A critical review of research on strategies in learning Chinese as both a second and foreign language

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Xiaoli Jiang
Andrew D. Cohen

Abstract

This article critically reviews strategy research on learning Chinese both as a second and foreign language. Through a careful examination of major data bases in both the Chinese and English languages, the article summarizes research in the field and the principal research methods used in the studies reviewed. Moreover, key limitations in research designs, inconsistencies in reported findings, inappropriate use of research methods, and weaknesses in both Chinese- and English-language publications are discussed. The article concludes by calling for future research paying more attention to current language learning strategy theories and practices.

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Author Biographies

Xiaoli Jiang, Renmin University

xiaoli.jiang@gmail.com

Xiaoli Jiang is an associate professor at the School of Foreign Languages, Renmin University of China. She obtained her BA in English Language and Literature from the Beijing Normal University, her MA in English Language Teaching from Warwick University, England, and her PhD in English Education and Applied Linguistics from the same institution. She has published articles in System, Studies in Higher Education, and the Asian EFLJ, as well as several book chapters in international publications. She recently received a distinguished teaching award in China, and was awarded a Fulbright in the United States to do research on strategies in learning Chinese for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Andrew D. Cohen, University of Minnesota

adcohen@umn.edu

Andrew D. Cohen, a professor in phased retirement from the Program in Second Language Studies at the University of Minnesota, has researched language learner strategies since the early 1970s. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on language learning, language assessment, and research methods. Among his recent books are Language Learner Strategies with Macaro (Oxford, 2007), Teaching and Learning Pragmatics: Where Language and Culture Meet with Ishihara (Pearson, 2010), and most recently Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language (2nd ed., Pearson). He is currently learning his 12th language, Mandarin, and studying the strategies he is using.

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