Using learning style to predict foreign language achievement at the college level

Phillip Bailey, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Christine E. Daley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Although researchers have examined the role of learning styles in foreign language achievement, many studies have investigated isolated dimensions of this construct (e.g. field independence/dependence). Relatively few studies have used a comprehensive learning styles instrument to determine predictors of achievement in college foreign language classes. Thus, the purpose of this study was to use a broadly focused learning style instrument to identify a combination of learning styles that might be correlated with foreign language achievement at the college level. It was hoped that findings from this study would facilitate the identification of college students who are at risk of underachieving in foreign language classes. Participants were 100 university students enrolled in either French or Spanish first and second semester courses. All possible subsets multiple regression analyses revealed that higher achievers in foreign language courses tend to like informal classroom designs and to prefer not to receive information via the kinesthetic mode. Certain learning style variables (i.e. responsibility and mobility), when included in the model, acted as suppressors, increasing the predictive power of classroom design preference and kinesthetic orientation with respect to achievement. The educational implications of these findings for understanding the potential relationships between learning styles and foreign language achievement are discussed, as are suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-133
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


  • Cognitive styles
  • FL achievement
  • Learning styles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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