||An Investigation into the Relationship between Cultural Background, English Proficiency Level and Learning Styles of the Undergraduate Students from Russia and Taiwan
||Department of English
||Language is a part of culture and plays a very important role in the development of the culture. This study investigates the relationship between the student’s cultural background and their learning styles. By comparing Taiwanese and Russian students’ learning styles, this study aimed to find whether there were significant differences in their learning styles’ preference and whether cultural background may predict the students’ choice of learning styles. Ninety-three Russian and ninety-two Taiwanese undergraduate students participated in the present study. Further, all participants were divided into three groups according to their English proficiency level: Intermediate, Upper-intermediate and Advanced levels. A questionnaire designed by Kolb (1984) and translated into participants’ native language was distributed among them. The repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Chi-square test were conducted in order to discover any significant relationship between English proficiency level. The results showed some limited differences in Russian and Taiwanese students’ preferred learning styles. Findings from the data indicated, that most preferred learning styles of Russian students were Accommodating and Diverging styles. Taiwanese students mostly preferred Assimilating learning style. This might be explained by the fact that both countries scored rather similarly on Hofstede (2001) cultural model. Surprisingly, it was found that Taiwan and Russia share similar results on five cultural dimensions. However, our findings can be discrepant due to the characteristics of Taiwanese and Russian education systems. Furthermore, we were able to find that some of the English proficiency levels of the students also had meaningful effect on their choice of learning styles. According to the findings, practical implications and suggestions for future studies are also included in the paper.
||TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter one 1
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the problem 2
1.3 Research questions 3
1.4 Hypotheses 4
1.5 Purpose and significance of the study 4
Chapter two 6
Literature review 6
2.1 Individual differences 6
2.2 Learning styles 7
2.3 Culture and learning styles 9
2.4 Kolb’s Learning Styles Inventory 12
2.5 Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory 14
Chapter three 21
3.1 Overview 21
3.2 Participants 21
3.3 Data collection and instruments 22
3.4 Data analysis 23
Chapter four 24
Results and discussions 24
4.1 The results and discussion of Research question 1 24
4.1.1 Russia in Hofstede’s culture construct and its anticipated preference for learning styles 24
4.1.2 Taiwan in Hofstede’s culture construct and its anticipated preference for learning styles 28
4.2 The results and discussion of Research question 2 31
4.2.1 Descriptive statistics of Russian students’ learning cycles 31
4.2.2 Descriptive statistics of Taiwanese students’ learning cycles 33
4.3 The results and discussion of Research Question 3 34
4.3.1 Frequencies of English proficiency level among Russian students 34
4.3.2 Descriptive statistics for learning styles of Russian students with different English proficiency level 36
4.3.3 One-way ANOVA test results for Russian students with different English proficiency level 39
4.3.4 Chi-square test results for Russian students with different English proficiency level 41
Chapter five 48
Chapter six 51
Limitations and academic implications 51
6.1 Academic implications 51
6.2 Limitations and Further Research 52
Appendix A 63
Informed consent form in English 63
Appendix B 65
Informed consent form in Chinese 65
Appendix C 66
Kolb’s LSI 3.1 66
Appendix D 72
Kolb’s LSI in Russian 72
Appendix E 79
Kolb’s LSI 3.1 in Chinese 79
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