Document Type : Research article


1 Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature University of Qom, Qom, Iran

2 MPhil, Department of English Language and Literature University of Qom, Qom, Iran

3 MA Student, Department of English Language and Literature University of Qom, Qom, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature University of Qom, Qom, Iran


Learners differ in the manner of understanding, organizing, and retaining information or experience. Therefore, this study investigates the relationship between perceptual learning style preferences and depth of vocabulary knowledge of 235 tertiary EFL learners (male = 89, female = 146) from two Iranian universities. The learners’ responses on Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire (Reid, 1984) showed that kinesthetic, auditory, visual, and tactile modalities were found to be the major categories while individual and group styles appeared to be minor. Furthermore, the data from the Word Associates Test (WAT, Read, 2000) revealed that the participants’ mean scores on tactile style significantly correlated with WAT and its constituent parts (synonym and collocation). Despite the negative tendency towards group activities, the high-group learners had more major preferences than the low-group learners. Moreover, the mean scores of males’ auditory style was under the cut-off point for a major learning style and lower than that of females. However, males outscored females on WAT, synonym, and collocation. Yet, tactile modality significantly correlated with WAT, synonym, and collocation for females. Group learning was the least preferred style by the participants. Thus, in teaching vocabulary, especially depth dimension, different teaching techniques and materials should be provided selectively to attend to the learners’ diverse learning styles.


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