The Correlation of Field Cognitive Style and Working Memory Capacity with English Reading Strategy of Second Language Learners

  •  Haiyan Tong    
  •  Chao Wang    


Understanding written text is crucial in language acquisition, and the cognitive style and working memory capacity of an individual play crucial roles in determining their level of reading comprehension. Individual differences may result in different reading strategies being employed during the reading process. Research has demonstrated that cognitive style and working memory capacity can impact language learning outcomes like vocabulary acquisition, grammar comprehension, and speaking fluency. However, there is a lack of research on how these cognitive factors relate to the reading strategies utilized by English as a second Language learners.

The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between Field-Independent and Field-Dependent (FI/FD) cognitive styles and working memory capacity in relation to the utilization of English reading strategies among freshmen engineering majors at BIPT. Data is gathered utilizing the theoretical model of FI/FD cognitive styles, working memory capacity and English reading strategies. The collected data includes results from the Cognitive Style Figure Test (CSFT), Reading Span Test, and a questionnaire on English reading strategies, which are then analyzed using SPSS 22.0. The findings from the thorough analysis show that there exists a notable relationship between working memory capacity and the utilization of reading strategies in relation to FI/FD cognitive styles. Students exhibiting an FI cognitive style tend to favor the implementation of cognitive and metacognitive strategies, whereas those with an FD style are inclined towards employing social/affective strategies. Additionally, disparities in the use of reading strategies are observed between students with high and low working memory capacity. Students with high working memory capacity demonstrate a higher tendency to employ cognitive strategies, metacognitive strategies, and social/emotional strategies when compared to those with low memory capacity.

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