The influence of learning strategies on the academic achievement of grade 8 Siswati–speaking learners in English
Mthethwa, Nokuthula Varsity
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to detennine by means of a literature review and an empirical study whether learning strategies have an influence on the academic achievement of Grade 8 Siswati-speaking learners in English. From both the literature review and the empirical study it was concluded that learning strategies do have an influence on academic achievement. The literature review indicated that learning strategies involve three types of strategies, namely cognitive (strategies used to encode information such as elaboration and organisation), metacognitive (strategies used to monitor learning) and resource management strategies (strategies that create a conducive atmosphere to learning such as time management, management of one's environment, exertion of effort and help seeking). All three types of learning strategies were found to be important for learning. For the experimental treatment learning strategies were conceptualized as reading strategies which are learning strategies applied for a specific role (reading) and like learning strategies, reading strategies can be classified as cognitive, metacognitive and resource management strategies. Equally important to learning is motivation. Motivation involves processes such as expectancy, self-efficacy and attributions. These motivation processes affect the learner's thoughts positively (when a learner is highly motivated) and negatively (when the learner lacks motivation). Expectancy, which is the individual's belief that what one desires will follow one's involvement in a particular task, motivates the learner to take part in learning tasks when it is at a high level, while a low expectancy level causes less involvement as a learner will opt for non-participation rather than being labelled a failure. The more successful a learner is, the higher his self-efficacy becomes. Self-efficacy is the learner's judgement relating to his capability of perfoqnjng the learning task successfully. High self-efficacy is a determinant of learning involvement and high achievement. Learners become involved in particular learning activities because they regard themselves capable of performing such activities and they tend to avoid activities perceived as beyond their capabilities. High achievement level associated with high self-efficacy, is characterised by learning strategy use as the learner win do everything possible to aid hislher learning so that success is achieved. High achievers develop a positive outlook in their learning experiences and this affects their attributions. Attributions, which are the system of beliefs one gives as reasons for one's failures and successes, determine future performance. A highly moti~ated l~er attributes hislher failures to controllable, internal and unstable causes such as effort, which enable the learner to work towards improvement. A less motivated learner attributes hislher failures to stable causes such as aptitude and this limits the learner's chances for improvement as aptitude is fixed. The empirical study also indicated that learning strategies influence academic achievement. The multiple regression analyses performed using the experimental variables indicated that the learning strategies skimming, prediction and keywords are good predictors of academic achievement as these variables contributed significantly to academic achievement. However. the hypothesis that there is a relationship between learning strategies had to be accepted with reservations as a comparison between the experimental and the control groups by means of a two-sample t-test revealed a statistically significant difference, but no practical significance.
- Education