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Volume 2 Number 3, Autumn 2005, Pages 1-149   


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Gender, Academic Major, and Chinese Students' Use of Language Learning Strategies: Social and Educational Perspectives

    Rao Zhenhui


This study, using the adapted version of Oxford's (1990, pp. 283-291) 80-item Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), examined the relationship between gender, academic major and the self-reported language learning strategy (LLS) use of 217 university students learning English in the Chinese context. The study differed from previous SILL studies in that the data were interpreted from social and educational perspectives. Results showed that the frequency of overall strategy used by female students was significantly higher than that by male students. However, male students surpassed female students in the use of individual strategies. As regards academic major, social science students employed LLS with greater frequency than science students in the use of overall strategy, strategy categories and individual strategies. Analysis of these findings revealed some distinctive features in the students' use of learning strategies which could be linked to some factors concerning their social and educational background. Interpretation of these results and pedagogical implications are presented.