Resources for Teachers

Research on Language Learning Strategies

CARLA's work on language learning strategies began in 1993 with a research project. The research study focused on the impact of strategies-based instruction on the skill of speaking in a foreign language. The study examined:

  • How explicit strategies-based foreign language instruction affects students' speaking proficiency;
  • Which strategies students report using, how frequently and how effectively they appear to use them;
  • Ways in which foreign language instructors can be trained to provide strategies-based instruction in their own classrooms.

The research component of this project resulted in the publication of two CARLA working papers:

Second Language Learning and Use Strategies: Clarifying the Issues
By Andrew D. Cohen
CARLA Working Paper Series #3 • November 1996 • 26 pp.

This paper considers five problematic issues that have arisen in dealing with language learning strategy terminology: the distinction between the term strategy and other terms, the issue of whether learning strategies need to be conscious in order to be referred to as strategies, criteria for classifying language learning and use strategies, a broadening of the concept of strategic competence, and the linking of learning strategies.

>> Now available online: DOWNLOAD (PDF)

The Impact of Strategies-Based Instruction on Speaking a Foreign Language
By Andrew D. Cohen, Susan J. Weaver, and Tao-Yuan Li
CARLA Working Paper Series #4 • November 1996 • 51 pp.

This research report outlines the methodology and results of a study done at the University of Minnesota on the benefits of providing second language learners with formal training in the application of strategies across skills, with an emphasis on speaking.

>> Now available online: DOWNLOAD (PDF)

From Research to Practice:
Resources on Language Learning Strategies for Teachers

Based on the research conducted 1993-6, Dr. Cohen and Susan Weaver created a resource guide for teachers on Strategies-Based Instruction and a companion video, and began teaching a summer institute using these materials in 1996. In 2006, the original Strategies-Based Instruction: A Teacher-Training Manual was updated and was reprinted under a revised title.

Styles-and Strategies-Based Instruction: A Teachers' Guide
by Andrew D. Cohen and Susan J. Weaver
CARLA Working Paper Series · 2006 · 193 pp. · $22.50 + shipping

Styles- and strategies-based instruction helps students become more aware of their learning style preferences and gives them a set of strategies to maximize their language learning ability. This guide helps teachers to identify the individual needs of their students and incorporate opportunities for students to practice a wide range of strategies for both language learning and language use.

Each chapter in this guide begins with background material on topics related to styles- and strategies-based instruction and provides a bridge from theory to practice by including fun, hands-on activities for teachers to use in their own classrooms. This guide is a complete revision of Strategies-Based Instruction: A Teacher-Training Manual (1997). While it is now more explicitly targeted at the classroom teacher, it also includes important information for professionals engaged in research and teacher development.

>> Download order form (PDF) or order online.

Examples of Strategies-Based Instruction: A Teacher-Training Video
By Susan J. Weaver and Andrew D. Cohen

CARLA Working Paper Series #8 • October 1997

This teacher-training video illustrates how strategies-based instruction has been applied at the University of Minnesota. The videotape contains seven different examples of strategies-based activities, taught by four university-level language instructors. It was originally created as a companion piece to the Strategies-Based Instruction: A Teacher-Training Manual (1997) which was revised and retitled Styles-and Strategies-Based Instruction: A Teachers' Guide (2006).

The video is available free of charge on the CARLA website.

Additional Resources

Bibliography on strategy resources
This bibliography of strategy resources is designed for language learners, teachers, and researchers.

Strategy Instruction for Japanese Students
A set of instructional modules which focus on strategy instruction for intermediate/advanced students of Japanese.

Maximizing Study Abroad: Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use
The exciting new series of Maximizing Study Abroad guidebooks helps students, program professionals, and language instructors make the most of study abroad opportunities through strategies for language and culture learning and use. Research is currently being conducted to determine the effectiveness of these targeted support materials on study abroad outcomes.

CARLA Bibliography
The CARLA bibliography has more information on presentations and publications done by faculty, students, and staff involved with this project.


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