What is your strategy for concretely learning

Learning strategies

Learning strategies are the behaviors and cognitions actively used by the learner for the purpose of acquiring knowledge. They facilitate the recording, processing, storage, retrieval and use of new information and serve behaviors for coping with learning tasks. As a pattern for problem solving, they are used individually and depending on the situation.
They are partial skills in language learning and a prerequisite for learner autonomy.

Various current studies show an influence of learning strategies on the learning performance in a foreign language. (DESI study, ADEQUA study)

Forms of learning strategies (broad)

  • The following classification is based on Wild (2005). [1]

Cognitive learning strategies (primary strategies)

Also called direct learning strategies, which can be differentiated between "surface-oriented strategies" and "depth-oriented strategies". Specifically, they are mental Processes that take place when processing a task.

Surface-oriented strategies

These often only generate short-term learning success through fact-based learning (memorization, memorization of facts).

Examples of such mnemonics

In-depth strategies

These aim at understanding or critical examination of the subject. One differentiates:

  • Organizational strategies: are often referred to as support strategies because they help memorize and elaborate. The learning object is processed in such a way that it can be processed further in a meaningful way.
  • Make lists to memorize (vocabulary), develop memory strategies
  • Write summaries
  • All forms of reorganization of the content: drawing up graphics, tables, for example to understand a text
  • Painting of text passages
  • Elaboration strategies: Processes in which new information is inserted into the network of already known information.
  • Transfer of abstract content into concrete examples
  • Contextualization of terms
  • Language processing strategies: Use language usage strategies such as prior knowledge, maintain communication by all means.
  • Critical review: Here, arguments and models are checked for logical consistency on the background of prior knowledge.
  • Comparisons
  • Analyzes
  • Abstractions

Indirect learning strategies (secondary strategies)

Metacognitive Strategies

  • ... to regulate your own learning
  • Plan learning steps
  • Monitor learning steps
  • Regulate learning steps

Resource-oriented strategies

External resources
  • Design of the learning environment and workplace
  • Use of information sources
  • Learning with classmates
Internal resources
  • effort
  • attention
  • Time management

A distinction is made specifically in foreign language teaching:

  1. (Language) learning strategies
  2. Language use strategies

1. Language) learning strategies:

use learners to learn a foreign language.


2. Language use strategies:

(Ge) need learners for communicative use and understanding of the foreign language.


  • It is controversial whether this separation makes sense when taking a holistic view of learning. Alternatively, one also speaks of "learner strategies".

Framework model for conveying learning strategies in foreign language teaching

Basic pattern

  1. Awareness of existing individual learning habits and strategies
  2. Presentation of alternatives
  3. Testing through exercises
  4. Evaluation of the test experiences

Objectives of this approach

  1. Promoting the Consciousness of the learner ("I'm already using learning strategies!")
  2. Development of declarative, procedural and conditional strategy knowledge on the part of the learner
  3. Create opportunities to apply the knowledge acquired so far about learning strategies in practice
  4. Learners can reflect on the individual use of strategies and gain knowledge for future learning and work processes

Instruments / ways

Awareness of existing individual learning habits and strategies

The promotion of the Consciousness of the learner, for example, after completing a task by:

  • Discussions,
  • specific questions,
  • Partner interviews


Presentation of alternatives

Building strategy knowledge through Presentation of different learning strategies:

  • in the form of declarations,
  • Verbalization of individual planning, implementation and control steps

Testing through exercises

Practical application of strategy knowledge in Exercise phases:

Here it is recommended to work on cognitively demanding tasks so that the learners can apply and try out a variety of learning strategies.


Evaluation of the test experiences

individual reflection through:

  • the use of Portfolios,
  • Evaluation sheets or regular self-observation with an exchange of experiences


The role of the teacher

  • The teacher's teaching strategies have a direct impact on the learners' learning strategies.[2]
  • Learning aids instead of pure knowledge mediators.
  • (new) requirements for teacher education and training

Learning strategy promotion

Reading strategies in particular are important prerequisites for learning a foreign language.

Important criteria for successful learning strategy promotion
  • Learning culture: (foreign language-specific and general learning experiences) If memorization strategies are preferred early on, this has an unfavorable effect on the development of further strategies.
  • Socio-cultural background: Value (appreciation) of education and learning
  • Tasks must be perceived as subjectively meaningful by the learners. (Motivation)
  • Learning strategies must be demonstrated, practiced and trained in practice.
  • Learning strategies must continuously be made the subject of lessons. (Placement in a general course is insufficient.)
  • Learning strategies should be differentiated internally and be imparted and practiced according to the type of learner (s).
  • Learning strategies should be observed in all subjects, ideally taught across subjects.

See also

Web links