Learning strategies can be use for everyone while reading a text, in a daily conversation or writing a text. However, most of the times people are not even aware of its use.
The language learning strategies are not newly created strategies, but have been in use by ancient storytellers thousands of years ago. It is said that in the Celtic period it took twelve years for storytellers to fully train. In the first two years they memorized 250 stories. They used mnemonic tools to help remember the narrative. These days the language students use these and other strategies and others to develop communicative competence (Samida, D, p 1).
Learning Strategies are define by Oxford (1990, p 8) as “specific actions taken by the learner easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, more effective and more transferrable to new situations”.
This definition illustrates that learning strategies are a shift not only in language learning but in any learning process since learners needs have become the center of attention. When they are used appropriately, the learners are more involved and aware of their own learning processes, development and progress.
Hence, learning strategies are very useful while learning a foreign language since some learners are more engaged than others with their learning process. One of the main reasons is that the degree of responsibility and engagement depend of learners understanding and their ability to use learning strategies.
So, once learners identify and select properly the learning strategies that are really helpful for them, their performance will acquire a good level and better results when using them. Language learning strategies appear to have a huge influence in learning performance.
Furthermore, language learning strategies are the often-conscious steps or behaviors used by language learners to enhance the acquisition, storage, retention, recall, and use of new information (Rigney, 1978; Oxford, 1990).
Likewise, Rebecca Oxford (1989) expose that strategies can be assessed in a variety of ways, such as diaries, think-aloud procedures, observations, and surveys
More proficient learners appear to use a wider range of strategies in a greater number of situations than the less proficient learners do, but the relationship between strategy use and proficiency is complex. Research indicates that language learners at all levels use strategies (Chamot & Kupper, 1989), but that some or most learners are not fully aware of the strategies they use or the strategies that might be most beneficial to employ.
In this way, learning a foreign language seems to be affected in many ways for different factors.
While being a foreign language learner, you may have many motivations to do it. According to the learner’s needs there are different learning strategies that could help them to achieved better results in their processes.
Oxford (2001) proposes 62 strategies and that are divided into direct and indirect strategies.