Learning strategies determine the approach for achieving the learning objectives and are included in the pre-instructional activities, information presentation, learner activities, testing, and follow-through. The strategies are usually tied to the needs and interests of students to enhance learning and are based on many types of learning styles (Ekwensi, Moranski, &Townsend-Sweet, 2006).
Due to the Learning Strategies are used to achieve the “learning objectives” that teachers want their learners to use when they are acquiring a second language, it is important to be conscious about the factor that influence the choice of learning strategies. What are those factors? There is a range of factors that affect strategy choice, including vocabulary learning strategies. According to Ellis (1994: 540 545) there are two broad categories of such factors: INDIVIDUAL LEARNER DIFFERENCES * AGE: Young children tend to use strategies in task specific manner, whereas older ones use generalized and more sophisticated strategies.
* LEARNING STRATEGY: According to Oxford (1989), general approach to language learning determines the choice of L2 learning strategies. For example analytic learners prefer strategies such as contrastive analysis and discerning words and phrases, whereas global students use strategies to find meaning: guessing, scanning, predicting, etc. * PERSONALITY TYPE: Ehrman (1990) suggests that each personality type is associated with ‘assets’ and ‘liabilities’ where language learning is concerned. For example, extroverts are assigned to have willingness to take risks (an asset) but with dependency on external stimulation and interaction (a liability).
Another finding mentioned by Erhman was that introverts showed greater use of strategies involving searching for and communicating meaning than did extroverts. * MOTIVATION: Some researches show that “highly motivated learners used more strategies relating to formal practice, functional practice, general study, and conversation/input elicitation than poorly motivated learners” (Ellis 1994:542). The particular reason for studying the language: motivational orientation, especially as related to career field was also important in the choice of strategies.
SITUATIONAL AND SOCIAL FACTORS * GENDER: On the basis of Oxford and Nyikos (1989) and Erhman (1990) research, females reported greater overall strategy use than males in many studies. Although sometimes males surpassed females in the use of a particular strategy. * TYPE OF TASK: The specification of the task may help learners in using particular strategies, but cannot predetermine the actual strategies that will be used. * Learning setting: Students (Ellis 1994) have pointed out a number of differences in the usage of learning strategies in a classroom and in more natural setting.
Studies of classroom strategies by Chamot (1988) showed that social and affective strategies were used infrequently by adults, excluding ‘questioning for clarification’. However, Wong-Filmore (1976;1979) reported frequent use of social strategies by young learners in a play situation. CONCLUSION Once we as teachers know the factors that influence in our student’s decisions to choose a specific Learning Strategy, it will be easier to guide them in the correct way to be autonomous, students whom can take charge of their own learning (Nation, 2001:222) and gain independence and self-direction. REFERENCES Ehrman, J. K.
(1990). Clinical Exercise Physiology . Unided States of America. Ellis, R. (1994). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. New York: Oxford University Press. Oxford, R. L. (1989). Language Learning Motivation:pathways to the new century. Unided States of America: University of Hawai’i Press. Ekwensi, F. , Moranski, J. , & Townsend-Sweet, M. , (2006). E-Learning Concepts and Techniques. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Instructional Technology. 5. 1 Instructional Strategies for Online Learning. Retrieved February 26th , 2010: http://iit. bloomu. edu/Spring2006_eBook_files/ebook_spring2006. pdf.