Learning about Learning: Discovering Our Students' Strategies*


  • Carol Hosenfeld

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      Carol Hosenfeld (Ph.D. candidate, The Ohio State University) is Assistant Professor, Department of Instruction, State University of New York at Buffalo

  • *

    This is a revised and expanded version of a paper given at the 1973 ACTFL Convention in Boston and at the 1974 Joint ACTFL/AATF/AATSP Conventlon in Denver. Special thanks are due Gilbert A. Jarvis who contributed greatly to this research project.


ABSTRACT  People daily perform tasks and talk about them. What is striking is that, although students perform many tasks in the classroom, they are rarely asked systematically to describe in detail how they proceed in performing them. The author proposes a self-observation and self-report procedure that will assist teachers in discovering their students' learning strategies and, as a by-product, may generate knowledge about the second language learning process. Transcriptions of segments of interviews with four students illustrate the questioning procedure and principles involved in eliciting students' strategies. Analyses of interview segments underscore a lack of congruence between what students are thought to be doing and what they actually are doing.