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Volume 3 Number 2, Spring 2006, Pages 1-192   

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Strategies for Successful Learning in an English-speaking Environment: Insights from a Case Study

    Carol Griffiths

This paper firstly defines language learning strategies and briefly reviews the literature on the relationship between strategies and success in language learning. It then describes a study involving two language learners studying at the same language school in Auckland, New Zealand and living in the same homestay, an accommodation arrangement involving placing international students with local families. The two students in this study were both females from East Asia who had come to New Zealand to study in an English-speaking environment. Meg, who was 26 years old, wanted to learn English to prepare herself for her new job, and Kay, who was 19, wanted to learn English to go on to university. They arrived in New Zealand to start their courses at the same time, and were initially placed at the same level (Elementary). It soon became clear, however, that Meg was making much faster progress with her language learning than Kay. This paper looks at a range of variables which might have affected the progress of these two students. A number of strategies are identified which Meg was observed to use frequently and effectively, and suggestions are made regarding the implications of these findings for successful language teaching and learning.