The dynamism of strategic learning: Complexity theory in strategic L2 development

Main Article Content

Carmen M. Amerstorfer

Abstract

Learners of foreign languages (L2s) apply strategies to support learning processes and L2 development. They select strategies according to their individual needs and preferences and adjust their strategic actions to suit situational circumstances and contextual conditions. A holistic investigation of strategic L2 learning processes requires the integration of numerous interconnected, flexibly-interacting influences, which are at constant interplay with each other and whose development is difficult to predict. Validated as effective in other fields of applied linguistics, complex dynamic systems theory (CDST) can also provide an appropriate frame for researching strategic L2 learning. Based on state-of-the-art methodological guidance for complexity research, this article presents the re-analysis of empirical data from a previous study through a complexity lens. It further examines the suitability of CDST in strategy research, explores its practical value, and demonstrates that a complexity perspective can generate new, profound information about strategic learning.

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How to Cite
Amerstorfer, C. M. (2020). The dynamism of strategic learning: Complexity theory in strategic L2 development. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 10(1), 21-44. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2020.10.1.2
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Articles
Author Biography

Carmen M. Amerstorfer, University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Carmen M. Amerstorfer holds a PhD from the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, where she is employed as Senior Scientist. She taught foreign language learners of all ages and at educational levels from pre-K to tertiary at educational institutions in Austria, the Netherlands, and China. In her current position as a teacher educator, she applies a problem-oriented teaching approach to her courses, focusing, for example, on games and activities in the EFL classroom or global skills. Carmen’s main research interests include learner-centered teaching, problem-based learning, strategic language learning, and features of psychology in language learning. In 2015, Carmen organized an international conference on language learning strategies (SSU) that is hosted biennially throughout the world. She co-edited Language Learning Strategies and Individual Learner Characteristics: Situating Strategy Use in Diverse Contexts (2018, Bloomsbury) with Rebecca L. Oxford.

Contact details: University of Klagenfurt, Universitätsstraße 65-67, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria (carmen.amerstorfer@aau.at)

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