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Constructionist Experiential Learner-Enhanced Teaching in English for Academic Purposes

Dietmar Tatzl

This book offers a macrostrategy for teaching English as a foreign language to students in tertiary degree programmes. This teaching strategy has been developed from various methodological currents in higher education and language didactics. The volume provides inspiration, ideas and practical examples for ESP and EAP professionals anywhere in the world and hopes to motivate learners across disciplines. It takes subject-specific requirements into consideration and is a methodology handbook open to the diversity of EAP teaching contexts. It may serve as a textbook in applied linguistics, English studies and teacher education.
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6. Language Learning Strategies and Study Skills

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English for academic purposes teaching needs to focus on developing learning strategies and study skills (cf. Cohen, 2011; Cohen & Macaro, 2007; Oxford, 1990, 2011) because students in higher education are faced with demanding contents, scientific working methods and disciplinary cultures as challenges in an environment distinct from previous study experiences. As Guyer and Peterson (1988) have argued, the “close relationship of content, language, and study skills introduces students to the thought patterns of […] academic culture in general and to the methods of a specific discipline” (p. 104). Promoting a process-oriented approach to learning, Widdowson (1984) has detected a fundamental conflict “between what the learner needs to do in learning on the one hand and what the learner needs to have acquired after learning on the other” (p. 181). This is a valid observation appreciating the worth of learning strategies and study skills in higher education, as the acquisition of such competences furthers learning through processing knowledge. However, learning strategies and study skills are essential for students to succeed not only at college or university but also in their future professional lives. This is why a major goal of tertiary institutions should be the education of independent and autonomous learners who can generate, access, evaluate and apply information to solve problems, enhance science and serve society. The improvement of learning strategies and study skills may contribute to this goal and therefore deserves attention in CELET.

Learning strategies and study skills are crucial for students’ employability. Businesses...

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