What have we learnt from good language learners?.

​In the 40 years since the Good Language Learner introduced the strategy concept to the ELT profession, vigorous debate has revolved around both theoretical (including definition, classification, theoretical foundation and the relationship of strategies to successful learning) and practical issues (including teachability and the relationship to learner, contextual and target variables). This article reviews these areas and concludes that strategies are teachable, especially if teachers employ theoretically sound principles and include both explicit and implicit instructional techniques in their programmes to raise awareness, provide practice and encourage evaluation.

Publishing your research.

This presentation takes a step-by step approach to writing a research report and getting it published from selecting a good title to what to include in the appendices. It also includes advice on how to cope with rejection and some hopefully encouraging insights from an experienced author


Identity and the spoken grammar dilemma

The dilemma regarding the perceived pedagogical need to teach “natural” English according to native speaker norms, versus students’ need to adopt features which accord with their own identity is discussed in this article

What might make a successful language learner: a research agenda

The good language learner was introduced to the language learning landscape in the mid-70s, but some issues remain unresolved. This article suggests four major areas still requiring research involving strategies, individual differences, context and learning target, and offers both ideas and practical advice for researchers who might be looking for a viable research area.

Carol Griffiths

Associate Professor of ELT

Styles and Style-Stretching: How are They Related to Successful Learning?

Although the learning style construct has aroused much interest over the years, questions remain, and although maintaining stylistic flexibility is recommended by many authors, few studies have attempted to relate the style-stretching concept to successful learning. According to results of this study, a small group of styles was significantly correlated with exam results, accounting for about a quarter of the variance (considered a large effect size in social science). In addition, higher-scoring students reported a more eclectic range of styles, suggesting more willingness to style-stretch.​

The Tornado Hypothesis

The Tornado Hypothesis is suggested as a way of conceptualizing the expanding spiral relationship between successful language learning and strategies. A 5-stage programme of instruction is suggested as a means of making this powerful force available to students

Focus on context: narratives from East Asia

This article includes narratives from six strategy experts who are either from or very familiar with the situation in East Asia

Focus on the teacher

When surveyed regarding their concerns, teachers indicated that issues related to the classroom caused the most concern. This article looks at these concerns in more detail and considers ways in which the issues might be addressed

Dynamic strategy development and progress in language learning

The study described in this article showed that the students who made the fastest progress in terms of class level in the school were those who most increased their language learning strategy use during the period of the study

Language Learning Strategies: An Holistic View .

Awareness has been steadily growing of the importance of taking an holistic view of the strategy phenomenon and examining strategies not just in isolation but as part of an overall picture which includes learning situation, learning target and individual learner characteristics. In order to illustrate the importance of such a view, the results of a small-scale study which looks at the strategies used by successful language learners will be reported. The quantitative results indicated that these successful learners used many strategies, and they frequently used and carefully orchestrated strategy repertoires which suited their own individual needs, situations and learning targets. The responses of one highly successful respondent were also examined qualitatively and in detail. ​

Communicating in a target Language

Communicating in a target language is not easy. This article gives the author's first hand experience of trying to cope in different target language environments and concludes with some words of advice

Strategy Training for Effective Learning in Foreign Language Teaching

We have long been aware of the importance of strategies in successful language learning, but how to provide effective strategy instruction remains controversial. This article will discuss some of the issues involved, especially definition and the relationship between strategies and successful learning, as well as learners’ individual characteristics, the learning context and the learning target. A sequence of instructional steps will be recommended and the article will conclude by suggesting the need for an holistic view of learners as situated, goal-oriented individuals

Strategies for successful learning in an English-speaking environment: Insights from a case study

This article describes a study involving two language learners studying at the same language school in Auckland, New Zealand and living in the same homestay accommodation. Although they arrived at the same time and started at the same level, one of them made much faster progress than the other. The article looks at some of the possible reasons for this and makes a number of recommendations

The twenty-first century landscape of language learning strategies

This article provides an introduction to the state of the art of language learning strategies in the twenty-first century

Language Learning Strategies: Is the Baby Still in the Bathwater?

When it was suggested that the concept of self-regulation should replace the language learning strategy concept early in the new millennium, there were fears that strategy research had come to an end. Nevertheless, research, debate, and publication on the subject have continued. Although some issues remain (especially regarding definition, underpinning theory, classification, and research methodology), current opinion tends to suggest that language learning strategies remain vibrant and compatible with self-regulation. This article discusses the controversies and concludes by arguing for the need to acknowledge diversity and to engage in productive debate.

English as a medium of instruction: students’ strategies

Although English medium instruction (EMI) is now widely spread throughout the world, there is surprisingly little research into the challenges students face in the process of trying to learn subject matter by means of a non-native language, or how learners attempt to address these challenges. The study reported in this article employed a qualitative approach, using video-recording, an open-ended questionnaire and stimulated-recall interviews, to investigate the difficulties faced by students working in International Relations and Psychology classes in a Turkish university. The students were also asked to identify the strategies they used in an attempt to cope with these difficulties. The students were, indeed, able to list a number of difficulties, but numerous strategies were also suggested  to deal with the problems. Implications are suggested for student support and teacher training, as well as suggestions for ongoing research.