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Volume 8 Number 4, Winter 2011, Pages 1-248   

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Beyond the Mean Differences of the SILL by Gender: Differential Item Functioning

    Gi-Pyo Park and Brian F. French

This study investigated the mean differences and differential item functioning (DIF) of the strategy inventory for language learning (SILL) by gender for university students in an English as a foreign language (EFL) context, using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and ordinal logistic regression (OLR), respectively. Only memory strategies out of the six strategy categories in the SILL showed a significant gender difference, with males using more strategies than females. After matching on score levels for DIF detection using each of the scale scores of six strategy categories as a total score, a total of 13 items showed DIF across gender with 12 items in favor of males and one item in favor of females. These 13 DIF items belonged to memory strategies (5 items), cognitive strategies (4 items), metacognitive strategies (2 items), compensation strategies (1 item), and affective strategies (1 item). This study concludes with the implications of the findings followed by future study areas.

Keywords: learning strategies, strategy inventory for language learning (SILL), differential item functioning, gender, ordinal logistic regression