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Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language Paperback – Mar 2 1998


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Paperback, Mar 2 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Longman UK (March 2 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582305888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582305885
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,006,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Format: Paperback
Over the past several years, there has been a marked shift in the focus of foreign language instruction. Students are being encouraged to ¡§learn how to learn¡¨ and ¡§how to use¡¨ a foreign language. More and more foreign language educators recognize that effective learning and use strategies can enhance students¡¦ efforts to reach their language goals. Though it is promising to see that the study of language learning and use strategies continues to receive increased attention, there is still little literature available nowadays. Fortunately, in his latest book, Andrew D. Cohen offers a very nice synthesis of issues relating to language learner strategies.
The book is divided into five main sections: (a) discussion of terminology describing second language (L2) learning and use strategies; (b) a review of research methods available for assessing L2 strategies; (c) strategy training and the effects of strategies-based instruction; (d) strategies of choosing the language of thought for cognitive processing; (e) strategy use in testing situations.
Overall, the author has aimed at a balance between theory, research and practical pedagogical implications, but one of the most positive aspects of the book is that it has devoted extensive time to discussions of terminology and research methods. Since L2 learning and use strategies are generally internal mental processes, it is quite a challenge to design a study that can be sure of collecting adequate data on learners¡¦ strategy use.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
A Nice Synthesis of Second Language Learners Strategies Dec 30 1999
By Posen Liao - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Over the past several years, there has been a marked shift in the focus of foreign language instruction. Students are being encouraged to ¡§learn how to learn¡¨ and ¡§how to use¡¨ a foreign language. More and more foreign language educators recognize that effective learning and use strategies can enhance students¡¦ efforts to reach their language goals. Though it is promising to see that the study of language learning and use strategies continues to receive increased attention, there is still little literature available nowadays. Fortunately, in his latest book, Andrew D. Cohen offers a very nice synthesis of issues relating to language learner strategies.
The book is divided into five main sections: (a) discussion of terminology describing second language (L2) learning and use strategies; (b) a review of research methods available for assessing L2 strategies; (c) strategy training and the effects of strategies-based instruction; (d) strategies of choosing the language of thought for cognitive processing; (e) strategy use in testing situations.
Overall, the author has aimed at a balance between theory, research and practical pedagogical implications, but one of the most positive aspects of the book is that it has devoted extensive time to discussions of terminology and research methods. Since L2 learning and use strategies are generally internal mental processes, it is quite a challenge to design a study that can be sure of collecting adequate data on learners¡¦ strategy use. I especially like the way that Cohen presents an in-depth analysis of six different approaches to assessing language learner strategies: learning strategy interviews and written questionnaires, observation, verbal report, diaries and dialog journals, recollective studies, and computer tracking. His thorough discussion of research methods will certainly help prospective researchers to determine their research topics and choose the means of investigation, and eventually benefit the fledgling field of language learning strategies. This book will also be particularly useful for teachers who want to be of greater support to their students in their learning efforts. The position Cohen has taken is that ¡§strategies-based instruction provides the most efficient way for learner awareness to be heightened¡¨ (p.265). A variety of approaches to provide student-directed language learning and use strategy instruction as well as the possible roles that the teacher can play are discussed. A research project on the effects of strategies-based instruction conducted at the University of Minnesota is also reported. Nonetheless, the implications for teaching strategies in the classroom are generally written in the form of principles or suggestions. Therefore, this book may not meet the needs of teachers who are searching for classroom-ready strategies-based instruction activities, exercises, and curriculum. It is also interesting to note that Cohen addresses two more specialized and often neglected areas in strategy use: strategies for choosing the language of thought and test-taking strategies. This book should provide a foundation for researchers to further explore such studies.
In summary, this book creates a fine introduction to the field of L2 learning and use strategies. It is highly recommended for both researches and teachers of second and foreign language programs.

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