Dizin Eklenmedi

Matching EFL Students Learning Style Preferences Using Their EFL Textbooks

Received: 2014-08-04 Accepted: 2015-09-13 Published: 2015-12-15



Abstract: Matching students’ learning styles has been found to be beneficial as it has a great impact on the learning and teaching process. Teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) in the Arab World face difficulty accommodating their students’ learning styles. They are requested to vary instruction and design matching materials. In order to help EFL teachers accommodate their students’ diverse learning styles, it is hypothesized that if textbooks have matched students’ learning styles, both teachers and students will benefit. Thus, this study was conducted to investigate how EFL students’ learning style preferences are taken into consideration by evaluating the content in their EFL textbook to determine the extent of specified students’ learning style preferences of Arab students in their EFL textbook used by an Arabic school in Malaysia. A mixed mode method was adopted. Students’ learning style preferences were quantitatively diagnosed using Reid’s 1995 PLSPQ. A qualitative method using the instructions and materials recommended for teachers to meet those styles was adopted, in form of a checklist, to evaluate the textbook and find out how the textbook takes students’ learning styles into consideration. With regard to EFL textbook evaluation, checklists were highly recommended as they were so specific, time-saving and more practical. Meanwhile, none of the checklists was used as a tool to elicit information about the learning styles in details to determine whether they really reflect on the actual process of learning and teaching inside the classroom. Results showed that the students have multiple learning style preferences with kinaesthetic, tactile and group as major styles. The textbook seemed to take some styles into consideration to different degrees; visual, auditory, individual and group styles received greater attention although some major instructions and materials were not provided. But, unsatisfactorily the textbook failed to meet kinaesthetic and tactile styles which were the major learning style preferences of the students. Thus, the implication of the study in the EFL teaching in the Arab world is to consider matching students learning styles when designing textbooks in the future to maximize teaching and learning time to heighten and the EFL proficiency among Arab learners of English. Therefore, this study raises the awareness of the need for including those styles in the textbook so teachers will be obliged to comply to them.


Keywords: EFL, Textbook, Learning Styles, Evaluation Checklists, Arab Students


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