The effects of cognitive learning styles on the reading ability of the English Department Students

Tjandra, Emilia (2004) The effects of cognitive learning styles on the reading ability of the English Department Students. Masters thesis, Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya.

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Abstract

In the teaching of English as a foreign language in Indonesia, reading has the biggest portion in the learning activities. The idea of placing reading as the major skill in education has been supported by Wood (1980) who says that reading is the most important skill to teach since the majority of students who learn English as a foreign language may never speak English, but most of them still have to read English. The success of reading can be achieved by having the ability to understand and comprehend the reading text thoroughly. In understanding a text fully, a mature and successful reader should have an awareness to make use of his/her metacognition abilities. This means that he/she is aware of having conscious control to know and to manage his cognition by recognizing the texts, tasks, strategies and his characteristics in order to achieve the understanding of the text. A similar opinion was also stated by Spolsky (1988:386) who said that the non-linguistic capabilities of language learners such as learning aptitude, learning style and learning strategies are factors that are mostly overlooked by language teachers but play an important role on their success. In fact, the writer realizes that not all students are successful and get good grades in their reading. Therefore the writer conducted a study to see whether different Cognitive Learning Styles enable students to have different Reading Ability. In another point, the writer was also eager to find out the types of Reading Strategies used by different types of learner in their reading activity. In conducting this study, the writer took 70 students who were considered as the subjects of this study. Those students were the fourth semester English Department students in the academic year 2003/2004. There are three instruments that were used in this study, they were a GEFT (Group Embedded Figure Test), a Reading Test, and a Structured Self-Report Survey. The validity and the reliability of the three types of instruments above had been measured and they had shown reliable results. As the subjects of this study, the students were given the GEFT test to identify their Cognitive Learning Styles, the Reading Test to measure their Reading Ability, and the Structured self-report survey to know their Reading Strategies. From the data given, it had been found out that learners with Field Independent ( FI ) learning style have higher reading ability than learners with Field Dependent ( FD ) learning styles. There are also results on the way every learner answers the reading questions ( knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation ). Both FI and FD learners are proved to have similar ability to answer the questions in knowledge level, comprehension level, and application level However they were proved to be significantly different in giving answers in analysis, synthesis and evaluation questions in which FI learners were better than FD learners. For the learners' Reading Strategies, it had been found out that learners with different Cognitive Learning Styles use different Reading Strategies in their reading activities. FI learners tend to use strategies that involve analytical power or ability of organizing structures such as Imagery 2, Deduction I, Deduction 2, Inferencing 1, and Transferring strategies. While FD learners prefer using strategies that use contextual understanding such as Imagery 1, Inferencing 2 and Inferencing 3 strategies. From the various types of strategies proposed, there are only some of them that are similarly used by both learners, such as Resourcing, Elaboration, Note Taking, and Key Word Method 2. From the results of this study, the writer would like to recommend other researchers to have further studies about Cognitive Learning Styles and Learning Strategies in other language skills such as listening, speaking, and writing. Since both Cognitive Learning Styles and Learning Strategies are factors that play an important role in the success of learning.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Department: ["eprint_fieldopt_department_Graduate School" not defined]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reading ability, cognitive learning styles (field independence and field dependence), reading strategies
Subjects: English Education
Divisions: Graduate School > Master Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Depositing User: Sri Kusuma Dewi
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2016 09:49
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2016 09:49
URI: http://repository.wima.ac.id/id/eprint/6553

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