What Can We Learn from Our Learners’ Learning Styles?

  •  Bokyung Lee    
  •  Haedong Kim    


This study aims to investigate Korean university-level EFL learners’ learning style preferences. The characteristics of their learning style preferences and implications for effective English learning were examined through the quantitative analysis of 496 subjects’ responses to a learning style survey and their English achievement and term-end performances. The findings indicate that Korean learners’ auditory style preference is noticeable, and visual and individual learning styles are also considered to be primary learning styles, whereas tactile, kinesthetic, and group learning styles are less favored. This suggests that the learners want to learn English with more emphasis on a visual-driven independent style than on an experience-driven collaborative style. Additionally, a majority of the learners tend to maintain or reinforce their preferences throughout the course, and they tend to obtain relatively better English achievement results than learners who substantially change their preferences. In terms of learners’ awareness of their identified learning styles, the findings show that style-aware group performed better than the unaware group. However, any generalization regarding the relationship between learning styles and English achievement or performance should be avoided. Importantly, generalizations regarding ethnic groups’ learning style preferences should be discussed cautiously; instead, learning styles should be discussed relative to the learning context.

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