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140

L A N G U A G E LEARNING S T R A T E G I E S

INDIRECT S T R A T E G I E S F O R G E N E R A L MANAGEMENT O F LEARNING

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. 1. Using Progressive relaxation. deep breathing. or meditalion

Evaluating Your Leaming

A. towermg your anxiety f 2. Using music

In this set are two related strategies, both aiding leamers in checking
their language performance. One strategy involves notidngand leaming
from errors, and the other concerns evaluating overall progresf.
1. Self-Monitoring

Identifying errors in imderstandiug or produciu^ tlic iicw language, determining which ones are important (those that cause serious confusin or
offense), tracking the source of important errors, and trying to eliminate
such errors.

^ 3. Using laughter

/ 1. Making positive statements


II. Attective
sirategies

B. Encouraging yourself f 2. Taking risks wisely


3. Hewarding yourself

, 1. Lislening lo your body

2. Self-Evaluating
' C. Taking your emotional /

Evuiii : L'/ic':-;
p;;.'re?s in the nev/ langunge, for instance, b y checking to see whether one is reading faster and understanding more than
1 mnth or 6 months ago, or whether one is understanding a greater
percentage of each conversation.

terDperature

, 2. Using a checkiist
"3. Writing a language learning diary
^ 4. Discussing your feelings with someone else

Memory Aid: L E T
'Attective strategies fielp language learners L E T ttieir hair down!"

A F F E C T I V E STRATEGIES

The mind is its own place, an in itseit can make a Heaven o Hell, a Hell al Heaven.
Jotin Milton

The term affective refers to emotions, attitudes, motivations, and vales. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the affective factors
influencing language leaming. Language leamers can gain control over
these factors through affective strategies. A s shown in Figure 4.3, three
main sets of affective strategies exist: Lowering Your Anxiety, Encouraging
Yourself, and Taking Your Emotonal Temperature (10 strategies in all).
The acronym L E T comes from the first letter of each one of these strategy
sets"affective strategies help language leamers L E T their hair down!"
" T h e affective domain is impossible to describe within defnable limi t s , " according to H . Douglas Brown [6]. It spreads out like a fine-spun
net, encompassing such concepts as self-esteem, attitudes, motivation,
anxiety, culture shock, inliibition, risk taking, and tolerance for ambiguity
[7]. T h e affective side of the leamer is probably one of the very biggest
influences on language leaming success or failure. Good language leamers
are often those who know how to control their emotions and attitudes
about leaming [8]. Negative feelings can stunt progress, even for the rare
leamer who fully understands all the technical aspects of how to leam a
new language. O n the other hand, positive emotions and attitudes can
make language leaming far more effective and enjoyable. Teachers can
exert a tremendous influence over the emotional atmosphere of the classroom in three different ways: by changing the social structure of the classroom to give students more responsibility, by providing increased amounts

Figure 4.3

Diagram of the Affective Strategies.

{Source:

Original.)

of naturalistic communication, and by teaching leamers to use affective


strategies.
Self-esteem is one of the primary affective elements. It is a self-judgment of worth or valu, based on a feeling of efficacya sense of interacting
effectively with one's own environment [9]. Low self-esteem can be detected through negative self-talk, like "Boy, am I a blockhead! I embarrassed
myself again in front of the class." The three affective strategies related to
self-encouragement help leamers to counter such negativity.
The sense of efficacy that underlies self-esteem is reflected in attihides
(mental dispositions, beliefs, or opinions), which influence the leamer's
motivation to keep on tiying to leam [10]. Attitudes are strong predictors
of motivation in any rea of life, and especially in language leaming [11].
Just as attitudes affect motivation, attitudes and motivation work together
to influence language leaming performance itselfincluding both global
language profdency and proficiency in specific language skills, such as
listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and oral production [12].
In addition, research findings suggest that the combined attitude/motivation factor strongly influences whether the leamer loses or maintains lan-