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Essays on learning strategies

Published: 3rd October, 2016 Last Edited: 28th February, 2017

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  1. INTRODUCTION

This paper discusses what language learning strategies are in terms of whether which strategies or strategy is/are more focusable, convenient, and efficient than the others for language learners.

Rossi-Le (1989) explains what language learning strategies mirror language learners as follows:

‘‘The strategies or techniques that students apply in learning a second language reflects their background and/or perceptual learning style preferences’’ (p.24).

Rossi-Le (1989, as cited in Bialystok et al., 1979) points out one problem that there is no particular language learning techniques for learners because of the personal change among students as based on various research works. Thus, it is so hard to decide that which language learning strategy is appropriate for each language student. O’Malley et al., (1985) have stated that ‘‘because the learner’s self-selection of learning strategies often involves unconscious process that cannot be objectively measured, there is little overall consensus to the role of learning strategies in second language acquisition or as to the relationships that exist among identified strategies’’ (p.25). In the meantime, Rossi-Le (1989, as cited in O’Malley et al., 1985; Oxford, 1986) divides into two categories of learning strategies; ‘‘metacognitive and cognitive’’ (p.25). Accordingly, the metacognitive techniques indicate that language students understand how the learning system works and how they organize their learning (Rossi-Le, 1989, as cited in O’Malley et al., 1985; Oxford, 1986). Another category of language learning strategy is that the cognitive techniques mention processes that link with individual study works and contain narrating loudly, learning by heart (Rossi-Le, 1989, as cited in O’Malley et al., 1985; Oxford, 1986).

Rossi-Le (1989) lays stress on vocabularies in learning a new language even if it is not student’s leading strategy because of being the essential step for this study. Thus, this emphasis highlights that vocabulary knowledge is the main strategy in the study of language learning. On the other hand, Su (2002) states that ‘‘In order to understand language learning strategies and how they can be used to help students’ language learning,

LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES 3

researchers have tried to identify the language learning strategies used by good/ effective language learners and distinguish differences of strategy use between good/effective learners and less effective ones’’ (p.18). It means that there is a dominant learning strategy for each learner. According to Su (2002, as cited in Rubin, 1975), language students can modern their works on language learning techniques when talented language students classify their own language learning techniques. Rubin (1975) also classified the language learning techniques used by talented language students as follows:

Good language learners are ambitious, exact guessers, good speakers in their second language, relaxed, setting sight on the structure of language, applying it in their daily life, good listeners and listening for meaning.

Another good language learner’s strategies are listed by Stem (1975) such as the following: An individual learning style, assiduous study, exhibit positive attitude to the language that you learn, having technical knowledge about how to overcome a language, schedule in order to improve your language also practice it regularly and alter it at time so as to be not boring for you, look up in your dictionary for meaning of words that you do not know, readiness to practice, readiness to use it in the daily life and improve it increasingly by learning to think in that language.

Su (2002, as cited in Stem, 1983) enlarged on and classified the 10 language learning strategies into four parts in later work: ‘‘active planning, academic learning, social learning and effecting learning’’ (p.21). First and foremost, active planning are strategies such as choosing goals and perceiving steps apropos of the aims (Stem, 1983). Second strategy is that academic learning includes bearing in mind lingual points of that language you learn, watchful learning, and learning by practicing, retention, progress observing (Stem, 1983). Thirdly, social learning techniques include searching for communication with language learners and association, improving communication techniques and taking part in original language conversations/dialogs or attending different language activities (Stem, 1983). Last language learning strategy is efficient learning that comes to mean looking from a positive perspective to the study, improving required energy to tackle with disappointment and cope up with psychological problems such as stress based upon hard work (Stem, 1983).

LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES 4

Su (2002, as cited in Naiman et al., 1978) puts forward a language learning strategy structure with five main strategy methods and other secondary strategy methods. These five main strategies illustrate the complete method to language learning and they are fundamental for good command of target language (Naiman et al., 1978). These strategies are ‘‘ active task approach, realization of language as a system, understanding that language is a means of communication and interaction, management of effective demands, and monitoring the second language performance’’ (Naiman et al., 1978, p.22). Naiman et al. (1978) tell his first strategy ‘‘active task approach’’ that successful language students tend to complete their language learning study actively, for instance, approaching positively and willingly to the language and learning practice activities. According to Naiman et al.’s (1978) second language learning strategy, ‘‘realization of language as a system’’ is about that successful language students improve mindfulness in terms of structure of language. Another Su’s (2002, as cited in Naiman et al., 1978) language learning strategy is ‘‘understanding that language is a means of communication and interaction’’: this strategy puts emphasis on correct pronunciation and grammar at the beginning of learning a new language, and creating an opportunity to speak with native speakers in that language you learn (p.23). Naiman et al. (1978) state their fourth language learning strategy as ‘‘management of effective demands’’: successful language students cope with emotional demands in the duration of learning a new language. ‘‘Monitoring the second language performance’’ is Naiman et al.’s (1978) last language learning strategy that successful language students control their own study processes, conclusions, and review the structure of their new language perpetually by experimenting, guessing, and consulting target language users.

Additionally, A study about the usage of learning techniques by foreign language learners and their teachers done by Su (2002, as cited in Chamot and Kupper, 1989) indicates that language learning techniques are used by every kind of learners, and the gaps between efficient students and less efficient students are the order and how they use these language strategies. In other words, active language students used strategies more frequently, more properly, with larger variation, and in methods that provide to carry on a study well (Chamot and Kupper, 1989).

LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES 5

Alternatively, it is stated that language learning technique categorization was in its inception and required to be tested by teachers in the classroom (Oxford, 1990). Su (2002, as cited in Wong-Fillmore, 1976) classified two social techniques of good language students based on research on five Chicano ESL students: ‘‘joining a group and trying to participate in activities, and asking help from friends to stay in the conversation (p.27). Besides, Wong-Fillmore (1976) pointed out that these language learning techniques accommodates students with proper conditions and simplify memorizing new vocabularies. On the other hand, Su (2002, as cited in Naiman et al., 1978) collected language learning strategies under five main groups: ‘‘an active task approach, realization of language as a means of communication and interaction, management of effective demands, and monitoring of second language performance’’ (p.28). At the same time, Su (2002, as cited in Brown, 1980) divided language learning strategies into two main groups: ‘‘learning strategies and communication strategies’’ (p.28). Brown (1980) emphasized that a learning strategy is a technic that students use to grasp and stock specific learning elements for remembrance afterwards. He also lay stress on ‘‘communication strategy’’ technic that is used by students so as to make contact with and put into words feelings to one another.

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