hand and lexical reception and production on the other hand. The learners’ passive and active vocabulary knowledge in the tests as a whole and at different word-frequency level were highly correlated. Passive vocabulary was always larger than active vocabulary at all levels; however, the gap between the two increased at lower word-frequency levels.
The aim of this section is to define and justify each procedural step that was taken throughout different stages of this study. Accordingly, the participants, instrumentation, procedure, design, and statistical analyses of the study are discussed in detail.
The number of the participants in this research was 148 male and female EFL learners (14 % male and 86 % female), between the ages of 19 and 32 (mean age = 25 years), who were selected randomly among those who were majoring in English Translation and English Literature at Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran.
It should be mentioned that from the initial 250 administrated questionnaires, a number of 179 were returned to the researcher. Out of that number, 148 sets answered for all the three questionnaires, were considered for statistical analyses regarding the relationship among the variables.
In order to carry through the purpose of the study, the following three instruments were utilized:
1. The Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) questionnaire by Oxford (1990).
2. The Perceptual Learning Style Preference (PLSP) questionnaire by Reid (1984).
3. A questionnaire of creativity (ACT) created by O’Neil, Abedi, and Spielberger (1992).
3.3.1 Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL)
The first instrument that was used in this study was The Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), developed by Oxford (1990). The SILL was first designed as an instrument for assessing the frequency of using language learning strategies by students at the Defense Language Institute of Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California. Two revised versions of the SILL, one for foreign language learners whose native language is English (80 items) and the other for learners of English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL, 50 items), were published in the appendix to Oxford (1990) “Language Learning Strategy Book for Language Teachers”.
In the 80-item SILL, learners were asked to report on a scale of one to five on how often they use each strategy. The choices are: “Never or Almost Never”, “Usually Not”, “Somewhat”, “Usually”, and “Always or Almost Always”.
The later version of SILL (the 50-item) covers six categories of strategies for language learning: Items 1-9 concern the effectiveness of memory (memory strategies); items 10-23 concern the use of mental processes (cognitive strategies); items 24-29 are the compensation for missing knowledge (compensation strategies); items 30-38 deal with the organization and evaluation of learning (metacognitive strategies); items 39-44 concern emotion management (affective strategies); and items 45-50 deal with learning with others (social strategies). The 50 statements in the inventory follow the general format “I do such and such” and participants responded on 5 point Likert-Scale ranging from 1 “Never or Almost Never true of me” to 5 “Always or Almost Always true of me”. The recommended time was 30 minutes. The range of scores for SILL is between 1 to5. The higher the score it means that the participant is an efficient strategy user, and the lower the score, it means that the participant is not an efficient strategy user.
According to research reports and articles published within the last ten to fifteen years, the SILL appears to be the only language learning strategy questionnaire that has been extensively checked for reliability and validity in multiple ways (Oxford, 1996).
Oxford and Burry-Stock (1995) assert that the results of the studies regarding the reliability of the ESL/EFL SILL have shown that it is a highly reliable instrument, for example Oxford (1989) reported a reliability of .86 with 156 students. Concerning the content validity of the questionnaire, Oxford and Burry-Stock (1995) state that,
The content validity of the instrument was determined by professional judgments and it was found to be very high. Two strategy experts matched the SILL items with agreement at .99 against entries in a comprehensive language learning strategy taxonomy, which itself was built from a detailed blueprint of a range of over 200 possible strategy types. (p. 7)
According to Ehrman and Oxford (1990), SILL has mostly scored above .90 using Cronbach alpha which indicates high internal reliability. Oxford (1996) reported Cronbach Alpha of 0.96 for SILL.
SILL was translated and its content validity was checked by Tahmasebi (1999). Tahmasebi (ibid) argues that the validation process of the translated version has happened through collaboration of some professors at Islamic Azad University and analyzing the data through related procedures. Moreover, Tahmasebi (1999) found Cronbach alpha of 0.77 for Persian version of SILL.
In this study to avoid any misinterpretation, the researcher administered the Tahmasebi translated version of the SILL questionnaire which consists of 50 multiple-choice items (Appendix A). Each item has four options ranging from “Never” to “Always” with a range of scores between 1- 4. Therefore, the ultimate score is estimated in the possible range of 50 to 200, and participants are supposed to answer the items in 20 minutes.
The reliability of SILL questionnaire, in this study, was estimated to be 0.96 using the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, which demonstrated a fair degree of reliability. Table 3.1 shows the reliability of SILL and its subcomponents.
Table 3.1: Reliability Index of SILL and Its Subcomponents
N of Items
3.3.2 The Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire
The Perceptual Learning Style Preference (PLSP) Questionnaire was developed by Joy Reid in 1984. It is a self-reporting questionnaire developed on the basis of existing learning style instruments with some changes suggested by non-native speaker scholars and US consultants in the field of linguistics. This questionnaire is designed to help the learners identify the way(s) they learn best -the way(s) they prefer to learn.
According to Reid (1984), people learn in many different ways. For example, some people learn primarily with their eyes (visual learners) or with their ears (auditory learners); some people prefer to learn by experience and/or by “hands-on” tasks (kinesthetic or tactile learners); some people learn better when they work alone, while others prefer to learn in groups.
The questionnaire has 30 items and ach item consists of five statements on each of the six learning styles to be measured: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, group learning, and individual learning. The first four categories are in the perceptual learning style categories and the remaining two are in the social category. The participants responded on the basis of a five point Likert-scale, ranging from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree”. The questionnaire consists of randomly arranged sets of 5 statements on each of the six learning style preferences to be measured: visual (questions: 6, 10, 12, 24, 29); auditory (questions: 1, 7, 9, 17, 20); kinesthetic (questions: 2, 8, 15, 19, 26); tactile (questions: 11, 14, 16, 22, 25); group learning (questions: 3, 4, 5, 21, 23); and individual learning (questions: 13, 18, 27, 28, 30). The allocated time for answering this questionnaire is 20 minutes. For each separate item, there are five point Likert-scale, ranging from “Strongly agree” (1 point), “Agree” (2 points), “Undecided” (3 points), “Disagree” (4 points) to “Strongly disagree” (5 points). The scores are ranged from 30 to 150.
In this study, in order to remove any probable language barriers the researcher used Persian translated version of PLSP questionnaire, which had been translated and its content validity was checked by Riazi and Mansoorian (2008) (Appendix B). The questionnaire had been checked by three professors at Shiraz University who were experts in research methodology and English language and its reliability had been calculated, using the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, amounting to 0.79 by Riazi and Mansoorian (2008).
The reliability of PLSP questionnaire, in this study, was estimated to be 0.92 using the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, which demonstrated a fair degree of reliability. Table 3.2 shows the reliability of PLSP and its subcomponents.
Table 3.2: Reliability Index of PLSP and Its Subcomponents
N of Items
3.3.3 Creativity Questionnaire (ACT)
This questionnaire was designed by O’Neil, Abedi, and Spielberger in 1992 and is called the Abedi-Schumacher Creativity Test or the ACT (as cited in Cropley, 2000). The ACT consists of 60 multiple-choice items used for establishing the scores of the four traits underlying creative thinking. Accordingly, the test is divided into the four subscales of:
• Fluency (22 items)
• Flexibility (11 items)
• Originality (16 items)
• Elaboration (11 items)
Each item has three options ranging from least to most creative responses with a range of scores between 0-2. Therefore, the ultimate score is estimated in the