UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER ~ MA APPLIED LINGUISTICS AND TESOL

DISSERTATION

MATCHING LEARNING AND TEACHING STYLES IN A KOREAN ADULT EDUCATION CONTEXT


YEAR: 2002
NICOLA SARJEANT

ABSTRACT


This dissertation analyses and compares the learning styles of adult Korean learners and the teaching styles of native-speaker (NS) teachers at a university-affiliated language institute in Seoul, Korea. The data was collected through the use of self-reporting questionnaires completed by 101 high and low proficiency learners and 19 NS teachers. The study was based on the perceptual learning style research that was conducted with respect to English as a second language (ESL) students through learning styles instruments developed by Reid (1984), O’Brien (1990), Kinsella (1993), Oxford (1993) and others.

The study found that Korean adult learners generally had multiple learning style preferences; the strongest preferences were visual-verbal, visual-nonverbal, auditory, and group learning. A minor preference was also found for tactile learning. There was a slightly negative preference for kinaesthetic learning and a clear negative preference for individual learning. The strength of learning style preferences were also found to vary with respect to the age, gender, English proficiency, and major or job of the learner, as well as the length of time spent in the learning environment. Many differences were found between the learning style preferences of the teachers and learners. However, the results suggest that the NS teachers overcame their personal learning preferences and taught more according to a communicative language teaching approach. The teachers were found to have a strong auditory teaching style; however, they also employed a multi-sensory approach and techniques that would suit tactile learners. They often used pair work or group work in class. The dissertation notes that, in general, the teaching styles and learning styles were fairly well matched, although visual learning styles should be attended to more often. The dissertation makes specific suggestions regarding teaching techniques that would be appropriate for the Korean learners at the institute in question, and discusses some implications of utilising learning style research in the classroom. It suggests that further research is needed in order to obtain more information about the learning styles of Korean learners, and the teaching styles of the NS teachers, and warns against generalising about the Korean population as a whole based on this research.

(total word count: 21, 243)

email: sasknic@yahoo.ca



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References (Abstract)

Kinsella, K. (1993) ‘Perceptual Learning Preferences Survey’ In J. M. Reid, ed. (1995) Learning Styles in the ESL/EFL Classroom. Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 221-238.

O’Brien, L. (1990) ‘The Learning Channel Preference Checklist.’ In J. M. Reid, ed. (1995) Learning Styles in the ESL/EFL Classroom. Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 196-198.

Oxford, R. L. (1993) ‘Style Analysis Survey (SAS): Assessing Your Own Learning and Working Styles.’ In J. M. Reid, ed. (1995) Learning Styles in the ESL/EFL Classroom. Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 208-215.

Reid, J.M. (1984) ‘Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire.’ In J. M. Reid, ed. (1995) Learning Styles in the ESL/EFL Classroom. Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 202-207.

Reid, J. M., ed. (1995) Learning Styles in the ESL/EFL Classroom. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.



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