Chinese EFL University Students’ Self-Reported Use of Vocabulary Learning Strategies

  •  Sijing Fu    


This study conducted the semi-structured interview to investigate the types of vocabulary learning strategies (VLSs) Chinese English major university students employed and the factors for their VLS use. Chinese EFL learners frequently employed determination and cognitive strategies. They mainly used the mechanical strategies and focused on English words’ meanings based on Chinese equivalents. They preferred bilingual dictionaries, repetition, and memorization of fixed examples involving news words. They used metacognitive and memory strategies less frequently. This study proposed that Chinese EFL students’ rote memorization of English vocabulary was due to Chinese culture of learning, which values knowledge authority, consolidation and foundation, and also effort and perseverance. Additionally, the less L2 English immersion including L1 Chinese environment and non-communicative EFL environment also leads to Chinese EFL students’ VLSs use. Therefore, it is suggested that students be encouraged to use more memory strategies and metacognitive strategies. English teachers should provide students with strategy instructions and guide students to learn vocabulary through different types of VLSs in classes. After class, students could be encouraged to learn vocabulary incidentally through both intensive and extensive reading. 

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