COGNITIVE STRATEGIES LANGUAGE-LEARNING

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Four sets of cognitive strategies exist (Oxford, 1990:43), are practicing, receiving, and sending messages, analyzing and reasoning, and creating structure for input and output. Cognitive strategies refer to the steps or operation used in learning or problem-solving that require direct analysis, transformation, or synthesis of learning materials. Rubin further added that cognitive strategies consist of those processes or strategies through which an individual obtains knowledge or conceptual understanding. Strategies for receiving and sending message are necessary tools. One such strategy, known as getting the idea quickly, helps learners locate the main idea through skimming or the key points of interesyhrough scanning. This strategy implies that itfs not necessary for learners to focus on every single word. Another strategy in this group, using resources, is useful for both comprehension and production. It helps learners take advantage of a variety of resources, print or non print, to understand and produce message in the new language (Oxford, 1990: 44). Analyzing and reasoning strategies are commonly used by language learners. Oxford stated that many learners, especially adults, tend to “reason out” the new language.

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They construct a formal model in their minds based on analysis and comparison, create general rules, and revise those rules when new information is available. This process is extremely valuable. However, sometimes students make mistakes by unquestioningly generalizing rules they have learned or transferring expressions from one language to another, typically from mother tongue to the new language. Such mistakes characterize the “interlanguage,” a hybrid from language that lies somewhere between the native language and the target language. Oxford further added that inappropriate use of literal translation also contributes to the interlanguage. She concluded that interlanguage is a predictable, normal phase of language-learning, but some language learners fail to leave that phase because they misuse or overuse some of the analyzing and reasoning strategies.

 

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