distinction between strategies directly contributing to learning and those contributing indirectly. According to Rubin (1987), there are three types of strategies used by learners that contribute directly or indirectly to language learning.
The first category, Learning Strategies, consists of two main types: Cognitive and Metacognitive Learning Strategies. They are thought to be strategies directly contributing to the language system constructed by the learner.
Cognitive Learning Strategies (CLS) refer to the steps or processes used in learning or problem-solving tasks that require direct analysis, transformation, or synthesis of learning materials (Rubin, 1987). Rubin (1987) identified six main CLS directly contributing to language learning: Clarification/Verification, Guessing/Inductive Inferencing, Deductive Reasoning, Practice, Memorization, and Monitoring.
Metacognitive Learning Strategies (MLS) are used to supervise, control or self-direct language learning. They involve a variety of processes as planning, prioritizing, setting goals, and self-management (Rubin, 1987).
The second category consists of Communication Strategies, which are less directly related to language learning because they focus on the process of participating in a conversation and getting meaning across or clarifying what the speaker intended. These strategies are used by speakers when they are confronted with misunderstanding by a co-speaker (Rubin, 1987)
Social Strategies comprise the last category, which are manipulated when the learners are engaged in tasks that afford them opportunities to be exposed to and practice their knowledge. Even though these strategies provide exposure to the target language, they contribute indirectly to the obtaining, storing, retrieving, and using of language (Wenden & Rubin, 1987, pp. 23-27).
220.127.116.11 O’Malley’s Classification of Language Learning Strategies
O’Malley, Chamot, Stewner-Manzanares, Russo, Küpper (1985, pp. 582-584) divide language-learning strategies into three main subcategories: Metacognitive Strategies, Cognitive Strategies, and Socioaffective Strategies.
It can be stated that metacognitive Strategy is a term which refers to the executive skills, strategies which require planning for learning, thinking about the learning processes that is taking place, monitoring of one’s production or comprehension, and evaluating learning after an activity is completed. Strategies such as self-monitoring, self-evaluation, advance organizers, self- management, and selective attention can be placed among the main metacognitive strategies.
When compared to metacognitive strategies, it can be stated that Cognitive Strategies are not only more limited to specific learning tasks but they also involve more direct manipulation of the learning material itself. Among the most important cognitive strategies are repetition, elaboration, contextualization, auditory representation, transfer, etc.
Regarding the Socioaffective Strategies, it can be stated that they involve interaction with another person. They are generally considered to be applicable to various tasks. Questioning for clarification, cooperation with others to solve a problem, rephrasing, and self-talk are some examples of socioaffective strategies.
18.104.22.168 Oxford’s Classification of Language Learning Strategies
Among all the existing learning strategy taxonomies Oxford (1990) provides the most extensive classification of LLS developed so far. However, when analyzed, her classification is not something completely different from the previously discussed ones. On the contrary, Oxford’s taxonomy overlaps with O’Malley’s (1985) taxonomy to a great extent. For instance, the Cognitive Strategies category in O’Malley’s classification seems to cover both the Cognitive and Memory Strategies in Oxford’s taxonomy. Moreover, while O’Malley puts socioaffective strategies in one category, Oxford deals with them as two separate categories. Yet, a significant difference in Oxford’s classification is the addition of the compensation strategies, which have not been treated in any of the major classification systems earlier.
Generally speaking, Oxford’s taxonomy consists of two major LLS categories, the Direct and Indirect Strategies. Direct strategies are those behaviors that directly involve the use of the target language, which directly facilitates language learning. Oxford (1990) resembles the direct strategies to the performers in a stage play, whereas she takes after the indirect strategies to the director of the same play. While the performers work with the language itself, they also work with the director who is responsible for the organization, guidance, checking, corrections, and encouragement of the performers. These two groups work hand in hand with each other and they are inseparable.
Direct strategies are divided into three subcategories: Memory, Cognitive and Compensation Strategies.
Memory Strategies: Oxford and Crookall (1989) define them as “techniques specifically tailored to help the learner store new information in memory and retrieve it later” (p. 404). They are particularly said to be useful in vocabulary learning which is “the most sizeable and unmanageable component in the learning of any language.”(Oxford, 1990, p. 39) Memory strategies are usually used to link the verbal with the visual, which is useful for four reasons:
1. The mind’s capacity for storage of visual information exceeds its capacity
for verbal material.
2. The most efficiently packaged chunks of information are transferred to
long-term memory through visual images.
3. Visual images might be the most effective mean to aid recall of verbal
4. Visual learning is preferred by a large proportion of learners. (Oxford, 1990, p. 40)
Cognitive Strategies: The second group of direct strategies is the cognitive strategies, which are defined as “skills that involve manipulation and transformation of the language in some direct way, e.g. through reasoning, analysis, note taking, functional practices in naturalistic settings, formal practice with structures and sounds, etc.” (Oxford & Crookall, 1989, p. 404). Cognitive strategies are not only used for mentally processing the language to receive and send messages, they are also used for analyzing and reasoning. What is more, they are used for structuring input and output. However, if learners overuse the cognitive strategies, this might cause them to make mistakes when they generalize the rules they have learned without questioning them, (that is, when they over generalize them) or when they transfer expressions from one language to another, generally from the mother tongue to the target language (that is, when negative transfer occurs).
Compensation Strategies: Compensation strategies help learners to use the target language for either comprehension or production in spite of the limitations in knowledge. They aim to make up for a limited repertoire of grammar and, particularly vocabulary. When learners are confronted with unknown expressions, they make use of guessing strategies, which are also known as inferencing. When learners do not know all the words, they make use of a variety of clues either linguistic or non-linguistic so as to guess the meaning. Compensation strategies are not only manipulated in the comprehension of the target language, but they are used in producing it. They enable learners to produce spoken or written expressions in the target language without complete knowledge of it (Oxford, 1990).
The second group of strategies, that is, indirect strategies, consists of three subcategories as well: Metacognitive, Affective, and Social Strategies.
Metacognitive Strategies: Metacognitive strategies are defined as “behaviors used for centering, arranging, planning, and evaluating one’s learning. These beyond the cognitive strategies are used to provide executive control over the learning process.” (Oxford & Crookall, 1989, p. 404)
Metacognitive strategies go beyond the cognitive devices and provide a way for learners to coordinate with their own learning process. They provide guidance for the learners who are usually “overwhelmed by too much newness- unfamiliar vocabulary, confusing rules, different writing systems, seemingly inexplicable social customs, and (in enlightened language classes) non-traditional instructional approaches” (Oxford, 1990, p. 136). Having encountered so much novelty, many learners lose their focus, which can be regained through the conscious use of metacognitive strategies.
Affective Strategies: Oxford and Crookall (1989) define affective strategies as “Techniques like self-reinforcement and positive self-talk which help learners gain better control over their emotions, attitudes, and motivations related to the language learning” (p. 404). Knowing how to control one’s emotions and attitudes about learning may influence the language learning process positively since it will make the learning more effective and enjoyable. It is also known that negative feelings can hinder progress. The control over such factors is gained through the manipulation of affective strategies.
Social Strategies: Since language is a form of social behavior, it involves communication between and among people. They enable language learners to learn with others by making use of strategies such as asking questions, cooperating with others, and empathizing with others. Yet, their appropriate use is extremely important since they determine the nature of communication in a learning context (Crookall, 1989).
Oxford’s (1990) taxonomy of language learning strategies is as follows:
A. Creating mental linkages
B. Applying images and sounds
C. Reviewing well
D. Employing action
B. Receiving and sending messages