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A Study of Language Learning Strategies Used by Engineering Students
Ms. Sunanda Patil and Dr. Tripti Karekatti
*Asst. Prof., Gharda Institute of Technology, Lavel, Maharashtra.
Asst. Prof., Department of English, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Maharashtra.
To face the challenging professional environment, engineers are required to equip themselves with necessary communication skills. Although engineering graduates from western Maharashtra are academically sound, employees are hesitant to hire these graduates due to their poor proficiency in English. Generally, engineering students need to give more attention to their technical subjects; obviously, they get less time to improve their English language skills. In such conditions, knowledge of Language Learning Strategies can prove very helpful to acquire adequate proficiency in English in a short span of time.
The present study investigates Language Learning Strategies (LLS) used by engineering students of four engineering colleges in Ratnagiri district (Maharashtra, India). LLS are specific actions or techniques that learners use to assist their progress in developing second or foreign language skills (Oxford, 1990). To identify the learning strategies that engineering students use, Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) (Oxford, 1990) was administered to 60 engineering students from four engineering colleges of Ratnagiri district.
The primary objective of this study is to identify the types and degree of use of LLS employed by these engineering students. Besides that, it also aims to analyse students' perceptions on the use of strategies in their language (English) learning. The students reported a greater preference for metacognitive, cognitive, compensatory and social strategies which puts them in the category of higher level learners. However, it is observed that these students do not make sufficient use of memory and affective strategies. Moreover, present study also points out that the engineering students observed in this study are totally unaware of the benefits of LLS and how they can be employed in learning English. Apart from that, it is also revealed that some students also have problems such as, 'lack of confidence', 'anxiety', and 'shyness' in learning English.
Key words: Language Learning Strategies, Engineering Students, Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL)
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