An Investigation into Good and Poor Iranian EFL Majors’ Vocabulary Learning Strategies

Document Type : Original Article


1 Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan

2 University of Isfahan



As a part of a large-scale project, this study investigated good and poor Iranian EFL majors’ vocabulary learning strategies in terms of both overall and specific strategy use. To this end, 204 participants completed a Likert-scale vocabulary learning strategies questionnaire (VLSQ) containing 45 statements. The results of independent samples t-tests indicated that there were no significant differences between good and poor learners in terms of overall strategy use. However, their performances were statistically significantly different on the frequency of use of nineteen (out of the whole forty five) specific strategies. That is, whereas  the strategies I use a monolingual English dictionary, I analyze  part of speech of the new word, I associate the new word with its  coordinates and collocations, I use new words in sentences through speaking, I repeat the new words orally several times, I focus on the phonological form of the new word, I learn the words of an idiom together, I  take notes of new words in class, I revise new words several times during a day, I learn new words by listening to live English media, and I learn new words by reading books, newspapers, magazines, etc in English were used statisticallysignificantly more frequently by good learners, seven other strategies, namely, I make use of a bilingual dictionary, I ask my teacher for  an L1 translation, I ask classmates for meaning through group work activity, I memorize word lists, I use the key-word method, I skip or pass the new word, I make up (coin) new words if I do not know the right ones in English were used significantly more frequently by poor learners. The possible reasons why a given group (either good or poor learners) used a specific vocabulary learning strategy significantly more frequently than the other, as well as the pedagogical implications of the study are discussed in details.