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Volume 4 Number 2, Summer 2007, Pages 1-142   

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Language Learning Strategies in Distance English Learning: A Study of Learners at Shantou Radio and Television University, China

    Junhong Xiao, Stella Hurd

Distance language learners require new kinds of skills, motivation and commitment to work effectively in a learning setting that is largely new and unfamiliar to them, and which is likely to have a direct impact on their development and use of learning strategies (Oxford & Burry-Stock, 1995; White, 2004). This paper is based on a study of a group of Chinese students learning English at a distance at Shantou Radio and Television University, China, and investigates their use of language learning strategies. The study found that distance English learners in China are gradually shifting from dependence on teachers to a more autonomous approach to learning. In many cases they are beginning to deploy a variety of strategies to facilitate their learning, and at the same time taking more responsibility for their studies. This appears to challenge the traditional stereotype of the dependent, ‘spoon-fed' Chinese language learner as portrayed in previous studies. The paper concludes that learner training should be integrated into the instructional design of the materials in order to enhance strategy awareness and emphasize the facilitative role of learning strategies in language study.

Keywords: distance learning, learning strategy, autonomous learning