The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

Edward Sadrai

Third Advisor

Semya Hakim

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Language learners have many assets to consider in the process of planning language instruction (Echevarría et al., 2017). One of the most obvious areas of difficulty in predicting students’ prior knowledge is in vocabulary. Teachers must be aware of their students’ approaches to independently learning new vocabulary in order to plan effective instruction (Nation, 2013; Yang & Wang, 2015; Alharbi, 2015; Echevarría et al., 2017; etc.). Brown (2013) and the pilot for this study have found inconsistencies in students’ approaches. This study sought to determine whether these inconsistencies were predictable based on the variables of gender, academic major, and linguistic background. Participants completed a word card creation task and a demographic and language-learning strategy use survey. The strategy survey and the information from the word cards was compared to the demographic survey. Most variables did not lead to statistically significant results. However, there were statistically significant differences in word card data according to participant linguistic background and gender. If these differences continue to appear in research, teachers could use this information to anticipate and plan efficiently for the needs of their students.