Language learning strategies

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LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES
CHARACTERISTICS
Although the terminology is not always uniform, there are a number of basic characteristics in the generally accepted view of language learning strategies. Five main features can be inferred:
• Strategies play an important role in second language learning as they promote and facilitate language learning;
• Language learning strategies are learnergenerated. Learners themselves are the actual agents in their use and choice of strategies as they are directly affected by them;
• Language learning, as learning in general, has to be internalized and strategies are in fact problem-solving mechanisms or techniques used by learners to cope with the complex process of learning;
• Language learning strategies may be visible (behaviours, steps,techniques, etc.) or unseen (thoughts, mental processes).
• Strategies are flexible and it is logical to think that they can be taught and learners can be trained in their management.
(Palacios I. M.: Cuadernos de Filología Inglesa, 5/1 1996, pp. 103-120)

DEFINING COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES

Some definitions of Communication Strategies from a few authors are:
• According to Andrew D. Cohen(1998), learning strategies are learning processes which are consciously selected by the learner; language learning strategies and language use strategies are those processes which are consciously selected by learners and which may result in action taken to enhance the learning or use of a second or foreign language, through the storage, retention, recall, and application of information about thatlanguage.
• E. Tarone, A. Cohen & G. Dumas (1983) defined a communication strategy as a systematic attempt by the learner to express or decode meaning in the target language, in situations where the appropriate systematic TL rules have not been formed.
• P. Corder (1983) provided a working definition of communication strategies: they are systematic technique employed by a speaker to express hismeaning when faced with some difficulty.
• C. Faerch & G. Kasper (1983) defined communication strategies within a general model of speech production:
goal --- plan --- action
Communication strategies are potentially conscious plans for solving what to an individual presents itself as a problem in reaching a particular communicative goal.
• Rubin (1981, 1987) defines communication strategies asthose strategies used by a learner to promote and continue communication with others rather than abandon it. They are strategies used by speakers when they come across a difficulty in their communication because of lack of adequate knowledge of the language.
• E. Tarone (1983) put the focus on the interaction of two people trying to agree on a meaning in a situation where they do not sharerequisite sociolinguistic structure:
Communication strategies may be seen as attempts to bridge the gap between the linguistic knowledge of the second language learner, and the linguistic knowledge of the target language interlocutor in real communication situations.
All the above definitions reveal the same purpose of communication strategies, namely, to solve a communication problem that has emergedby applying some kinds of techniques.

TAXONOMY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES
There has not been common agreement on the categorization and classification of learning strategies. Different typologies have been established. In what follows, Rubin’s, Tarone’s, Oxford’s, O’Malley’s, in addition to other taxonomies of language learning strategies will be shown:
 According to Rubin (1987),there are three kinds of strategies which contribute directly or indirectly to language learning: learning strategies, communication strategies and social strategies.
o Learning strategies are strategies which contribute to the development of the language system which the learner constructs and affect learning directly.
• Cognitive learning strategies: steps or operations used in learning or...
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