Investigating Vocabulary Learning Strategies Employed by Somali-speaking Students: Preparatory Classes in Focus

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Addis Ababa University


This study was designed to investigate vocabulary-learning strategies employed by Somali speaking students at preparatory classes. The purposes of the study were (1) to investigate vocabulary learning strategies that are most frequently used by Somali speaking students, (2) to identify the relationship between types of vocabulary learning strategies and vocabulary size, and (3) to explore the significant differences between vocabulary learning strategies used by male and female students. To achieve the objectives, 208 (167 male and 41 female) students participated from two high schools: Jijiga High School in Jijiga and Ediget Adults’ Boarding School in Addis Ababa. The main data-gathering instruments were a self-report questionnaire, and a vocabulary size test. Different statistical methods such as frequency analysis, bivariate correlations, using Pearson product- moment correlation coefficients, and t-test were employed to analyze the quantitative data. A think-aloud protocol was also conducted to collect additional information. The results of the study disclosed that (a) a number of memory, cognitive and determination strategies were employed by subjects more frequently, (b) social (discovery and consolidation) strategies were less frequently used by subjects, (c) there was no statistically significant gender difference among students in using vocabulary-learning strategies. But there was statistically gender difference in using cognitive learning strategies, and (d) the vocabulary learning strategies correlated low with vocabulary size test scores. Based on these findings, suggestions and recommendations were made.



Somali speaking students at preparatory