Designing ‘strategy-rich L2 textbooks’ for language learner autonomy

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There is an exceedingly good old Chinese proverb which says, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to catch fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. Applied to the field of second language teaching and learning, this proverb perhaps suggests that language learners ‘may be empowered to manage their own learning’ if they are taught ‘to work out the answers for themselves’ through taking up a set of effective Language Learning Strategies (LLSs) (Griffiths,2013, p.1). Therefore, research into the LLS concept is pedagogically-oriented because it is believed that LLSs are ‘both learnable and teachable’ (Oxford, 2008, p.52). However, most prominent LLS researchers (e.g.Chamot, 2009; Dörnyei, 2005; Macaro, 2001; Nunan,1996; Rubin, 2013; Wenden, 1991) have utilised a cognitive psychology standpoint and upheld the view that training language learners to use LLSs rests exclusively on the shoulders of language teachers. In an attempt to strengthen communication between researchers in the field of LLS and those working in the field of materials design and evaluation, this paper aims to suggest the incorporation of strategytraining tasks into language textbooks on the grounds that textbooks are still seen as one of the most convenient learning resources for providing language learners with ‘security, system, progress and revision’ (Tomlinson, 2012, p.158). Accordingly, the integration of some useful LLSs into language learning materials can play a pivotal role in creating thinking language learners who are able to direct the processes of their own L2 learning and accomplish their desired goals in today’s complex communicative world.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2014

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