Vocabulary Learning Strategies and their Relation to Vocabulary Size in Saudi Female Undergraduate EFL Learners

Ghada Alahmad

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It is generally agreed in the field of Foreign Language Learning (FLL) that Vocabulary Learning Strategies (VLSs) are a subcategory of the more general Language Learning Strategies (LLSs). Research into LLSs began based on the belief that language aptitude was not the only determinant factor of language achievement, and that the learners’ own learning effort and the way they approach language learning also played a major role. The purpose of this study is to investigate VLS use of Saudi female undergraduate EFL learners in each stage of the Vocabulary Learning Process (VLP) and its relation to their vocabulary size. The study population consisted of female students enrolled in the final year of the undergraduate English language program in an English department in a Saudi university. Forty-one students participated in this study, and two data collection instruments were used. The first instrument was a frequency of use questionnaire designed based on the learning processoriented taxonomy of VLSs. The second was a Vocabulary Size Test. The analyses show that the participants used 17 strategies with a high frequency in all the stages of the VLP except for Stages Four and Six. The analyses also show that the most frequently used strategies were mainly cognitive strategies (nine strategies) and metacognitive strategies (five strategies). In terms of the relationship between the use of VLSs and vocabulary size, two strategies were found to be positively correlated with the participants’ vocabulary size. Interestingly, other strategies that are known to be effective in vocabulary learning were found to have a negative correlation with the participants’ vocabulary size.





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