Personal background is said to be influentialin frequency of use and the choice of languagelearning strategies used by language learners.(Politzer and McGroaty, 1985; Oxford andNyikos, 1989).It may refer to the career position, professionor field of specialization, and may also bereflected in their choice of education. So in this trait may effect the learner choice inapplying the Target Language within theirlearning situation.
Situational factors are said toinfluence learning strategy usagewhich include the tasks thelanguage learner is asked toperform, the actual languagebeing learnt and the languageteaching method.(Bialystok, 1981; OMalley andChamot, 1990; Politzer, 1983).
Within ClassroomSecond language learner use a range oflearning strategies. These learningstrategies often facilitate performance inlanguage learning and are related toachievement in the classroom.Among those learning strategies mostcommonly used in the classroom arecognitive, meta-cognitive and, to a lesserextent, social and affective strategies.
Out-of ClassroomOut-of class strategies also contribute tothe learners success in learning a languagewhich include speaking with nativespeakers of the Target Language, creatingopportunities for practice with nativespeakers, other students or peers,listening to the radio, or cassette tapes inthe target language or readingnewspapers, novels, magazines andwatching television or movies in theTarget Language.
Various personality factorsconsidered important tosuccess in language learninghave been listed down whichnames extroversion andintroversion, empathy, self-esteem and inhibition.
Rubins study (1975) of the goodlanguage learner found that personality-characteristics, such as, lack of inhibitionand a willingness to take risks wereassociated with strategy use.Naiman et al (1978) found that there isa link among students from grades 8, 10,and 12 learning French betweenpersonality, specifically, tolerance ofambiguity and success at the earlystages of language learning.
Research to date suggests that femalesreport greater overall strategy usethan males and that the choice ofstrategy is influenced by the languagelearners gender.(Bacon and Finnemann, 1992; Greenand Oxford, 1995; Ehrman andOxford, 1989; Oxford andEhrman,1995; Oxford and Nyikos,1989; Oxford et al, 1993; Politzer,1983).
A study by Grainger (1997) with 133 studentsfrom different ethnic backgrounds, namelyAsian and English speaking backgrounds,learning Japanese, found that although there wasvery little difference in strategy use, studentsfrom an Asian background had a preferencefor using compensation strategies.Grainger (1997: 382-383) found that Asianbackground students of Japanese are better atmanaging their affective state, they remembermore effectively, and they compensate betterthan students of English-speaking backgroundsdo.