Language learning strategies and teaching practices in adult L2 education: The case of Swedish for Immigrants

Annika Norlund Shaswar, Åsa Wedin

Language learning strategies, Swedish for Immigrants, Adult education, Second language learning


This article highlights the use and co-construction of language learning strategies (LLS) in second language education for adults with short previous education. In a case study, we explore how LLS are used and co-constructed by one student and one teacher. The data for the article was created in an action research programme comprising two Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) schools, and the methodology used was classroom observation based in linguistic ethnography. In accordance with Griffiths (2013, p. 15) LLS are defined as “activities consciously chosen by learners for the purpose of regulating their own language learning”. For the analysis of LLS, Oxford’s (1990) taxonomy was chosen. In the chosen case the teacher and student co-constructed direct and indirect strategies. In their co-construction, they sometimes seemed to work together, both using a strategy initiated by one of them, and sometimes appeared to have opposite goals, so that the teacher-initiated strategies turned out as complicated for the student, while the student-initiated strategies were counteracted by the teacher. Some of the LLS promoted by the teacher that were difficult for the student seemed to demand literacy skills that he had not yet developed. This underlines the importance of adapting teaching to the language and literacy competences of the individual learner. It also highlights the importance of further research on LLS with this group of students in order to find strategies that work in the process of developing functional literacy skills.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies