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Crossing Boundaries

Studies in English Language, Literature, and Culture in a Global Environment

Edited By Richard Nordquist

The articles in this volume were originally presented in spring 2009 at an international conference hosted by the Institute of Germanic and Romance Languages and Cultures at Tallinn University in Estonia. The theme of «crossing boundaries» is reflected in the rich mix of genres, cultures, applications, and critical theories considered here. Indeed, these articles demonstrate that crossing boundaries can be a companionable journey as well an intellectually enriching experience.

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Doreen Ka Ki Chong - Cultural Influences on Language Learning Styles - 35

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35 Doreen Ka Ki Chong CULTURAL INFLUENCES ON LANGUAGE LEARNING STYLES For teachers, knowing the learning styles of their students helps them to design appropriate and effective lessons. This is especially important for second and for- eign language teachers because their students are highly involved in many class- room practices in speaking, reading, writing and listening. Learning style refers to “cognitive, affective, and physiological traits that are relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment” (Brown 105). If classroom practices are designed without regard for the learning styles of the majority of learners, student participation might be discouraged and the quality of learning reduced. Due to the importance of knowing learning styles in second or foreign lan- guage teaching, many researchers are interested in investigating the factors that determine learning styles in order to categorize types of learners with a corres- ponding teaching approach. Some researchers such as Willing believed that types of learner styles can be simply identified by learners’ likes and dislikes. The likes and dislikes are mainly determined by one’s personality. Our learning preferences are something innate and static (46). However, as an English teacher and an ex- perienced learner of English, I believe culture also plays a role in shaping one’s language learning styles rather than personality. The literature about cultural in- fluences on learning styles in second language learning confirms that culture is one of the major factors that shape the learning styles. Therefore, this paper in- tends...

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