Towards Greater Autonomy: Training in Metacognitive and Affective Learning Strategies Applied to Writing Skills in a University Context
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In recent years, research in both cognitive psychology and second language acquisition has highlighted the fundamental role played by both conscious and unconscious strategies in the process of learning second and foreign languages. It has been suggested that good language learners have at their disposition a variety of effective strategies which, once identified, can be taught to less successful learners, with considerable potential for the ongoing development of language skills both inside and outside the classroom. In such a learner-centred approach, the teacher can also play an active role by implementing an integrated training programme in order to encourage learners to extend strategy knowledge and use in order to gain greater autonomy. This paper examines explicit training in metacognitive and affective strategies applied to writing skills in English as a Foreign Language in a university learning environment, and attempts, by means of action research undertaken in the classroom, to discover whether such an integrated programme of instruction leads to greater language proficiency.