Language Learning Strategy Scale
A great body of research has been devoted to examining the role of language learning strategies in FL learning. The literature reviewed previously indicates that there are different classifications of language-learning strategies. The present study mainly adopted the classification made by O’Malley and Chamot (1990). However, the present study intends to examine the metacognitive and cognitive strategies that Chinese college students use. The questionnaire items related to metacognitive and cognitive learning strategies were mainly from the instruments designed by Oxford (1990) and Wen (2004). At the same time, the scale of Gan (2003) was also employed for reference in developing the items.
There are 19 items in LLSS concerning metacognitive and cognitive strategies. In the preliminary study, the structure of LLSS was examined through exploratory factor analysis. Seven items (items 1-7) concerning planning, monitoring, and evaluating in English learning were loaded in factor 1, which was labeled metacognitive learning strategies. The second factor contained six items (items 8-13) related to practice strategies including functional and formal practice and was called practice strategies. The third factor received loadings from six items (items 14-19) concerned primarily with strategies of memory and was referred to as memory strategies. The second factor and the third factor were both concerned with cognitive aspect of language-learning strategies. There is no difficulty in understanding such a result because cognitive learning strategies can be divided into different aspects. A correlation analysis showed that there was a significant correlation (a = .51, p = .000) between the two factors. Therefore, the two factors can be used as one variable of cognitive learning strategies when necessary. In the present study, cognitive learning strategies include both practice strategies and memory strategies.
The reliabilities of LLSS are also studied. The Cronbach’s alpha for the total scale was .91, for the first factor (i.e., metacognitive learning strategies) .86, for the second factor (i.e., practice strategies) .82, and for the third factor (i.e., comprehending strategies) .78. The results indicate that the internal consistency of LLSS in the pilot study was highly acceptable.
The preliminary study proved the reliability and validity of the scales. In the formal study, the reliability and validity of these scales were further examined. All the statistics of confirmatory factor analysis and reliability tests suggest LLSS, ELGOS, and ESES were of good validity and reliability, confirming the results of the preliminary study.