselves as communicative scholars. They tend to larn English as a foreign linguistic communication by listening to native talkers of English likely because they feel that this would be most utile for their demands in relation to English linguistic communication acquisition. This can assist them in bettering their pronunciation and speech pattern. The receptive accomplishments such as speech production and hearing are appealing to the scholars of this sample. They have desire to utilize conversations in the schoolrooms and communicate in English. It is besides concluded that Persian male and female pupils have no different preferred acquisition manners as the findings of this survey demonstrated that there was no statistically important difference between them with respect to their learning manner penchants while larning English as a foreign linguistic communication. More significantly, this research survey suggests placing the scholars ‘ types of larning manners to lend their lectors to set in the proportion of undertaking types in text books to do acquisition easier for pupils.

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