Title of the thesis:
An investigation of language learning styles used by Kurdish
EFL Students in Salahaddin University
This study deals with the language learning styles used by Kurdish EFL students
and focuses on the perceptual learning styles used by students in Salahaddin
The absence of efforts of the educational system to identify learners' styles of
learning, to employ these styles and correlate them with the students' academic
achievement created the need of such a study.
Each person or learner has his or her own individual way of gathering and
processing information, and solving problems in day-to-day situations. Knowledge
of one’s learning style can lead to enhanced learning and helps the learner focus on
improving weaker points.
Learning styles analysis is also useful for informing the teaching and learning
process and can be used as a tool to enhance achievement (Rose & Nicholl , 1997).
Dunn and Dunn (1979) defined - learning styles as “a term that describes the
variations among learners in using one or more senses to understand, organize,
and retain experience”.
Reid (1995) has developed learning style model based on how students learn best by
using their perceptions: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile preferences and also
two social styles of learning: group and individual preferences.
Reid (1995) Perceptual Learning Styles Preference Model
Visual: Visual students like to read and obtain information from visual
stimulation. These learners prefer using pictures and imageries.
Auditory: Auditory students are comfortable without visual input and learn from
lectures and conversations.
Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic students like lots of hands on movement and enjoy
Tactile: Learning through the sense of touch; learning primarily by “hands-on”
Social Learning Styles:
Group (interpersonal): They favor learning in groups or with other people.
• Individual (intrapersonal): They prefer to work alone and to be a self-reader.
The problem of the study
To the researchers best knowledge Kurdish EFL students are not aware about their
learning style preference for learning English language and they use their learning
styles unconsciously. If the students have knowledge about their learning style
preference, then they learn more effectively, improving the weaker points,
increasing the motivation and able to indicate strategies that fit with their
learning style preference.
Teachers of English language are not aware about the students' learning style
preference and the relationship between students' learning style and teachers
This study attempts to answer the following research questions.
1-What is the predominant learning style preference of Kurdish EFL
2- Is there any relationship between learning style preference and students
3- Is there any relationship between learners’ learning style and teachers’
In respect to the research questions, we hypothesize the following:
1- Visual learning style is the most important preference by Kurdish EFL
2- Female students have a stronger desire for employing more than one
learning styles in the language learning process.
3- Most Teachers do not use various learning styles to serve all the different
and changing needs of students in the class-room.
The objectives of the Study are as follows;
To identify the predominant learning style preference of EFL learners in
Salahaddin University, in order to better understand what impact and shape the
language learning process.
To identify the learning style preference of EFL learners with respect to their
To indicate the relationship between learners style of learning and teachers style of
To show the relationship between the learning styles and the language proficiency
of EFL students.
To understand and provide sufficient information about language learning styles
used by EFL students in Salahaddin University.
The scope of the study:
The thesis is limited to deal with language learning styles and focuses only on the
perceptual learning styles and related topics. The study will not talk about
learning strategies. This study will be conducted in the Salahaddin University /
English department in (College of Basic Education, College of Education and
College of Language) in Erbil city. The participants will be Kurdish Students,
studding English language. This study is going to adopt APA style for citation and
The method will be quantitative and the tool for gathering information will be
questionnaire and observation checklist for both teachers and students.
This study will be conducted in the Salahaddin University / English department in
(College of Basic Education, College of Education and College of Language) in Erbil
city. The time for conducting this thesis is the academic year of 2015 - 2016.
The students, who participate in this study, are nearly in the same age, grading from (20
- 21), because they are in grade (two) level of studying in their Colleges. The students
will be male and female. They will consist of (400) Students. Ratio of gender will be
(50%) male participants and (50%) female participants. The participating teachers about
(30), will be selected from different colleges in Salahaddin University.
Procedures of data collection:
To investigate the hypotheses the following procedures will be followed:
1- Drawing a theoretical framework of the language learning styles in learning
2- Preparing questionnaire and observation checklist.
3- Checking the reliability and validity of the questionnaire and the check list.
4- Selecting a sample of participating students and teachers.
6-Distributing the questionnaires to the students and organizing returned
7- Observing some classes in different colleges so as to check my check list.
8- Analyzing questionnaire results by using suitable statistical means and Drawing
conclusions and findings for the study.
Outline of chapters:
Chapter one is introduction of the study, which contains the problem, research
question, hypotheses, the purpose of the study, methodology, and procedures of
data collection. Chapter two is theoretical background that talks about theoretical
frame work of the learning styles, literature review. Chapter three is data
collection, chapter four is data analysis and discussion, and chapter five is
conclusion which includes recommendation and suggestions.
Significance of the Study
This study will be of great value to the learners of English language by
providing them information about language learning styles, because ones the
Students understood about their learning style, they able to determine about
their learning strategy.
The study will develop the process of English language learning in Kurdistan
region, by providing sufficient information about language learning styles, and
to help determine to design curriculum for classroom practice for higher
achievement and increased motivation for learning.
The study will be valuable for Researchers who work in the field of applied
linguistics in order to do more related researches.
The study can be generalized to the other English language Students in other
Universities in Kurdistan region.
10.December – 5 January Obtaining relevant resources and
6 January _ 15 February Introduction unit and developing
questionnaire and check list.
16 February _ 20 March Revise questionnaire and check list and
ask relevant people for comments.
21 March _ 15 April Send out questionnaire and categorize
returned questionnaire .
16 April _ 27 May Data input and data analysis
28 May _ 28 Jun Reporting findings and conclusion.
29 Jun _ 1 August Revision and preparing for oral
Teaching English as a second or foreign language by (Selce Murcia) Published in
2001, United State of America, Thomson learning.
Teaching by principles an introductive Approach to Language Pedagogy By H.
Douglas Brown (2007) Pearson Longman.
Perceptual learning style preference survey. In J. Reid (Ed.) . Understanding
learning styles in the second language classroom. By Reid , J. M. (Ed.) . (1998).
USA: Prentice Hall Regents.