language learning strategy research: current trends … · language learning strategy research:...

of 35 /35
Language Learning Strategy Research: Current trends and issues in the field Heath Rose Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics School of Linguistic, Speech & Communication Sciences, Trinity College, The University of Dublin

Author: hakhue

Post on 16-Jul-2018




0 download

Embed Size (px)


  • Language Learning Strategy Research:

    Current trends and issues in the field

    Heath Rose Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics School of Linguistic, Speech & Communication Sciences, Trinity College, The University of Dublin


    PhD & Masters in Education/Applied linguistics at the University of Sydney

    BA & PG Teaching Cert., University of Queensland


    5 years in schools in Australia (teaching Japanese) and Japan (teaching English)

    10 years in universities in Australia and Japan


    Second language learning

    Cognitive learning strategies


    Global Englishes/ELF



    Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics

    Trinity College Dublin

    [email protected]

    Most of my research

    context is in Japan

    I have a vested

    interest in language

    education, not just

    linguistic research

  • Overview

    Where have we come


    Historical development

    Criticisms Self-regulation


    Where are we now?

    Current directions

    Abandon LLS Incorporate

    LLS & SR

    Where do we go from


    Future directions

    Self-regulation vs learning strategies

    General vs specific models

    What does this mean for me?

    Researchers Instructors Learners


  • What are LLS?

    Language learning strategies are thoughts and actions, consciously chosen and operationalized by language learners, to assist them in carrying out a multiplicity of tasks from the very onset of learning to the most advanced levels of target-language performance Cohen (2012, p. 136)

    There is contention among academics over definitions. LLSs have been defined as special thoughts, behaviors,

    techniques and devices.

    They have been perceived as cognitive, metacognitive, psychological, affective, and social.

  • Historical Overview

    1975 2000

    Rubin (1975)

    O'Malley, Chamot, Stewner-

    Menzanares, Kupper & Russo


    SILL-related studies

    Rubins taxonomy


    1. Metacognitive 2. Cognitive 3. Social/affective

    OXFORD 1. Cognitive 2. Mnemonic 3. Metacognitive 4. Compensatory 5. Affective 6. Social

    LLS Research Explosion

    Bailystok (1979) Hosenfeld (1976) Naiman, Frolich & Stern (1975) Selinger (1977)

    Rubins taxonomy was a list of what might be

    termed academic or study skills (Grenfell & Macaro,

    2007, p. 11)

  • Strategy Inventory of Language Learning (SILL)

    50+ item questionnaire of general strategies for language learning: If I do not understand something in

    English, I ask the other person to slow down or say it again.

    I encourage myself to speak English even when I am afraid of making a mistake

    I notice my English mistakes and use that information to help me do better

    I make up new words if I do not know the right ones in English.

    l. Never or almost never true of me

    2. Usually not true of me

    3. Somewhat true of me

    4. Usually true of me

    5. Always or almost always

    true of me

  • 2000 Now

    Dornyei (2005)

    Tseng et al. (2006)

    Gao (2006) Cohen & Macaro



    Woodrow (2005)

    LSS (2003) MARSI (1998-2000)

    SORS (2001) MALQ (2006)

    STATE OF FLUX: Continue LLS

    research? Abandon LLS

    for SR? Incorporate SR

    & LLS?

    Likert scale of SILL is inappropriate Lack of reliability in using

    questionnaires to measure learning strategies

    a more situated approach utilizing in-depth qualitative methods (p. 90)

    Computation of mean scores is not justifiable

    Previous taxonomies are too fuzzy

  • WHERE ARE WE NOW? Part Two

  • Overview recent history

    LLS research has been on the decline since the late 1990s, and early 2000s.

    The field of LLS has been complicated by the calls to shelve LLS research in favor of self-regulation.

    This has caused a field that once garnered much attention in the 1990s to one that new scholars are hesitant to answer.

  • Current trend 1: Incorporate SR & LLS

    Self-regulation in language learning refers to the processes the learner uses to exercise control over learning.

    This definition also causes issues and some researchers use the term synonymously with autonomy and self-management (Cohen, 2007).

    Self-regulation and LLS can be complimentary models (Gao, 2006)

    this is direction I took in 2007

  • Self-regulation (Dornyei 2005: 113)

    Commitment control strategies for helping preserve or increase learners goal commitment.

    Metacognitive control strategies for monitoring and controlling concentration and for curtailing unnecessary procrastination.

    Satiation control strategies for eliminating boredom and adding extra attraction or interest to the task.

    Emotion control strategies for managing disruptive emotional states or moods and for generating emotions that are conducive to implementing ones intentions.

    Environmental control strategies for the elimination of negative environmental influences by making an environment an ally in the pursuit of a difficult goal.

  • B

    Cognitive processes

  • Rose (2012) (from 2007)

  • Definitional fuzziness

    Not one instance of environmental control was reported in the study where it was not being used to regulate another form of motivation control. Such results indicate environmental control may not be a separate category of control in itself, but a self-regulatory mechanism or strategy to control other forms of motivation. Participants, for example, reported regulating their study environment in order to alleviate boredom (by changing the study environment regularly) or stress (by working out while studying), or factors that may lead to procrastination (by creating an environment free of distractions). (Rose, 2012, p. 12)

  • Self-regulation in kanji learning

  • Cognitive learning strategies

    Motivational control strategies

    Memory strategies Self-regulation Co








    gical pe


    Applied linguistics (SLA)

    Cognitive science/psychology


  • Current trend 2: Explore self-regulation further

    Commitment control

    Metacognitive control

    Satiation control

    Emotion control

  • Self-regulation has a deeper history

    Ranalli (2012) argues critics (including myself) assume Dornyei and colleagues version of self-regulation to be the only valid formulation

    They miss opportunities to widen the theoretical lens and explore what else this construct may have to offer our field. (Ranalli, 2012, p. 361)

    Ranalli (2012) introduces the application of Winne and Hadwins COPES model of self-regulation to second language learning tasks.

  • Current trend 3: Learning strategy research continues

    Business as usual for many of the sub-fields of strategy research

    These escaped the criticisms of LLS because:

    They were task-specific (VLS, Reading Strategies)

    They had long moved on from the SILL and its inaccuracies

    They had already developed their own taxonomies of strategies

  • Criticisms do not mean the end of LLS

    Dornyei may be setting up a straw man in order to knock him down (Grenfell & Macaro, 2007, p. 26).

    LLS and self-regulation are looking at two different parts of the learning process (Gao, 2007)

    The definition quibble is going beyond the advancement of knowledge in delineating conceptual boundaries. (Gu, 2012, p. 330)

  • Looking at skill or function (Cohen, 2012)

    Language Learning





    Listening comprehension


    Cognitive strategies

    Metacognitive strategies

    Affective strategies

  • New directions by Peter Gu (2012)

    Conceptual fuzziness should not be a problem serious enough to overthrow forty years of research on language learning strategies ..In fact, the proposed alternative term self- regulation or even a more general and key term learning fall into the same fuzziness trap ..This indicates to me that the find-another-term solution is not viable. (p. 331)

    Gu (2012) strips learning strategies back to its prototypical core, providing one of the most interesting theory-driven papers in the field I have read in recent years.

  • The process of a strategic move (Gu, 2012, p. 337)

  • Dimensions of variation (Gu, 2012, p. 341)


  • Where do we go from here?

    New ways to look at strategies could be explored, incorporating the volume of research outside of L2

    New methods to look at self-regulation in L2 learning could be explored

    Both models have their strengths: Strategy research has strength in context-specific tasks, or

    processes (e.g. cognitive strategies for learning kanji)

    Self-regulation has strength in the psychological processes of the learner (e.g. control over learning process)

    There is a need in applied linguistic research for both


    There is a need for movements away from self-

    report questionnaires

  • Continue to explore LLS as a multidisciplinary construct:

    incorporate LLS and self-regulation into complimentary

    models of strategic learning

    Separate the disciplines of LLS, and conducting research under

    the strength of previous research in that discipline

    (affect regulation, cognitive strategies, social strategies)

    LLS were always a multi-disciplinary construct

    Gao (2006) Rose (2012)

    Oxford (2009) Weinstein (2009)

    Independent fields need not be

    affected by the ongoing debate

    BUT the focus has to be context or task-specific, e.g. kanji learning, VLS

    Or similar fields can be explored (cognitive-



  • Implications for the researcher


    Oxfords LLS model

    Self-report questionnaires SILL

    Frequency based statements

    Dornyeis motivation control paradigm

    Self-regulation & LLS all-encompassing models (e.g. Oxfords S2R model)


    Context-specific studies

    Skill-based models of LLS

    Function-based models of LLS

    Additions to self-report questionnaires Stimulated recall


  • Implications for the instructor

    Be careful with the teaching of strategies in the language classroom Effectiveness of strategy instruction is varied

    Research consistently shows individual differences in use of strategies by successful learners

    Best to take an approach of awareness-raising Exposing/discussing a range of known useful

    strategies with students for them to try-out

    Dont force strategies on your students (e.g. kanji learning)

  • Implications for the learner

    Strategies are not magic.

    Strategies aid learning they do not work miracles

    Choose strategies that make sense to you

    There is a danger of adopting strategies at face value

    E.g. Learners of Japanese kanji and magic solutions

  • Further reading

    Rose, H. (2012). Reconceptualizing strategic learning in the face of self-regulation: throwing language learning strategies out with the bathwater. Applied Linguistics, 33(1), 92-98. Rose, H. (2012). Language learning strategy research: Where do we go from here? Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(2), 137-148. Rose, H. (2012). Learner Strategies, Self-Regulation, and Self-Access Learning (Editorial). Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(4). Rose, H., & Harbon, L. (2013). Self-regulation of the kanji-learning task. Foreign Language Annals. 46(1). MLJ article on mnemonic strategies in review

  • References Cohen, A. D. (2007). Coming to terms with language learner strategies: surveying the experts. In D. C. Cohen & E. M. Macaro. (Eds.), Language learner strategies. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. (pp. 29-45).

    Drnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Grenfell, M. & Macaro, E. (2007). Claims and critiques. In D. C. Cohen & E. M. Macaro. (Eds.), Language learner strategies. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. (pp. 9-28).

    Gao, X. 2006. Has language learning strategy research come to an end? A response to Tseng, Dornyei and Schmitt Applied Linguistics 28(4), 615-620.

    Gu, Y. (2012). Learning Strategies: Prototypical Core and Dimensions of Variation. SiSAL Journal , 3(4),


    Oxford R. L. (2011). Teaching and researching language learning strategies. Pearson Education.

    Ranalli, J. (2007). Alternative Models of Self-regulation and Implications for L2 Strategy Research.

    SiSAL Journal , 3(4), 330-356

    Takeuchi, O., Griffiths, C. & Coyle, D. (2007). Applying strategies: the role of individual, situational, and group differences. In D. C. Cohen & E. M. Macaro.(Eds.), Language learner strategies. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. (pp. 69-92).

    Tseng, W. T., Drnyei, Z., & Schmitt, N. (2012). A new approach to assessing strategic learning: The case of self-regulation in vocabulary acquisition. Applied Linguistics, 27(1), 78-102.

    Weinstein, C. E. (2009). Strategic and self-regulated learning for the 21st Century: The merging of skill, will and self-regulation. Paper given at the Independent Learning Association Conference, June 4. Hong Kong.

    Woodrow, L. (2005). The challenge of measuring language learning strategies. Foreign Language Annals, 38(1), 90100.

  • Thank you

    Heath Rose Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics School of Linguistic, Speech & Communication Sciences, Trinity College, The University of Dublin Contact: [email protected]