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Learning Strategies of Monolinguals and Bilinguals – Insights from Metacognitive Learning Strategies

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 11:30am – 12:00pm parallel session



Room 1 – 302-G20, Case Room



Associate Professor Mahendran Maniam
Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia



This research investigated  language learning strategy preferences by monolingual and bilingual students who are majoring in the English language undergraduate programme at two research universities. Understanding the learning strategies of monolinguals and bilinguals is important as the literature of previous studies have always highlighted that being bilingual was an added advantage for language learners. Undoubtedly, bilingual individuals are more advantageous  than monolingual individuals because of their past language experiences in learning a new language. But bilingual undergraduates majoring in English language (EFL) in Indonesia have been found not excelling in their degree programme though the literature says otherwise. Therefore, this research studies the level of usage of metacognitive language learning strategies by the bilingual students compared to the monolingual students using SILL questionnaire. The findings of this study indicated that monolingual and bilingual undergraduates majoring in English employed a wide variety of language learning strategies to learn English. However, the overall average score for metacognitive strategies showed a significantly higher usage by the monolinguals. The findings of previous studies showed that monolingual students generally make use of language learning strategies at a moderate level. However, the current study found that monolingual students use metacognitive strategies more often than the bilingual respondents and this is not consistent with past studies. This is an important insight as it has  pedagogical implications in terms of curriculum and assessment design for undergraduate programmes related to language learning.  Differences in foreign language learning strategies between students from different cultures might be explained with reference to different foreign language policies (ESL/EFL)  and individual differences in terms of learning styles, attitudes and motivation. It can be concluded that metacognitive strategy is an increasingly useful mechanism to enhance language learning among monolingual learners.Educators in higher learning institutions should try to incorporate metacognitive strategies in designing their curriculum.

This study aimed to examine differences in bilingual and monolingual university students’ use of metacognitive language learning strategies using a number of variables. Insights of this study will be pivotal to language practitioners in higher learning institutions.


Presentation topic

Students – Learning

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