The Impact of Individual Age Differences on the Use of EFL Vocabulary Learning Strategies

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

Department of English, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Khuzestan, Iran

Abstract

The present study intended to identify Iranian EFL learners' vocabulary learning strategy use and to find out any relationship between the learners' age and their vocabulary learning strategy use or vocabulary test performance. To that end, 60intermediate Iranian EFL learners, 25 males and 35 females, studying English at a well-known language institute were selected according to their performance on the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). Then, they were divided into 2 groups according to their age: teenagers and adults. Four instruments were used to collect the needed data, namely OPT, a vocabulary learning strategy questionnaire, a vocabulary test, and an interview. The vocabulary learning strategy questionnaire and the vocabulary test were administered in two consecutive sessions. The results indicated that both groups of learners used rote learning (RL) strategies more frequently than other categories of memory strategy, but there were some differences in their ordering of other subcategories of memory strategy. While there was a negative relationship between the teenagers' age and their vocabulary test performance, no relationship was found between the adults' age and their vocabulary test scores. Overall, the findings imply the need for classroom pedagogy to integrate strategy instruction for students of different age and proficiency levels.

Keywords