Learning a foreign language is not an easy job. This process requires a lot of efforts, power and desire. Especially, language teaching provides comprehensive accounts of different language teaching methodologies and is rich with ideas and techniques for teaching a language. In our daily lives we are surrounded by the shifting tides of change. The field of education also has many changes. Naturally, learners themselves also change; they grow older as they respond to changes in society . In order to become a well-learned language learner, the learner needs to be consciously aware of what strategies to know and what principles to follow.
A good way of learning about new activities and techniques is to read the various teachers' magazines and journals that are available.
In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest amongst psychologists in the cognitive strategies people use to think, to learn and to solve problems [2, p. 143]. Here, we want to mention some learning strategies. Most of us have already used some or all of the following in learning a foreign language:
− repeating words over and over again; During my classes I always ask my learners to repeat new words, word combinations again and again. It helps them to enlarge their own vocabulary.
− write an essay which you have learnt. As we know, in writing process, we have to follow these rules. Avoid very long, complicated sentences (with these, it is easier to make mistakes), or sentences which are too short. Not to translate from English into Uzbek. If you do this, you will inevitably make mistakes. It is better to think how you can express your ideas in a clear, simple way in English, using vocabulary and grammatical forms that you are sure of. Try and incorporate grammar which you have studied into your essays, for example, the passive voice, relative pronouns, indirect speech, etc. The best way to write well in English is to have read a wide variety of texts in English, which will both improve your level of comprehension and help you to form opinions and have ideas about which you can write.
− listening attentively to try to distinguish words: Memory is particularly important in learning a language. One of the main problems language learners face is memorizing vocabulary items. The teaching of ways of remembering things, including mnemonic strategies and involving more than one of the senses is likely to more than justify the time involve.
− testing yourself to see if you remember words; Attention is one area where an information processing approach has provided valuable insights into the working of the human mind. It is clear to any experienced teacher that some learners have considerable difficulty in paying attention to their work and it will have a negative effect on their learning.
− guessing the meanings of unknown words;
− using your knowledge of language rules to try to make new sentences;
− rehearsing in your head what you are about to say;
− practicing the sounds of the language to yourself;
− asking a speaker to repeat something;
− pretending that you understand in order to keep the communication going.
These are some of the many strategies that people use to try to succeed in the complex task of learning a foreign language. It has also proved difficult to define and to classify learning strategies, partly because terms such as skills, strategies are used differently by different people.
There are two questions to respond. Can individuals learn to become more successful at learning, and, can we as teachers help people to learn more effectively? Traditionally, curricula have tended to concentrate on imparting knowledge and skills, and have neglected the teaching of how to learn. Having gained a lot of knowledge on methodology, to my mind, in language learning process, teachers’ role is necessary.
In one word, strategies can be cognitive, that is, they can involve mental processing, or they can be more social in nature, and their effective use in enhanced by metacognitive awareness. Scientist Rubin suggests that there are three major types of strategies used by learners. She identifies six main cognitive strategies contributing directly to language learning. Clarification/verification refers to strategies used by learners to check whether their understanding of a rule language item is correct. Here, learners can clarify their basic knowledge by checking .
- Guessing/inductive inferencing refers to various strategies concerned with making hypotheses about how the language works. Here, learners need to be able to select appropriate information, attend to what is important.
- Deductive reasoning is a strategy where the learner uses knowledge of general rules to produce or understand language. By writing essays, control works, doing some research work learners can appreciate their understanding the language.
- Practice is concerned with storage and retrieval of language. This includes such strategies as repetition and rehearsal. Learners may check their knowledge by acting and making presentations, explanations before audience.
- Memorization. This category includes mnemonic strategies and using lexical groupings.
- Monitoring refers to learners’ checking of their own performance, including noticing errors and observing how a message is received.
Here, we can also mention communication strategies. They are used by a learner to promote communication with others. These processes are very important to language learners. Many scholars believe that interaction, the act of communicating with another person, plays a significant part in second language learning. First, Michael Long believes comprehensible input is of great value, but believes it is best received through interaction. This is because when a fluent speaker and a less fluent speaker interact, they enter into a negotiation of meaning. As they use the situational context, repetitions, and clarifications to maximize comprehension, the more likely the learner will receive input just beyond his present competency .
In the concluding section, I’d like to comment on the main role of learning strategies, in learning and teaching process. We should advise all learners to get involved in using different learning tools, audio-visual aids, and principles in learning process in order to get fruitful information belonging to their academic themes. Writing and expressing in one article we cannot actually make conclusion on this sphere. We also want you to share your opinion, problems and your ideas with us.
Let’s have a positive attitude in life. Learning is always possible, depending on how we set our minds to doing it. Look at our assets and strengths, they will inspire us, they will bring us to a meaningful change. Let us go for excellence!
1. Ellis Rod. Second Language Acquisition. New York: Oxford University Press (1997).
2. Marion Williams, Robert L. Burden. Psychology for language teacher. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
3. Peter James. Teachers in Action. Cambridge University press, February 22, 2011.