The Most and Least Frequently Used Vocabulary Learning Strategies among Iranian EFL Freshman Students and its Relationship to the Gender

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Volume 7-1 February 2011.

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The Most and Least Frequently Used Vocabulary Learning Strategies among Iranian EFL Freshman Students and its Relationship to the Gender


Mahdieh Arjomand (M.A.)

Islamic Azad University, Bandar-Abbas Branch, Iran

Masoud Sharififar (Ph.D.)

Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran


Bio Data

Mahdieh Arjomand holds M.A. in English teaching from Islamic Azad University, Bandar-Abbas Branch, Iran. Her current research interests include various aspects of English teaching and linguistics.

Masoud Sharififar is assistant professor of Translation studies and Linguistics in the department of foreign languages, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman. He has been teaching different courses for nearly seventeen years at B.A. and M.A. levels. His areas of interest are translation studies, contrastive analysis, issues of linguistics and applied linguistics.


Vocabulary is a fundamental aspect in language learning that is easily mastered via strategies. To meet the objective, exploring the most and least frequently used vocabulary learning strategies and the relationship between gender and strategy use among Iranian EFL freshman students, a total of 80 English freshman (65 females and 15 males) students were selected. A vocabulary test was taken to homogenize students; they were divided into poor and good groups based on their scores. Subsequently, two questionnaires, an information background questionnaire including name, age, sex, etc and a five-Likert scale questionnaire containing 59 statements based on Schmitt’s taxonomy of vocabulary learning strategies were run. To validate the driven results, a selected number of students were individually being interviewed. The analyzed data by SPSS (16.0) indicated that social strategies were those that all learners were less eager to use for vocabulary learning. Females used this rank of strategies from the most to the least: cognitive, determination, memory, and metacognitive strategies and males, on the other hand, used metacognitive, cognitive, determination, and memory. As well, there was no significant difference in preferences of males and females. Within males, two strategies differed largely between good and poor students. Within females, such a large difference was seen in only one strategy. In four strategies including determination, cognitive, memory, and social no significant difference was observed between these two groups while only in the case of metacognitive, statistical analysis showed considerable difference between preferences of the males and the females.

Keywords: Vocabulary learning strategy (VLS), Determination, Social, Cognitive,     Memory, Meta-cognitive strategies, Gender.

Category: 2011