Does context matter? Vocabulary learning strategy use in second and foreign language contexts

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RumeliDE Dil ve Edebiyat Araştırmaları Dergisi, no.32, pp.1446-1459, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Vocabulary is of great importance in language learning. Using Vocabulary Learning Strategies (VLS) surely promotes vocabulary learning. The aim of the present study is to examine the role of language learning context (EFL and ESL) in Turkish graduate learners’ VLS use. A descriptive research design was employed in the study. The participants were recruited from two contexts, namely; ESL and EFL. The ESL participants were 49 Turkish graduate (masters or doctorate) learners in various departments at 21 universities in the UK while the EFL participants were 79 graduate students attending all-English departments at 27 Turkish universities. Study data were collected via ‘Vocabulary Learning Strategies Questionnaire’. Descriptive statistics, t test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) were utilized in the data analyses. Research results revealed a significant difference between ESL (the UK) and EFL (Turkey) learners’ VLS use in favour of EFL learners. However, gender and academic major were not found to have any significant effect on learners’ VLS use. Moreover, Discovery-Determination strategies were the most frequently used VLS group while Consolidation-Social strategies were the least frequently used category in both groups. VLS instruction should be considered in both contexts. Also, further research into the reasons why VLS use differs in the ESL and EFL contexts is suggested.