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Language Learning Strategies: Oxford's Strategy Classification System

Based on Rebecca L. Oxford's Book, Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know (1990)

Eric Hall

on 15 July 2015

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Transcript of Language Learning Strategies: Oxford's Strategy Classification System

Language Learning Strategies
Language Learning Strategies
Definition: A deliberate, goal-directed attempt to manage and control efforts to learn a foreign or second language.
Indirect Strategies
Meta-cognitive Strategies
Metacognitive means beyond, beside, or with the cognitive. Theses strategies go beyond purely cognitive devices and provide the student with a way to coordinate their learning process.

Planning for cognition
Obtaining and using resources for cognition
Evaluating cognition

3 Sets:

1. Centering your learning
2. Arranging and planning your learning
3. Evaluating your learning
Affective Strategies
3 Sets:

1. Lowering your anxiety
2. Encouraging yourself
3. Taking your emotional temperature
Social Strategies
Language is a form of social behavior. Communication occurs among and between people. Since communication involves others, these social strategies are very important in the process of learning another language.
Rebecca L. Oxford's Strategy Classification System
Direct Strategies
Involves direct mental processing of the language
Cognitive Strategies
Cognitive strategies are typically found to be the most popular strategies with language learners. Strategies for practicing are among the most important cognitive strategies.
Compensation Strategies
Help students to use the language despite large gaps in knowledge. These strategies are intended to make up for a
lack of knowledge
in the areas of grammar and vocabulary.
Memory Strategies
Helps students store and retrieve information
Sometimes refered to as "Mnemonics"
Are more effective when used in conjunction with meta-cognitive strategies (paying attention) and affective strategies (reducing anxiety)
Contribute to the main goal, communicative competence
Allow learners to become more self-directed
Expand the role of the teacher
Are problem-oriented
Are specific actions taken by the learner
Involve may aspects of the learner, not just the cognitive
Are not always observable
Are often conscious
Can be taught
Are flexible
Are influenced by a variety of factors
Support learning both directly and indirectly

Three Groups:
Memory Strategies
Cognitive Strategies
Compensation Strategies

Three Groups:
Meta-cognitive Strategies
Affective Strategies
Social Strategies

Support and management of language learning without directly involving the target language
Creating Mental Linkages
3 strategies (these are the cornerstone for the rest of the memory strategies)

1. Grouping (L,R)
2. Associating/Elaborating (L,R)
3. Placing new words into a context (A)
Applying Images and Sounds
These strategies involve remembering by means of visual images and sounds
Reviewing Well (A)
The key is structured reviewing. It entails reviewing at different intervals. At first close together, then increasingly far apart.
Employing Action
These two strategies use physical response or sensation and mechanical techniques.
Grouping (L,R)
Classifying or reclassifying material into meaningful units, either mentally or in writing

Could be based on:
type of word (noun, verb, etc)
topic (weather, clothing, etc)
Similarity (warm, hot, tropical)
Opposites (friendly, unfriendly)
Feelings (like, dislike)
Linguistic function (Apology, request, demand)

Associating/Elaborating (L,R)
Relating new language information to concepts already in memory or relating one piece of information to another

Must be meaningful to the learner
Bread and butter

Placing New Words into a Context (A)
Placing a word or phrase in a meaningful sentence, conversation or story in order to remember it

New info is linked with a context
Not the same as guessing intellingently (described later)

Real World Examples

Tae Hyun
writes down new words he hears and categorizes them grammatically- then he labels them (nouns, pronouns, adjectives)

Sun Wook
groups words he has read by concept (hot, warm, fire) then looks for their opposites (cold, cool, ice)
Real World Examples

associates the English word "billboard" with a previously learned word, board (used for displaying)

reads the Russian word "soyuz" (union) and associates it with his friend Suzie
Real World Examples

1. HOMES (acronym for the Great Lakes).
uses this in the context of the spoken sentence, "my HOME'S on the Great Lakes
encounters a list of English words associated with sewing (hook, eye, seam, zipper, button, snap). She writes a little story to put these words into a meaningful context
Centering Your Learning
This set of 3 strategies helps learners to converge thier attention and energies on certain language tasks, activities, skills, or materials. A FOCUS is provided through use of these strategies.
Arranging and Planning Your Learning
6 strategies:

1. Finding out about language learning
2. Organizing
3. Setting goals and objectives
4. Identifying the purpose of a language task (purposefully listening/reading/speaking/writing)
5. Planning for a language task
6. Seeking practice opportunities
Evaluating Your Learning
2 strategies:

1. Self-monitoring
2. Self-evaluating
Additional Definition
"Strategies can be classified as conscious mental activity. They must contain not only an action but a goal (or an intention) and a learning situation. Whereas a mental action might be subconscious, an action with a goal/ intention and related to a learning situation can only be conscious."
COHEN, A.D.; MACARO, Ernesto (2008-01-06). OAL: LANGUAGE LEARNER STRATEGIES (Oxford Applied Linguistics) (Kindle Locations 767-769). Oxford University Press, USA. Kindle Edition.
4 Sets:

1. Creating Mental Linkages
2. Applying Images and Sounds
3. Reviewing Well
4. Employing Action
Using Imagery (L,R)
Creating a mental image to remember what has been heard or read in the new language
Semantic Mapping (L, R)
Arranging concepts and relationships on paper to create a map or diagram in which the key concepts are highlighted and are linked with related concepts via arrows or lines.
Representing Sounds in Memory (L, R, S)
Helps learners remember what they hear by making auditory rather than visual representations of sounds
Using Keywords (L, R)
Combines sounds and images so that the learners can more easily remember what they hear or read in the new language.
4 Strategies:

1. Using Imagery
2. Semantic Mapping
3. Using Keywords
4. Representing Sounds in Memory
(2 Classes: Direct and Indirect)
Classroom Example:

Min Hee groups various words from one of the classroom reading assignments. These words are grouped according to their relationship with yearbooks. She groups such words as memories, high school, photos, extracurricular, seniors, graduating and academic.
Da Young remembers the word "steakhouse" by remembering the place she first read the word: Outback Steakhouse
Carpe Diem! Seize the day!
As Bakhtin opined, ‘To live means to participate in dialogue: to ask questions, to heed, to respond, to agree …’ (1984: 293).
Geun Yong remembers various prepositions by illustrating them using a soccer ball as an example
Incorporates other memory strategies such as grouping, using imagery and associating/elaborating.
Se Yeon draws a semantic map to help her understand the relationship between different modes of transportation
This Prezi presentation is a semantic map relating concepts via words and images using circles, lines and arrows
2 steps:

1. Identify a familiar word in one's own language or another language that sounds like the new word.
2. Generate a visual image of the new word and the familiar one interacting in some way.
Brian links the new French word "Froid" (cold) with a familiar word, "Freud," then imagines Freud standing outside in the cold.
Julie reads the new Spanish word for waitress, camerera, relates it to camera, then imagines a waitress with a camera slung around her neck.
Rhymes are well known examples of representing sounds in memory
One famous rhyme we all know is "I before E except after C."
Kari encounters the new English word, "familiar." It sounds like a word she knows, "family," so she can remember the new word by the auditory link.
Structured Reviewing

Nam Jae is learning a set of English vocabulary words. He practices them immediately, waits 15 minutes before practicing them again, and practices them an hour later, 3 hours later, the next day, 2 days later, 4 days later, the following week, 2 weeks later, and so on until the material becomes automatic.
Using Physical Response or Sensation (L, R)
Students listen to a command then physically act it out.

Example: The teacher tells Jonk Sik to "take the pencil, go to the pencil sharpener, sharpen your pencil, write your name with it, and then give it to Ye Eun."

This can also be used for remembering reading material. Learners can act out what they read.
Using Mechanical Techniques (L, R, W)

Using flashcards with the new word written on one side and the definition written on the other.

Flashcards can be moved from one pile to another depending on how well the learner knows them.
4 Sets:

1. Practicing
2. Receiving and Sending Messages
3. Analyzing and Reasoning
4. Creating Structure for Input and Output
Analyzing and Reasoning
5 strategies:

1. Reasoning deductively
2. Analyzing expressions
3. Analyzing contrastively
4. Tranferring
5. Translating
Creating Structure for Input and Output
The following 3 strategies are ways to create structure, which is necessary for both comprehension and production in the new language.
Receiving and Sending Messages
The first (getting the idea quickly) uses two specific techniques for extracting ideas, while the second (using resources) invloves using a variety of resources for understanding and meaning.
2 Strategies:

1. Getting the idea quickly
2. Using resources for receiving and sending messages
Of the 5 practicing strategies, probably the most significant one is practicing naturalistically.

1. Repeating
2. Formally practicing with sounds and writing systems
3. Recognizing and using formulas and patterns
4. Recombining
5. Practicing naturalistically
Repeating (A)
Saying or doing something over and over. Listening to something several times; rehearsing; imitating a native speaker.
Formally Practicing With Sounds and Writing Systems (L, S, W)
Not to be confused with listening comprehension exercises. These are listening perception exercises. Recordings, not live speech, are recommended for listening perception.
Recognizing and Using Formulas and Patterns (A)
Formulas are unanalyzed expressions while patterns have at least one slot that can be filled with an alternate word.

Using a routine formula such as "Hello, how are you?" and a pattern like "It's time to _______."

Recombining (S, W)
Combining known elements in new ways to produce a longer sentence.
Practicing Naturalistically (A)
This strategy centers on using the language for actual communication.
Example: Mi Jeong listens to the weather report in English every day while eating breakfast.
Repetition might also mean reading a passage more than once to understand it. Or reading it several times with a different purpose in mind (general idea, prediction, reading for detail, write down questions, etc...)
Imitation of Native Speakers
As stated before, mindless or meaningless repetition is generally not worthwhile. By imitating a native speaker, the student can improve their:

1. Vocabulary
2. Pronunciation
3. Use of idioms
4. Use of gestures
5. Use of style
6. Tone
Revising various written drafts. Nothing ever comes out perfect the first time. This allows the student to add details and correct mistakes. However, perfection should not be the goal.
Grouping can take advantage of long-term memory

Try to memorize this list:






Now try this list:







The second list was easier to remember because the letters were grouped into meaningful acronymns. The two lists were the same letters. The key is the background knowledge the student already knows.
Background knowledge can help the reader in 4 areas:

1. Providing vocabulary
2. Bridging logical gaps that the writer leaves
3. Grouping (Chunking)
4. Guides the interpretation of ambiguous sentences
Wan Sik listens to different words containing the letters "ough," a combination that sounds different in various words: through, though, tough, trough. He then creates his own phonetic spelling of these words to understand them better (throo, thow, tuff, troff).
Lowering your Anxiety
3 Strategies:

1. Using progressive relaxation, deep breathing, meditation or prayer
2. Using Music
3. Using laughter
Why you have anxiety: A core explanation
Refers to emotions, attitudes, motivations and values.

The affective side of the learner is probably one of the biggest influences on language learning success or failure.
Encouraging yourself (and others)
3 Strategies:

1. Making positive statements
2. Taking risks wisely
3. Rewarding yourself
Taking your emotional temperature
4 Strategies:

1. Listening to your body
2. Using a checklist
3. Writing a language learning diary
4. Discussing your feelings with someone
Using progressive relaxation, deep breathing, meditation or prayer
1. Progressive relaxation: Alternately tensing and relaxing all the major muscle groups, one at a time.
2. Deep breathing: Breathing low from the diaphram, not just the lungs.
3. Meditation/Prayer: Focusing on an image or idea to focus your thoughts.
Using music (A)
Listening to soothing music, such as a classical concert, is one way to relax.
Using laughter (A)
Laughter is the best medicine.

Hospitals use "laughter therapy" to help patients relax. Laughter has the ability to bring pleasure to the classroom and help students relax.

Examples include comic books, jokes, laughing with friends, comical roleplaying.
A certain amount of anxiety can sometimes help learners to reach peak performance levels but too much anxiety blocks language learning.

Jun Ho listens to his favorite, most upbeat country music before practicing English.

Sara relaxes with some jazz before here French lesson.
"The heart has such a influence over the understanding that it is worthwhile to engage it in our interests."

Lord Chesterfield
Overviewing and linking with already known material (A)
This strategy involves previewing the basic principles and/or material (including new vocabulary) for an upcoming language activity, and linking these with what the learner already knows.

Vocabulary building can be an important part of the overviewing/linking strategy. It is helpful to follow 3 steps:

1. Learning why the activity is being done
2. Building the needed vocabulary
3. Making the associations
Paying attention (A)
This strategy involves two modes, "direct attention" and "selective attention."

Direct attention: Almost like concentration. It means deciding generally to pay attention to the task and avoid irrelevant distractors.

Selective attention involves deciding in advance to notice particular details.
Delaying speech production to focus on listening (L, S)
Can be used as a positive or a negative. You do not need to teach this strategy as many students already use it automatically.
Preparing for a listening exercise, Ji Wun previews English vocabulary about college and university (coed, admission, application, dorm, alumni, etc) because she knows there will be an exercise concerning listening and identifying these words. A comparision is also made between the English words and expressions and the same words in Korean.
Min Cheol sees the next story to be read has to do with getting a job. He overviews the material and considers how the struggle to get a job relates to his own troubles finding work.
Min Guen, preparing to do a writing assignment, does 10 minutes of "nonstop writing," a kind of written brainstorming in which ideas are not censored. Brainstorming outloud in a group could also aid in the writing process and can even be done in the L1.
3 strategies:

1. Overviewing and linking with already known material
2. Paying attention
3. Delaying speech to focus on listening
Fear is desire inverted.
Both modes. Steve's mind begins to wander when listening to the L2 language so he consciously directs his attention to the conversation.
In reading an English short story, No Hoon focuses on the names and tries to remember who's who.
Both modes. In his oral English report, Duk Young concentrates on making his spoken argument as logical as possible.
Direct attention. Hyun Woo determines he will concentrate wholeheartedly on writing a letter in English, blocking out noises and interuptions until he finishes.
Example 1:
Jeong Ik uses English phrases such as "good morning" or "I feel fine" but he does not say anything more than these standard phrases.

Example 2:
Won Chul decides he is ready to try and pronounce the names of items on the menu at an American restaurant but he feels unable to speak the language in normal conversation with Americans.
(based on Afflerbach, Pearson, and Paris, 2008)
2 sets:

1. Guessing intelligently
2. Overcoming limitations in speaking and writing
Guessing Intelligently (in Listening and Reading)
Guessing is essential for listening and reading. Students need not recognize every single word before they can comprehend the overall meaning.
Overcoming limitations in speaking and writing
All the compensation strategies for speaking and writing contribute to learning by allowing learners to stay in conversations or keep writing long enough to get sustained practice.
2 Strategies:

1. Using linguistic clues
2. Using other clues
Using linguistic clues (L, R)
Using previously gained knowledge of the target language or the learners own language can provide linguistic clues to the meaning of what is heard or read.
Using other clues (L, R)
These are additional clues that may or may not be related to language such as forms of address which imply social relationships.
Example 1:
Tae Hwan know the English words shovel, grass, mower, and lawn so he knows the conversation is probably about gardening.
Example 2:
Sarah knows that "le lavabo" (sink) and "la toilette" (toilet) relate to "la salle de bains" (bathroom); so when she reads an advertisement with the additional words "le robinet" (faucet) and "le carrelage" (tiling), she figures that these are accessories or parts of the bathroom.

1. Forms of address
2. Observation of non-verbal behavior
3. Knowing what has already been said
4. Audible or visual clues
5. Meaning in the text structure
6. Descriptions of people
7. General background knowledge
How to promote guessing (listening and reading)
Start with global comprehension. Ask students some preview questions before they start reading or listening.

Give students a sentence in the new language and ask them to complete it.


1. One the one hand he was right, but on the other hand...
2. The dying king called for a priest to...
3. The man dropped his shopping bag and everything spilled out. He went up to a young girl watching and...
8 strategies:

1. Switching to the mother tongue
2. Getting help
3. Using mime or gesture
4. Avoiding communication partially or totally
5. Selecting the topic
6. Adjusting or approximating the message
7. Coining words
8. Using circumlocution or synonym
2 Classes
6 Groups
19 Sets

62 Strategies

360 Examples

Asking questions
One of the most basic social interactions. Asking questions helps the learner better understand the intended meaning and aids in understanding. It also encourages the conversational partner to provide larger quantities of "input" in the target language and indicates interest and involvement.
Cooperating with Others
Cooperating with peers
Cooperating with proficient users of the new language
Empathizing with others
Developing Cultural Understanding
Becoming Aware of Others' Thoughts and Feelings
3 sets:

1. Asking questions
2. Cooperating with others
3. Empathizing with others
2 strategies:

1. Asking for clarification
2. Asking for correction
Asking for clarification or verification (L, R)
Involves asking the more proficient speaker to slow down, paraphrase, repeat, explain, or clarify what has been said.
Asking for correction (S, W)
This strategy is used mostly in speaking and writing. It is related to the strategy of self-monitoring, in which students notice and correct their own difficulties.
This is the use of memory: For liberation
T S. Eliot
141 examples
141 examples
Sample questions:

1. Would you please repeat that?
2. Please speak more slowly
3. I'm sorry, I don't understand
4. Pardon me
5. What was that again?
6. Did you say _________?
7. What does __________ mean?
Philip does not understand when Tommy says, "wadja wanna do?" Philip then asks Tommy to slow down and clarify by saying more distinctly, "What do you want to do?"
Vicki, reading a French passage, does not comprehend the meaning of the phrase, "a toute allure," confusing it with "a tout a l'heure." She asks Helene for clarification and is told the first expression means "at great speed" and the second means "see you very soon."
Be careful, however, not to become a "speech cop." Also, be careful about the amount of written correction given to beginning students as this can affect student morale.
Example 1
Duk Young is sure he made an error when his English teacher looks surprised at what he says, so he asks to be corrected.
Example 2
Kang Il wants to improve his English writing, so he asks the teacher to mark his most serious mistakes. Then he makes the appropriate corrections on his own.
Student Activity
Keep a Diary
Have students keep a diary or journal to express their feelings about learning the new language. Try to have them write something everyday. The entries need not be long. Be sure to emphasis that the diary is for the student, and therefore, very personal. They don't even need to show it to anyone unless they want to. This can help the student to "let of steam" and also identify problems and even accomplishments in the new language.
Consider Twitter for your students to use in place of a diary. Have them write a short entry everyday about learning English or any language learning strategies they used that day.
Student Activity
Calm Down Through Music
Let students take a quiet time either during a break or before class. You can also try to play some peaceful music in the background to calm students down.
Student Activity
Make a Weekly Schedule
Make a schedule of weekly study times, classes, independent study, outside practice, part time job, eating, sleeping, etc. Keep in mind that shorter, more frequent study sessions are better than longer, less frequent ones.
Teacher Activity
Consider Your Own Strategy Use
Think back to when you began learning Korean (or any other second language). Which of the six groups of strategies- memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognative, affective, and social- did you use the most often? Least often? Never use? Give examples if you can.
Teacher Activity
Discuss Teacher Roles
Read the following list of classroom management behaviors then answer the questions:

1. Giving learners plenty of encouragement for their efforts
2. Establishing a position of dominance over learners
3. Ignoring disruptive behavior and praising appropriate behavior
4. Giving pupils responsibility for their learning
5. Learning the names of the students quickly
6. Keeping grading and attendance lists up to date
7. Being warm, friendly, and open with learners
8. Establishing a daily and weekly routine
9. Threatening with punishment learners who misbehave
10. Setting learning tasks which are completely in total silence
Student Activity
Make a Weekly Schedule
Make a schedule of weekly study times, classes, independent study, outside practice, part time job, eating, sleeping, etc. Keep in mind that shorter, more frequent study sessions are better than longer, less frequent ones.
1. Which do you think are the most appropriate classroom management behaviors?
2. Which ones require the imposition of the teacher's power?
3. Which ones involve a lessening of social distance between the teacher and the students?
4. Which of these behaviors is task-oriented?
5. In what ways do these behaviors influence student motivation?
6. Which behaviors do your own students expect?
7. How do these behaviors relate to the six groups of learning strategies?
Student Activity
Picture Stories
This activity gives the students a chance to create a new story. Strategies that can be employed are memory strategies, practicing naturalistically and compensating for missing information. This can be a speaking or writing exercise.
Student Activity
Caption the Comic
This activity allows the students to give dialogue and captions to a comic where the words have been removed. An alternate activity is to provide the original words and let the students match the captions to the correct picture.
Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know, Rebecca L. Oxford, 1990.

Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies, Rebecca L. Oxford, 2011.

Why Don't Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means For the Classroom, Daniel T. Willingham, 2010.

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerers Think Differently...and Why, Richard E. Nisbett, 2003.

Lessons From Good Language Learners, Carol Griffiths, 2008.

OAL: Language Learner Strategies (Oxford Applied Linguistics), Andrew D. Cohen and Ernesto Macaro, 2007.
Student Activity
Get the Message
This exercise helps students practice a variety of strategies for understanding an oral message. Show a short film, cartoon or news program in class. Tell the students in advance to monitor the ways in which they receive the message. After the video, have them brainstorm the ways in which they used skimming, scanning, guessing or other strategies to understand the video.
TV Show or Short Film
LLS help students participate in authentic communication.
Metacognitive strategies help students to regulate their own cognition and to focus, plan, and evaluate their progress.
Affective strategies develop self-confidence and perseverance needed for the student to actively involve themselves in the language.
Social strategies provide increased. interaction and empathetic understanding; two qualities vital for communicative competence.
Cognitive strategies are useful for understanding and recalling new information.
Compensation strategies aid students in overcoming knowledge gaps and continuing authetic communication.
There will not always be a teacher around to guide students as they use the language outside the classroom. LLS aid in self regulation by giving the student initiative and confidence in using the new language outside the classroom. Self direction isn't an all or nothing endeavor. Self-directed students gradually gain greater confidence, involvement and proficiency.
Mix and match- You are the chef!
Common formulas:

Yes, that's right.
What happened next?
That's not so bad.
Hey, that's great!
That's a funny story.
I know what you mean.
That's interesting.

Common patterns:

I don't know how to ____________
I would like to __________________

Student Obstacles to Language Learning
See: Language Learning and Perfectionism: Anxious and Non-Anxious Language Learners' Reactions to Their Own Oral Performance

by Tammy Gregersen and Elaine K. Horwitz
Student Obstacles to Language Learning
Listening to your body
Sleep- Why it is so important
Example 1:
Rosie knows three expressions: "weather's fine", "I think I'd like...", and "take a walk." In practicing her speaking, she creates a new sentence with some additional words: The weather's fine today, so I think I'd like to take a walk.
Example 2:
Recombining can be used in writing also. Peter, who is learning English, knows some terms for everyday tasks: "going to the store," "washing clothes," "getting some gas," and "going to the library." He writes a short story about a man who does all these things one afternoon.
Example 3:
Recombining doesn't always imply stringing items together as in examples 1 and 2. It can also involve using known forms, such as going to the concert, with different pronouns, such as he, she, we, they, you. For example, Natalie writes, "He's going to the concert, but she's not. We're going to the concert, too. I hope you'll go with us!"
Try to use live speech for listening comprehension exercises as much as possible. If unedited, authentic listening materials are used, these should be short segments or recorded broadcasts or interviews with native speakers on familiar topics.
Technology offers many opportunities for naturalistic listening practice inside and outside the classroom. Youtube, news sites and audio books are some areas of internet technology that can aid in natural practice as far as listening goes.
The most common form of reading use to be print. However, your students may feel more comfortable reading from a tablet, smartphone or notebook computer.
Social media and computer games are of little help as far as reading.
Magazines, books, and newspapers are the best for developing naturalistically in the target language.
Involves practice in speaking the language for realistic communication. Speaking with a native speaker or an advanced speaker in a natural setting is preferred. Making friends with native speakers, attending a language class or joining a foreign language club can provide the opportunity to speak naturalistically.
Getting the idea quickly (L, R)
Using resources for receiving and sending messages (A)
Students notice and correct errors in their language skills.

However, over analysis can lead to an overly self-conscious view of the learner's performance.
This strategy involves gauging either general language progress or progress in any of the four skills.
Finding out about language learning (A)
Organizing (A)
Setting goals and objectives (A)
Identifying the purpose of a language task (A)
Planning for a language task (A)
Seeking practice opportunities (A)
Uncovering what is involved in language learning. Books are a good source of information. Let students talk about their language learning problems, ask questions and share ideas. Take class time to discuss the learning process and what the students think about it.
This strategy includes a variety of tools such as:

creating the best possible physical environment
scheduling well
keeping a language learning notebook
Physical environment
Having a proper physical environment is important. Listening and reading require a comfortable, peaceful setting with little to no background noise. Also, establishing a good classroom environment can encourage students to learn.
Language learning notebook
This is an excellent organizational aid in learning. The student can write down new expressions, structures, and other content. Class assignments, goals and objectives, strategies, and things to remember can be recorded in a notebook.
A weekly schedule
This is a practical strategy for scheduling time to practice inside and outside the classroom. Relaxation time should be built into the schedule also so as to prevent burnout.
Rebecca L. Oxford, Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know, 1990
Rebecca L. Oxford, Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies, 2011
Helps the reader hone in on what they need to understand and disregard the rest.

2 techniques: Skimming and Scanning

Skimming involves searching for the main ideas the speaker wants to get across. Scanning means searching for specific details of interest to the learner.
Preview Questions
Preview questions help learners to skim and scan more easily.

Examples for skimming: "What are three key ideas in this passage?" or "What is the theme of this reading passage?"

Examples for scanning: "Who is the man in the dark hat? Where does he come from? What does he want with the old woman?"
Charts to complete, lists to write, diagrams to fill out, and other mechanisms also provide clues about general points or specific details the learner needs to pick up in a listening or reading assignment.

Tip: Skimming and scanning in the classroom setting are often enhanced by another strategy, taking notes.
This strategy involves using resources to find out the meaning of what is heard or read in the new language. Dictionaries, word lists, grammar books, and phrase books may be valuable. Non-print resources may include tapes, dvds, cds, radio, museums, exhibitions and internet resources.
"We learn by doing"
Learning is not about cramming in information. It is about learning by doing. It is about looking at issues in various ways and developing capacities, especially the ability to dig below the surface to reach the truth. . That is why our goal is to teach students to learn how to learn rather than merely passing information to them. (Tsui, 2006:1)
Aristotle AND Captain Kirk!
In his great work Les Miserables, Victor Hugo wrote, “Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the grander view?” (Hugo, 1992, p. 767).
are intentions with strategies attached to them.

You don’t just hope something is going to happen; you are planning to make it happen. To be resolved is to be determined.
Switching to the mother tongue (S)
Sometimes called "code switching"
Example: Eun Sang says, "This weekend I went to my ________."
(I went to my part-time job).
Carol Griffiths, Lessons from Good Language Learners, 2008
Andrew Cohen and Ernesto Macaro, OAL: Language Learner Strategies, 2008
Examples of listening goals may be to obtain an advanced listening proficiency rating or be able to understand the language well enough for foreign travel.

Mindless or meaningless repetition is generally not worthwhile. Imitation of a native speaker, however, is a valid and worthwhile technique.
Another way to use mechanical techniques is through smartphone apps.
These strategies help the learner to use logical thinking to understand and use the grammar rules and vocabulary of the new language.
Reasoning Deductively (A)
Guessing at the meaning of what is heard by means of general rules the learner already knows.
Example: June knows the sentence, "Would you like to go to the library?" is a question because he recognizes that part of the verb comes before the subject (a general rule he has learned).
One problem, however, is overgeneralization. For example, Hugo knows the past tense in English uses -ed, so he applies this rule to "bringed" and "goed."
Analyzing Expressions (L, R)
This involved breaking down a new word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph into its individual components.
Example: Mary does not understand the phrase "premeditated crime." She then breaks down the phrase into its parts.
(bad act),
(think about),
- (before). So she then figures out the phrase: a bad act that is planned in advance.
Analyzing Contrastively (L, R)
Most students use this one naturally. It involves analyzing elements (sounds, words, syntax) of the new language to determine likeness and differences in comparison with one's own native language.
Example: The English word "papa" sounds close to the Korean word, "appa." Both mean father. This strategy is used a lot with western language such as English and French that have a lot of very similar words (English: cream, French: creme).
However, there are "false friends" that look similar but actually mean something very different.

The Spanish phrase, "Estoy embarazada" doesn't mean "I'm embarrased." It means, "I'm pregnant!"
Transferring (A)
This involves transferring linguistic knowledge from the L1 to the L2. This can sometimes be a problem as language elements in the L1 and L2 are often different so be careful.
Example: Concerning the days of the week. Stephen knows that each Korean word for day ends in "il." This is like the English equivelant where each weekday ends in "day" (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc...)
Incorrect application: Sun Joon says, "Teacher, I bathroom go." He Incorrectly places the verb at the end of the sentence via grammar transferring from the L1.
Translating (A)
Most effective in early language learning. Uses the L1 as the basis for understanding the L2.

However, a word for word translation can become problematic and provide incorrect interpretations (Google translate anyone?)
Example: The French words "beau-frere" and "belle-soeur" translate to "handsome brother" and "beauiful sister" in English. However, the actual meanings are "brother-in-law" and "sister-in-law."
In Spanish, it is approriate to say, "no comprendo." However, when this is translated in English it says, "no understand" which is technically correct yet primitive. The proper translation is, "I don't understand."
1. Taking notes
2. Summarizing
3. Highlighting
Taking Notes (L,R,W)
The focus on note taking should be on understanding, not writing. Key points can be written in the L1 at first then in the L2 as the student progresses.
5 kinds
of note taking approaches:

1. Raw notes
2. T-formation notes
3. Shopping list notes
4. Standard outline structure
5. Semantic map
Raw notes: Unstructured- can be confusing and disorganized. Well, we're all guilty of this kind I think.
T-formation: Use the space on the paper in a more effective way. First draw a "T" then write the main title on the top line. The left side can be categories or topics and the right side can be specific examples or details.
Shopping list: Just like it sounds. It is a list with items in order or in clusters of meaning. There is consistency and it is easy to read.
Summarizing (L,R,W)
Making a summary or abstract of a longer passage.

This could be a simple as a title to a story that was heard.

Example: Placing pictures which depict a series of events in the order in which they occured in the story. (Links the verbal with the visual)
Highlighting (L,R,W)
Highlighting is a way to supplement notes and summaries.

It emphasizes points in a dramatic way

Getting Help (S)
Could involve stopping or hesitating in the conversation or just asking for help.
"How do you say __________ in English?"
Using Mime or Gesture (S)
Using a physical gesture in place of the word or expression in a conversation to indicate the meaning.
Familiar mimes or gestures:

1. Pointing
2. Indicating objects (airplane, pencil, car, etc.)
3. Clapping or giving a "thumbs up"
Avoiding Communication Partially or Totally (S)
Involves not speaking when a difficulty arises or is anticipated. Could also be avoidance of certain situations and even certain topics. Offers the speaker some emotional protection and the chance to speak correctly at a later time.
Selecting the Topic (S,W)
The learner chooses the topic of conversation. This allows the speaker to pick something they know about and are interested in conversing about.
Adjusting or Approximating the Message (S,W)
Some items of information are omitted making the message simpler or less precise.
Nina says she has to leave but she doesn't indicate she has an appointment at the dentist's office in 20 minutes. Her English level limits the information she can give so she approximates the message.
Coining Words (S,W)
Making up new words in the L2 because one lacks the vocabulary knowledge to communicate a concept.
So Young does not know the English word "balloon" so she coins the word "airball."

Jenny doesn't know the word "dentist" so she makes up the term "tooth doctor" drawing on words she does know.
Using a Circumlocution or Synonym (S,W)
A circumlocution is a roundabout expression involving several words to explain a single concept.

A synonym is a word having the same meaning as another word in the same language.
Circumlocution example:
Robert doesn't know "car seatbelt" so he says, "I'd better tie myself in."

Synonym example:
Tommy doesn't remember the word "briefcase" so he says, "I lost my leather packet."
Standard Outline Form: This is the kind that comes as a template for Microsoft Word and many other document creation programs.
Another example is the "abstract" seen at the beginning of peer reviewed journal articles.
3. big writing
4. bold writing
5. stars
6. boxes, circles
Examples of reading goals may include proficiency in reading technical manuals, reading for enjoyment, or reading the course textbook.
Goals, objectives and deadlines should be listed in the language learning notebook
"A man that has friends must shew himself friendly."
Proverbs 18:24
Making Positive Statements
Taking Risks Wisely
Rewarding Yourself
I enjoy learning the new language
I can understand without knowing every word
I'm reading faster than I was a month ago
I can tell my fluency is increasing
I'm taking risks and doing well
It's OK if I make mistakes
This strategy involves taking risks regardless of the possibility of making a mistake.

This is not the same as reckless or wild risks. Good judgment must be used.

Taking risks also supports other affective strategies such as making positive statements or rewarding yourself.
This is not the same as a teacher rewarding you (External rewards)

Learners need to discover how to reward themselves for good work in language learning.

Rewards don't necessarily need to be tangible or visible.
Using a Checklist
Writing a Language Learning Diary
Discussing your Feelings with Someone Else
Cooperating with Peers
Cooperating with Proficient Users of the New Language
Becoming Aware of Others' Thoughts and Feelings
Developing Cultural Understanding
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