Language learning strategies
Learner ownership of the learning process
The good language learner…
..has a wider repertoire of language learning strategies
which they use more frequently than their peers
…uses monitoring strategies (Vandegrfit,2003)
Use of appropriate language learning strategies often
results in improved proficiency or achievement overall or
in specific skill areas (Oxford et al., 1993; Thompson &
What is a language learning strategy?
“ steps or actions consciously selected by learners
either to improve the learning of a second
language, the use of it, or both” (Cohen, 1998)
“tools for active, self-directed involvement”
Plan, monitor, evaluate
Learn and use new language/skills
Regulate emotions, motivation and attitude
(O’Malley and Chamot, 1990. Based on cognitive theory)
Cognitive—making associations between new and already known information;
Mnemonic—making associations between new and already known information
through use of formula, phrase, verse or the like;
Metacognitive—controlling own cognition through the co-ordination of the
planning, organization and evaluation of the learning process;
Compensatory—using context to make up for missing information in reading and
Affective—regulation of emotions, motivation and attitude toward learning;
Social—the interaction with other learners to improve language learning and
(Oxford, 1990. Taxonomy)
Discuss the examples on your handouts:
Which have you used? Have any of them been included in the teaching you have
experienced? If so, how?
How would you classify them?
Choose one or two strategies and discuss how you would include them in your teaching.
Does strategy instruction work?
The problems of definition
The issue of generalisability
Need for a research framework
“The acknowledged link between strategic competence in language learning, learner
autonomy and successful outcomes is a powerful argument for bringing together
state-of-the-art research into the theory and practice of language learning strategies
in learning environments that do not rely on the physical presence of the teacher.”
(Hurd & Lewis, 2008, p. xii)
Teaching and learning: a paradigm shift
The death of learning styles
Shifting the locus of control
Growth mindset (Dweck, 2006)
Life hacks: the impact of the internet
What would you do to progress this area of
In groups, discuss the issues, risks and potential
for language learning strategies.