AbstractThis study explored the hypothesis that students who prefer to learn English via self-study means have a better self perception of their speaking and listening skills. The survey was conducted with a sample group of 36 overseas students studying at the Australia Centre for Languages (ACL). Each respondent was given a questionnaire to complete and their responses were recorded and compared. The report's findings revealed that international students studying English in Australia prefer to learn in a small group of no more than 20 students rather than on their own. In addition, the study method has an impact on students' self-perceived performance in the language skills of speaking and listening. These findings did not support the above hypothesis. However, they may be useful to language learning and teaching institutes and educators in the development of new language learning approaches in line with student preferences.
IntroductionToday, the number of international students studying at English language schools in Australia is increasing rapidly month by month.
For effective English learning, both learner skills and attitudes should be considered. Students should be provided with the opportunity to assess their English learning preferences.
During the past decade, several studies have been conducted on language learning styles. The study of Oxford (1990) showed that "learning strategies were especially important for language learning because they are tools for active, self-directed involvement, which is essential for developing communicative competence. Appropriate language learning strategies result in improved proficiency and greater self-confidence." Another study from Graham (1997) has developed these concepts further into "thinking aloud", "retrospective interviews" and "learner diaries". Rao's study of teaching and learning styles (2001) has investigated traditional learning styles in East Asian. However, these studies failed to include information about overseas students' self perceived performance in the four language skills of reading, writing, listening and...