Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Learning Strategies Instruction and Iranian Efl Learners' Achievement in Sub-Skills Development at Junier High School

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Learning Strategies Instruction and Iranian Efl Learners' Achievement in Sub-Skills Development at Junier High School

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Learning strategies play an important role in the process of learning English as a foreign language. Good learners use a variety of learning strategies in order to internalize the target language better. In order to determine how language learning strategy (LLS) training affects junior high school students' sub-skill development, cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies were instructed to a group of 15 EFL students at a junior high school along with their English study as their public education. The performance of the experimental group in sub-skill tests was compared with that of the control group on two occasions just after the treatment and overtime to check for long-term retention. Findings of a questionnaire on patterns of strategy use administered before and after the treatment show that teaching of cognitive and metacognitive strategies had the greatest effect on the use of metacognitive strategies followed by cognitive and memory strategies. Social and compensation strategies were two other strategies self-reported as being used by the participants in the experimental group follow the mentioned strategies and teaching these two strategies had least effect on affective strategies. In sub-skill development which was the major focus of the study, students in the experimental group had the most improvement in pronunciation and the least performance in grammar section in comparison with other two sections.

KEY WORDS: Learning strategies; sub-skill development

1. Introduction

Learning strategies play an important role in the process of learning English as a foreign language. Good learners use a variety of learning strategies in order to internalize the target language better. What is required for success in this respect is persistence on the part of learners in practicing and using a whole battery of strategies for language learning, whether learners are in a regular language classroom or working on a selfstudy program. When learners are taught how to look at themselves and how to capitalize on their talents and experiences, they learn lessons that carry them well beyond any language classroom. In EFL contexts, much of language learning takes place in formal classroom environments. Learners should be familiar with learning strategies and how to use them in order to do satisfactorily when they are engaged in activities within the classroom learning environment but out of the classroom also.

1.1. Statement of Problems

A large number of students in this educational milieu are beginners and an English class in its curriculum provides them with the first occasion to experience working with a foreign language. Students in grade one and two leam basics in reading and writing in English, but they face complicated grammar points, vocabulary items, and pronunciation tips in grade three. They have problems with determining the tense of verbs in sentences, the role of the words in a sentence, and cannot distinguish the differences between grammatical points which are similar to each other such as the structure of present continuous and past continuous forms. In the case of vocabulary, students have problem in remembering the words in dialogue or during speaking, they are unable to find synonyms and antonyms among learned vocabularies, and they cannot remember the meaning of some easy words in a sentence. Students have a lot of problems with correct pronunciation of words.

1.2. Objectives erf the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between familiarity with and use of learning strategies and learners' success in maintaining and organizing materials they are taught and their success in classroom activities. In particular, it aimed at improving Iranian junior high school English learners' performance in classroom achievement by making language learning strategies familiar to those learners through instruction.

1.3. Research Questions

1. …

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