Demystifying Thai EFL Learners’ Perceptual Learning Style Preferences

Attapol Khmakhien


Language learning styles are considered one of the affective factors contributing to learners’ learning outcome. The objectives of this study are twofold: to identify Thai learners’ English learning style preferences and to determine the impact of three variables: gender, field of study and learning experiences on preferred learning styles. 262 Thai university students studying English as a foreign language randomly selected, participated in this study. A 30-item Perceptual Learning-Style Preference Questionnaire was administered to elicit information for the study. The results indicated that Thai EFL learners preferred auditory learning most, followed by kinesthetic, group, tactile, visual and individual learning, respectively. Among these three variables, field of study is the most significant factor affecting the choice of learning styles. However, no statistically significant difference was found in learning experience, or between the mean scores of male and female students in all of the six learning styles. The results have significant implications in that the description of language learning style contributes to a better understanding of how Thai learners learn English. Pedagogically, to be successful in English language teaching, teaching styles should be matched to students’ learning styles. Materials and classroom activities should also be compatible with their learning styles to help learners improve learning outcome. In addition, the three variables identified were highlighting, shedding light on pedagogical implications and the awareness of individual differences in learning and teaching a language.

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