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Language Learning Strategies: An Overview for L2 Teachers

Michael Lessard-Clouston z95014 [at] Kwansei Gakuin University (Nishinomiya, Japan) First published in Essays in Languages and Literatures, 8, at Kwansei Gakuin University, December 1997. This article provides an overview of language learning strategies (LLS) for second and foreign language (L2/FL) teachers. To do so it outlines the background of LLS and LLS training, discusses a three step approach teachers may follow in using LLS in their classes, and summarises key reflections and questions for future research on this aspect of L2/FL education. It also lists helpful contacts and internet sites where readers may access up-to-date information on LLS teaching and research.

Within the field of education over the last few decades a gradual but significant shift has taken place, resulting in less emphasis on teachers and teaching and greater stress on learners and learning. This change has been reflected in various ways in language education and applied linguistics, ranging from the Northeast Conference (1990) entitled "Shifting the Instructional Focus to the Learner" and annual "Learners' Conferences" held in conjuction with the TESL Canada convention since 1991, to key works on "the learner-centred curriculum" (Nunan, 1988, 1995) and "learnercentredness as language education" (Tudor, 1996). This article provides an overview of key issues concerning one consequence of the above shift: the focus on and use of language learning strategies (LLS) in second and foreign language (L2/FL) learning and teaching. In doing so, the first section outlines some background on LLS and summarises key points from the LLS literature. The second section considers some practical issues related to using LLS in the classroom, outlining a three step approach to implementing LLS training in normal L2/FL courses. The third section then briefly discusses some important issues and questions for further LLS research. In the fourth section the article ends by noting a number of contacts readers may use to locate and receive up-to-date information on LLS teaching and research in this widely developing area in L2/FL education.

1. BACKGROUND LearningStrategies

In their seminal study. p. Mathes and Simmons (1997). learn. and one recent LS study of note is that of Fuchs. and retaining new information and skills" (Reid. and preferred way(s) of absorbing. Finally. Fuchs. a change over time may be noted: from the early focus on the product of LSS (linguistic or sociolinguistic competence). In the rest of this paper. the works of Dansereau (1985) and Weinstein. 1990a). science.e. behaviours. regardless of the content and context. habitual. a number of definitions of LLS have been used by key figures in the field. LanguageLearningStrategiesDefined Within L2/FL education. 1). the focus will specifically be on language LS in L2/FL learning. Tarone (1983) defined a LS as "an attempt to develop linguistic and sociolinguistic competence in the target language -.S. O'Malley and Chamot (1990) defined LS as "the special thoughts or behaviours that individuals use to help them comprehend.specific actions. 315). Rubin (1987) later wrote that LS "are strategies which contribute to the development of the language system which the learner constructs and affect learning directly" (p. 1992/1993. 67). Oxford (1992/1993) provides specific examples of LLS (i. LS are thus used in learning and teaching math. Later Mayer (1988) more specifically defined LS as "behaviours of a learner that are intended to influence how the learner processes information" (p. 18) From these definitions. or techniques that students (often intentionally) use to improve their progress in developing L2 incoporate these into one's interlanguage competence" (p. storage. we should note that LLS are distinct from learning styles. which refer more broadly to a learner's "natural... . history. both in classroom settings and more informal learning environments.. there is now a greater emphasis on the processes and the characteristics of LLS. steps. building on work in her book for teachers (Oxford. though there appears to be an obvious relationship between one's language learning style and his or her usual or preferred language learning strategies.In a helpful survey article. TV soap operas. 1995. retrieval.language learning strageties -. Goetz and Alexander (1988) are key. These strageties can facilitate the internalization. (Oxford. viii). 11). LS are involved in all learning. For insight into the literature on LS outside of language education. 22). "In learning ESL. Weinstein and Mayer (1986) defined learning strategies (LS) broadly as "behaviours and thoughts that a learner engages in during learning" which are "intended to influence the learner's encoding process" (p. These early definitions from the educational literature reflect the roots of LS in cognitive science. Strategies are tools for the selfdirected involvement necessary for developing communicative ability. At the same time. p. Trang watches U. with its essential assumptions that human beings process information and that learning involves such information processing. Clearly. or use of the new language. or retain new information" (p. guessing the meaning of new expressions and predicting what will come next") and this helpful definition: . Early on. languages and other subjects. processing.

1990a. as reflected in the learner's skills in listening. (Oxford. as Pearson (1988) and Skehan (1989) have discussed. Fourth.) or unseen (thoughts. First. LLS are learner generated. An important distinction exists. LLS involve information and memory (vocabulary knowledge. Second. reading. steps. Communication strategies are used by speakers intentionally and . or writing the L2 or FL. LLS may be visible (behaviours. however. 1990a. with some writers using the terms "learner strategies" (Wendin & Rubin. Transfer of a strategy from one language or language skill to another is a related goal of LLS. In addition to the characteristics noted above. p. there are a number of basic characteristics in the generally accepted view of LLS. and still others "language learning strategies" (Oxford. In her teacher-oriented text. between communication and language learning strategies. and LLS can help students in doing so. Oxford summarises her view of LLS by listing twelve key features. LLS enhance language learning and help develop language competence. etc. 1994). Whyare LLSImportantfor L2/FLLearningandTeaching? Within 'communicative' approaches to language teaching a key goal is for the learner to develop communicative competence in the target L2/FL. and that there must be a choice involved on the part of the learner. 1996). they are steps taken by language learners. 9) Beyond this brief outline of LLS characterisitics. After Canale and Swain's (1980) influencial article recognised the importance of communication strategies as a key aspect of strategic (and thus communicative) competence. When discussing LLS. techniques. she states that LLS: • • • • • • • allow learners to become more self-directed expand the role of language teachers are problem-oriented involve many aspects. grammar rules. it is clear that a number of further aspects of LLS are less uniformly accepted. 1990. speaking. Cohen (1990) insists that only conscious strategies are LLS. Reading the LLS literature. etc. mental processes).Whatare the Characteristicsof LLS? Although the terminology is not always uniform. a number of works appeared about communication strategies in L2/FL teaching2. others "learning strategies" (O'Malley & Chamot. a helpful review of the LLS research and some of the implications of LLS training for second language acquisition may be found in Gu (1996). Chamot & O'Malley. Oxford (1990a) and others such as Wenden and Rubin (1987) note a desire for control and autonomy of learning on the part of the learner through LLS. not just the cognitive can be taught are flexible are influenced by a variety of factors. 1987).). Third.

Frohlich. Cognitive LLS "are used for forming and revising internal mental models and receiving and producing messages in the target . then. LLS are important because research suggests that training students to use LLS can help them become better language learners. which "do not directly involve the subject matter itself.what are often called metacognitive strategies. that a number and range of LLS are important if L2/FL teachers are to assist students both in learning the L2/FL and in becoming good language learners. because. each of these broad kinds of LLS is further divided into LLS groups. "which directly involve the subject matter". an understanding of LLS is crucial. The term LLS is used more generally for all strategies that L2/FL learners use in learning the target language.are especially important for language learning because they are tools for active. For all L2 teachers who aim to help develop their students' communicative competence and language learning. As Oxford has developed a fairly detailed list of LLS in her taxonomy. yet often interrelated. "there is always the possibility that the 'good' language learning strategies. but are essential to language learning nonetheless" (p. 192).are also used by bad language learners.. Oxford (1990b) distinguishes between direct LLS. and Stern (1975) suggested a number of positive strategies that such students employ. First. Rubin (1975). A study by O'Malley and Chamot (1990) also suggests that effective L2/FL learners are aware of the LLS they use and why they use them. and communication strategies are therefore just one type of LLS. and Todesco (1978.consciously in order to cope with difficulties in communicating in a L2/FL (Bialystok. Memory strategies "aid in entering information into long-term memory and retrieving information when needed for communication". but other reasons cause them to be unsuccessful" (p. though it is important that they also discovered that their unsuccessful learners "apparently.. Oxford outlines three main types of direct LLS.. It appears. 76). LLS ". 1996). Stern. ranging from using an active task approach in and monitoring one's L2/FL performance to listening to the radio in the L2/FL and speaking with native speakers.e. 1). Second. i. and indirect LLS. which is essential for developing communicative competence" (p. for example. 71). As Oxford (1990a) puts it. 1990). In addition to developing students' communicative competence. self-directed involvement.. Graham's (1997) work in French further indicates that L2/FL teachers can help students understand good LLS and should train them to develop and use them.which would enable them to assess the task and bring to bear the necessary strategies for its completion" (p. A caution must also be noted though. as Skehan (1989) states. In fact Vann and Abraham (1990) found evidence that suggests that both 'good' and 'unsuccessful' language learners can be active users of similar LLS.. Early research on 'good language learners' by Naiman.. the L2 or FL. then..lacked. WhatKindsof LLSAre There? There are literally hundreds of different. it is useful to summarise it briefly here... LLS..

14-16). Here. In the above illustration of social LLS. 1990b) also describes three types of indirect LLS. cognitive strategy such as 'practising' to repeat what he or she has learned or to integrate what was learned into a natural conversation with someone in the . or those in the L2/FL culture. often in a discourse situation" (Oxford. and empathising with others (p. Affective LLS "enable learners to control feelings. p. Becoming aware of others' thoughts and feelings (Oxford. Co-operating with proficient users of the new language Empathising with others 1. students might ask something specific like "Do you mean. experienced L2/FL teachers may easily think of specific LLS for each of these categories. 71). and attitudes related to language learning". for example. In asking questions. social strategies "facilitate interaction with others. both direct and indirect. 1990a. What is important to note here is the way LLS are interconnected. pp. we will briefly consider the social LLS that Oxford lists under indirect strategies. thereby 'cooperating with others'. A more detailed overview of these six main types of LLS is found in Oxford (1990a. motivations.. for example. While at first glance this appears to be a relatively straightforward LLS. and the support they can provide one to the other (see Oxford. Asking for clarification or verification 2. where they are further divided into 19 strategy groups and 62 subsets. Compensation strategies "are needed to overcome any gaps in knowledge of the language" (Oxford. Metacognitive strageties "help learners exercise 'executive control' through planning. are either unaware of or somewhat hesitant to employ. Finally. pp. and evaluating their own learning".. Co-operating with peers 2. the teacher. by way of example. p. 21). p.?" or "Did you say that. 21) Although these examples are still rather vague. 71). in this writer's experience it is one that many EFL students in Japan. a student might ask the questions above of his or her peers. 1990b. arranging. Three types of social LLS are noted in Oxford (1990a): asking questions. 18-21).. 1990b. and in response to the answer he or she receives the student might develop some aspect of L2/FL cultural understanding or become more aware of the feelings or thoughts of fellow students. Developing cultural understanding 2. for example.?" in order to clarify or verify what they think they have heard or understood. Asking for correction Co-operating with others 1. Oxford (1990a. General examples of LLS given in each of these categories are as follows: Asking questions 1.language". What is learned from this experience might then be supported when the same student uses a direct.. 1990a. co-operating with others. focusing.

One type of course that appears to be becoming more popular. grammar knowledge. for example. especially in intensive English programmes. what language learning resources are available to them. you will be able to see what LLS they already appear to be using.. asks students to complete statements such as "In this class I want to/will/won't. listening.. reading. and in these courses those books might be considered as supplementary texts to help learners focus on the LLS that can help them learn L2/FL skills and the LLS they need to acquire them. or correction. the nature of language and communication. it is crucial for teachers to study their teaching context. it is crucial to know something about these individuals. and L2/FL skills in reading. motivations. still more common is the basic L2/FL listening. one can prepare a short questionnaire that students can fill in at the beginning of a L2/FL. texts such as Ellis and Sinclair's (1989) Learning to Learn English: A Course in Learner Training or Rubin and Thompson's (1994) How to Be a More Successful Language Learner might be used in order to help L2/FL learners understand the language learning process. verification. the way LLS may be inter-connected becomes very clear. writing.. In this case. "I . or writing course where LLS training can enhance and complement the L2/FL teaching and learning.". their interests. and what specific LLS they might use in order to improve their own vocabulary use.. paying special attention to their students. etc. Step1: StudyYourTeachingContext At first. Do they often ask for clarification. 2. ContextsandClassesfor LLSTraining LLS and LLS training may be integrated into a variety of classes for L2/FL students. is one focusing on the language learning process itself. Whatever type of class you may be focusing on at this point. In this case. "My favourite/least favourite kinds of class activities are. Sharkey (1994/1995). learning styles. for instance. the three step approach to implementing LLS training in the classroom outlined below should prove useful. as discussed briefly above? Do they co-operate with their peers or seem to have much contact outside of class with proficient L2/FL users? Beyond observation. and briefly describes a three step approach to implementing LLS training in the L2/FL classroom. and speaking.. By observing their behaviour in class.". this section provides an overview of how LLS and LLS training have been or may be used in the classroom. however. describing themselves and their language learning. In this writer's experience. and their own teaching. speaking. USINGLLSIN THECLASSROOM With the above background on LLS and some of the related literature. their materials. If you are going to train your students in using LLS. Perhaps more common are integrated L2/FL courses where these four skills are taught in tandem.

all of which may be modelled and used in LLS training in my composition course. and choosing the right vocabulary. If you have found 10 different LLS for writing explicitly used in your text. Perhaps teachers will be surprised to find many LLS incorporated into their materials. 1994/1995. Textbooks. their goals. practising or presenting. One way to do so is to consider your lesson plans. and other materials for the course at hand should also be examined for LLS or for specific ways that LLS training might be implemented in using them. in order to appeal to a variety of learning styles and strategies? Does your teaching allow learners to approach the task at hand in a variety of ways? Is your LLS training implicit. Scarcella and Oxford's (1992) Tapestry textbook series. and how students responded and appeared to studying English because. and their understanding of the particular course being taught. and your own teaching style. 1996. teachers need to study their own teaching methods and overall classroom style. 8). with more possibilities than they had imagined. should be analysed to see whether they already include LLS or LLS training. (Sharkey. Step2: Focuson LLSin YourTeaching After you have studied your teaching context.. teachers who study their students.. Is your class learner-centred? Do you allow students to work on their own and learn from one another? As you circulate in class. for example. for example. however. incorporates "learning strategy" boxes which highlight LLS and encourage students to use them in L2/FL tasks or skills. but certainly not least. explicit. Last. An EFL writing text I use has brief sections on making one's referents clear. motivations. and LLS. their materials. Do they incorporate various ways that students can learn the language you are modelling. one's teaching materials are also important in considering LLS and LLS training. or more formally interviewing select students about these topics can also provide a lot of information about one's students. p. they might look for new texts or other teaching materials that do provide such opportunities. or posing ones relevant to the learners with whom you interact? Whether formally in action research or simply for informal reflection. begin to focus on specific LLS in your regular teaching that are relevant to your learners. are you encouraging questions. and filling in the gaps with other . If not. Beyond the students. giving students clear examples. videotapes. modelling how such LLS may be used in learning to write or in writing. for example. etc. Talking to students informally before or after class. outlining. One example from a conversation text in the series states: "Managing Your Learning: Working with other language learners improves your listening and speaking skills" (Earle-Carlin & Proctor. or both? By audiotaping or videotaping one's classroom teaching an instructor may objectively consider just what was actually taught and modelled. 19). you could highlight these as you go through the course. p. your materials. hand-outs.". Audiotapes. and their own teaching will be better prepared to focus on LLS and LLS training within their specific teaching context.

. 170). 169). either in a notebook or on the actual lesson plans. If you tend to be teacher-centred in your approach to teaching. for example. ... In addition to the teacher's own reflections. like Offner (1997). it is essential to encourage learner reflection.. reading.. 1996.. it is also crucial to reflect on one's LLS training and teaching in the classroom. you might use a specific number of tasks appropriate for your context from the collection by Gardner and Miller (1996) in order to provide students with opportunities to use and develop their LLS and to encourage more independent language learning both in class and in out-of-class activities for your course. On a basic level. In my experience I have found. an organised and informed focus on LLS and LLS training will help students learn and provide more opportunities for them to take responsibility for their learning3. Freeman & Richards. I spoke English with these people. one might ponder the effectiveness of the lesson and the role of LLS and LLS training within it. are more likely to be successful in developing 'strategic competence' in their students" (p. purposeful teacher reflection and encouraging learner reflection form a necessary third step. As Graham (1997) declares. might be used later to reflect on LLS training in the course as a whole after its completion. I learned. 1994)... I used my English in these places. and they need to be aware of the nature. I made these mistakes. Do students seem to have grasped the point? Did they use the LLS that was modelled in the task they were to perform? What improvements for future lessons of this type or on this topic might be gleaned from students' behaviour? An informal log of such reflections and one's personal assessment of the class. However... that rather than limiting my perspective to specific LLS such reflection helps me to see the big picture and focus on "teaching how to learn" within my L2/FL classes. "those teachers who have thought carefully about how they learned a language.LLS for writing that are neglected in the text but would be especially relevant for your learners. echoing a current trend in pedagogy and the literature in L2/FL education (see... LLS training "needs to be integrated into students' regular classes if they are going to appreciate their relevance for language learning tasks.. in implementing LLS and LLS training in the L2/FL classroom. or other class. Whether it is a specific conversation. In an interesting action research study involving "guided reflection" Nunan (1996) did this by asking his students to keep a journal in which they completed the following sentences: This week I studied. Step3: ReflectandEncourageLearnerReflection Much of what I have suggested in this section requires teacher reflection. it is useful for teachers to reflect on their own positive and negative experiences in L2/FL learning. After each class. both during and after the LLS training in the class or course. students need to constantly monitor and evaluate the strategies they develop and use. about which strategies are most appropriate for which tasks. writing.. and Richards & Lockhart. for example. As Graham suggests. Beyond contemplating one's own language learning.. function and importance of such strategies" (p.

later in the course I used a questionnaire asking students about their vocabulary learning and VLS in and outside of class. To make this LLS training specific and relevant to these ESL students. An Exampleof LLSTraining Let me give one example of implementing LLS training within a normal L2/FL class from my experience in teaching a TOEFL preparation course in Canada. it is important for L2/FL learners to have the chance to reflect on their language learning and LLS use. Sharkey (1994/1995) asked her learners to complete simple self. Santos (1997) has used portfolios to encourage learner reflection. I then talked with students about ways to record such words and their meanings on vocabulary cards or in a special notebook. part of speech. What became obvious both to me and my students in that attempt at LLS training was that .My difficulties are. Matsumoto (1996) used student diaries.. the course textbook and other materials.. As Graham declares. and the following week gave them a generic but individualised vocabulary knowledge test where students provided the meaning. p. summarising the class results overall and sparking interesting class discussion. and after finishing the activity I introduced ways students could expand their vocabulary knowledge by learning new meanings for multi-definition words they already know. Whatever the context or method. 170). a vital component of selfdirected learning lies in the on-going evaluation of the methods they have employed on tasks and of their achievements within the.evaluation forms at various points during their course. For a more detailed description of this classroom activity and a copy of the questionnaire and test.programme" (p. I would like help with. and my own teaching. My learning and practising plans for the next week are. I became convinced that I should not only introduce LLS but also teach them and encourage learners to reflect on them and their own learning. (Nunan.. I gave a mini-lecture early in the course on the importance of vocabulary for the TOEFL and learning and using English. These are just a few examples from the current literature of various ways to encourage learner reflection on language learning.. and then focused on specific vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) by highlighting them whenever they were relevant to class activities.. I marked these and handed them back to students the next week. "For learners. evening college students (most of whom were working) and their LLS. For more information on the research that I carried out in conjunction with this activity. there were exercises on multi-definition words.. I would like to know..... see Lessard-Clouston (1994). 1996. In practising listening for the TOEFL. In order to encourage learner reflection.class LLS.. and an example sentence for up to 10 words each person said he or she had 'learned'. for example. and interviews to carry out her research and help her students reflect on their LLS and language learning. in order for them to reinforce and review such words and meanings they had learned. questionnaires. please refer to Lessard-Clouston (1996). In a writing class... After studying my teaching context by considering my part-time. 36). Pickard (1996) also used questionnaires and follow-up interviews in helping students reflect on their out-of.

recognising that ultimately learning is the student's responsibility4. LLS obviously involve individuals' unique cognitive. Oxford (1990a). social. 1998) . and most important. whether or not one is eventually 'tested' on it. As an educator I am interested in helping my students learn and reflect on their learning. concerns the professionalism of teachers who use LLS and LLS training in their work. The second reflection pertains to the integration of LLS into both language learning/teaching theory and curriculum. seems to describe many of my Japanese EFL students when she writes: . perhaps partially because L2/FL education is a relatively young discipline and lacks a comprehensive theory of acquisition and instruction itself. The first. and they only do what is clearly essential to get a good grade -. These things are important. professionally we must be very clear not to manipulate them in the process. or else any effort to train learners to rely more on themselves and use better strategies is bound to fail.many language students (even adults). and it is therefore important for professionals who use LLS training to also model such strategies both within their classroom teaching and. As Davis (1997. As Ellis (1994) notes. As my own research (Lessard-Clouston. p. and affective learning styles and strategies. 1996.. 10) Motivation is a key concern both for teachers and students. but I also question the tone and motivation reflected in some of the LLS literature.. (Oxford. "our actions speak louder than words". Yet while teachers hope to motivate our students and enhance their learning. in reflecting on these issues and attempting to implement LLS training in my classes I am reminded that much of the L2/FL work in LLS appears to lack an undergirding theory. much of the research on LLS "has been based on the assumption that there are 'good' learning strategies.vocabulary learning is a very individualised activity which requires a variety of VLS for success in understanding and using English vocabulary. If our teaching is appropriate and learner-centred. Instead we will take learners' motivations and learning styles into account as we teach in order for them to improve their L2/FL skills and LLS. for example. p. Though this is just one example of implementing LLS training in a normal L2/FL class. in their own FL learning. noting why LLS are useful and how they can or might be included in regular L2/FL classes. But this is questionable" (p... Furthermore. hopefully readers will be able to see how this general three step approach to doing so may be adapted for their own classroom teaching. 3. 1990a. The focus of this article is largely practical.even if they fail to develop useful skills in the to be told what to do. However. 558). we will not manipulate our students as we encourage them to develop and use their own LLS. REFLECTIONSANDQUESTIONSFORLLSRESEARCH ImportantReflections In my thinking on LLS I am presently concerned about two important issues. 6) has aptly noted. Attitudes and behaviours like these make learning more difficult and must be changed. especially in EFL contexts.

In considering the above questions concerning LLS and LLS training. communicative. then. Moving beyond taxonomies of LLS. then. remains difficult in FL contexts when they are mainly oriented to L2 ones. and general language education syllabuses. especially in FL settings. let alone relate them to all L2/FL learning/teaching theories. is how to integrate LLS into our L2/FL curriculum. On the surface at least. A pressing need for further research involves developing a comprehensive theory of LLS that is also relevant to language teaching practice. it would appear that the language/content/learning strategies components of their frameworks could be easily transferred to a variety of language classroom curricula. While Chamot and O'Malley (1994. In fact. Using texts which incorporate LLS training. everyday language (as opposed to content) classes? This final point brings us to this and other questions for future LLS research. L2/FL learning seems to be very much influenced by numerous individual factors. To date much of the LLS research appears to be based in North America and is largely oriented towards quantitative data and descriptions. which allows for the integration of LLS and LLS training into its language. such as: What types of LLS appear to work best with what learners in which contexts? Does LLS or LLS training transfer easily between L2 and FL contexts? What is the role of language proficiency in LLS use and training? How long does it take to train specific learners in certain LLS? How can one best assesss and measure success in LLS use or training? Are certain LLS learnt more easily in classroom or nonclassroom contexts? What LLS should be taught at different proficiency levels? Answers to these and many other questions from research in a variety of settings will aid in the theory building that appears necessary for more LLS work to be relevant to current L2/FL teaching practice. it is important to consider the development and use of materials for college and university language classes. especially in places like Japan where "learner-centred" approaches or materials may not be implemented very easily. but is this really the case? One model to consider in attempting to do so is Stern's (1992) multidimensional curriculum. future L2/FL research must consider and include curriculum development and materials for LLS training which takes into account regular L2/FL classes (especially for adults) and the learning styles and motivations of the students within them. various types of studies into LLS use and training must consider a wide range of questions. and to date it is difficult to account for all individual LLS. 1996) and Kidd and Marquardson (1996) have developed materials for content-based school classes. culture. such as those in the Tapestry series. one report on more qualitativelyoriented LLS data by LoCastro (1994) sparked an interesting response from . The related challenge. Questionsfor LLSResearch Following from these reflections.suggests. a variety of research methods should be employed. How then may FL educators best include LLS and LLS training in the FL curriculum of their regular.

will be carried out and will receive greater attention in the literature in L2/FL 2. formed in 1994. In listing the above questions and calling for more research on LLS. Jill Robbins Doshisha Women's College English Department Tanabe-co. WhereCanI Get MoreInformation? 1. 1995. Three such contacts are noted here. While calling for collaborative research in their critique. I would concur with this observation. However. as LoCastro points out in her response. Oxford and Green's (1995) comments in many ways discourage such work. 174).html Dr.ipcs. there are a number of contacts which readers may find useful for obtaining more information on LLS. like the one by Yu (1990).. LLS training and/or research. and learner's self-directed qualitative studies.major LLS figures Oxford and Green (1995). especially for those who do not work within North America or use a quantitatively oriented research approach. The Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) Learner Development National Special Interest Group (N-SIG). HELPFULLLSCONTACTSANDINTERNETSITES As readers may want to take up my challenge and address the issues and questions for research I have outlined here. p. The International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) Learner Independence Special Interest Group (SIG) has an international network of members who are interested in learning styles and LLS. which involves and encompasses LLS. Tsuzuki-gun Kyoto-fu 610-03 JAPAN Email: robbins@gol. In addition to publishing a . I also hope that more case studies. In addition to checking the sources listed in the reference section at the end of this article. encourages learner development and longitudinal studies.. Research dealing with human beings is notoriously fuzzy and shows a great deal of variation.shizuoka. in this final section I focus on where they may find additional information and resources to help them in their LLS teaching and research. It publishes a quarterly. and in networking with others involved with or interested in LLS within various aspects of L2/FL education.there are different kinds of research which produce different results which may be of interest. bilingual (English-Japanese) newsletter called Learning Learning and organises presentations at the annual JALT conference each autumn. and related topics. (LoCastro. learning centres. For more information one can access the Learner Development N-SIG homepage or contact the co-ordinator: http://www. .

In accessing these WWW pages one will also find links to related sites and CARLA Suite 111. it occasionally holds related events.umn. It has also raised two important and noted a number of contacts that readers may use in networking on LLS in L2/FL>.edu The area of LLS is a major but quickly developing aspect of L2/FL education.E. Acknowledgements I would like to thank my students for their input on LLS and LLS training. MN 5514 U. The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota publishes a newsletter. It has also outlined some ways that LLS training has been used and offered a three step approach for teachers to consider in implementing it within their own L2/FL classes. May readers also find this to be the case. Notes . and interested teachers and researchers are advised to check the internet sites listed here for the most up-to. For more information either visit the Learner Independence SIG home page or contact the co-ordinator.. UTEC Building 1313 5th St. Minneapolis. Email: 3. http://www. through email to IATEFL at: <113017. and Birgit Harley and Wendy Lessard-Clouston for their input on the issues presented in this overview and for their helpful comments on earlier information on this topic. In order to subscribe to the newsletter. using LLS and LLS training in the L2/FL class not only encourages learners in their language learning but also helps teachers reflect on and improve their teaching. The NESSLA Report (the Network of Styles and Strategies in Language Acquisition) and maintains a Second Language Learning Strategies website. Conclusion This paper has provided a brief overview of LLS by examining their background and summarising the relevant literature. S. Jenny Timmer.newsletter. contact CARLA as follows: http://carla.acad. posed questions for further LLS research. In my experience.A.

. Kasper & Kellerman (1997). The contact details provided in this section are current as of autumn 1997. See. 1-47. refer to the works listed in the reference section. (1990). 253. References Benson. Language Learning Strategies Around the World: Cross-cultural Perspectives (pp. In R. (1994). McDonough (1995). Language Learning: Insights for Learners. N. . offers chapters with practical activities related to applying direct or indirect LLS to the four language skills or general management of learning. Reading. and Willems (1987) on communication strategies. (1980).1. Teachers... M. Oxford's (1990a) book. M. New York: Newbury House. Bongaerts. Dornyei & Thurrell (1991). 3. Implementing the cognitive academic language learning approach (CALLA). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. for instance. London: Longman. 167-173). A. 10(3). MA: Addison Wesley. (1996). Poulisse (1989). The Author: Michael Lessard-Clouston is Associate Professor of English. For more examples of specific types of LLS training. see Benson & Voller (1997) and the articles in Ely & Pease-Alvarez (1996). A. and Researchers. 2. For recent discussions of this issue and others related to autonomy and independence in language learning. Kwansei Gakuin University. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i.. Communication strategies in L1 and L2: Same or different? Applied Linguistics. 1(1). Autonomy and Independence in Language Learning. Cohen. A. School of Economics.268.). Chamot. & O'Malley. (1990)..). Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Centre. & Swain. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. P. for example. Applied Linguistics. & O'Malley. Bialystok. M. The CALLA Handbook: Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach. & Voller. (1997). (Eds. Oxford (Ed. E. & Poulisse. Canale. (1989). Nishinomiya. 1-1-155 Uegahara. T. 5. the work of Bialystok (1990). M. P. 4. Chamot. 662 Japan. Bongaerts & Poulisse (1989). Communication Strategies: A Psychological Analysis of Second Language Use.

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