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A comparative analysis of vocabulary learning strategies used by high and low achievers (a case study on undergraduate English major students in Ethiopian Universities)

Author: 
Haileslasie Beyene Hagos and Demis Gebretsadik Deneke
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The main objective of this investigation was to discover the vocabulary learning strategies used by high and low achiever Ethiopian English major undergraduate university students. Jimma, Ambo, Debre Birhan and Miza Tepi universities were randomly selected using a lottery method. Questionnaire and interview were used to collect relevant data of the study. One hundred thirty-four (134) students, who were enrolled in the aforementioned universities in 2013/14, filled out the questionnaire, and six purposely selected students from each university provided data through an in-depth interview. The data gathered through questionnaire were analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics. The data obtained from open-ended and interview questions were analyzed through content analysis strategies. The findings of the study revealed that the high achievers used vocabulary-learning strategies (determination, memory, cognitive, and meta-cognitive strategies) more often than the low achievers but without any statistically significant differences in some of the strategies. In contrast, the low achievers used the social strategies more often than the high achievers although both high and low achievers poorly used the social strategies. Finally, it was recommended that instructors should train students to use multifaceted vocabulary-learning strategies to enhance their academic achievement and language use.

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