Understanding of Foreign Language Learning of Generation Y
Social Science Research Network
Different generations are constituted depending on social changes and they are designed sociologically as traditional, baby boomer, X, Y and Z. Many studies have been reported on understanding of foreign language learning generation Y. This study aims to realise the gap in and contribute to the research on language learning understanding of generation Y born between 1980 and 1999 and studying at the university. The participants of the study consist of students in the department of foreign
... nt of foreign languages at Atatürk University. 85 randomly selected respondents were conducted a survey consisting of 9 close-ended questions based on Stern and Rubin foreign language learning profile. The data collected were analyzed by SPSS 15.0 program and the results were explicated by means of descriptive analysis. Cronbach Alpha coefficient was found 0,822 for the items in the questionnaire. The results offer that generation Y shows positive distinction in know-how and ability to learn, conversely that they have difficulties in learning and skills at verbal expression and comprehension. The findings showed that a generation Y shows a profile self-confident, tolerant, open to experiences, efficient in solving problems and able to act independently in foreign language learning. Although enthusiastic to communicate in a foreign language, the generation has difficulties in speaking language. 70 would encounter unpalatable results. Those who would achieve an ideal foreign language learner profile would accomplish the results required and analyze the system of the language they learn. Foreign language learning profiles are defined under three categories: "linguistic, strategic, psychosocio biographic" (Lambert, 1994). Lajes (1993) who states that profile is a sophisticated notion adds another category named "diagnostic profile" to general profile categories. This profile is based on learners' capacity of understanding and expression. Learning foreign language in non-native environments, both learning and teaching dimension are necessitated. This new approach deals with teaching profiles of learners. These profiles are "global, reflexive and internal" (Bertocchini, Constanzo, 2011). Stern and Rubin (Op cit. Cry, 1998) deal with an ideal foreign language learner profile from different perspectives from communicative to emotional levels. Based on his observations and experiences, Stern believes that a good foreign language learner needs primarily to develop a personal learning style and positive strategies. The learner seeks to discover appropriate teaching techniques in order to make language learning more enthusiastic and fruitful realizing language learning more willingly and consciously. He determines the way of learning process himself and undertakes a very active role. He integrates his goals with the objectives in the curriculum while a mediocre language learner exposes a passive image and is dependent on the teacher. A good language learner is not prejudiced against the language being learned and the community of that language. In contrast, he should be quite tolerant. He is neither ashamed of making mistakes nor afraid of being blamed and ridiculed in case of a mistake. As suggested for candidate missionaries in Africa, the best way to learn a foreign language in detail and master it in all aspects is to break it into pieces. The learner tries to put forward assumptions in order to comprehend the function of a target language and finds a link between what he has learned and what he is learning. He studies pertinaciously and systematically keeping in mind that learning a foreign language is a long and difficult process. He makes effort to understand the meaning of a communicative act or a phrase from linguistic or socio-cultural perspective. He seeks occasions to speak the language he is learning.