Vocabulary Learning Strategies: The Case of Mandarin Learners in Sarawak

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Kai-Chee Lam
Wee Ling Kuan


The frequency of using different kinds of vocabulary learning strategies by Mandarin learners was assessed at the University of Malaysia, Sarawak to illustrate popular ways under each vocabulary learning strategy. One hundred and thirty-six respondents completed a five-point Likert-scale questionnaire in the twelfth week of their learning. The results of the study indicated that the learners employed cognitive strategies the most and metacognitive strategies the least. The most popular strategy included taking notes, studying the sound and stroke order of a word, asking classmates, and reviewing vocabulary regularly. The results suggested that teachers could make use of the learning strategy preferred by learners through the provision of appropriate language activities and assignments to support more effective learning. Future studies may include studying the specific strategies employed by learners in the four language skills, looking at how they employ vocabulary-learning strategies at higher language levels, and studying real-life examples of instructional activities conducted by language instructors for each strategy.


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