Many researchers attempted to identify most and least common vocabulary learning strategies that were used by language learners in different settings. Hogben and Lawson (1996) observed 15 students who were trying to study and learn new Italian words to determine what types of vocabulary learning strategies they use. Most of the EFL learners in their study attempted to learn new vocabulary items by repetition of new words and their meanings as their vocabulary learning strategy, while the grammatical aspects of the words were given little attention. Riankamol (2008) examined the vocabulary learning strategies adopted by gifted ESL students of Udomuska School in the first semester. A 25-item questionnaire was used in the study. Using frequency, percentages, and means, Riankamol (2008) found that high proficient students at the school were using metacognitive strategies frequently. He also found that “I learn words by listening to vocabulary CDs” was the least frequent strategy.
Amirian and Heshmatifar (2013) explored the most and least common strategies among Iranian EFL learners at Hakim Sabzevari University in Iran. Using Shmitt’s (1997) questionnaire, they investigated the vocabulary learning strategies of 74 male and female learners. The outcome revealed that determination strategies were the most used strategies and social strategies were the least common types the learners used in that context.
Siriwan (2007) examined the role of learner variability in vocabulary learning strategy preference at Rajabhat University. She found that gender played a significant role in choosing vocabulary learning strategies. For example, she found She found significant differences in the use of strategies to discover the meaning of new vocabulary items, and to expand the knowledge of vocabulary, with female students reporting employing the strategies significantly more frequently than their male counterparts.
However, no significant differences were found in the use of strategies to retain the knowledge of newly-learned vocabulary items (RKV) according to gender. Although the use of strategies in the RKV category did not vary significantly according to the student’s gender, the mean frequency scores of this category indicate that female students happened to report slightly greater use of the RKV strategy category than did their male counterparts. Heidari Soureshjani (2011), in a comparative study, compared vocabulary learning strategy preferences by gender among Iranian EFL learners.
He claimed that there are notable differences in male and female use of vocabulary learning strategies, but he failed to provide specific evidence or examples of these reputed differences. He suggested that when teaching vocabulary learning strategies, teachers should consider the gender of their ESL learners. Hassanzadeh, Khatib, and Rezaei (2011) examined the role of gender in vocabulary learning strategies used among 146 undergraduate EFL students, after assessing their level of proficiency, at the University of Vali-e Asr, in Rafsanjaan, Iran. They found no significant difference between learners’ selection of vocabulary learning strategy based on gender. Pourshahian, Rezvani Kalajahi, and Yousefi Azarfam (2012) investigated variation in vocabulary learning strategies use according to gender difference in Turkish EFL learners.
The results of their study showed that gender is highly related with vocabulary learning strategy use. Female respondents’ frequency of vocabulary strategy use was slightly higher than males in metacognitive and psycholinguistic vocabulary learning strategies.