Language educators have become increasingly aware of the role learners play in the language learning process, which has led to a growing number of studies on language learning strategy. This talk reviews research on language learning strategy in two theoretical and methodological approaches, including cognitive studies using psychometric survey instruments and socio-cultural ones examining language learners’ situated language strategy use through qualitative inquiries. In light of results from these studies, relevant proposals to promote strategic language learning in language teaching will be also discussed. The discussion highlights the pros and cons of integrating strategy instruction in language teaching. This talk concludes that it is equally important for language teachers to develop language learners’ strategic knowledge, foster awareness of the need for strategic language learning and to enhance the will or motivation to execute the task of language learning strategically.
Dr XUESONG (ANDY) GAO is an associate professor in the faculty of education, the University of Hong Kong. His current research and teaching interests are in the areas of learner autonomy, language education policy, sociolinguistics, vocabulary studies, language learning narratives and language teacher education. He has published widely in journals including Applied Linguistics, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Language Teaching Research, Studies in Higher Education, System, Teaching and Teacher Education, and TESOL Quarterly. He is co-editor of System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics and serves on editorial boards of The Asia Pacific Education Researcher, Journal of Language, Identity and Education and Teacher Development.