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Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language (Longman Applied Linguistics) Paperback – 5 May 2011
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"...this book is best characterised as Cohen's selected highlights of research on language learner strategies. Or, to use Cohen's own words, it is a "salad-bowl" (p. 2) with visible large chunks of vegetables. I would immediately add that it is not just any salad-bowl, it is a bowl of salad with a unique Cohen flavour, with precious ingredients rarely found elsewhere...this book does an excellent job in showcasing the best of what language learner strategies research has to offer today."
- Peter Yongqi GU, Senior Lecturer at the School of Linguistics & Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
"Unlike most texts in the field of learner strategies, which generally focus on one or two specific areas, this text is beneficial due to its integration of numerous themes. Each topic is explored in detail, and there is a good balance between theoretical background information and the presentation and discussion of up-to-date research. The book is easily readable and the ubiquitous collection of discussion questions and activities at
the end of each chapter encourages readers to actively test their knowledge of the information found in each chapter."
- James Rock, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (UniversitÃ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Milan, Italy.
LINGUIST. http://linguistlist.org/issues/22/22-3716.html. 23 Sept 2011.
"This book does an excellent job in showcasing the best of what language learner strategies research has to offer today. As such, it should help the effort in rekindling interest in the field."
- ELT Journal
From the Back Cover
Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language examines what it takes to achieve long-term success in languages beyond the first language. Distinguishing language learning from language-use strategies, Andrew D. Cohen disentangles a morass of terminology to help the reader see what language strategies are and how they can enhance performance. Particular areas of research examined in the book include:
- links between the use of task-specific strategies and language performance
- how multilinguals verbalise their thoughts during language learning and use
strategies that learners use in test-taking contexts
In this fully revised and substantially rewritten second edition, every chapter has been reworked, with material either updated or replaced. Entirely new material has also been developed based on examples of specific strategies supplied by actual learners, mostly drawn from a website featuring these strategies in the learning of Spanish grammar.
Strategies in Learning and Using a Second language will be an invaluable resource for language teachers and researchers, as well as for administrators of second language programmes and for students of applied linguistics.
Andrew D. Cohen is a professor in phased retirement with the Program in Second Language Studies at the University of Minnesota. He has conducted research on language learner strategies for over 35 years and has himself studied 11 languages beyond his native English. His recent books include Language Learner Strategies (co-edited with Ernesto Macaro, 2007) and Teaching and Learning Pragmatics (co-authored with Noriko Ishihara, 2010).
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book is divided into five main sections: (a) discussion of terminology describing second language (L2) learning and use strategies; (b) a review of research methods available for assessing L2 strategies; (c) strategy training and the effects of strategies-based instruction; (d) strategies of choosing the language of thought for cognitive processing; (e) strategy use in testing situations.
Overall, the author has aimed at a balance between theory, research and practical pedagogical implications, but one of the most positive aspects of the book is that it has devoted extensive time to discussions of terminology and research methods. Since L2 learning and use strategies are generally internal mental processes, it is quite a challenge to design a study that can be sure of collecting adequate data on learners¡¦ strategy use. I especially like the way that Cohen presents an in-depth analysis of six different approaches to assessing language learner strategies: learning strategy interviews and written questionnaires, observation, verbal report, diaries and dialog journals, recollective studies, and computer tracking. His thorough discussion of research methods will certainly help prospective researchers to determine their research topics and choose the means of investigation, and eventually benefit the fledgling field of language learning strategies. This book will also be particularly useful for teachers who want to be of greater support to their students in their learning efforts. The position Cohen has taken is that ¡§strategies-based instruction provides the most efficient way for learner awareness to be heightened¡¨ (p.265). A variety of approaches to provide student-directed language learning and use strategy instruction as well as the possible roles that the teacher can play are discussed. A research project on the effects of strategies-based instruction conducted at the University of Minnesota is also reported. Nonetheless, the implications for teaching strategies in the classroom are generally written in the form of principles or suggestions. Therefore, this book may not meet the needs of teachers who are searching for classroom-ready strategies-based instruction activities, exercises, and curriculum. It is also interesting to note that Cohen addresses two more specialized and often neglected areas in strategy use: strategies for choosing the language of thought and test-taking strategies. This book should provide a foundation for researchers to further explore such studies.
In summary, this book creates a fine introduction to the field of L2 learning and use strategies. It is highly recommended for both researches and teachers of second and foreign language programs.