Marang: Journal of Language and Literature

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The Influence of School on the Choice of Language Learning Strategies in Botswana

J M Magogwe


This research seeks to examine the role that context or learning situation plays in strategy
choice by comparing the strategy patterns of a private English medium secondary and a
government secondary school in Botswana. More specifically, the main objectives of this
study are to, firstly, investigate whether the ‘type of school' influences the choice of
language learning strategies of its students: secondly, to find out whether private English
medium secondary school students use more strategies than government secondary school
students in Botswana; and, thirdly, to explore the role played by gender on the choice of
language learning strategies. Form four students from one private English medium senior
secondary school and one government senior secondary completed the Strategy Inventory
for Language Learning (SIILL). The data was analysed using descriptive statistics to
calculate means and standard deviations of strategies and inferential statistics such as
ANOVA to establish the relationships between group and individual strategies. The findings
of this study showed that the choice of strategies was not greatly influenced by the type of
school from which the student came. However, this study found that government school
students relied more on the use of dictionaries. On the other hand, private English medium
students volunteered to look for conversation partners in order to get practice in speaking
English. In relation to gender, the findings of this study confirmed other previous findings
that female students use more language learning strategies than do male students.

Keywords: language, learning, context, strategies, gender, influence

MARANG Vol. 18 2008 pp. 15-28

AJOL African Journals Online