Academic journal article International Education Studies

Cognitive Strategies of Encoding, Storage, and Retrieval of Lexicon Popular Techniques Applied by Iranian French Language Learners

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Cognitive Strategies of Encoding, Storage, and Retrieval of Lexicon Popular Techniques Applied by Iranian French Language Learners

Article excerpt


This paper aims to present the results obtained in a survey whose objective was to investigate the Iranian French language learner's definition of memorization, and the techniques they adopt most frequently in memorizing linguistic structures and vocabulary. The results indicate that although memorization plays a significant role in learning a foreign language, it is often neglected or understated. Memorization techniques are known to be rather individual, but it is suggested that weak learners can be encouraged to replace old techniques with more effective ones that could pave the way to a profound and stable learning.

Keywords: learning, memorization, memory, vocabulary, foreign language teaching

1. Introducation

In education and teaching of foreign languages, memorization techniques refer to a set of operations employed by the learner to encode the target language and to store it in their long-term memory for future retrieval. Research on memorization techniques has considerably improved the way a foreign language is taught in recent decades (Rubin, 1975, 1981). As a result of these studies we are better informed about the role of the learners and different cognitive factors influencing the learning process of a foreign language.

Application of effective memorization techniques in learning French language among Iranian students helps facilitate their learning process. Moreover, it is crucial for the Iranian teachers to recognize the significance of memorization techniques to be able to direct their teaching to a more learner-centered approach, by a better understanding of students' learning processes. Memorization, a cognitive learning strategy which embraces the whole process of encoding, storage, and retrieval of the information, is the subject of this research and plays a noteworthy role in learning a foreign language.

The part memorization techniques play in the development of language learning was further emphasized after the results of a research by Joan Rubin had been published in 1975. Decades later, What the "Good Language Learner" Can Teach Us was praised by Cohen and Macaro (2011) as the one research which could be regarded as the announcement of the birth of language learner strategy research. Rubin's findings set out techniques and approaches employed by successful language learners and could be summarized as, on the one hand, processes which may contribute directly to learning such as clarification and verification, monitoring, memorization, guessing (inductive inference), deductive reasoning, and practicing and, on the other hand, processes which may contribute indirectly to learning such as creation of opportunities for practice and production task related to communication.

Cyr and Germain (1998) noted that memorization is all that makes a difference between students with learning difficulties and the ones who do not show any sign of difficulty. Other researchers worked along similar lines. For instance, Macaro (2001) listed a cluster of five strategies from the Lingua project as "a definite conscious effort to commit language to memory" which range from simple repetition of words to turning "language into songs, rhymes, raps or mnemonics".

Table 1 resumes O'Malley and Chamot's (1990) and Rubin's (1981) classification of memorization strategies.

As a result of individual differences in brain cognitive operations, every individual activates their knowledge in a different way. Therefore every individual develops their own memorization techniques in the process of learning a foreign language. However, information on memorization techniques will help teachers and learners to develop the most appropriate strategies in learning foreign languages. Due to practical restrictions, the sole focus of this study is on cognitive strategies of memorization.

Memory is most commonly defined as the retention of information for future use, and has triggered researchers for centuries since it has to do with our daily lives. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.