Succesful strategies in language learning
The book is about studying the second language successfully – developing learner autonomy – comparing communicative and audio-lingual methods in the classroom – applying success diary – learner strategies – teaching strategies – explicit strategy instruction – implicit strategy instruction – methodology of developing learner autonomy – syllabus and materials design. More
It is recognized now that language learning strategies (LLS) are the key to learner autonomy (LA). In order to facilitate the autonomy in their students, teachers need to incorporate learning strategy instruction into their language lessons.
L2 research can assist autonomous learning by ensuring that the learner is offered ‘a range of choices with an adequate coverage of the diverse nature of l2 learning’.
Studies in Learner Autonomy and Learning Strategies (LS) are relatively new fields of research. They didn’t catch the attention of the scholars until mid 1970s, when first CRAPEL research in France and the so-called liberation of education began. Autonomous learning is not yet widely used, perhaps because autonomization threatens the power of educational structures. It is also not clear if it would fit with all kinds of mainstream educational systems (Little, 2004). Little (2000) explained though that learner autonomy is crucial for two interrelated reasons: one reason is that students perform more successfully and are more focused if they are involved in initiating, reflecting and assessing their learning process. The other reason is that if the learners are engaged in learning a foreign language in such a way, they can then transfer the ability to act autonomously to other spheres.
The idea of Learner autonomy proposed by Hoilec (1984) and developed by Dam (1995) and Little (2004) proves to work in the long run. It states that teaching the student how to learn motivates them to learn, gives them the responsibility for their learning and helps them become more successful students.
The context of the classroom in Russia is known to be quite a teacher-centric one, while the situation of acquiring English in a monolingual environment demands the student to be highly autonomous, if they want to be a successful English learner (Little, 2004) and to gain the effective level of proficiency. It is clear that the students lack the useful strategies, are unaware of their specific learning styles and have underdeveloped learner autonomy when they enter the English language classroom in Russia.
The lack of these skills hinders them from being successful language learners. My own experience with teaching English with the textbooks that integrate the implicit strategy and styles instruction and autonomy development leads me to conclude that students need explicit styles and strategies instruction in order to help them become more teacher independent and to become more successful language learners and users.
The research question is: to what extent the direct learning styles instruction develops learner independence?
The object of the study is the process of learning to learn instruction, while the subject of the study the conditions under which the learning to learn instruction takes place.
Hence we use the following thesis outline:
The book consists of 8 chapters. It begins with the short introduction followed by Literature overview (Chapters 2-4) that gives the outline of the before and after teaching methods compared, self-awareness and explicit strategy instruction. Chapters 5 and 6 describe the methodology and the obtaining of the results respectively, while in chapter 7 we finally focus on interpretation of them. Chapter 8 briefly summarizes the results and their application and limitations and proposes the questions for further research. The appendices contain the consent form as well as questionnaire and log samples.
The book is intended for a vast readership of ESL teachers across the world, as well as language instructors, curriculum makers and adult Advance level students of ESL and graduates and postgraduates completing their research in the field of teaching, learner autonomy, language instruction and learner independence.