Jennifer Bruen (PhD, Dublin City University)is a lecturer in German in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.
Strategies for Success: Profiling the Effective Learner of German
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 2001 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 34, Issue 3, pages 216–225, May 2001
How to Cite
Bruen, J. (2001), Strategies for Success: Profiling the Effective Learner of German. Foreign Language Annals, 34: 216–225. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.2001.tb02403.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
Abstract: Teachers and learners are often uncertain about the processes at work when students attempt to acquire oral skills in a foreign language. The primary objective of this study is to identify the language-learning strategies associated with the achievement of higher levels of oral proficiency in German for 100 Irish students about to complete their second year at Dublin City University. It also investigates the way in which these strategies are used by those with higher and lower levels of proficiency. The methodology combines quantitative assessment (using questionnaires)with in-depth, qualitative interviews. The article begins by explaining key concepts in the field of language learning strategy research and then reviews a selection of relevant studies. An experiment designed to achieve the above objectives is then described. The results indicate that more-proficient students use more language-learning strategies, in particular more cognitive and metacognitive strategies. Furthermore, ten. strategies correlate with higher levels of oral proficiency at a significant level. These provide a tentative strategic profile of the more effective learner of German. Finally, the qualitative findings suggest that more-proficient students use language-learning strategies in a more structured and purposeful manner and apply them to a wider range of situations and tasks. Finally, implications for future research and for the language classroom are discussed.