An Analysis On English Learning Strategies

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English learning for Indonesian students is just like learning another foreign language. Essentially, learners of new language may face difficulties starting from how they understand words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and complex stories. Learning difficulties often appear in relationship with specific skills, rather than affecting skills overall. For example, an individual may have problems in spoken language but s/he can read, write, and perform the subject without problems (Schwarz & Terrill, 2000, p. 59). Everyone has the same chance to be successful in English learning. What makes ones succeed and the others fail is in the way they learn the new language namely, a learning strategy.

Non-English Language Education Study Program students may have their own needs and attitudes towards English. They may have different environment, and support to practice English. They do not use English as the medium of learning the subjects of their fields. However, there are students from NonEnglish Language Education Study Program from study programs of Chemistry, Biology, Indonesian and Sociology who maybe good at English. There must be unique strategies behind their learning success. Learning strategies are closely related to the level of language competence, motivation, character, and others. Oxford (1990, p. 8) defines learning strategies as specific actions taken by the learner to make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, more effective and more transferable to new situations. Brown (2007, p. 134) defines the learning strategy as the efforts to solve problem through a set of cognitive structure, and insight, logical thinking, various of hypothesis testing, and prior experiences. Oxford (1990, p. 16) divides learning strategies into two major parts: direct and indirect. Direct strategy is divided into three types: memory, cognition, and compensation. Indirect strategy is divided into three: metacognition, affection, and social.

Thus, there are six kinds of strategies. They are memory, cognition, compensation, metacognition, affection, and social. In memory, the learners utilize the knowledge and experience of previous learning. This learning strategy involves memory-based learning processes. According to Oxford (1990, p. 40), there are three sets of strategies that can be used to enhance students’ memory in learning. They are creating mental linkages, applying images and sounds, reviewing well, and employing action. Cognition strategy refers to the learner’s behavior in the learning process related to the use of the learners’ intellect. Oxford (1990, p. 43) states, “Cognitive strategies are typically found to be the most popular strategies with language learners”. According to Ellaine cited in Rini (2010, p. 13) cognitive strategies operate directly on incoming information and enable learners to proceed texts and materials for learning. The strategy covers practicing, receiving and sending messages, analyzing and reasoning, as well as creating structure for input and output.

Compensation strategy is used by the learner who has a high ability. Learning strategies are usually used to overcome some of the limitations in language. Learners who have difficulty in explaining in a language can use definitions or translations. Body movements can also be used to cover the encountered limitation. Oxford (1990, p. 90) states that this strategy may be among the most significant because it helps learners to make up for missing language in learning the new language. There are two definitions of compensation strategies. They are practicing and overcoming limitations in speaking and writing. Metacognition strategy is related to the tactics or the management of the learning materials. Metacognition strategy is embodied in a wide variety of activities that can be put into four categories: focusing, planning, developing teaching and learning activities, evaluating the teaching and learning process. O’malley cited in Brown (2007, p. 136) found that English language learners developed effective language skills through the use of monitoring and elaboration. According to Oxford (1990, p. 138) there are three definitions of metacognition strategies. They are centering learning, arranging and planning learning, and evaluating learning.

Affection strategy is the learner’s behavior related to attitudes and feelings in dealing with learning process. Tabanlioğlu (2003, p. 30) defines affection strategy as “technique like self-reinforcement and positive self-talk which help learners gain better control over their emotions, attitudes, and motivations related to the language learning”. According to Oxford (1990, p. 77), there are three definitions of affection strategies. They are lowering ones’ anxiety, encouraging themselves, and taking their emotional temperature. Social strategy is a behavior related to the collaboration between the learner and his partner in achieving learning objectives. It is a form of social behaviour that involves communication between and among people Tabanlioğlu (2003, p. 31). According to Oxford (1990, p. 146), social strategy includes asking questions, cooperating, and empathizing.

Name : Yuni Margareta, Sudarsono, Wardah

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