Identifying learning styles of language learners: A useful step in moving towards the learner-centred approach

Öz Knowing students’ learning styles provides a good start for the design of effective instruction. The purpose of this research is to determine the preferred learning styles of undergraduate students and to determine the relationship between learning style preferences, gender, and educational majors. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among the first-year undergraduate students enrolling in the Languages Program at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, Thailand. The VARK questionnaire in a printed form was distributed to 472 first-year undergraduate students in Languages Program at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University. The frequency of students’ learning styles was identified using descriptive statistics, and chi- square analyses were carried out to examine the relationship between students’ preferred learning styles, gender and academic majors. A total of 372 completed questionnaires received from the students, giving a response rate of 78.8%. The findings revealed that most language learners (64.0%) had multimodal learning style preferences. Only 36.0% of the students preferred a uni-modal learning style, and kinesthetic was the most preferred learning style. A statistically significant correlation between educational majors and learning styles was observed (p = 0.02). However, no association was found between gender and student’s learning style preferences (p=0.45). The findings of this study suggest that various teaching strategies need to be used in the classroom to accommodate learners with diverse learning styles, making learning more engaging and meaningful to students.

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